Is It Permissible For Women To Slaughter Animals?

Many people debate if Islam allows women to slaughter animals or not. However, the Islamic scholars agree that it is permissible for women to slaughter animals because Sunnah and Quran do not specifically mention that only men are allowed to slaughter animals. One of the evidences from Quran that prove that women are allowed to slaughter animal is:

In Surah Al Maaidah (5:3) Allah says (interpretation of the verse): “Forbidden for you (for food) are: al-maytatah (dead animals – cattle-beast not slaughtered), blood, the flesh of swine, and the meat of that which has been slaughtered as a sacrifice for others than Allah, or has been slaughtered for idols, etc., or on which Allah’s Name has not been mentioned while slaughtering, and that which has been killed by strangling, or by a violent blow, or by a headlong fall, or by the goring of horns – and that which has been (partly) eaten by a wild animal – unless you are able to slaughter it (before its death)…”

It can be clearly seen in this verse that Allah mentions the kind of meat Muslims are allowed to eat, but he does not specify as to whether the person who slaughters the animal should be a man or a woman – so it could be either.

It was reported in Saheeh Bukhari that Ubayd-Allaah from Naafi heard Ibn Ka’b ibn Maalik narrating from his father that they allowed the sheep that they owned to graze on Sala’ mountain in Madinah: one day, one of the slave-women realized that one of the sheep was dying, so she slaughtered it with a broken stone. He said: “Do not eat it until I ask the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) or I send someone to ask him. So he asked the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), or sent someone else to ask, and he told him to eat it. ‘Ubay-Allaah said: “I liked the fact that she was a slave-woman and she managed to slaughter it.”

Remarking on this Hadith, Ibn Hijr said: “This shows that it is permitted to eat meat slaughtered by a woman, whether she is free or a slave, old or young, Muslim or of the People of the Book (i.e., Jewish or Christian), in a state of purity or otherwise, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) told them to eat the meat she had slaughtered and did not ask for further details.”

The hadith clarifies that a woman may slaughter animals, as prophet Muhammad (PBUH) showed no reservations on it. Moreover, Quran has used general terms on the subject of slaughtering animal (Zibaah). A woman can slaughter animals just like men do, on regular days and even on Eid-ul-Adha.

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said: “It is permitted to eat from an animal which a man or a woman slaughters Islamically before it dies, or from meat slaughtered by a woman, even if she is menstruating, because her menstruation is not in her hand. It is permissible to eat meat from an animal which a woman slaughters Islamically before it dies, by the consensus of the Muslims.” (Al-Fataawa, 35/234).

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