There are six main conditions for Halal Slaughtering (dhabh), as follows:


1.      The one that slaughters must be a Muslim

2.      The one that slaughters must pray


The evidence for the above points can be found in the sayings of Allah (swt)

فَصَلِّ لِرَبِّكَ وَانْحَرْ

Fasalli lirabbika wainhar

Therefore turn in prayer to your Lord and sacrifice. [Surah Al Kawthar 108:2]


The importance of prayer is highlighted in the tafsir of Ibn Kathir. The Messenger (saw) used to pray Eid prayer before slaughtering an animal, and he said: “Whoever prayed and then slaughtered has performed the slaughter (correctly) and whosoever slaughters before prayer, there is no slaughter for him.” Then a Companion named Abu Bardah stood up and said, “Oh, Messenger of Allah! I have slaughtered my sheep before the prayer…” He (saw) said: “Your sheep is merely meat (i.e. it is not acceptable as a sacrifice).”

3.      The tool used to slaughter must be sharp


The object used to slaughter the animal should be sharp and used swiftly.


The Messenger (saw) said “and if you slaughter, slaughter well. Let each one of you sharpen his blade” [Sahih Muslim]


The swift cutting of vessels of the neck disconnects the flow of blood to the nerves in the brain responsible for pain. Thus the animal does not feel pain. The movements and withering that happen to the animal after the cut is made are not due to pain, but due to the contraction and relaxation of the muscles deficient in blood.  The blood must be drained completely before the head is removed. This purifies the meat by removing most of the blood

4.      The slaughtering must be merciful


As well as ensuring the slaughtering is done swiftly, one must ensure the animal is not distressed before being slaughtered. To avoid undue distress to the animal, the animal waiting to be slaughtered should not be in view of others being slaughtered. Nor should the knife used for slaughtering be sharpened in view of the animal waiting to be slaughtered.


The Messenger (saw) said “and let him spare suffering to the animal he slaughters”” [Sahih Muslim]

5.      The person slaughtering must mentioned the name of Allah (swt)


‘Tasmiyyah’ this is the verbal pronouncement of the name of Allah, when making dhabh or commencing any good deed. The slaughterer should face the qiblah, and he must utter the words, ‘Bismillah Allahu Akbar’ as he slaughters. These words are an important confirmation that the animal is being killed in the name of Allah, but the words are not just for us; the animal has the right to know that it has been slaughtered in the name of Allah. Allah (swt) says,

وَلِكُلِّ أُمَّةٍ جَعَلْنَا مَنسَكًا لِيَذْكُرُوا اسْمَ اللَّهِ عَلَى مَا رَزَقَهُم مِّن بَهِيمَةِ الْأَنْعَامِ فَإِلَهُكُمْ إِلَهٌ وَاحِدٌ فَلَهُ أَسْلِمُوا وَبَشِّرِ الْمُخْبِتِينَ

Walikulli ommatin jaAAalna mansakan liyathkuroo isma Allahi AAala ma razaqahum min baheemati al-anAAami fa-ilahukum ilahun wahidun falahu aslimoo wabashshiri almukhbiteena

And for every nation We have appointed religious ceremonies, that they may mention the Name of Allah over the beast of cattle that He has given them for food. [Surah Al Hajj 22:34]

6.      Must ensure the blood is spilt from the animal


وَإِذْ قَالَ مُوسَى لِقَوْمِهِ إِنَّ اللّهَ يَأْمُرُكُمْ أَنْ تَذْبَحُواْ بَقَرَةً

Wa-ith qala moosa liqawmihi inna Allaha ya/murukum an tathbahoo baqaratan qaloo atattakhithuna huzuwan qala aAAoothu biAllahi an akoona mina aljahileena


And (remember) when Musa (Moses) said to his people: “Verily, Allah commands you that you slaughter (tadhabu) a cow.” [Surah Al Baqarah 2:67]


Ata said “Dhabh means the cutting of the carotid and jugular blood vein” when asked if it was allowed to cut the spinal cord Ata replied “Ibn Umar forbade An-Nakh (to cut the neck up to the spinal cord and to leave the animal to die)” [Sahih Bukhari]

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