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In EU you have to use stunning methods before slaughtering animals. Source.
It's not legal to slaughter animals without stunning them. How does this affect halal slaughter?

I know there are difference of opinions about this. I would like to have an answer on these issues:

It is halal to eat stunned animals

The one saying it is halal to eat slaughtered meat where stunning methods has been used before the slaughter.

  • What if the animals dies when it's stunned? Is it still halal? (most I know says it's haram)
  • Are there difference of opinions which might say that it is halal to eat either if the animal die before the slaughter or not?
  • How can you determine that the animal died or not died before the slaughter. (i.e how to determine that it died by being stunned)?

It is haram to eat stunned animals

  • Why?
  • Where would you buy your meat?
  • There are some who buy meat from people who privately slaughter animals without stunning methods (illegally) in EU. Isn't this against our Islamic principles? Because as muslims we have to fullfil our contracts. Being a citizen in a country means that you have a personal contract which you should fulfill the rules of. (O you who have believed, fulfill [all] contracts. 5:1)

When answering, if you are following a special point of view or madhhab (school of thought), to derive to your answer or following a fatwa or a scholar, please point it out.

Also notice that I am not looking for an answer about that you must say bismillah and that the one slaughtering must be a muslim and so on...

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    Therefore a i became vegetarian or a follower of al-Azhar fatwas ;) – Medi1Saif Aug 19 '16 at 9:52
  • What an excellent question! As far as you are aware, do most animals die before slaughter? – Aboudi Nov 20 '16 at 18:23
  • @Aboudi Actually most animals do not die. It is said that a very very small amount die. But because there is a little possibility that it may happen, there are opinions that stunning isn't halal. – Kilise Nov 20 '16 at 18:51
  • I'm sure there are lots of opinions as to why it may not be Halal, there must also be plenty of evidence backing up their opinions! Considering the way most animals get treated and the conditions they are raised in, it may be that most meat isn't Halal these days! – Aboudi Nov 20 '16 at 18:56
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You already quoted 5:1 but if you go further you can read:

... Lawful for you are the animals of grazing livestock except for that which is recited to you [in this Qur'an] - ...

So we are told that it would be revealed in the Quran what kind of flesh is lawful for us!
In 5:3 you can read the kind of flesh which is prohibited:

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.

and stunning is not one of those, which are prohibited, maybe through some explanation we can add it, but for now we look for a work around not for how to create a fatwa for prohibiting flesh!

In 5:4-5 you can read what is allowed for us and more exactly in 5:5 you'll find:

This day [all] good foods have been made lawful, and the food of those who were given the Scripture is lawful for you and your food is lawful for them.

Which says we are allowed to eat the food of people of the book. note that surat al-Maidah is one of the last revealed surahs and this verse is quoted among the last verses revealed.

I think this was the opinion of ibn 'Arafah (al-maliki) long ago and it was lately adapted by al-Azhar scholars and spread in Europe by them. I'm not sure whether al-Qaradawi has written the same in some of his books or given a similar fatwa. The addition made by al-Azhar scholars AFAIK is: If to say bismiallah Allahu akbar before eating the meat even if it was not slaughtered the correct way.


Some more fiqh details based on this fatwa:

If stunning happens before the slaughtering then there are three cases:

  • if the animal was stunned and immolated before it dies, then it is halal.
  • if it died through the sunning, it is haram as it is a dead animal (5:3).
  • if one doesn't know, then one should take the overbalanced view, so if for example it was known that most animals die before they have been immolated than it would be haram if not halal.

This fatwa affirms that meat from slaughtering of people of the book is halal and also says that stunning from an Islamic perspective is haram (note that the word الصعق for stunning here seems to be understood as electrocution -which is only one of the methods described in the ruling-. The whole regulation seems to go ahead with Islamic teachings in avoiding harming the animal, and the purpose of stunning in this context is a kind of anesthesia, which shouldn't be as harmful as assumed in the fatwa), but if one can only slaughter this way it would be valid to do so.

This is so far an answer for the fiqh source and views.

Short answer for your other questions

Note that even in case of a Muslim slaughterer the animal could die from fear, or have a bad death if the person who is performing it was not experienced enough.

Also note that these rules of the EU apply only in case of a regular slaughtering that means for slaughtering for further sale! In this case usually a veterinary is present in would control everything so the chance of an animal dying for the quoted reasons isn't high!
I know that many Muslims buy animals directly from farmers and perform the slaughtering on site (without consulting a veterinary, this would be halal slaughtering, but is it safe?)!

Note also that many supermarkets in Europe sell meat which has a sign saying it is halal. So one can buy the meat there also many Muslim supermarkets have their own slaughterhouse or for example in Germany used to buy or import some kinds of meat from countries where it is/was allowed to slaughter the Muslim way (Austria was one of them a few years ago). So there are options to buy.

Of course if one doesn't trust all of this we can eat and buy fish or become a vegetarian ;)

Issue of Odhiya الأضحية or 'Aqiqah العقيقة

This again is a workaround that I usually practice: the 'aqiqah for my children doesn't take place in our presence but at the house of either my parents or my in-laws, so for example my father in law buys a cheap and performs the 'Aqiah in our name (he could be refunded but usually doesn't accept it, but we also leave some money with him). One can buy a cheap for odhiya via a Muslim organization who spends the whole odhiya in a poor Muslim country or to people who would be in need.
But as said above I also ordered at a Muslim grocery here a cheap for 'Id and asked them to slaughter it in my name and got it from them on the day of 'Id or a day later. So in any case if you don't perform the slaughtering yourself you would be dependent on the person who performs it and you either have to trust them or don't in that case there's no way out expect buying an animal and slaughtering it yourself or as stated let others do it for you in a Muslim country as agents.

Finally I would like to point at a chapter in the Regulation

(18) Derogation from stunning in case of religious slaughter taking place in slaughterhouses was granted by Directive 93/119/EC. Since Community provisions applicable to religious slaughter have been transposed differently depending on national contexts and considering that national rules take into account dimensions that go beyond the purpose of this Regulation, it is important that derogation from stunning animals prior to slaughter should be maintained, leaving, however, a certain level of subsidiarity to each Member State. As a consequence, this Regulation respects the freedom of religion and the right to manifest religion or belief in worship, teaching, practice and observance, as enshrined in Article 10 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.

I hope i covered your questions if i missed any feel free to remind me I'll edit my answer!

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    This wasn't mentioned but; what if there are people who follow the opinion that it is haram to eat animals that has been stunned before slaughter and that these people see 'aqiqa ( الأضحية والعقيقة) as fard. Would they in a islamic perspective be excused of following the rules of the country and thereby slaughter an animal without stunning it before? – Kilise Aug 19 '16 at 20:27
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    @Kilise as far as I'm aware, no they are not excused from following the rules but they are allowed to slaughter animals after stunning! You can find this on nearly all food companies (Dominos, GBK, etc...), I don't know what the Islamic ruling is, but I know they most likely aren't excused from following the law :( – Aboudi Nov 20 '16 at 18:27
  • +1 An awesome, detailed and well structured answer as usual :) – Aboudi Nov 20 '16 at 18:29

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