Indicators of life in the slaughtered animal

Indicators of life in the slaughtered animal

[The following is extracted from F?kihatul Bust?n, a Fiqh book dealing with slaughter and hunting issues. It was written by al-?All?mah Mu?ammad H?shim bin ?Abdil Ghan? as-Sind? (d. 1174 Hijri). The following passages explain things which may indicate life in an animal and thus render its slaughter valid ? SANHA]

Know that the indications of life is not restricted to blood flowing and movement. That is why it is stated in Fat?w? Q??? Kh?n that if:

A sick ewe was slaughtered and it was not known if it was still living.

  • If it opens its mouth, it will not be eaten, but if it closes it, it may be eaten.
  • If she opens her eye she will not be eaten, but if she blinks she may be eaten.
  • If it stretches its leg it will not be eaten. If it tightens back its leg it may be eaten.
  • If her hair becomes limp it may not be eaten. If its hair stands up it may be eaten.

This applies if it is not known if it is alive at the time of slaughter and no flowing blood emerged and it did not move. If however it was known to be living; or flowing blood was found; or movement [was apparent]; then it is ?al?l in all the scenarios we have mentioned.

This has been mentioned in al-Khul??ah, al-Bazz?z?yah, Khaz?natul Fat?w? and as-Sir?j?yah.  Similar mention has been made in ?Aqdul L?l?, Tu?fatul Fiqh and al-?amm?dIyah. That is correct because life slackens with death. Thus the opening of the mouth and eye, the stretching of the leg and limping of the hair are signs of death. All these are slackening. As for the mouth and eye closing, the leg tightening and the hair standing, these are not slackenings. Instead, these are movements specific to the living. Thus they indicate life. This is when life is not known at the time of slaughter. We have already discussed if it is known to be living at the time of slaughter. Thus it is mentioned in az-Zayla???s commentary on al-Kanz and ash-Shamn??s commentary on an-Naq?yah.

It is appropriate to be acquainted with the statement, ?If it was known that it was alive then it is ??l?l, even if it does not move or bleed.? It is clear that what is meant by ?known? is absolute conviction. That is why al-Fat?w? al-?Alamg?r?yah quotes from as-Sir?j al-Wahh?j:

If life is known with certainty at the time of slaughter it may be eaten under all circumstances.

But does one?s stronger thought equate to conviction in this case? Mu??? as-Sarakhs? quotes from al-Bar?mikah:

A man slaughters a sheep which had fallen from a height and does not move. If his opinion is stronger towards that it was living, then he may eat, if not then not. So if it moved it may be eaten because the dead do not move.

Thus it is mentioned in al-?Ayn??s commentary of al-Hid?yah. It is also indication in al-Mus?a?f? and the commentary of al-Manzh?mah that the greater thought equates to knowledge.  And All?h knows best.

It is mentioned in Khaz?natul Akmal:

If a sheep is close to death and is slaughtered and only a little blood flows and it only moves a little, for example its tails or ear, it is ?al?l to eat. Ab? Bakr al-Hindaw?n? said, ?Similarly if the blood does not flow.? The Jurist said, ?And upon this is our Fatw?.??

It is mentioned in al-Fat?w? at-T?t?r Kh?n?yah that Na??r ra?imahull?h said, ?I wrote to al-Balkh? in regards an afflicted cow. She was sick. A knife was raised and she was slaughtered. Her hoof or her tail moved. He replied, ?When it moves and then is slaughtered it is correctly ?al?l slaughtered. Sometimes it does not move due to being weak. It is narrated from Ab? Bakr in regards someone who had a he-camel. It became ill and approached death. It was slaughtered and a little blood flowed. It moved but a little, a vein or a cheek. They said, ?It may be eaten.??

It is mentioned in Khaz?natul Akmal:

If one comes across a sheep which a wolf had wounded and there are still signs of life such as movement and sound. If it is then slaughtered it may be eaten. 

Similarly if he found it moving its hoof, leg or ear at the time of slaughter. This it is mentioned in al-Fat?w? at-T?t?r Kh?n?yah under the issue of a foetus outside its mother?s belly. Al-Fat?w? al-?amm?d?yah quotes from al-Fat?w? azh-Zhah?r?yah:

If one slaughters a sick sheep and there remains in it life to the extent of what remains in the slaughtered animal after slaughter; or a wolf pierced its belly and there remains life in it to the extent which we have mentioned, then Ab? Y?suf and Mu?ammad do not accept  its slaughter and the seniors differ in regards the view of Ab? ?an?fah ra?imahull?h. According to the text of al-Q??? al-Im?m al-Ist?j?b? and in the commentary of a?-?a??w?, he accepted the slaughter and upon this is the Fatw?. 

Emergence of blood is not a determining factor for the permissibility of the slaughtered animal

I say that it is not hidden that in the Zh?hir ar-Riw?yah emergence of blood is  not held critical when it is known with certainty that it was alive or indications to that effect is found, such as movement etc which we have just quoted from several books. So it is appropriate that we can rely upon this. This is why the jurist, Ab? al-Layth said:

The view of Ab? Bakr al-Isk?f is preferred as is stated in Mukht?r al-Fat?w?. Added evidence for that is what is mentioned in at-Tah??b and al-Jaw?hir al-Akhl???, ?A sheep was slaughtered and no blood flowed from it. Some say it is not ?al?l and others say it is ?al?l. The Fatw? is that if there was movement to indicate life then it is ?al?l.?

Also there is what az-Zayla??, al-?Ayn? and ash-Shamn? mentioned in the Book of Hunting:

The aim is to extract flowing blood. This is normally achieved through a wound. A rare few disagree on this. Thus the wound can substitute it. Voluntary slaughter and hunting with a hound, bows and arrows are equal in this respect. 

Also there is the quote of al-Mabs?? found in al-Kif?yah:

When a sheep is slaughtered and the blood holds back due to some factor like if the sheep ate Jujube, it is unanimous that that does not necessitate the sheep being ?ar?m. This will be similar to that situation.

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