Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Question: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatuhu.
Is it permissible to tie a chicken’s feet and hang it upside down in order to slaughter it? What is the preferable method of slaughtering?
Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.
Yes, it is valid to hang a chicken upside down in order to slaughter it more easily. However, it’d be superior to not behave in a way that will alarm the animal as the sunna with animals is to be good to them.
See also: The Issue of Halal Meat (A Detailed Article) and: Can We Eat Machine Slaughtered Meat?
Treating Animals with Respect
As for whether hanging chickens upside down is the best way of performing the slaughter, it is something that the Muslim Community needs to address.
In general however, it would seem to be proper to treat the animal with respect and gentleness, to calm it before slaughtering, and for it not to be shown the tool which will be used to slaughter it.
Further, the slaughterer should make remembrance and supplicate before doing anything, and make the slaughtering a means of seeking Allah, and not mere killing and consumption.
The specific incident you are referring to is mentioned in Imam Bukhari’s Sahih and elsewhere.
It is related that Hisham ibn Zayd said, “I went with Anas to al-Hakam ibn Ayyub. He saw some boys or lads who had set up a chicken and were shooting at it. Anas said, ‘The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, forbade tying up animals so that they could be shot at [and killed].” [Bukhari]
The scholars affirm that this tradition apprises us of the impermissibility of torturing animals or killing them for mere sport; and this is why Ibn Hajar al-Haytami includes this in his list of enormities.
See also: Mercy Killing of Animals to End their Suffering and: Is It Permissible To Kill Insects And Harmful Animals?
And Allah alone gives success.
Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.