Battery Chickens

Questions
Published: 2008-01-16
I would just like to say Jazakhallah GMWA, for all the guidance that you are giving all the Muslims in the UK.

However I would like to raise an issue about how hallal our "hallal" chickens are. I have heard that the majority of chicken available to us Muslims are battery chickens and I was wondering if Islam saw this as ethical. Personally I believe that meat should not be determined as halal just because of the way it is killed but also because of the way it has lived. Islam is a peaceful religion and the way battery chickens live in my opinion, is not peaceful. Battery chickens as I'm sure you may be aware go through a lot of suffering, which I feel is cruel. I would like to know if there is such a thing as free ranged hallal chicken in London as most of the Pakistani butchers in tooting admit to selling battery chickens only.

"Huge's Chicken Run" raised several issues in my mind about the food we Muslims eat. Is it alright to eat these massed produced foods? The Muslim society is becoming more and more westernized to the point where I have to question every single food I eat.

Hope to hear from you.
Answer
Views: 3,858,538
Updated: 2008-01-16
In the Name of Allah, the Inspirer of Truth.
Assalamu Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh

In matters of Fiqh (Islamic Jusrisprudence) a very
clear distinction has to be drawn between what may/may
not be ethical and what is Halaal/Haraam.

To keept it short, when passing a ruling of the Halaal
or Haraam nature of a chicken, a Mufti will examine
whether all the conditions of Islamic slaughter are
met or not. Once he is satisfied, he will deem the
animal to be Halaal for consumption, regardless of
whether the animal has been raised or slaughtered in
an inhumane way.

The points you have raised are all extremely important
and worthy of being riased in the community. Islam
definitely emphasises ethics in everything, especially
in animal welfare. There are numerous Ahaadith which
expound this topic. The Muslim consumer and retailer
both need to be educated in this regard.

HMC have done very good work in this field and it is
worth reading related articles on their website.

However, as for the issue of declaring the final
status of an animal as Haraam because of unethical
issues - this principle is not used in Fiqh as it is
an external issue and not something which can affect
the actual Halaal status of an animal.

And Allah knows Best
Wa Alaykumussalaam Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh