Although one of the most joyful amusements that we usually choose, is to grab some chicken and meat from a supermarket or a Halal butcher and go out to the parks for a barbeque day, many of us have never thought about killing an animal and then barbecuing it.
Has it ever happened to you to be stuck in a village and have no access to butchers? Those of us who are more adventurous may have experienced camping in nature or visiting outlying villages. In such situations usually making a fire and roasting chicken or beef gives us the exciting sense of early humans. But who would be the one to kill that chicken, sheep, or cow and make it Islamically lawful (Halal)?
In this short text, I am going to provide you with a guideline of how to slaughter an animal according to Islamic law. But before starting on the Islamic slaughtering guideline, I know that you may have a bad feeling about killing animals, (as if other meats that we buy from butchers or supermarkets have been flourished in jungles beside mushrooms!!).
Or that many animal rights activists may condemn us for the Islamic slaughtering of animals. Therefore I would shortly argue if the Islamic way of slaughtering animals is a humane act or not?
Eating meat has been naturally and instinctively downloaded in human beings! Our body has been created in a way to digest both meat and vegetables. That is why PKU is known as an inborn error of metabolism that causes an amino acid known as phenylalanine to build up in the blood because the phenylalanine hydroxylase (PAH) enzyme is either missing or not working properly . People who suffer from PKU must live vegan as they lack this metabolism system.
God has created us meat-eaters and has permitted us to eat meat (but those that he has named forbidden (Haram)). Therefore having created human beings, the environment, and the animals, God knows best how nature's life-cycle must run.
Animals obey the rules of this cycle instinctively. However, having a quick search in the Quran and study the verses about food and drink, one can realize that opposing to slaughter or avoiding to eat animals is not something new that belongs to this century. “Why should you not eat that over which Allah’s Name has been mentioned, while He has already elaborated for you whatever He has forbidden you, excepting what you may be compelled to [eat in an emergency]? Indeed many mislead [others] by their fancies, without any knowledge. Indeed your Lord knows best the transgressors.” (6:119)
Now imagine we are in a far-away village, gathering with a group of friends. Of course, there are no butchers, nor a supermarket from which we can buy food. But there is a beautiful white lamb grazing in the field. How does it become lawful (Halal) to roast?
First of all, we have to buy it from the owner.
Don’t forget that the animal must be Halal-meated .
It is recommended to water the animal before the slaughter and do the slaughter job in a way that the animal feels the minimum pain and distress. And it is detestable (Makruh) to slaughter the animal in a place where other animals can see. It is also detestable (Makruh) to slaughter that animal that one has brought up and has an emotional connection to it .
Then we have to make sure that we follow the rules as below:
It must be facing the holy Kaaba (Qibla) when slaughtered.
The person performing the slaughter must mention the name of Allah as he slaughters the animal.
The slaughtering must be done with sharp metal so that the animal does not suffer much, and it happens as quickly as possible.
It must be slaughtered with a specific method in which the four main veins (the throat, windpipe, and blood vessels) are cut, without cutting the spinal cord.
The animal must show some sign of movement after being slaughtered, especially if there was some doubt whether the animal was alive before being slaughtered.
There must be a natural emission of blood from the animal after the act of slaughtering[i] .
As Islamic slaughtering is taken from the Quran and Prophet’s (PBUH&HP) conduct, it is known to be the best way of killing an animal in which it feels the least pain. Also, there are many scientific reasons behind this method of slaughter.
For example, the blood being drained entirely before the head is removed causes the emission of most of the blood which would serve as a suitable culture medium for microorganisms. Or for example, it is said in Islamic law that the spinal cord must not be cut, and the scientific reason found for this rule is that the nerve fibers to the heart could be damaged during the process causing cardiac arrest, stagnating the blood in the blood vessels .
There are some scientific explanations found to justify the fact that Islamic slaughtering is the best way of slaughtering. However, there are still many scientific and spiritual reasons that we are yet aware of. It is NOT impossible to find scientific reasons for God’s orders and prohibitions, but it is always easier to trust Him and obey His rulings for a more profitable life.
[i] It is permitted to stun the animal before slaughtering as it causes less pain and distress for it. However, the animal must be alive after stunning .
- Read about Halal-meated animals
- islamic laws
The issue of art and drawings in Islam is among those topics that have not been directly mentioned and ruled on in the Quran. Therefore, one might wonder if drawings in Islam is allowed (Halal) or not and if yes, then are all types of drawings permitted (Halal)?
There are a few traditions narrated about drawings in Islam that are usually used to answer this question. However, since the answer can be derived from the Quran, this text tries to answer the question based on the Quranic verses.
Now, you might be asking how it is possible to understand the ruling on drawing while there is no direct mention of it in the Quran. The answer is clear; the Quran provides us with a set of fixed frameworks that work as a criterion for us. And whenever we come to a question that we think was not an issue at the time of the Prophet (PBUH&HP), we can study it, based on the Islamic criteria and find the answer.
Drawings in Islam and all other types of art are considered as tools to make things more beautiful and to create a feeling of admiration in their audience. Allah (SWT) has created this universe most superbly and has ordered all His creatures to admire and praise Him for this beautification. After creating the human, He looked at his creation and admired His own creation: “He formed you and perfected your forms, and provided you with all the good things. That is Allah, your Lord! Blessed is Allah, Lord of all the worlds!” (40:64)
Apart from the whole magnificent scenery of the universe, created by Allah (SWT), there are also some verses of the Quran that indicate the importance of beauty in the eyes of our Creator. And that is why the Prophet (PBUH&HP)’s saying, “Indeed Allah is beautiful and likes beauty” has become so famous . The importance of beauty in the eyes of Allah is visible in different verses of the Quran:
“O Children of Adam! Put on your adornment on every occasion of prayer … Say, ‘Who has forbidden the adornment of Allah which He has brought forth for His servants, and the good things of [His] provision?’” (7:31-32)
Creativity is a blessing with which Allah (SWT) has provided human beings (not to mention all the artistic creations of other creatures). And therefore, human beings have always created new things using their creativity, the effect of which is evident in the history and the Quran, e.g., in building houses, castles, making clothes, or designing jewelry, etc.
However, the Quran does not admire all types of art. For example, making sculptures or figures to worship and as idols are considered to be negative. For instance, Prophet Abraham (PBUH), facing his people who were worshiping lifeless and dumb idols, addresses his father and says: “What are these images to which you keep on clinging?” (21: 52)
While in another Surah of the Quran, making statues and sculptures and other pieces of art so far as they are useful for human beings are referred to as positive and admirable. An example is when The Jinn built those pieces of art under the observation of Prophet Solomon (PBUH): “They built for him as many temples as he wished, and figures, basins like cisterns, and caldrons fixed [in the ground] …” (34:13).
Besides, the main ruling on doing artworks can be derived from a Surah in the Quran called Surah Al-Shu’araa’ which means Poets.
In this Surah Allah (SWT) clearly describes the essence of forbidden (Haram) and allowed (Halal) art with a direct mention of poetry which was popular in Prophet (PBUH&HP)’s time:
“As for the poets, [only] the perverse follow them. Have you not regarded that they rove in every valley and that they say what they do not do? Barring those who have faith, do righteous deeds, and remember Allah much often, and vindicate themselves after they have been wronged. And the wrongdoers will soon know at what goal they will end up.” (26: 224-7)
In these verses, Allah (SWT) states that only perverse people would follow and admire the poets. And in describing the poets, it is mentioned that “they rove in every valley,” meaning that they make up things from their imagination. At the time of the Prophet (PBUH&HP), ‘most poetries were about the beauty of women, adultery, and pervert behaviors.’ However, Allah (SWT) does not forbid poetry completely; rather, He ‘makes the exception of faithful poets’ in the next verse. ‘Those who use their art as a tool to defend justice and to reveal oppression and injustice.’ 
From the above verses of the Quran, we can conclude that any form of art or any other tool is allowed (Halal) provided that they are used in the way of Allah, and if used in the way of Satan, they are considered to be forbidden (Haram). Therefore, it is of utmost importance to be familiar with the Islamic jurisprudence to distinguish the right from wrong from an Islamic viewpoint.
Another point that needs to be considered about different forms of art and drawing is that they should not go against the Islamic jurisprudence. Including erotic pictures or scenes in drawings or illustrations is one example of what makes this form of art forbidden. Therefore, as long as the drawing or making sculptures do not have any adverse harm for human soul and improvement, the ruling is as follows: “There is no harm at all in the sculpture, photography, and drawings of living beings whether or not they have a soul. Also, it is permissible to sell, buy, or keep pictures and statues. There is no objection to showing them in an exhibition as well” .
- Al-Kafi. Vol. 6, p. 438
- Tafseer-e Noor, Qara’ati, M. Vol. 6, p. 381
- Painting and sculpture
In the era we are living in today, stress and stress-related illnesses such as depression and anxiety are becoming of the biggest killers, and the effects that they have on our emotional and physical health can be devastating. Stress, as a highly personalized phenomenon, varies between people depending on individual vulnerability and resilience. How could one build up that strength required to beat the stress in Islam?
Here are some of the solutions that Islam proposes.
In Islamic teachings and narrations, the faith in God is known to be the first and the most efficient approach to achieve the inner peace and the control over anxiety and stress in Islam. Imam Ali (AS) said that having faith in God equals being safe and secure  &. Believers know that there is a goal behind every happening. They believe that God is just; hence, they have not been just created and left to live some days in this world and suffer for nothing. But, they are created to pass all the difficulties to reach the perfection that they deserve.
That is why a believer rarely loses hope and even if gets disappointed, knows that he/she has a God who has promised to help him/her: “you who have faith, if you support Allah, He will support you” (47:7); “Whoever is wary of Allah, He shall make for him a way out [of the adversities of the world and the Hereafter]” (65:2). The opposite view on this matter is that life evolved spontaneously. This implies that there is no wisdom or goal behind the actual and future happenings, and this can be stressful by itself.
As stated earlier, the faith in God is the key to the inner peace. To be efficient, the faith should be practiced and manifested in one’s acts. Here are some practices that increase one’s faith in God and also relieve the stress in Islam.
The two possible ways to remember God are prayer (Salat) and invocation (Dua). In Surah R’ad it is stated that the hearts find rest in Allah’s remembrance (13:28). Also, God has promised: “Remember Me, and I will remember you” (2:152). The more consciously and concentrated one does the prayer and invocation, the more relief he\she will experience. During prayers, one spends some moments talking to God as the superior infinite power in the universe. This helps to overcome sorrow, just as talking with another person might do.
Reading the Quran and perceiving the divine messages is another practice that brings considerable relief. The caring advises that exist in Quran and that nice feeling of knowing that the creator of the whole universe is mindful of us, are relaxing. It is narrated from Imam Ali (AS) that the cure for the illnesses can be found in the Quran . Also, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) has advised reading Quran regularly as it lightens the heart and makes it alive .
Fasting is known to be an anti-stress practice . One of the reasons that one feels stressful and anxious is the lack of determination. He/she often thinks that he/she is not able to ameliorate such a condition, nor can he/she control his/her confusing thoughts. But fasting is a good chance to strengthen one’s character and to change the attitudes and acts.
In addition to spiritual practices mentioned above, some other activities are known in Islam to heal the stress:
Seeking knowledge and wisdom is believed to enlighten the heart and keeps it alive and active. Imam Ali (AS) said: “Surely the hearts get tired just like the bodies, so seek for them new objects of wisdom” . It is encouraged to seek wisdom, for Allah enlivens the dead heart through the light of wisdom just as He enlivens the dead earth through water from the sky . So, one should dedicate some time every day to read or listen to the wisdom that inspires him spiritually.
Idling the days away and almost doing nothing in life are severely blamed in Islam since it is believed to corrupt one’s mind and body . A corrupted mind might tempt to perverted thoughts and imaginations, evil intentions, laziness, etc. that will ruin one’s life in this world and the Hereafter . Imam Sadeq (AS) has strongly disapproved laziness and apathy &. The reason is that these two characteristics hinder one to profit from this world and the Hereafter  and cause him to be humiliated by the others  which can lead to the isolation of the lazy person and the consequent psychological problems.
- “Ghurar al-Hikam wa Durar al-Kalim”, T. 771.
- “Ghurar al-Hikam wa Durar al-Kalim”, T. 2839.
- “Nahj al-Balagha”, p. 223, no. 158.
- H. al-Bahrani,“Al-Burhan fi tafsir al-Quran”, vol. 1, p. 19.
- M. Reyshahri, "Mizan al-Hikma," T. 10671".
- “Nahj al-Balagha”, No. 197.
- stress in life
- Al-Shaykh al-Mufid, "Al-Irshad", vol. 1, p. 298.
- “Tuhaf al-Uqul”, p. 300.
- M. al-Kulaynī, “Al-Kafi”, vol. 5, p. 85.
- “Tuhaf al-Uqul”, p. 304.