Take the 2-minute tour ×
Mi Yodeya is a question and answer site for those who base their lives on Jewish law and tradition and anyone interested in learning more. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Muslims slaughter a Cow by saying "Bismillah, Allahu Akbar" meaning : "In the name of Allah , Allah is Great"" and follow the Zabiha (shechita) procedure to make it Halal.

Some salient point of the Zabiha procedure:

1) The animal must be alive when it is slaughtered (hence stunning or other procedures to render the animal unconscious should be avoided).

2) The animal must be killed with a sharp knife (hence, a blow to the head would render the animal treif and ḥarām).

3) The knife must cut the neck arteries of the animal: in particular, the trachea, esophagus, cartiod arteries and jugular veins should be cut, while leaving the spinal cord intact.

4) The blood must be drained out.

5) There must be minimal harm to the animal – a painless and quick slaughter is required.

Can such meat be considered Kosher? I have read here that the Pe'at Hashulchan by R. Israel Shklover permits a Jewish shochet to say "Allahu Akbar" without it being a hefsek (interruption), but what about a cow slaughtered by a Muslim?

share|improve this question
1  
@Ali, since this question asks about a Muslim slaughterer (and process), I've mostly removed the material that talks about a Jewish shochet. I'm now going to clean up obsolete comments. –  Monica Cellio Feb 28 '13 at 18:40
    
My understanding is that Allah is a contraction of Al-illah (the God). And I agree that it is not kosher, in the manner that most people currently define the word "kosher." I note that some Karaites of medieval times believed it was permissible to eat Halal meat. (I am still hoping to find an historic source for this, and I don't know how prevalent this view is in current times.) –  A Blue Thread Feb 28 '13 at 18:54
    
@ABlueThread do karaim eat halal meat? –  yoel Feb 28 '13 at 18:55
    
@Ali: Tell me, wouldn't the shochet's blessing, which recognizes G-d as "King of the Universe" be sufficient to make the kosher meat Halal? Don't Muslims consider kosher meat to be acceptable to them? –  Bruce James Feb 28 '13 at 19:00
    
@yoel, I don't know of any historical karaites (i.e., karaites from historically Karaite communities) who currently eat Halal meat under the belief that it is permissible for Jews to eat it. But a thorough answer here would require much more research - and it is complicated by the fact that the historical Karaites of europe de-judaized. –  A Blue Thread Feb 28 '13 at 19:08

4 Answers 4

If a non-Jew slaughters an animal, it is not kosher. (Mishna Chullin 1:1 [English on p. 36 of this .PDF], Rambam Shechita 4:11 [English translation], Shuchan Aruch YD 2:1 In fact, I know of no authority who has ever argued on this point.)

share|improve this answer
    
I think I've heard somewhere (can't source it) that in certain circumstances, given a choice between halal meat and non-halal meat, a Jew should chose the halal meat. Is that made up in my mind, or is that a real opinion? –  Daniel Mar 1 '13 at 14:49
2  
I would say @Daniel is correct. According to the Rambam (Shechita 4:11) a non Jew's shechita is problematic only mid'rabbanan if he is not an idol worshipper. Therefore, although Halal meat is not exactly shechita, one is slightly more likely to miss out on a biblical prohibition with Halal meat than with regular non-kosher meat, even though neither are actually kosher. –  Dov F Mar 1 '13 at 15:39
2  
@DovF You mean 4:12? I would emphasize the word slightly. Most rishonim argue on the Rambam here, it's not at all clear we paskin like him, and there can be other issues with the shechita as well, such as pegimos on the chalaf (which is certainly a deoraita problem) which I see no way to be meikil on. –  Double AA Mar 1 '13 at 16:02
3  
@Ali, once again, your preference for a TaNa"Ch-based source is offensive in its rejection of our tradition that the Oral Law is part and parcel of THE TORAH. –  Seth J Mar 1 '13 at 17:21
3  
@Ali, the Mishnah was put to writing approximately 2000 years ago. It was not made up of whole cloth, just put into written form. Furthermore, the Mishnah itself was written long before the birth of Muhammad. It records teacher-to-student transmission of the law GIVEN TO MOSES AT SINAI. This is the CORE of Jewish belief. If you reject that, there is no basis for your question because you will NECESSARILY reject ANY answer provided. –  Seth J Mar 1 '13 at 17:23

Normative halacha (שלחן ערוך סימן ב, and שמלה חדשה ב) both state unequivocally that the שחיטה of a non-Jew is forbidden on the biblical level.
See here for why I care so much about the Simla Chadasha.

HOWEVER, the opinion of the Rambam (mentioned in other answers, הלכות שחיטה in 4:11-12) is that this is only a rabbinic enactment for certain types of non-Jews -- those that worship idols are forbidden biblically, but those that don't are only rabbinic. The ש"ך [source would be appreciated if you known where it is! I saw it but forgot...probably in סי' ב] changes the text of the Rambam to say that כותים are only דרבנן, but all גויים are biblical. YOU MAY NOT CHOOSE TO FOLLOW THIS RAMBAM, because he is the only ראשון that thinks this way [see related Rambam in שאר אבות הטומאה ב:י where the ראב"ד (on that linked page) calls this the Rambam's worst סברא ever(!)]
That said, my rebbi told me that when he visited a country (I want to say Bengal but I'm not sure), he found that the Jews living there would eat halal meat, based on this Rambam. Not normative halacha, but that was their custom.


As to the procedure itself: if a Jew would follow all the points mentioned above, plus the Halachos of Shechita הלכות שחיטה (including but not limited to דרסה שהייה חלדה הגרמה ועיקור [undue pressure, pausing, 'tunneling' {knife traveling under skin/pipes}, cutting out of the right spot, and tearing {sharp knife}/not moving the pipes from their proper place]); and the animal was not treifa, then the meat would be permitted.

share|improve this answer
    
I'm not sure where this is mentioned, but I was told that the Rambam holds that while Christianity is avoda zara, Islam is not -- therefore a Muslim shechita would only be derabonon according to the Rambam mentioned above. –  Shokhet May 1 at 18:40

Even if we were to agree that meat slaughtered by Muslims is kosher, they use most of the animal and don't remove nerves.

share|improve this answer

Since the meat is offered to Allah as it is slaughtered, this food should be considered as food sacrificed to an idol. We have run into Jews that consider Halal meat fine, but the prohibition on partaking of idol sacrifices is very clear.

share|improve this answer
2  
BatyaL, welcome to Mi Yodeya! Can you cite a source for your assumption that Allah is considered an idol by Jewish law? As far as I know, "Allah" is just the Arabic word for "God." –  Isaac Moses Aug 29 '13 at 21:18
2  
Also, your information is incorrect. It's not offered to Allah as a sacrifice. It's done in the name of Allah. –  Daniel Aug 29 '13 at 21:19
2  
furthermore, Muslims are monotheists who believe in the G-d of Avraham. The word "Allah" means G-d. It is not an idol. –  Seth J Aug 29 '13 at 21:20
    
In fact, even if a Jew were to say "Allah Akbar" before slaughtering, the meat would be permitted. –  Shokhet May 1 at 17:56

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.