Why kill Animals for Food?
The Dietary Shari‘ah
Question asked by .
Answered by Jhangeer Hanif

Some of my friends ask me why Islam permits killing of animals when we can subsist on vegetables. I want to give them a strong argument. So please help me.


The Holy Qur’ān has a clear stance in this regard. It says that beasts have indeed been created so that man could take them into his service and also eat their meat. As you know, man has been sent down to live in this world for a term appointed, he would definitely need various things to help him reside here. The Book of Allah explicates that beasts have been created to fulfill his needs of dress, conveyance and hunger. To quote the verses:

And beasts He has created for you [men]: from them you derive warmth and numerous benefits and of their [meat] you eat. (16:5)

It is Allah Who made beasts for you that you may use some for riding and some for food (40:79)

Similarly, Sūrah al-Mā’idah declares that Allah has made lawful for mankind all animals that belong to the category of beasts:

The [animal] category of beasts is made lawful unto you [for food]. (5:1)

Therefore, slaughtering beasts for food is actually achieving the underlying purpose for which they have been created. The befitting attitude is not to reject the blessings of the Most High but to use them and be grateful to Him for His favors. It is for this reason that we pronounce the name of Allah while slaughtering animals for meat as a token of acknowledgement that we are benefiting from the blessings that Allah has provided us with and that we also recognize the fact that He is most great.

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