Halal Animal Slaughter – Contemporary Issues
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Say (O Muhammad): I find not in that which has been revealed to me anything forbidden to be eaten by one who wishes to eat it, unless it be Maytah (a dead animal) or blood poured forth (by slaughtering or the like), or the flesh of swine (pork); for that surely, is impure or impious (unlawful) meat (of an animal) which is slaughtered as a sacrifice for others than Allaah (or has been slaughtered for idols, or on which Allaah’s Name has not been mentioned while slaughtering). But whosoever is forced by necessity without wilful disobedience, nor transgressing due limits; (for him) certainly, your Lord is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful”
Blood is the reason why it is forbidden to eat meat that has not been slaughtered according to sharee’ah. Our sharee’ah intends that the slaughtered animal should be drained of blood as completely as possible, and that is because of the extreme harm that would result from eating its blood.
It does not make sense, and it is unacceptable to suggest, that Islam would set out all these conditions to get rid of the blood of the slaughtered animal in the manner prescribed, then allow us to drink or eat blood after it is drained from the animal. For this reason it is a definite fact that Islam has forbidden blood as a means of nutrition for man. Rather this prohibition is a clear sign of the wisdom and purpose of sharee’ah in purifying the animal by draining the blood from it because blood is one of the most evil and unlawful kinds of food, which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was sent to abolish.
“he allows them as lawful At-Tayyibaat (i.e. all good and lawful as regards things, deeds, beliefs, persons and foods), and prohibits them as unlawful Al-Khabaa’ith (i.e. all evil and unlawful as regards things, deeds, beliefs, persons and foods)”
[al-A’raaf 7:157 – interpretation of the meaning]
Al-Tabari said in his Tafseer: “ The phrase ‘blood poured forth’ means blood that flows copiously. This is how Allaah described the blood when He told His slaves that it is haraam. ‘Ikrimah said: were it not for this aayah, the Muslims would gone to extremes in avoiding the blood that remains in the veins as the Jews do. Al-Maawardi said that with regard to blood that is not ‘poured forth’, if it has solidified in the veins, as in the liver and spleen, then it is halaal, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Two kinds of dead meat and two kinds of blood have been permitted to us…”
The reason why the blood that is “poured forth” is forbidden to us is because of the information that has become well known and well established nowadays among the doctors and those who carry out medical tests and study microscopic creatures, which is that blood is considered to be the optimum environment for the growth of germs. So if a person drinks blood it is as if he has drunk a “farm” for growing germs, in which the germs can multiply and grow, producing lethal poisons which, as is well known, have extremely harmful effects which result in germs invading the human body resulting in the person contracting contagious and lethal diseases.
If it is said that cooking the blood and eating it will surely kill these bacteria and microbes and put an end to them whilst preserving the hoped-for nutritional benefits of the blood, our answer is that some of these toxins cannot be altered by boiling and changed in such a manner that they become beneficial to the body. There are some that do not change at all, rather they remain lethal poisons even after being boiled, or the heat may alter them in such a way that they become even more lethal and harmful.
With regard to the benefits expected by the one who drinks blood thinking that it is a nutritious substance that strengthens the body, these benefits are non-existent, if we examine the composition of blood. Blood is very difficult to digest, so much so that if some of it is poured into a man’s stomach, he will vomit immediately, or it will come out in his stools without having been digested, in the form of a black substance. The reason why it is so hard to digest and it turns the stools black is the presence of the red substance (haemoglobin) which is basically formed of iron. As the blood passes through the digestive tract and as time passes, it starts to disintegrate and break down, and thus it also harms the body. If it were said that cooking also helps to break down the components of blood and make it easier to digest and benefit from its nutritional value, our answer is that boiling solidifies the proteins in the blood and makes it even more difficult to digest, more harmful and less beneficial.
After hundreds of scientific experiments and huge advancements in modern science, carrying out blood tests and precise scientific research in this field, it has become indisputably clear to all those who are concerned with human health of all nationalities and specialties that the great harm done to health by eating blood or cooking it and using it all boil down to the fact that drinking blood is ingesting a lethal poison. This is clear from the following scientific facts:
1 – Blood is basically composed of two basic elements, namely water which represents 90% of the liquid in which the components of blood swim (which is known as plasma). The rest is formed of blood cells and other elements. The one who wants to drink blood or cook it and eat it does so because he wants to consume something with a high or regular nutritional value. But these scientific facts prove that he would have to drink such a huge amount of blood in order to avail himself of a small amount of blood protein and a little bit of iron that it is not worth the risk of exposing himself to the dangers that result from that.
In brief, blood is the opposite of what people think, it is very poor in nutritional values. Therefore the fact that it is forbidden does not mean that the Muslims are being deprived of any major nutritional benefit.
2 – Major harm may result from this small amount of blood protein mixed with very harmful and poisonous elements, which means that ingesting it poses a great risk and puts a person in danger. Foremost among these dangers is the poisonous gas with which blood is filled, namely carbon dioxide which flows in venous blood from all parts of the body.
Because the one who drinks blood takes it from the animal when it is full of carbon dioxide, which is a gas that kills by asphyxiation. When a person dies of asphyxiation, it is because of the accumulation of this gas in his blood, the lethal effects of which result in death.
So it is obvious that repeatedly drinking blood which is filled with carbon dioxide, on the part of one who is accustomed to this practice, will lead to harmful results depending on the extent to which this gas is present in the animal’s blood and the extent to which the body of the drinker is susceptible to it.
What we have mentioned here are only the effects that result from the components of blood on the one who drinks it or eats it after cooking it. We have also mentioned other extremely harmful effects which are directly connected to the specific functions that Allaah has created in blood and the roles that it plays in the animal’s body, functions that cannot be performed unless the blood is in a liquid, flowing state. If we were to content ourselves with the above bad effects of using blood for food, that would be sufficient to make any nation that appreciates knowledge to promulgate laws banning this practice, even if that nation was kaafir.
“He grants Hikmah [wisdom] to whom He wills, and he, to whom Hikmah is granted, is indeed granted abundant good. But none remember (will receive admonition) except men of understanding”
[al-Baqarah 2:269 – interpretation of the meaning]
Glory be to the One Who taught the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) that which he did not know and bestowed that blessing upon him. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Allaah has sent down to you the book (the Qur’aan), and Al-Hikmah (Islamic laws, knowledge of legal and illegal things, i.e. the Prophet’s Sunnah — legal ways), and taught you that which you knew not. And Ever Great is the Grace of Allaah unto you (O Muhammad)”[al-Nisa’ 4:113]
Glory be to the One Who honoured the world with this true religion which has not left any major or minor matter without explaining to mankind the right way and the straight path. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Indeed, there has come to you from Allaah a light (Prophet Muhammad) and a plain Book (this Qur’aan).
16. Wherewith Allaah guides all those who seek His Good Pleasure to ways of peace, and He brings them out of darkness by His Will unto light and guides them to the Straight Way (Islamic Monotheism)” [al-Maa’idah 5:15-16]