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Is an animal slaughtered by an axe halal?

Question:

What do the scholars and experts of shariah say regarding the following scenario? A man found a wounded, halal animal, on the verge of death. He struck the animal with his axe because there was no knife in the vicinity. The jugular veins and windpipe were cut properly as required by the shari’ah and the blood flowed. Would it be proper to eat this animal according to all four schools of thought?

Answer:

All perfect praise is for Allah ﷻ, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah ﷻ, and that Prophet Muhammad ﷺ is His Messenger.

The Prophet ﷺ said, “Use whatever causes blood to flow, eat the animals if the name of Allah has been mentioned on slaughtering them. Do not slaughter with teeth or fingernails…” (Bukhari) Apart from the nails and teeth, any instrument which can cut the windpipe and jugular veins is permissible to use if it causes the blood to flow. These include things such as a sword, a sharp stone, sugar cane, sharp piece of metal etc.

According to the Hanafi school, it is disliked but not prohibited to use nails and teeth which are not attached to one’s body and have been sharpened and made into tools of cutting.

In another narration the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “Slaughter with whatever instrument you want.” (Ahmad)

An axe is a sharp instrument which has been designed to cut. It is permissible to use this to slaughter a halal animal according to all four schools of Islamic law.

And Allah ﷻ knows best.

This Fatwa is written by Dr. Hafiz Muhammad Munir Al-Azhari