Electrocuting sacrificial animals

Egypt's Dar Al-Ifta

Electrocuting sacrificial animals


We, Polish Muslims, would like to bring to your attention that Muslims in Poland find difficulty in 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 God 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 removes the animal from its normal vitality and results in death or involuntary movement (such as seizures) - 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 God before slaughtering an animal, it is recommended (but not a necessary condition) according to the Shafi‘is and one of the Hanbali opinions. Therefore, there is no harm in failing to utter the name of God, and this applies whether the person slaughtering the animal is a Muslim, Christian, or Jew. Using a machine in place of slaughtering the animal by hand is allowed, provided that the machine kills using a blade, not other means. It is required that the operator of the machine be a Muslim, Christian, or Jew; and the meat 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 such 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, i.e. its general health and life.

As to the utterance of the name of God upon the slaughtered animal – after all of the above – is recommended, but here is no harm if it is not said; this is according the opinion of the Shafi‘is and one of the Hanbali opinions.

God the Almighty and the Most High knows best.


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