Which Animal Rights Should I Observe Before Selling Livestock?

Shafi'i Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Irshaad Sedick


I have received a business proposal requiring me to procure animals for a foreign country. The buffaloes are intended to be sold to the person who holds the meat contract with the foreign company, which will likely involve using a slaughterhouse.

I am concerned about the potential mishandling of animals during transportation from my end, as societal factors are beyond my control. Additionally, I am unsure about the permissibility of using a slaughterhouse that employs poison or electric shock. So, the questions revolve around the rights of buffaloes. Perhaps I am being overly sensitive and potentially transgressing in this matter.


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate. May Allah alleviate our difficulties and guide us to what pleases Him. Amin.

If you can take all reasonable measures to avoid unlawful cruelty to the animals throughout the transportation, you should do so. After that, what happens beyond your control will not count against you, and Allah knows best.

Islam strictly prohibits cruelty to animals and prescribes specific merciful guidelines for the lawful slaughter of animals for consumption. The use of poison or electric shock in the slaughter process is not permissible in Islam. If there are alternative slaughterhouses that do not employ unlawful methods, you should use them, but if you have no choice, there are details you need to be cautious of before proceeding.

Check the details here:
Stunning of Animals

If you have no say in the choice of slaughterhouse, then beyond advising the responsible party, you are not responsible for their actions, and Allah knows best.

Merciful Treatment of Living Creatures

We appreciate your concerns about the welfare of animals, particularly in the context of their transportation and slaughter. In Islam, treating animals with mercy is a matter of ethical and religious significance. Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) emphasized kindness and humane treatment towards animals.

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) informed us that a woman entered Hell because of a cat she detained and did not feed nor allow it to hunt, i.e., insects and the like. [Bukhari; Muslim]

In another incident, the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) passed by a donkey with branding on its face and said: “Haven’t you heard that I have cursed whoever brands or strikes the faces of livestock?” -and he forbade it. [Abu Dawud]

Transportation of Animals

It is crucial to ensure that animals are transported in a manner that minimizes stress and harm. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) advised explicitly against overloading animals and instructed that they should be treated well.

Once, the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) entered the garden of a man from the Ansar (Helpers). Suddenly, when a Camel saw the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), it wept tenderly, producing a yearning sound, and its eyes flowed.

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) came to it and wiped the temple of its head. So it kept silent. He then said, “Who is the master of this Camel? Whose Camel is this? A young man from the Ansar came and said, “This is mine, Messenger of Allah.” He (Allah bless and give him peace) said, “Don’t you fear Allah about this beast which Allah has given in your possession. It has complained to me that you keep it hungry and load it heavily, which fatigues it.” [Abu Dawud; Ahmad – Sahih according to Shaykh Arna‘ut]

Therefore, you are responsible for ensuring that the transportation adheres to ethical standards and provides a comfortable and safe environment for the animals.

Lawful Merciful Slaughter

Concerning the method of slaughter, Islam prescribes specific guidelines for the lawful (permissible) slaughter of animals. The use of poison or electric shock in the slaughter process is not permissible in Islam.

However, there are important details to this matter which you may read here:
Stunning of Animals

Islamic slaughter requires the swift and humane cutting of the animal’s throat, ensuring a quick and painless death. This method is intended to minimize suffering and adhere to the principles of compassion towards animals.

Your conscientiousness regarding the rights of buffaloes is commendable and aligns with Islam’s teachings. It is essential to prioritize their welfare, from transportation to slaughter.

If you have the opportunity, consider collaborating with reputable suppliers and slaughterhouses that adhere to ethical and Islamic standards, ensuring that the buffaloes are treated with the utmost care and respect throughout the procurement process.

I pray this is of benefit and that Allah guides us all.

[Shaykh] Irshaad Sedick
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Irshaad Sedick was raised in South Africa in a traditional Muslim family. He graduated from Dar al-Ulum al-Arabiyyah al-Islamiyyah in Strand, Western Cape, under the guidance of the late world-renowned scholar Shaykh Taha Karaan (Allah have mercy on him), where he taught.

Shaykh Irshaad received Ijaza from many luminaries of the Islamic world, including Shaykh Taha Karaan, Shaykh Muhammad Awama, Shaykh Muhammad Hasan Hitu, and Mawlana Abdul Hafeez Makki, among others.

He is the author of the text “The Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal: A Hujjah or not?” He has been the Director of the Discover Islam Centre, and for six years, he has been the Khatib of Masjid Ar-Rashideen, Mowbray, Cape Town.

Shaykh Irshaad has fifteen years of teaching experience at some of the leading Islamic institutes in Cape Town). He is currently building an Islamic podcast, education, and media platform called ‘Isnad Academy’ and has completed his Master’s degree in the study of Islam at the University of Johannesburg. He has a keen interest in healthy Prophetic living and fitness.