I wanted to know whether stunned meet is classed as halal. In particular I wanted to know whether it is halal to eat at Nandos who are certified by Freemans as halal. They say they stun their meat at high voltage to ensure it does not die but is unconscious and have been approved by the Islamic Council of jurisprudence. I know scholars are divided on the opinion however have heard many are now accepting stunned meat. What would be your advice?
In order for meat to be lawful for consumption it must be slaughtered in a particular way. One of the conditions for permissibility is that the animal must be alive at the time of slaughter. If it dies before slaughter then it will be unlawful for consumption. The issue of stunning is a heavily debated topic. The main contention is whether or not the animal dies between stunning and slaughter. Each halal certifying body has their own criteria. Some will permit stunning provided certain conditions are met such as the voltage being kept at a low rate to ensure the chicken doesn’t die, whilst other certifying bodies will not permit stunning of any sort. Either way the fundamental point is whether or not the animal dies before slaughter.
In addition to this, stunning is understood to cause the animal additional unnecessary pain and can also reduce the amount of blood flowing out of the animal. For these two reasons some scholars will deem stunned chicken as disliked even if it did not die before slaughter.
It is difficult for us to say for certain whether Nandos or any other company which serves stunned meat, is halal or not as the basis is whether or not the animal died before slaughter. When it comes to eating Halal one should exercise reasonable caution and abstain from any foods which one has doubt in. Alhamdulillah non-stunned meat is widely available and caution would be in abstaining.
Ifta Research Fellow
Checked & Approved by:
Mufti Abdul Rahman Mangera
Mufti Zubair Patel