Is it necessary to recite the name of Allah during slaughter?
بسم الله الرحمن الرحیم
To recite the name of Allah on each animal during slaughter is necessary. Allah Almighty says in the Qurʾān (6: 121): “And do not eat (animals) on which Allah’s name has not been pronounced, as surely that would be impiety”. However, if one forgets to recite it, then this shall be excused (Tuḥfah al-Fuqahāʾ, 3: 66; Badāʾiʿ al-Ṣanāʾiʿ, 5: 46). Otherwise, the slaughtered animal is not permissible to consume.
In this day and age of suspicion and scandals, one should be very cautious. The issue of reciting the name of Allah upon the animal is not the only issue of concern. Rather, other issues include stunning, mechanical slaughter, contamination which renders the meat doubtful if not unlawful. This has in fact been prophesised by the Prophet ﷺ who said, “A time will come upon the people wherein a person will not bother, whether he intakes from Ḥalāl or Ḥarām” (Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī, 2059). The Prophet ﷺ is reported to have said, “A body nourished with Ḥarām will not enter paradise” (Musnad al-Bazzār, 43; al-Muʿjam al-Awsaṭ, 5961).
Unfortunately, it has become common in many abattoirs to suffice upon ‘bismillah’ engraved blades, or playing a pre-recorded ‘bismillah’, or ‘bismillah’ plastered on the nearside wall, or reciting bismillah once whilst activating the machine, or not reciting bismillah at all due to automated mechanical slaughter. All these practices are contrary to Islamic teachings as it is necessary for the slaughterman to recite Tasmiyah on each animal (al-Mabsūṭ, 12: 4). It is therefore strongly recommended for consumers to source their supplies from HMC certified outlets, as it is an organisation that is striving to adhere to all the rules and guidelines of Islamic slaughter and has an thorough regulatory framework throughout the supply chain.
Allah knows best
24 Jumādā al-Thāniyah 1427 / 20 July 2006