Answered by Sidi Wasim Shiliwala

Question: What are the rulings concerning hunting? Is it sufficient to say “Bismillah” before shooting the animal, or is it necessary to cut the throat and tap the blood afterwords? If an animal is hunted and killed by a shot made by a Christian who did not say Allah’s name before shooting, is this animal halal to eat (if the animal itself is halal)?

 

Answer: Walaikum As-salaam wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu,

May Allah reward you for your concern regarding halal meat and hunting.

The Basmala and Ritual Slaughter

Before shooting the animal or releasing a hunting dog, a Muslim hunter must say the basmala, although the hunted animal is still permissible if he accidentally forgets to say it. However, if he intentionally omits the basmala, then the hunted animal is impermissible to eat.

If the animal is killed as a result of the hunt, then no additional slaughter is necessary, and its meat is halal. However, if the animal is still alive after being hunted, then one must slaughter it. If the slaughter is not done in this case, then animal is impermissible to eat.

[Shurunbulali, Ascent to Felicity]

Hunted Animals from People of the Book

According to the Hanafi school, the hunted game of a Christian is permissible, but only if Allah’s name is mentioned, or at least not intentionally omitted. Therefore, in the scenario you mention, the meat would not be permissible if the Christian never mentions God’s name at the time of shooting.

Please see the related answer for some further advice on this issue: Eating the Meat of the People of the Book

Further Information on Hunting

Some general rules to remember about hunting:

– hunting cannot be done for sport (i.e. only for entertainment and enjoyment)
– it is permissible to use a trained hunting animal (i.e. that abstains from eating the animals it hunts)
– the hunted animal must be wild such that ritual slaughter is not possible – whenever ritual slaughter is possible, hunting is not

These rules are merely an introduction to the fiqh of hunting. I highly recommend that anyone interested in hunting read Shaykh Faraz Khan’s translation of Imam Shurunbulali’s Ascent to Felicity, which has short but detailed sections on hunting and slaughtering.

And Allah knows best.

Baarak Allahu Fikum,
-Wasim

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

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