Dr. Zakir Naik
Q: Why do Muslims slaughter the animal in a cruel manner by torturing it and slowly and painfully killing it?
A: The Islamic method of slaughtering animals, known as ‘Zabiha’ has been the object of much criticism from a large number of people.
One may consider the following points, which prove that the Islamic method of ‘Zabiha’ is not only humane but also scientifically the best:
1. Islamic method of slaughtering animal
‘Zakkaytum’ is a verb derived from the root word ‘Zakaah’ (to purify). Its infinitive is ‘Tazkiyah’, which means purification. The Islamic mode of slaughtering an animal requires the following conditions to be met:
a. The animal should be slaughtered with a sharp object (knife)
The animal has to be slaughtered with a sharp object (knife) and in a fast way so that the pain of slaughter is minimised.
b. Cut wind pipe, throat and vessels of neck
‘Zabiha’ is an Arabic word which means ‘slaughtered’. The ‘slaughtering’ is to be done by cutting the throat, windpipe and the blood vessels in the neck causing the animal’s death, but without cutting the spinal cord.
c. Blood should be drained
The blood has to be drained completely before the head is removed. The purpose is to drain out most of the blood, which would otherwise serve as a good culture medium for micro organisms. Hence, for this purpose, the spinal cord must not be cut, otherwise the nerve fibers to the heart would be damaged during the process causing cardiac arrest, resulting in stagnation of the blood in the blood vessels.
2. Blood is a good medium for germs and bacteria
Blood is a good medium for germs, bacteria, toxins, etc. Therefore the Muslim way of slaughtering is more hygienic as most of the blood containing germs, bacteria, toxins, etc. that are the cause of several diseases are eliminated.
3. Meat remains fresh for a longer time
Meat slaughtered by Islamic way remains fresh for a longer time due to deficiency of blood in the meat as compared to other methods of slaughtering.
4. Animal does not feel pain
The swift cutting of vessels of the neck disconnects the flow of blood to the nerve of the brain responsible for pain. Thus the animal does not feel pain. While dying, the animal appears to struggle, writhe, shake and kick, not due to pain, but due to the contraction and relaxation of the muscles deficient in blood and due to the flow of blood out of the body.
Q: Science tells us that whatever one eats has an effect on one’s behaviour. Why does then Islam allow Muslims to eat non-vegetarian food, since eating of animals could make a person violent?
A: 1. Only eating of herbivorous animals is allowed by Islam. I agree that, what a person eats has an effect on his behaviour. This is one of the reasons why Islam prohibits the eating of carnivorous animals like lions, tigers, leopards, etc. who are violent and ferocious. The consumption of the meat of such animals would probably make a person violent and ferocious. Islam only allows the eating of herbivorous animals like goats, cattle, sheep, etc. that are peaceful and docile. We Muslims eat peaceful and docile animals because we are peace loving and non-violent people.
2. The Qur’an says Prophet prohibits what is bad
The Qur’an says: “The Prophet commands them what is just and prohibits what is evil. He allows them as lawful what is good (and pure) and prohibits them what is bad (and impure),” [Al-A’raf 7: 157]
“So take what the Messenger assigns to you and deny yourselves that which he withholds from you.” [Al-Hashr 59: 7]
For a Muslim, the Prophet’s statement is sufficient to convince him that Allah does not wish humans to eat some kinds of meat while allowing some other kinds.
3. Hadith prohibiting eating of carnivorous animals
According to various authentic Ahaadith narrated in Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim including hadith narrated by Ibn Abbas in Sahih Muslim, Book of hunting and slaughter, Hadith No. 4752 and Sunan Ibn-i-Majah chapter 13 Hadith no. 3232 to 3234, the Holy Prophet (Pbuh) prohibited the eating of:
(i) Wild animals with canine teeth, i.e. meat eating carnivorous animals. These are animals belonging to the cat families such as lions, tigers, cats, dogs, wolfs, hyenas, etc.
(ii) Certain rodents like mice, rats, rabbits with claws, etc.
(iii) Certain reptiles like snakes, alligators, etc.
(iv) Birds of prey with talons or claws, like vultures, eagle, crows, owl, etc.
( The author heads Islamic Research Foundation, Mumbai. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, http://www.irf.net)
In the Name of Allah
Fozail Aqdas Ghazali
The innovation of writing “786” at the top of a document or a letter replacing the holy words of Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem has, unfortunately, been a common practice for a long time by the majority of the Ummah, specially by the Urdu speaking Muslims in the Indian subcontinent.
Apart from common folk, the scholars also pay no attention to it and to avoid disrespect to the holy words they often use it with the intention of seeking the Divine blessings through this number. They believe it a “correct” and “better” way to follow the Prophet’s command to begin a work in the name of Allah. They have even started writing this number at the top of their houses, offices and business establishments, etc. Unfortunately, this tradition is gradually being passed on from one generation to another.
But, do we see this number in place of the holy words of Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem in the holy Qur’an? Or, can we write it there as well? Can we remove these holy words from the top of Surah Fatiha and replace it with the number 786? Obviously not.
If we study the holy Qur’an, we see it carries the holy words in a letter from Prophet Sulaiman (Pbuh) to the Queen of
Sheeba-Bilqis - who was an infidel at that time. Even Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh), in his letters to different non-Muslims kings, Knights, and heads of states and governments, used the holy words at the top. Therefore, whosoever uses 786 with the intention of obtaining the Divine blessings is a misguided person and any attempt to justify it is based on ignorance, innovation or blind following of the practices of his ancestors.
Islam’s foundation is laid on the belief in Tauhid (Oneness of God). If we associate anyone with Allah’s exalted names orally or practically, we would be committing blasphemy which is an unpardonable sin.
The holy Qur’an warns us: “One who finds a rival against Allah, Allah will never allow him to enter paradise, and his abode is hell.”
The letters by Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) to non-Muslim kings and chiefs bore the holy words Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem. This was also the case of his noble companions. Did the Prophet (Pbuh) and his companions respect the holy words less than us?
Was the verse, “Today I have completed your religion for you”, revealed to the Prophet (Pbuh), or to the so called scholars of our age, who seem to be bent on amending Divine principles and traditions deliberately or inadvertently?
Now, when it became clear that “786” has no significance, whatsoever, in the holy Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Prophet (Pbuh), it is obviously an innovation and goes against the Divine doctrine of “Obey Allah and His Prophet.”
Similarly, some Muslims replace Allah’s name by the number “786” and the Prophet’s name by “92”. But if one may ask “ If the number “420” is used against somebody’s name and he is called “Mr 420”, would he take it lying down?
Calling someone by a nick name is a sin. Allah says; “Do not call one another by nick names.” If Allah prohibits the use of nick names for fellow human beings, how can He allow the use of such insulting replacement number for Himself and His noble Prophet (Pbuh)?
Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem carries great significance in the holy Qur’an and the Sunnah, and the Muslims are ordered not to begin any work but in the name of Allah; not in the number of “786”, or any other substitution.