A Guide to Proper Animal Slaughter According to the Quran

by 31 May 20240 comments

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْمِ

In the name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

Animal sacrifices hold significant cultural and religious importance in many societies, particularly among Muslims. It’s a practice deeply rooted in tradition and faith, often performed during Eid al-Adha, also known as the Festival of Sacrifice. This festival commemorates the willingness of Prophet Ibrahim PBUH to sacrifice his son, Ismail, as an act of obedience to Allah. However, Allah replaced Ismail with a sheep, signifying that his act of obedience is accepted.

Eid al-Adha falls in the month of Zulhijjah and sacrificing animals is a highly recommended act, known as Sunnah Muakkadah. Sunnah Muakkadah refers to actions performed by Prophet Muhammad ﷺ regularly and consistently. It’s a practice established by the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and is considered a highly emphasized Sunnah. Performing Sunnah Muakkadah earns immense rewards and draws one closer to Allah. 

Slaughtering In The Name of Allah

Islam teaches us compassion and gentleness even in handling animals for slaughter, and to do it in the name of Allah. Here are some guiding points on the correct way to perform Qurban:

1. Intention: 

To have sincere intention (niyyah) before performing animal slaughter, hoping that this sacrifice is being made for the sake of Allah and there will be rewards for those who do it sincerely. The Prophet mentioned in a Hadith narrated by Imam Muslim: “A man will be rewarded only for what he intended.”

2. Reciting Bismillah: 

Begin by saying “Bismillah” (in the name of Allah) before commencing the slaughter. This invocation sanctifies the act and reminds us of Allah’s presence in our actions. Allah mentioned in Surah Al-Hajj verse 28:

Surah Al-Hajj Verse 28

Which means: So they may obtain the benefits ˹in store˺ for them, and pronounce the Name of Allah on appointed days over the sacrificial animals He has provided for them. So eat from their meat and feed the desperately poor.

 

It was also mentioned in Surah Al-An’am verse 121:

Surah Al-An'am Verse 121

Which means: Do not eat of what is not slaughtered in Allah’s Name. For that would certainly be ˹an act of˺ disobedience. Surely the devils whisper to their ˹human˺ associates to argue with you. If you were to obey them, then you ˹too˺ would be polytheists.

3. Using a Sharp Knife: 

Ensuring that the knife used for slaughtering is sharp to minimize the suffering of the animal. The cut is made in the throat, just below the Adam’s apple and the two jugular veins, while also ensuring the windpipe is severed. This method is known as “zabiha” and is done to cause the animal the least amount of pain and suffering while ensuring a quick death. 

4. Compassion and Softness: 

To handle the animal with care and compassion. Islam emphasizes treating animals with kindness and gentleness, even in their final moments. We are taught to slaughter one animal at a time, ensuring the others are not in distress or witnessing the act. If other animals are present, ensure the slaughter is performed in a manner that minimizes their stress and fear. Do not rush to skin the animal immediately after slaughter. Wait until the body has cooled down completely to allow the blood to drain effectively. 

Through these actions, Muslims fulfill their religious duties while also acknowledging the rights of animals and demonstrating their respect for Allah’s creation. By performing animal slaughter correctly, Muslims uphold the values of mercy and compassion taught by Islam, ensuring that this act of worship is done in accordance with the teachings of the Quran and the example of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ

About The Author

Ustazah Nurfilzah

Nurfilzah Binte Mohamad Noor serves as the Assistant Manager of Trust & Safety Content Moderation at Muslim Pro/Qalbox. Through her work, she strives to promote understanding, respect, and unity within the Muslim community. With a background rooted in trust and safety management, Nurfilzah remains steadfast in her mission to enhance the online experience for users worldwide.

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