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Women Slaughtering Animals: Permissible?

Question and answer details
Ali
Women Slaughtering Animals: Permissible?
2005-03-31
Dear scholars, as-salamu `alaykum. My wife asked me an interesting question: Did any of the female Companions of the Prophet ever slaughter an animal during the `Eid? Is this proof that women can slaughter an animal if indeed any of the female Companions ever slaughtered? Jazakum Allah khayran.
Muhammad Saleh Al-Munajjid
Answer

Wa `alaykum As-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

Dear questioner, we would like to thank you for the great confidence you place in us, and we implore Allah, the Almighty to help us serve His cause and render our work for His Sake alone.

It is very important to note that it is permissible for women to slaughter animals a sacrifice or for regular food. It is also permissible to eat the meat of an animal which a woman has slaughtered according to the rules of Islam.

In his response to your question, Sheikh M. S. Al-Munajjid, a prominent Saudi Muslim lecturer and author states:

The scholars of Islam agree that it is permissible to eat the meat of an animal slaughtered by a woman, because of the general terms used in the wording of the Qur’an and the Sunnah. Among the evidence that it is permissible are the following:

1- The verse in which Allah says: (Forbidden for you (for food) are: al-maytatah (dead animals – cattle-beast not slaughtered), blood, the flesh of swine, and the meat of that which has been slaughtered as a sacrifice for others than Allah, or has been slaughtered for idols, etc., or on which Allah’s Name has not been mentioned while slaughtering, and that which has been killed by strangling, or by a violent blow, or by a headlong fall, or by the goring of horns – and that which has been (partly) eaten by a wild animal – unless you are able to slaughter it (before its death)…) (Al-Ma’idah 5:3) The evidence in this verse is the phrase where Allah has permitted us to eat of any animal that we are able to slaughter before it dies; this has a general application, and does not specify whether the person who manages to do this is a man or a woman – so it could be either.

2- Al-Bukhari reported from `Ubayd-Allah from Nafi`, that he (Nafi`) heard Ibn Ka`b ibn Malik narrating from his father that they used to have sheep which they allowed to graze on mount Sala’ in Madinah: a slave-women noticed that one of the sheep was dying, so she broke a stone and slaughtered it. He said: “Do not eat it until I ask the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) or I send someone to ask him. So he asked the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), or sent someone else to ask, and he told him to eat it. `Ubay-Allah said: “I liked the fact that she was a slave-woman and yet she managed to slaughter it.”

Commenting on this hadith, Ibn Hajar (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “This shows that it is permissible to eat meat slaughtered by a woman, whether she is free or a slave, old or young, Muslim or from the People of the Book (Jewish or Christian), in a state of purity or otherwise, because the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) told them to eat the meat she had slaughtered and did not ask for further details.”

This hadith also answers the question about whether any of the female Companions of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) slaughtered animals.

The above discussion also clarifies that a woman may slaughter animals, because of the general terms used in the texts, and there is no difference in this regard between meat slaughtered as a sacrifice or meat slaughtered for regular food.

Shaykh Al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said: “It is permissible to eat the meat of an animal which a man or a woman has slaughtered according to the rules of Islam, before it dies, or from meat slaughtered by a woman, even if she is menstruating, because her menstruation is not in her hands. This is considered to be permissible by the consensus of the Muslims.

Excerpted with modifications from: www.islam-qa.com

Read also:

The Concept of Animal Sacrifice in Islam

Offering Sacrifice on `Eid Al-Adha: Obligatory?

Offering Sacrifice: Things to Avoid

Offering Sacrifice: Any Restrictions on the Family?

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Allah Almighty knows best.

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