Taking Allah’s Name while Slaughtering
Question asked by .
Answered by Dr. Shehzad Saleem

Not taking Allah’s name while slaughtering an animal is Haram – right! I have seen many Muslims here in America eating non-halal food in restaurants .They claim it is Mukruh (undesirable) and not Haram. Is that correct? Does the Sunnah of the Prophet (sws) specify a particular way of slaughtering? Also what are the reasons of taking Allah's name while slaughtering an animal?


According to the Qur’an, animals which are not slaughtered while taking Allah’s name are forbidden:

Eat not on which Allah’s name has not been pronounced. (6:121)

In other words, taking Allah’s name before slaughtering an animal is a positive requirement. Therefore, the meat of animals which are slaughtered while disregarding this practice bears the label of prohibition in the Islamic Shari‘ah.

Yes, the Sunnah of the Prophet (sws) specifies a particular way of slaughtering. It is called ‘Tadhkiyah’ by the Qur’an. In this particular way, animals as goats and sheep are slaughtered through their jugular veins and are not killed instantaneously by cutting the bead of the neck. This method keeps intact the connection between the heart and the brain so that every drop of blood is drained out of the slain animal. This purifies the meat from the contamination of blood – and achieving purity, we know, is the objective of every directive of Islam.

The underlying reasons in taking Allah’s name before sacrificing an animal can be summed up as follows1:

1. As a principle, Muslims have been directed to take Allah's name before every task, routine or work they do. This actually is an acknowledgement of the Almighty’s favours and as such is a worthy expression of gratitude.

2. The sanctity a life possesses requires that even an animal be sacrificed only with the permission of the Almighty who is the Creator of life. It is only Allah who can give us this right, and, therefore, as a reminder of this fact, it is necessary to take His name when the life of an animal is taken.

3. This practice closes the gateway to polytheism. Those who are aware of the history of various religions know that animal sacrifice is deeply linked to idol worship. To please various deities, polytheists used to sacrifice them. Taking Allah’s name eliminates these unwarranted practices as well.



1. These reasons are summarized from Islahi’s ‘Tadabbur-i-Qur’an’. For details please see: Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i-Qur’an, 2nd ed., vol. 3, (Lahore: Faran Foundation, 1986), pp. 156-7


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