South African National Halaal Authority (SANHA)

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The Deen of Islam is beautiful in every way and therefore invites people to Islam with beautiful preaching. The Great Teacher of Mankind (peace be upon him) has demonstrated that the most effective teaching is not mere lip service but lessons supported by deed and action.

Islam not only laid down the rights for humans regardless of race, colour or creed but also promulgated this for animals as well. Animals, like humans are among the creations of Almighty Allah. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was not only sent as a mercy to Mankind but as a blessing to all creatures as the Quran testifies:


We sent thee not, but as a Mercy for the Worlds [Al-Ambiyaa Surah 21:107]

Some Muslims appear to have a callous attitude when dealing with animals giving the impression that maybe the religion has no consideration for them. We condemn this disservice to Islam in the strongest of terms and urge the community to eradicate this errant behaviour through education with assistance from your local Ulama.

Some non Muslim animal rights activists have engaged with us and raised their concerns. We welcome these initiatives and are willing to undertake ongoing joint educational programmes. We have also received complaints from some members of community organisations that they have had visits from “officials” of animal rights groups laying down the law to them and in some cases with a confrontational approach. In the interests of uniformity, harmony and without compromise to our Islamic rights, we urge you to refer these queries to us.

Jews, Christians and Muslims believe that the Prophet Ebrahim (peace be upon him)was commanded to sacrifice his son, Ismail according to Muslims and Isaac according to the others (peace be upon them both). The annual festival of sacrifice, Eid ul Adha is a commemoration of this.

Qurbani is derived from the Arabic root word qurban meaning closeness or nearness i.e. to Allah Almighty. In the Arab world the preferred terminology is Udh-hiyyah.

It is stated in the Noble Quran that “It is not the meat nor the blood that reaches Allah but it is the piety from you” (Surah al Hajj, Verse 37).


The period for Qurbani commences after the Eid prayer (10th Zul Hijjah) and ends before Maghrib (evening prayer) on the 12th Zul Hajjah.

THE DIFFERENT SPECIES OF ANIMALS FOR SACRIFICE:


1. CATTLE and CAMEL

Allah Ta’ala says in the Holy Quran: ‘Verily Allah Ta’aala commands you to slaughter the cow’ (Surah al Baqarah, Verse 67).

They should be two years old or more. Seven persons can be partners in the Qurbani of these large animals.


2. SHEEP, LAMB AND GOATS

A verse of the Quran reads, ‘And we have compensated him (Ebrahim alayhis salaam) with a great sacrifice’ (Surah al Saffaat, Verse 107). They should be one year old or more, but in the case of sheep, at least six months old.


A FEW RULES REGARDING SLAUGHTER

1. The knife has to be sharp to enable a swift cut and minimize pain. The name of Almighty Allah must be pronounced and the animal must be completely bled before skinning commences.

2. If the slaughterer omits the Tasmiyah (incantation) of “In the Name of Allah, Allah is the Greatest” intentionally, the animal will not be permissible to eat.

3. The incision should be made below the Adams apple, (i.e. between the throat and the upper part of the chest).

4. The swift cut that involves the windpipe (trachea), gullet (oesophagus) and the two major arteries without severing the spinal cord results in bleeding. This purifies the meat by removing the impure blood that acts as a medium for micro organisms and bacteria.

5. The intention of the sacrifice is of extreme importance to the end result. For example if a person slaughters an animal with the sole intention of securing meat for BBQ or Braai, then Qurbani will not have been offered.

6. Every person is encouraged to slaughter his/her own animal. If one is unable to slaughter, then at least one should be present to witness the slaughter of his/her sacrificial animal.

7. It is not permissible to use animals for Qurbani which have defects such as having more than a third of the tail, horn, or ear cut off, and also such animals that are unable to walk to the place of slaughter.

8. After slaughtering a Qurbani animal we should read the following du’aa: ‘O Allah accept this sacrifice from me as you have accepted from your beloved Nabi Muhammad (peace be upon him) and your friend Ebrahim (peace be upon him)’


A FEW DESIRABLE (MUSTAHAB) ACTS OF QURBANI

1. To face Qiblah when slaughtering
2. It is recommended that one’s Qurbani should be distributed in three portions, a third for oneself, a third for one’s relatives and a third for the poor


A FEW UNDESIRABLE (MAKROOH) ACTS OF QURBANI

1. Slaughtering an animal whilst other animals are looking on.
2. Sharpening the knife in front of the animal to be slaughtered.
3. Placing the head of a live animal in the blood of other animals that were slaughtered.
4. Delaying the actual slaughter when the animal is already laid on the ground.
5. Using a blunt knife
6. Breaking the neck of an animal while still alive i.e. immediately after slaughter, whilst there is movement in the animal.
7. Commencing with skinning the animal while there are still signs of life.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) strongly warned those persons who have the means to do Qurbani but do not carry out this important function, “He who has the means to do Qurbani but does not do so should not attend Eid Prayer.”


referenced: http://www.sanha.org.za/flashnews/flashn56.htm