Q. 1. “During your last visit to Toronto, Canada, (December, 94), we had the oppotunity to see the Maple Lodge Chicken staughter house. Based on yours and Mufti Rafi Usmani’s observations, please answer the following questions:
a) Can the Chicken slaughtered and prepared under current conditions be considered Halal?
b) if the answer to A is no or doubtful, what are the changes that may be necessary to make it acceptable as Halal?
c) Should the suggested changes be implemented, what will be the monitoring mechanism for continued acceptance?
Note :- Because of rising demand and for economic reasons, machine slaughter is now becoming widespread in many countries. How do we adapt to new technology?
A. As I had explained earlier, after my visit to the maple lodge chicken slaughter houses, the way in which slaughter of chic- ken is carried out is not acceptable. However, it can be brought into conformity with the Shariah after some minor changes. What we had observed in the slaughter house was that the throat of the chicken was cut by a machine while a Muslim standing nearby recited bismillahi Allahu Akbar. It was observed that this recitation did not coincide with the slaughter of each and every chicken, while it is one of the fundamental requirements of Shariah that name of Allah be recited on each act of slaughtering an animal. Moreover, the machine goes on salughtering without any break while the person who recites the name of Allah may have some break.
The only solution to this problem is that instead of one person, three Muslims be employed to cut the throats of chicken manually. The can slaughter the hanging chicken, alternatively. The speed of the machine need not be slowed down, nor the production needs be reduced. Each one of these three persons will cut the throats of chickens by reciting the name of Allah. This procedure has been practised in a number of countries where the objective of mass production was never harmed or adversely affected. In the same Maple Lodge slaughter house, we had seen a number of jobs being done manually by persons standing by the railing on which the chicken pass continuously. The same method can easily be applied at the stage of slaughtering also. This will require only two or three more persons to be employed which should never be a problem for such a big firm. You have referred to the manual slaughter vis a vis the mechanical slaughter. But I feel that the basic purpose is the mass production of Halal animals.
If this objective is achived, one should not insist on its being manual or mechanical. In the way I had suggested, all the process of the mechanical production will remain as it is. The only act to be done manually is the act of cutting the throat without slowing down the machine. You can see that the separation of liver and some other parts of chicken is still being done manually, while it does not in any way, slow down the process. The same method is suggested for cutting the throat also.
Q. 2. According to Shariah, Salatul Juma should only be observed once in any Masjid. In North America, most of the Masajids were purchased vis a vis existing community’s number and economic strength. In recent times, because of rising population and Islamic resurgence, many Masjid are filled over and above their maximum capacity. This is in direct viola- tion of the prevailing Fire regulations and other property standards set by Governments.
a) Under such circumtances, can we pray more than one Juma in the same Masjid?
b) If it is permissible then should we pray in the same place, i.e. same Mehrab and Mimber? Because of severe weather conditions and Government regulations, prayer cannot be performed outside the Masjids.
A. As for performing Juma’ah prayer more than once in the same masjid, my prima facie view is that it should be permissible subject to two conditions: First, this method should be adopted only in an extreme necessity where one masjid cannot accommodate all the Muslims praying there. Second, the masjid, in the first jama’at should be used to its optimum capac- ity in the sense that no place should remain vacant while the first Jama’at is being performed. However, as I had mentioned earlier, this is my prima facie view. I have drafted question and answer to this effect to seek the opinion of other Ulama. After getting their answer, I shall send it to you in the form of a format Fatwa, Inshallah.
Q. 3. We have come to learn that some of the anti-biotic capsules contain small element of pork or its derivatives. Some Muslim pharmacies are reluctant to sell such products, but they cannot avoid it. Consumers are also reluctant to buy them, but alternatives are not always available. What is the Fiqh position about consumption or sale of such products?
A. It is not clear whether the capsules contain an element of pork or its derivatives, or are made of gelatine manufactured out of pork, or whether the pork is contained therein for any other purpose. In any case it will be necessary before answering this question to know the exact proportion of the pork and whether the pork is transformed through some chemical process or not.Please clarify these points after which I shall be able to give a positive answer.