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 follows:
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.