Electrocuting sacrificial animals
We, Polish Muslims, would like to bring to your attention that Muslims in Poland find difficulty dealing with the question of slaughtering and its legal permissibility, whether it be poultry, cows, or calves. We have found a Polish company willing to cooperate with us in this matter. Our question is: Is it sufficient to utter the name of Allah at the beginning of that day’s slaughter [in the morning] while intending what will be slaughtered throughout the entire day? We would also like to inform you that the chickens after the electrocution regain consciousness rather than dying. We have witnessed this with our own eyes, and this was after they had passed through an electrified water tank.
For the sake of reassuring all Muslims, we would like to print ‘halal’ on the exterior of the packages after obtaining an official fatwa from you.
If it has been medically and scientifically established that the use of a method to control the animal before slaughtering which removes the animal from its normal vitality and results in death or involuntary movement - both of which contradict the conditions established in Islamic jurisprudence - then this method is impermissible in the Shari’ah. However if the effects were limited to weakening resistance or reducing pain - where, if not for being slaughtered, the animal would return to its normal vitality - then it is permissible to use this method in order to control the animal before its slaughter.
This is because it does not contradict the basis of the Shari’ah with regard to slaughtering animals.
As for uttering the name of Allah before slaughtering an animal, it is recommended (but not a necessary condition) according to the Shafi‘is and one Hanbali opinion. So there is no harm in failing to utter the name of Allah, and this applies whether the person slaughtering the animal is a Muslim, Christian, or Jew. Turning on a machine takes the place of slaughtering the animal by hand provided that the machine kills using a blade but not using another means. It is required that the operator of the machine be a Muslim, Christian, or Jew; it is not valid [for Muslim consumption] if the operator is an atheist or of any other faith.
Based on this and in reference to the question: it is permissible to consume the meat provided that:
• the machine kills using a blade and not by any other means;
• the operator of the machines is a Muslim, Christian, or a Jew; and
• the slaughtered animal is itself permissible to eat.
Electrocution does not alter this permissibility so long as it is limited to weakening the resistance of the animal while retaining its vitality.
As to the utterance of the name of Allah upon the slaughtered animal – after all of the above – is recommended. There is no harm if it is not said; this is according the opinion of the Shafi‘is and one of the Hanbali opinions.
Allah the Almighty and the Most High knows best.