Islamic Regulations of Hunting and Slaughtering (Food)

FOOD (HUNTING AND SLAUGHTERING)”

Translated by Suheil Laher from

Kitab al-Sayd wal-Dhaba’ih in Mukhtasar al-Quduri

(a summary-text of Hanafi law), with some re-arrangement and editing.

Rulings presented are as inferred from Qur’an and Sunnah by scholars of the Hanafi school.

DISCLAIMER: Information presented here is for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as a call to perform or abstain from any specific action mentioned in the text. Religious decisions should be taken with due care and thought, after reading and investigating, but also after consulting with reliable people of knowledge – who are aware of one’s particular circumstances – and then pondering and exercising one’s conscience.

 

 

 

 

 

1.0 HUNTING

1.1 Permissibility

1. The hunting of a Zoroastrian, apostate or idolater may not be eaten.

2. It is permissible to hunt those animals whose meat may be eaten [for the purpose of acquiring food],
and also those which may not be eaten [for the purpose of non-food benefits and/or prevention of harm].

1.2 Use of Animals

1. It is permissible to hunt with a trained dog, panther, falcon, or any other trained predatory animal or bird.

2. So, if one sends his trained dog, or falcon, or hawk, and mentions the name of Allah, the Exalted upon it at the time of sending, and then [the animal] seizes the prey and wounds it such that it dies, it is permissible to eat it.

3. If the sender reaches the prey alive, it is obligatory upon him to slaughter it, and so if he refrains from slaughtering it until it died, then it may not be eaten.

1.3 Shooting

1. If a man shoots an arrow at prey, and mentions the name of Allah at the time of shooting, he may eat what he strikes provided the arrow wounded it so that it died [as a result]. But, if he reaches it alive, he [must] slaughter it, and so if he refrains from slaughtering it until it died, then it may not be eaten.

2. That which a featherless arrow strikes with its breadth may not be eaten, but if it wounds [the quarry] it may be eaten.

3. If one shoots at quarry and severs a piece from it, [the animal] may be eaten, but the piece may not be eaten. But, if he cuts it in thirds, and the major portion is adjacent to the rump, then it may [all]be eaten. If the major portion is adjacent ot the head, the larger portion may be eaten, but the lesser one may not.

2.0 SLAUGHTERING

2.1 Conditions for Slaughtering

1. The slaughter of a Muslim or a Kitabi is permissible [to eat].

2. If the slaughterer omitted the pronouncment of the name [of Allah] deliberately, then the slaughter is carrion which may not be eaten. But, if he left it out forgetfully, it may be eaten.

3. The vessels which must be severed in slaughtering are four : the trachea, the oesophagus and the two jugular veins. So, if he cut [all] these, eating [from the animal] is permissible. If he cut most of them, then similarly [it is valid] according to Abu Hanifah. Abu Yusuf and Muhammad said : it is essential to cut the trachea, the oesophagus and one of the two jugular veins.

4. It is permissible to slaughter with a sharp reed or stone, or anything that causes the blood to flow out, except for an intact tooth or an intact nail.

It is recommended that the slaughterer sharpen his blade.

2.2 The Sacrifical Animal

1. An animal with severed ears or [severed] tail does not suffice, nor one from which the major part of the ear has gone. But, if the major portion of the ear or tail remains, it is permissible.

2. It is valid to sacrifice a hornless animal, a castrated animal, a mangy animal [provided it is plump], or an insane
animal [provided it is plump].

3. Animal-sacrifice is [only] from amongst camels, cows and sheep [or goats].

A thaniyy [two-year old cow/buffalo or five-year old camel, or one-year old sheep/goat], or better, of [any of] these suffices, except for the sheep, of which a jadha` [well-built six-month old] suffices.

4. If one performs nahr on a camel, or slaughters a cow or sheep, and then finds in its belly a dead fetus, it may not be eaten, [egardless of] whether its features are discernible or not.

2.3 Methods of Slaughter

1. Domesticated game must be slaughtered, and wild livestock may be wounded [as in hunting].

2. The recommended [technique] for camels is nahr [thrusting the knife into the base of the neck], but if one slaughters them, it is valid but disliked.

3. The recommended [technique] for cows and sheep is slaughtering, but if one performs nahr on them, it is valid but disliked.

3.0 WHAT MAY AND MAY NOT BE EATEN

1. It is not permissible to eat any canine-toothed beast of prey, nor any taloned [predatory] bird.

2. [It is repugnant to eat the] lizard and all vermin.

3. It is not permissible to eat the flesh of the domesticated donkey or mule.

4. There is no objection to eating the rabbit.

5. Nothing may be eaten of the animals of the water except fish.

6. It is repugnant to eat floating [fish that died on their own].

7. There is no harm in eating the jirrith and eel

8. It is permissible to eat locusts, and there is no slaughter [needed] for them.

 

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Tarawih Alone or In Masjid?

Islamic mosque sunset silhouetteSilhouette of Muslim man praying

Is it ok to pray tarawih alone at home? Is it better to pray it in the masjid?

The short answer is: it depends, but if you do pray it at home, make sure you are not just being lazy. Read on for more.

The Prophet (Allah bless him and his Household) performed tarawih in congregation on two or three nights, and then discontinued the jama`ah for it, out of fear that it might become obligatory. [Narrated by Bukhari and others] Later, in the caliphate of `Umar ibn al-Khattab, `Umar found people performing tarawih in small groups (gathered around individuals who had memorized Qur’an), and thought it a good idea to gather them under a single imam.(We may note that the earlier danger, of the prayer becoming obligatory, had now passed, since after the death of the Prophet, religious rulings could not be changed.) `Umar thus established a single, regular jama`ah for tarawih [Narrated by Bukhari, Malik and others], and this practice was continued by Caliph `Uthman [as narrated by Ibn Sa`d, Malik and others] and Caliph `Ali [as narrated in the Musnad of Imam Zayd ibn `Ali his great-grandson, and by others]. Thus, Sunni scholars in general maintain (and it is a minority view among the Zaydis)  that it is recommended to hold congregational tarawih prayers regularly in Ramadan, as a sunnah of 3 of the 4 Rightly-Guided Caliphs with its basis in Prophetic practice. This has played an important role in the public preservation of the Qur’an, as it has been customary to complete its recitation from memory at least once per Ramadan during these congregational tarawih prayers.

 

After agreeing on the meritoriousness of a congregation being established for tarawih, the same scholars nevertheless differed (amongst themselves) as to how much it is stressed for every individual to participate in the congregational tarawih. According to the dominant view in the Hanafi school, the jama`ah for tarawih is sunnah `ala al-kifayah, i.e. it is enough (i.e. the sunnah is considered to be fulfilled) if a congregation for tarawih is established in the community [Ibn `Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar], but if a person prays it on his own (at home or elsewhere) he is not considered to be sinful or remiss.

 

There has been disagreement, since the early generations, about whether it is better for an individual to join the jama`ah for tarawih, or to pray on his own. While there were a number of prominent Sahabah and Tabi`in who are reported to have prayed tarawih in jama`ah, there were others who did not. In Madinah, `Abdullah ibn `Umar, the Sahabi, would pray tarawih on his own, and would advise/give fatwa similarly. After him, Salim (his son) as well as al-Qasim ibn Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr and `Urwah ibn al-Zubayr (two of the Seven Great Jurists of Madinah) similarly would pray tarawih alone. In Kufah, Ibrahim al-Nakha`i, `Alqamah and al-Aswad would each lead their congregations in `Isha’ but then leave and do Tarawih on their own. Ishaq ibn Suwayd relates that there would be a row of people (called saff al-qurra’ – the Reciters’ Row) praying tarawih individually in the mosque while the jama`ah was in progress [See: Ibn Abi Shaybah, Musannaf; Tahawi, Sharh Ma`ani al-Athar].

 

Two key narrations that relate to this issue are:
1. On one of the nights in which the Prophet led tarawih, someone expressed the desire for him to continue until the end of the night. The Prophet replied, “Whoever stood with the imam until he left, the standing of an [entire] night [of prayer] is written for him.” [Narrated by Tirmidhi (who judged it sahih), Abu Dawud, Nasai, Ibn Majah]

 

2. After the Prophet had led tarawih on some nights, and people were waiting for him the next night, he did not come out. Rather, he told them thereafter, “I was afraid that the night prayer would be made obligatory for you, and if it were made obligatory you would not [be able to] observe it. So, pray in your homes, for indeed the best prayer of a person is that [he offers] in his home, except for the obligatory prayer [which should be offered in congregation in the mosque].” [Narrated by Bukhari and others]

 

Scholars disagreed about how to reconcile or prioritize these narrations. The famous Hanafi scholar, Abu Ja`far al-Tahawi, reconciled them by concluding that since the second hadith explicitly says that voluntary prayer offered at home is superior, therefore, in light of the first hadith, we can expect that the one who prays tarawih at home gets more than the reward of praying the entire night.

 

A man, who was able to recite Qur’an for himself, asked Hasan al-Basri whether to pray tarawih alone or to join the jama`ah. Hasan told him to choose whichever option is better for him, in terms of being more conducive to awareness and a fearful heart [Narrated by Muhammad ibn Nasr al-Marwazi]. This astute reply brings out the fact that for different people, in different circumstances, one or the other option might be better.

 

Possible Reasons to Favor Praying Tarawih in Jama`ah
  • Benefitting from listening to the recitation of the imam of tarawih, especially for those who have not memorized large portions of the Qur’an themselves.
  • Getting encouragement and motivation from seeing others praying, particularly for someone who might get lazy (and thus not pray at all, or not pray as much) if they were to be alone at home.

 

Possible Reasons to Favor Praying Tarawih Alone
  • Greater sincerity, and reducing the risk of ostentation (praying to show off)
  • Practicing one’s own recitation
  • (Potentially) earning more spiritual reward by praying for longer, and/or in a later portion of the night
  • (For some people): being able to attend to other important business which they might not be able to do if the tarawih in the masjid lasts a long time. This might include getting enough sleep to be able to function effectively at work, depending on the person’s physical stamina and type of job. It is up to you to be honest with yourself.

 

It is also worthwhile to bear in mind that praying `Isha’ in jama`ah is (by consensus) more important and meritorious that praying tarawih in jama`ah.
“Whoever prays `isha in jama`ah, it is like standing half the night [in prayer], and whoever prays fajr in jama`ah it is like standing an [entire] night in [prayer].” [Narrated by Ahmad and others]
Of course, this is a general hadith, and should not be used as an excuse not to perform any tarawih/tahajjud prayer. Ramadan is a month where extra worship is strongly encouraged.
“Whoever stands [in extra prayer] in Ramadan, with faith and expectation [of reward], his previous sins are forgiven him.” [Narrated by Bukhari and Muslim]
And Allah knows best.

Photo credits:
Sulyaman Karakas, https://cdn.pixabay.com/photo/2017/03/21/23/03/suleymaniye-mosque-2163541_960_720.jpg
Mucahit Yildiz, https://cdn.pixabay.com/photo/2015/09/29/12/36/prayer-963859__340.jpg
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Islamic Prayer Times

sundialISLAMIC PRAYER TIMES

By Suheil Laher

“Surely, salah is prescribed upon the believers at fixed times.” [Qur’an, 4:103 ]

The timings of the five daily, obligatory ritual prayers in Islam are determined with reference to natural phenomena easily accessible to everyone; this knowledge is not confined to an elite or exclusive group of people. This connection to the wondrous signs of nature can also help keep the Muslim in tune with the natural world and its changing cycles.

What follows is a summary of the empirical bases for the prayer times, along with some evidence from the sunnah. Hadiths are cited illustratively, not exhaustively. Some prominent scholarly disagreements are also mentioned, without categorically preferring one view over another, but rather to foster awareness and tolerance of such disagreements. I conclude with brief comments on the use of astronomical calculations to find out the prayer times.

1. FAJR
There is agreement that fajr begins when the true dawn appears (the true dawn is that which rises laterally and broad, whereas the false one appears vertically and then disappears), and ends when the sun rises.
“The time for fajr salah is [lasts] long as the first horn of the sun has not risen.” [Muslim] Read more

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Islamic Rulings on Dissection

dissection-clipart

DISSECTION

By Suheil Laher

(abridged from Dr. Muhammad `Ali al-Barr, al-Tabeeb: Adabuhu wa-Fiqhuhu (The Physician: his Etiquettes and Jurisprudence), co-authored with Dr Zuhayr Ahmad al-Siba`i, Dar al-Qalam / al-Dar al-Shamiyyah, Damascus / Beirut, 1413 / 1993, pp. 165-183.)

  1. Islam considers the human being to be noble, and the human body as subject to respect and sanctity.

“Verily, We have honored the Children of Adam…” [Qur’an, 17:70]

The Prophet has said, “Breaking the bone of a dead person is like breaking it when he is alive.” [Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah, Ahmad, Bayhaqi. Malik (who reported it as a saying of Ummul-Mu’mineen `A’ishah). Sh. Shu`ayb Arna’ut authenticated it (Sharh al-Sunnah (5/393)]

The Prophet also prohibited mutilation. [Bukhari, Tirmidhi, Nasa’I, Abu Dawud, Ahmad, Darimi] Read more

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Mukhtasar al-Quduri

—–

Brief Biography of Imam al-Quduri

He is Abu’l-Hasan Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn
Ja`far ibn Hamdan al-Quduri al-Baghdadi, the Hanafi jurist, born 362 AH.
Al-Quduri is an ascription to the selling of pots (qudur).

Abu’l-Hasan al-Quduri took
his knowledge of fiqh from Abu `Abdillah Muhammad ibn al-Jurjani, from
Abu Bakr al-Razi, from Abu’l-Hasan al-Karkhi, from Abu Sa`id al-Barda`i
from `Ali al-Daqqaq, from Abu Sahl Musa ibn Nasr al-Razi, from Muhammad
ibn al-Hasan al-Shaybani, from Abu Hanifah, from Hammad ibn Abi Sulayman,
from Ibrahim al-Nakha`i, from `Alqamah, from `Abdullah ibn Mas`ud (may
Allah be pleased with him) from the Prophet (may Allah bless him and his
Household and grant them all peace). Read more

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4-Zakat

PURIFYING CHARITY (ZAKAH)

(According to the Qur’an and Sunnah, as extracted and inferred by scholars of the Hanafi

school.)

From “Mukhtasar al-Quduri“, a matn of Hanafi fiqh

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1.0 OBLIGATION

1. Zakat is obligatory on

– the free, adult sane Muslim,

– when he possesses the nisab with complete possession, and

– a [lunar] year has passed over it.

There is no zakat [obligatory] upon a child, nor an insane person,
nor a mukatib. Read more

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3 – Fasting

FASTING (SIYAM)

(According to the Qur’an and Sunnah, as extracted and inferred by scholars of the Hanafi school.)

From “Mukhtasar al-Quduri“, a matn of Hanafi fiqh

1.0 THE OBLIGATION OF FASTING

1.  The time for fasting is from the rising of the second dawn
until the setting of the sun.

2.  Fasting is : abstention from eating, drinking and sexual intercourse
by day with the intention.

3.  If in Ramadan a child reached adulthood, or an unbeliever
accepted Islam, they abstain [from things which invalidate fasting] for
the remainder of that day, and fast that which comes thereafter.
They do not make up what passed. Read more

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2 – Prayer

RITUAL PRAYER (SALAH)

(According to the Qur’an and Sunnah,
as extracted and inferred by scholars of the Hanafi school.)
From “Mukhtasar al-Quduri“, a matn of Hanafi fiqh

  1. Times for Salah
    • Times of Salah
    • Preferred Times
    • Disliked and Prohibited Times
  2. Adhan
    • Its form
    • Its sunnahs
  3. The Constituents and Manner of Performing the Salah
    • Its Pre-Requisistes
    • Its Rudiments
    • Its Obligations
    • Description of the Salah
    • Disliked Actions in Salah
    • Disruptors and Nullifiers of the Salah
    • Prostrations of Inattentiveness
    • Prostration of Recitation
  4. Group Prayer
    • Status
    • Regulations for the Follower
    • Imamate
    • Impermissible Imamate
    • Arrangement of Rows
    • Prayer in and around the Ka`bah Read more
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1 – Purity

PURIFICATION (TAHARAH)

(According to the Qur’an and Sunnah,as extracted and inferred by scholars of the Hanafi school.)
From “Mukhtasar al-Quduri“, a matn of Hanafi fiqh

1.0 WUDU

1.1 The Rudiments of Wudu’
Allah, the Exalted, says, (translated),
“O you who believe!  When you stand for prayer, then wash your faces, and your hands upto the elbows, and wipe your heads, and [wash] your feet upto the ankles.”
So, the obligatory elements of purification [i.e. wudu’] are:
– Washing the three parts [the face, the two arms, and the two feet].  The elbows and the ankles are included in washing.
– Wiping the head – the obligatory [part] in wiping the head is the extent of the forelock [one-fourth], based on that which Mughirah ibn Shu`bah narrated, that the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) made wudu’ and wiped his forelock and his khuffs. Read more

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