Where ever I read, be it here at stackexchange, or other websites or books, I cannot find any references that really support the claim that the one slaughters animals has to be a muslim (or from ahlu kitab, even here there is different of opinions).

I am sure there are some references somewhere in the Quran or in the Hadiths, because I cannot believe that so many people just claim this without any support. But I am starting to get the feeling that this claim has developed by analogy (qiyas) because I cannot find any text proving otherwise yet.

For instance, in this answer, there are no references at all:

The person who beheads the animal (either male or female ) must be Muslim .

In this answer too:

The slaughterer must be either Muslim, Christian, or Jewish.

I could go on and on quoting these claims without any references.
I am looking for references for these claims.

I am looking for the basic proof of the argument. I.e the most basic argument with references to the Quran and Sunnah which supports the claim that the one slaughtering has to be muslim. For instance, if the verse 5:3 is the basic verse to prove that only meat slaughtered by muslims is halal, then it's enough with that verse, no need to add the verse 6:121 for instance. But if the scholars think it isn't enough proof with only 5:3, and the also add 6:121, then 5:3 + 6:121 would be the basic proof.

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    This answer in one of your linked questions gives a reference, and the verses about which food is prohibited will do the rest.
    – G. Bach
    Commented Feb 2, 2017 at 20:12
  • @G.Bach That is not a reference that the one slaughtering must be either a muslim or from ahlu kitab rather it is only refering to the food of ahlu kitab to be lawful.
    – Kilise
    Commented Feb 2, 2017 at 20:14
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    @Medi1Saif I am actually not rejecting the verse, just asking where the conclusion came from, that the slaughterer must be muslim or from ahlu kitab. I understand that 5:5 is informing us that the food of ahlu kitab is lawful. Do you mean that it is from this verse the conclusion is from? If you'd like to add that as an answer, with some references that'd be nice. Also I am not saying that this opinion is wrong.
    – Kilise
    Commented Feb 7, 2017 at 14:40

2 Answers 2


The conditions for halal slaughtering

Basically food is made of some ingredients among them you may find meat or flesh so the general ruling allowing to eat the food of the people of the book in (5:5) allows eating the meat of slaughtered animals (as long as they are not among those quoted in (5:3), (2:173), (6:121)) according some conditions the most important is that slaughtering is similar to our slaughtering here the conditions from this fatwa on islamqa:

  • That the meat be slaughtered as a Muslim does it, but cutting the throat and oesophagus and letting the blood flow. If the animal is killed by strangling or electric shock or drowning in water, its meat is not permissible. Similarly, if a Muslim does that, the meat is not permissible.

Now to the possible confusion created by saying it is not allowed to eat from a slaughtered animal one which the name of Allah is not mentioned.... this isn't exact. The point is as you may read in (2:173) that this is meant in relation to pagan worship, so animal slaughtered by Christian or Jew is allowed as long as they don't dedicate it to some other deity or a person:

  • Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
    What is meant here is that over which a name other than that of Allaah is mentioned at the time of slaughter, such as saying “in the name of the Messiah” or “in the name of Muhammad” or “in the name of Jibreel” or “in the name of al-Laat” and so on. End quote

This is because of the sahih narration on the authority of the mother of believers 'Aisha:

Some people said, "O Allah's Messenger (ﷺ)! Meat is brought to us by some people and we are not sure whether the name of Allah has been mentioned on it or not (at the time of slaughtering the animals)." Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) said (to them), "Mention the name of Allah and eat it." (Sahih al-Bukhari)

So if they don't dedicate it at all it is fine too!

In Sunan abi Dawod you may find that 'Aisha mentioned that those people were new to Islam!

So verse (5:5) allows the food of people of the book and the food made of slaughtered animals by people of the book as quoted in the above fatwa.

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
... The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) ate meat slaughtered by the Jews and did not ask questions.

The evidence for accepting it from Muslims and ahl-al-Kitab

However what exactly says that the slaughterer must be a Muslim, Jew or Christian can be concluded from (5:3) beside the the context of (5:5):

Prohibited to you are ... except what you [are able to] slaughter [before its death], and those which are sacrificed on stone altars, ...

Here the Arabic words ذكيتم dhakaytum and ذبح dhobiha have been used to make a difference between a pagan sacrifice and a "correct from the perspective of shari'a" slaughtering it is used in the hadith in this meaning too:

"The slaughter of what is in the womb is included in the slaughter of the mother if it is perfectly formed and its hair has begun to grow." (al-Muwatta', Sunan ibn Majah, Sunan abi Dawod and Jami' at-Tirmidhi)

And can be understood this way in tafsir al-Qurtobi of this verse: In the 7th, 8th, 9th and further items he considered as worthy to discuss on the this verse.
Here just the linguistic issues:
8th item (الثامنة)

ذكيتم الذكاة في كلام العرب الذبح

dhakytum ad-dhakata in the speech of the Arabic people means slaughtering

9th item (التاسعة)

ذكيتم الذكاة في اللغة أصلها التمام

ad-dhakat in Arabic originates in "the completeness"

Therefore in the same fatwa you may read:

Shaykh ‘Abd al-Rahmaan al-Barraak (may Allaah preserve him) said: “... If those who produce the meat are not Jews or Christians, then the meat that they offer is haraam. ...

For more details read the fatwa I was partly quoting and my other Arabic references islamway and islamweb.

As Tamer quoted most of the verses in his answer I've not quoted nor linked them if they were available there.

See also the Arabic wikipedia article on ذكاة linked from Medi1's comment.

  • Thanks for your answer! But, how does your answer prove that the slaughterer must be either Muslim, Christian, or Jewish?
    – Kilise
    Commented Feb 10, 2017 at 8:44
  • @Kilise I've made an update basically (5:5) is the reason! I recommend you to read further the statement of sheikh al-Barak in the fatwa from islamqa!
    – Jamila
    Commented Feb 10, 2017 at 9:06
  • Basically, I am asking what are the basic proofs from the quran and sunnah, for the statement that "the one slaughtering must be muslim or from ahlu kitab". Because there is no explicit text saying that you must be muslim, rather they indicate that you should be. I am not looking for fatwas of if you have to mention the name of God or not or that if you should eat meat from ahlu kitab (without doubting) today or not. I guess that by these two verses: 5:3 + 6:121 the conclusion "Only muslims may slaughter" has derived also that 5:3 + 6:121 + 5:5 "including ahlu kitab" to the equation.
    – Kilise
    Commented Feb 10, 2017 at 9:21
  • +1 for some of your edits. Would you say that the verse 5:3 is the reason the meat of slaughtered animals - by muslims are halal? Or is it 5:3 + 6:121? And that 5:5 adds the exception to ahlu kitab?
    – Kilise
    Commented Feb 10, 2017 at 9:49
  • @Kilise it seems i've lost my focus I've added the meaning of the word dhakaytum from tafsir al-Qurtobi there he disucsses the rulings based on verse (5:3) I've also shortened the part of the statement of sheikh al-Barak.
    – Jamila
    Commented Feb 10, 2017 at 10:54

This had to do with the relevant sharia texts from Quran and Hadith, and how to apply rules to them.

So we have the following two ayat:

حُرِّمَتْ عَلَيْكُمُ الْمَيْتَةُ وَالدَّمُ وَلَحْمُ الْخِنزِيرِ وَمَا أُهِلَّ لِغَيْرِ اللَّهِ بِهِ وَالْمُنْخَنِقَةُ وَالْمَوْقُوذَةُ وَالْمُتَرَدِّيَةُ وَالنَّطِيحَةُ وَمَا أَكَلَ السَّبُعُ إِلَّا مَا ذَكَّيْتُمْ

Sahih International Translation:

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]



وَلَا تَأْكُلُوا مِمَّا لَمْ يُذْكَرِ اسْمُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْهِ وَإِنَّهُ لَفِسْقٌ

Sahih International Translation

And do not eat of that upon which the name of Allah has not been mentioned, for indeed, it is grave disobedience.


These two ayat limit the type of food that Muslims can eat, and among the rules mentioned, the fact that food dedicated to other than Allah (e.g slaying a sheep in the name of some other god in other religion) is not halal, and the fact it's not halal to eat of that upon which the name of Allah has not been mentioned.

So far, this pretty much means that a non-muslim slaughter is not halal. Now comes the exception:

وَطَعَامُ الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْكِتَابَ حِلٌّ لَّكُمْ وَطَعَامُكُمْ حِلٌّ لَّهُمْ

Sahih International Translation

and the food of those who were given the Scripture is lawful for you and your food is lawful for them.


"those who were given the Scripture" is actually Ahlu Kitab (the translation is just kind of literal).

This ayah states that food of Ahlu Kitab is lawful (halal) for us, given that other conditions are valid (i.e cannot eat pig or monkey meat... etc).

I recommend that you read at least the first 5 ayat of surat Al-Ma'idah.

  • Thank you for your answer. I have actually already read those verses, and (i think) all verses talking about food in the Quran. Would you say the two verses you quoted, 5:3, 6:121 are the reason for the claim "The slaughterer must be either Muslim, Christian, or Jewish."?
    – Kilise
    Commented Feb 7, 2017 at 17:09
  • The verses 5:3 and 6:121 are the reason for the claim that the slaughterer must be a muslim and a muslim only, since they mention that the name of Allah must be mentioned (with faith, I guess) while slaying. The verse 5:5 adds the exception that Christian and Jewish slaughterers are also acceptable. Commented Feb 7, 2017 at 17:19
  • Thanks! So if a scholar interprets the verse 6:121 and says it is not talking about Gods name being mentioned, but rather about eating dead animals (mayta), for instance like Ibn Rushd (see this question: islam.stackexchange.com/questions/37625/…).. Wouldn't that change the ruling? I mean, if you remove the verse 6:121 from the equation, would you still be able to say that "The slaughterer must be either Muslim, Christian, or Jewish."? The missing variable seems to change the basic rulling
    – Kilise
    Commented Feb 7, 2017 at 17:24
  • @Kilise even without 6:121 the rule still applies. Because verse 5:3 says: "وَمَا أُهِلَّ لِغَيْرِ اللَّهِ بِهِ" (and that which has been dedicated to other than Allah), which means food should be dedicated to Allah (by mentioning his name while slaying it). So ignoring 6:121 doesn't the condition of having the slaughterer being a Muslim, Christian or Jewish :) Commented Feb 7, 2017 at 18:16
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    I'm not sure this completely answers the question: On its face, the general rule of "that upon which the name of Allah has not been mentioned" doesn't actually prevent eating food slaughtered by a non-Muslim, just prevents eating it if it's not been slaughtered in Allah's name. So if, say, a pagan were to slaughter a cow otherwise in accord to dhabihah rules, including reciting the name of Allah over it instead of dedicating it to their pagan gods, 5:3 and 6:121 don't seem to actually forbid that.
    – goldPseudo
    Commented Feb 7, 2017 at 20:11

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