English - Ma'ariful Qur'an - Mufti Shafi Usmani RA - Vol - 1
Surah Al-Baqarah - 2 : Verses 172 - 173
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The consecrated animals
The fourth thing forbidden in this verse is an animal dedicated to anyone other than Allah. This takes three known forms:
1. The slaughtering of an animal to seek the pleasure of anyone other than Allah and calling the name of that 'anyone' while slaughtering it, is unanimously forbidden with the consensus of the Muslim community. This animal is maitah: dead. It is not permissible to derive any benefit from any of its parts because this is what the verse (173) clearly means without any difference of opinion.
2. The slaughtering of an animal to seek the pleasure of anyone other than Allah, despite the fact that the animal was slaughtered by calling the name of Allah, is also forbidden in the Shari'ah. This is something a large number of ignorant Muslims do when they slaughter goats and sheep, even chicken, to seek the pleasure of elders and leaders, and they do this by calling the name of Allah at the time of slaughter. The fuqaha' agree that all such forms are haram and the animal slaughtered in this manner is a dead animal, a carcass. However, there is some difference of opinion about the reason. Some commentators and jurists maintain that this second situation is also what the verse (173) means to cover. It appears in the Hawashi of al-Baydawi:
Every animal on which a name other than that of Allah was called is haram, even though it was slaughtered in the name of Allah. Therefore, 'ulama' agree that a Muslim, who slaughters an animal and intends to seek the pleasure of anyone other than Allah through it, will become an apostate, and the animal he slaughters will be taken as one slaughtered by an apostate.
In addition to this, it is said in Al-Durr al-Mukhtar, Kitab al-dhaba'ih:
Slaughtering an animal to celebrate the visit of a dignitary is haram because that comes under ma uhilla bihi lighayrillah even though the name of Allah has been mentioned at the time of slaughter. (Volume 5, page 214)
Al-Shami concurs with this view.
There are others who have not gone to the extent of declaring that this situation is what ma uhilla bihi lighayrillah means clearly since it would be a little burdened Arabic-wise to import the phrase for this situation, but it is on the basis of the commonality of cause, that is, because of the intention of seeking the pleasure of anyone other than Allah, that they have tied this too with ma uhilla bihi lighayrillah and have declared it to be haram. In the view of this humble writer, this view is the most sound, cautious and safe.
Nevertheless, there is a regular verse of the Holy Qur'an which supports the unlawfulness of this situation, that is, . The word, nusub here means everything worshipped falsely. So, it signifies animals that have been slaughtered for false gods. Since, wa ma uhilla bihi lighayrillah has been mentioned earlier, it tells us that ma uhilla clearly means the animal on which a name other than that of Allah has been recited at the time of its slaughter, and that dhubiha 'ala n'nusub appears in contrast to it where the reciting of a name other than that of Allah has not been mentioned. It simply means the act of slaughtering with the intention of pleasing idols. Included here are animals which have been, in fact, slaughtered to seek the pleasure of somebody other than Allah even though the name of Allah has been recited at the time of slaughtering them. (This special note is from my teacher,
Hakim al-ummah Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanavi.)
Imam Al-Qurtubi has taken the same approach in his Tafsir where he has said:
It was a customary practice of the Arabs that, at the time they were to slaughter, they would call aloud the name of the entity the slaughter was intended for. That was so much in vogue among them, that in this verse, their intention, that is, their seeking of the pleasure of one other than Allah, which is the real cause of forbiddance, was identified as ihlal or call. (Tafsir al-Qurtubi, volume 2, page 307. Imam Al-Qurtubi has based his findings on the fatawa or religious rulings of Sayyidna 'Ali and Sayyidah 'A'ishah, may Allah be pleased with them both)
During the days of Sayyidna 'Ali , Ghalib, the father of poet Farqzdaq had slaughtered a camel and there is no report to confirm that the name of someone other than Allah was mentioned on it at the time of its slaughter. But, Sayyidna 'Ali decided that this too fell under the category of ma uhilla bihi lighayrillah and was haram. The Companions, may Allah bless them all, accepted the verdict.
Similarly, Al-Qurtubi reports a lengthy hadith from Sayyidah 'A'ishah on the authority of Yahya ibn Yahya, the teacher of Imam Muslim. Towards the end, it says that a certain woman asked her: 'O umm al-mu'minin, some of our foster relatives are non-Arabs and they have one or the other festival going for them all the time. On these festivals, they send us gifts. Should we eat them or should we not?' Thereupon, Sayyidah 'A'ishah said:
Do not eat what has been slaughtered for that day, but you can eat (fruits) from their trees. (Qurtubi, volume 2, page 207)
To sum up, it can be said that the second situation in which the intention is to seek the favour of an entity other than Allah even though Allah's name is called at the time of slaughtering the animalcomes under the purview of the prohibition relating to ma uhilla bihi lighayrillah for two reasons:
a. The commonness of cause, that is, because of the intention to
seek the favour of an entity other than Allah.
b. It is also covered by the verse (5:3), and therefore, this too is
3. There is a third situation also where an animal is released after cutting off its ear lobe or branding it in some other manner and this is done to seek the pleasure of an entity other than Allah and to make it an object of reverence paid to the same entity. The animal in this case was neither used in its normal functions nor intended to be slaughtered. Rather, slaughtering such an animal used to be held as unlawful. Such animals are not covered under the prohibition envisaged in verse 173 (Ma uhilla bihi lighayrillah) or in verse 5:3 (Ma dhubiha 'ala n'nusub), instead, animals of this kind are known as bahirah or sa'ibah and according to the injunction of the Qur'an the practice of releasing them in that manner is haram as it would appear later under the verse:
However, it should be borne in mind that their practice of releasing an animal in this unlawful manner or their false beliefs about it do not render the animal itself unlawful. Rather, if such animals are held to be forbidden, it will amount to supporting their false beliefs. Therefore, this animal is lawful like any other animal.
But, in accordance with the principles of Muslim law, this animal does not go out of the ownership of its owner. It continues to be owned by him, even though, he thinks that it is no more his property and has been dedicated to someone other than Allah. This belief of the owner of the animal is false and, in accordance with the dictate of the Shari'ah, the animal continues to be in his ownership.
Now, if this person sells this animal or gives it as gift to someone, then, this animal will be lawful for the assignee. This is what people in some countries do when they endow goats or cows in the name of their idols or gods and leave them with the management of the temples to do what they like with them. Some of them sell these animals to Muslims as well. Similarly, some ignorant Muslims also do things like that at shrines or graveyards. There they would leave a goat or a full-grown male domestic foul in the hands of the keepers who sell these out. So, those who buy such livestock or poultry from the keepers authorized by owners, for them, it is perfectly lawful if they buy, slaughter, eat or sell them onwards.
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