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Ruling 2618

If a wild animal whose meat is lawful to eat is hunted with a weapon and it dies, its meat is lawful to eat and its body is pure on the fulfilment of five conditions:

1. the hunting weapon must be sharp like a knife or a sword, or it must be like a spear or an arrow that can pierce the body of an animal. With regard to the latter [i.e. hunting weapons that pierce the body of an animal,] if the weapon does not have a spearhead, then in order for the animal to be lawful to eat, it is a condition that the weapon wounds and pierces the body of the animal. But if the weapon does have a spearhead, it is sufficient that the weapon kills the animal even though it does not wound it. If an animal is hunted using a trap, a piece of wood, a stone, or something similar and it dies, the animal does not become pure and it is unlawful to eat. The same applies, based on obligatory precaution, if the animal is hunted using something sharp that is not a weapon, such as a knitting needle, a fork, a skewer, or something similar. If an animal is hunted using a gun, in the event that the bullet sinks into and tears the animal’s body, it is pure and lawful to eat irrespective of whether or not the bullet is sharp and conical in shape. And it is not necessary that the bullet be made of iron. However, if the bullet does not sink into the animal’s body but rather the striking force of it kills the animal, or the heat of it burns the animal’s body and the animal dies, then it being pure and lawful to eat is problematic;

  1. the person hunting the animal must be a Muslim or the child of a Muslim on condition that the child is capable of discerning good from evil. If he is a disbeliever who is not from among the People of the Book, or if he is subject to the rules applicable to disbelievers, such as a nāṣibī, the animal that is hunted is not lawful. In fact, even if a disbeliever who is from among the People of the Book hunts an animal and mentions the name of Allah, based on obligatory precaution, the hunted animal is not lawful to eat;

  2. the weapon must be used for hunting an animal. Therefore, if, for example, a person aims at a particular target and incidentally kills an animal, the animal is not pure and eating it is unlawful. However, if he shoots an arrow with the intention of hunting a particular animal but kills another animal instead, that animal is lawful to eat;

  3. at the time of using the weapon, the person must mention the name of Allah. And in the event that he mentions the name of Allah before the animal is hit, it is sufficient. If he intentionally does not mention the name of Allah, the animal does not become lawful; but there is no problem if he forgets to do so;

  4. the hunter must reach the animal after it has died, or, if it is still alive, there must not be enough time to slaughter it. And in the event that there is enough time to slaughter it but he does not do so before it dies, it is unlawful to eat.