Let’s say a cow died with no visible sign that she was attacked by an animal or snake and is likely the cause of heart attack. Or a sheep dies because she tangles her neck in the room and as a result dies. Is that cow or sheep halal or haram?

I am asking this question because a cow or a sheep is worth a lot and is a source of food. There are misconception in Islam. Many people believe that cows scarified by Christian are haram but they are actually halal. I am looking for a reference which can say this is explicitly haram or halal or there is strong evidence for the verdict.

My point is, since the cow died in a Muslim house and the Muslim family had no intention of not doing a proper sacrifice if they ever decided to sacrifice her for meat, would this be a valid reason that the cow be Halal? Are there similar cases that happened at the time of Muhammad (PBUH)?

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    halal or haram to what? to eat?... Commented Jan 21, 2014 at 5:19
  • @Muslim can you think of another meaning of Halal/haram other than eating. That may help me.
    – muslim1
    Commented Jan 21, 2014 at 12:49
  • 1
    @muslim1 - There are a lot of ways to use a carcass other than eating it. Using it's skin for leather or cutting off the wool ... etc. Commented Jan 21, 2014 at 16:56
  • @SystemDown so a cow skin can actually be halal or haram for a purpose other than eating? Like it may be haram to use cow skin to make leather if the cow was slaughtered by a Hindu? Is it possible that the shoe I am wearing could be haram because it was made of non-halal cow?
    – muslim1
    Commented Jan 22, 2014 at 1:53
  • The skin itself is najis and cannot be used until it is tanned, then it becomes tahir and halal to use. This is why the clarification is needed, since there are many uses for a dead carcass. Commented Jan 22, 2014 at 18:03

2 Answers 2


Quran specifies that you can not eat dead animals. You can however use it for purposes like its wool or skin

(2:173) He has only forbidden to you dead animals...

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    How about the complete verseHe hath only forbidden you dead meat, and blood, and the flesh of swine, and that on which any other name hath been invoked besides that of Allah. But if one is forced by necessity, **without wilful disobedience, nor transgressing due limits,- then is he guiltless**. For Allah is Oft-forgiving Most Merciful. How about this? That means he can eat it and there is no guilt on him?
    – muslim1
    Commented Jan 22, 2014 at 1:49
  • It would be good to move it to a chat, instead of discussing here. I think that the verse is quite clear and if your situation comes under "forced by necessity", then you can eat it too.
    – goto
    Commented Jan 22, 2014 at 4:49
  • we are discussing the answer so lets discuss it here. There are three repreivels 1)Necessity 2)No wilfull disobedience 3) Not breaking limits, and all of them are OR not AND. That is good excuse if a Cow dies, one may not waste it.For example the family is not well off, what they can do is give part of cow in charity and keep part of it to themselves. That way they did not offend God and they did not waste the cow which was otherwise healthy and would be wasted.
    – muslim1
    Commented Jan 22, 2014 at 7:45
  • @muslim1 : What makes you think that all of them are OR and not AND? We can not make a general rule of "forced by necessity". If the family is forced, then they can eat it.
    – goto
    Commented Jan 22, 2014 at 10:50
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    @muslim1 : I think the first part answers your question. Please ask another question if you need clarification on some other topic
    – goto
    Commented Jan 23, 2014 at 4:36

This is an evidence from Quran (Sura 5, &Aya:3):

Prohibited to you are dead animals, blood, the flesh of swine, and that which has been dedicated to other than Allah, and [those animals] killed by strangling or by a violent blow or by a head-long fall or by the goring of horns, and those from which a wild animal has eaten, except what you [are able to] slaughter [before its death], and those which are sacrificed on stone altars, and [prohibited is] that you seek decision through divining arrows. That is grave disobedience. This day those who disbelieve have despaired of [defeating] your religion; so fear them not, but fear Me. This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favor upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion. But whoever is forced by severe hunger with no inclination to sin - then indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.

Good luck

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