Date : 08-09-2021

Question :

What is the ruling of Sharia on disposing of sick chickens by grinding them in the garbage truck, as has been recently circulated via social media?

The Answer :

All perfect praise be to Allah the Lord of the Worlds. May His peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Mohammad and upon all his family and companions.

Islam is the religion of mercy and Prophet Mohammad (Peace be upon him) was sent as mercy to all the creatures. Allah the Almighty says {What means}: "We sent thee not, but as a Mercy for all creatures." {Al-Anbiya`, 107}. Obviously, this mercy doesn`t include only humans and animals. Rather, it includes all creatures.

Texts of Sharia indicate that it is incumbent upon every Muslim to be kind and merciful to all creatures, including animals. The Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) said: "A person suffered from intense thirst while on a journey, when he found a well. He climbed down into it and drank (water) and then came out and saw a dog lolling its tongue on account of thirst and eating the moistened earth. The person said: This dog has suffered from thirst as I had suffered from it. He climbed down into the well, filled his shoe with water, then caught it in his mouth until he climbed up and made the dog drink it. So Allah appreciated this act of his and pardoned him and admitted him to Jannah." {Related by Ibn Hibban}.

Islamic Sharia has forbidden torturing or harming animals in any way, whether before or during the slaughter process. This is based on the general meaning of the Hadith in which the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: "Verily, Allah has prescribed proficiency in all things. Thus, if you kill, kill in the least painful manner you can; and when you slaughter an animal, do it in the best possible way; and any of you should sharpen his blade so that the animal may be spared from the suffering of the slaughtering."{Related by Muslim}.

In addition, it was narrated that Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudri said: “The Prophet (Peace be upon him) passed by a man who was dragging a sheep by its ear. He said: ‘Leave its ear alone and hold it by the sides of its neck.’” {Related by Ibn Majah}. Moreover, it was narrated that ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar said: “The Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) commanded that the blade should be sharpened, and hidden from the animals, and he said: ‘When one of you slaughters, let him do it quickly.’” {Related by Ibn Majah}. 

In conclusion, disposing of live chickens by grinding them in the garbage truck is prohibited by Sharia. If the chickens aren`t sick, then it is forbidden to dispose of them as doing so is wasting wealth through killing a lawful animal for a purpose other than eating its meat. In this regard, it was narrated from 'Abdullah bin 'Amr, who attributed it to the Messenger of Allah: "There is no person who kills a small bird or anything larger, for no just reason, but Allah will ask him about it." It was said: "O Messenger of Allah, what does 'just reason mean?" He said: "That you slaughters it and eat it, and not cut off its head and throw it aside," {Related by An-Nasa`i}. This method also involves brutal torture of these birds. This issue was highlighted earlier in Resolution No. (20) of the Jordan Iftaa` Council.

However, if the chickens are infected with a disease and unfit for human consumption and it was necessary to dispose of them to prevent humans and animals from catching that disease, then they can be slaughtered first then thrown into the garbage truck.

We urge those in charge to make sure that sick chickens are disposed of in a humane method that complies with the rules of Sharia. And Allah the Almighty knows best.