Stunning of Poultry: The Sharʿī Perspective on Multiple-Bird Water Bath Stunning of Poultry (PDF)

Amjad M Mohammed

Abstract

Multiple-bird waterbath stunning, due to its effectiveness and commercial viability
is the only stunning method adopted for poultry, in what is termed the developed
world. It can meet the public demand whilst maintaining good animal welfare
standards. However, research over the last decade or so has challenged this view
that stunning through this process is as humane as possible, causing no harm to the
bird, which is then slaughtered by a machine or in the case for Muslims, a Muslim
slaughterer. This coupled with the view amongst many Muslims and some ḥalāl
certification bodies that stunned poultry does not meet the criteria of ḥalāl
slaughtering required a study to determine the veracity of this view. The research
presented in this study found that animals are subjected to harm and pain through
shackling and more importantly due to huge differences in bird impedances, some
birds are not stunned unconscious, but instead suffer stun shocks and head
immersion in water; these are for those birds that are receiving a lower current due
to their higher impedances. As for those with lower impedances then they receive a
higher current which brings about cardiac arrest; it therefore means that the bird is
already dead before slaughter.
Based on the findings of this report the process of stunning by multiple-bird
waterbath is ḥarām as it harms some birds and kills others. Those birds which are
harmed or those whch are stunned effectively would be considered as ḥalāl in the broadest sense of the term, however all the birds produced from this process are
mashkūk (doubtful) as there is no reliable method of ascertaining death in the birds.
Those birds which are killed are ḥarām and not permissible to eat and the problem
is compounded as there is no means to separate them from the others. Head-only
stunning in a non-shackled situation and controlled, sensitive gas methods are
reasonable possibilities but further research is required to determine accurate and
reliable electrical and gas parameters respectively. In current circumstances
Muslims should take benefit of the exemption from stunning of poultry and
consume non-stunned only.

Keywords: multiple-bird waterbath stunning, poultry, electrical stunning
parameters, slaughter, ḥalāl, consciousness, broiler

Use of Vaccines from Ḥarām Sources (PDF)

Amjad M Mohammed

Vaccines are permissible to use, even those which contain ḥarām substances,
when there is no ḥalāl alternative and there is sufficient research data which can prove
statistically that the vaccine is of benefit. Also, those vaccines which were originally based on human cells or animal cells, for instance cell-lines like WI-38 and MRC-5, are permitted to be used as the vaccines do not contain any original material worthy of concern.

Fatwa on Cryptocurrency: OneCoin, Bitcoin (PDF)

See Mufti Amjad Mohammed’s video on the fatwa here.

Harvesting the Human: Traditional Sunnī Islamic Perspective (PDF)

Amjad M Mohammed

Abstract

The Dead Donor Rule is in place to ensure that organs are not procured from living
humans as society has deemed it morally acceptable to remove organs from dead
humans. In this paper we set out to analyse and assess whether the DDR is
practically being applied to patients who are near death. Also we wish to explore
which of the two models of determining death; cardiopulmonary or brain, in order
to show the correct criteria. We argue that death does not occur in either case, but
rather due to the speed at which organs are required to be removed, the DDR is not
being applied. This means humans are alive before the process of organ removal is
intiated or that revival is highly probable. The conclusion from the research was
that death could not be determined by science but was rather a moral decision. It
was understood from a traditional sunnī perspective that the killing of a near dying
human in order to remove his body parts to give to another dying human was
unequivocally immoral and impermissible. It was clear that there was no difference
between how a living human should be treated compared to a dead one.
It was shown clearly that organ procurement was immoral in absolute terms;
traditional sunnī Islam does not differntiate between a live or dead human. The fact
that procurement is from living humans compounds this situation tremendously.

Keywords: brain death, cardiopulmonary, organ procurement, organ
transplantation, Islam, sunnī, fiqh, medicine

Modern Substitutes for the Khuffs (PDF)

Amjad M Mohammed

Abstract

Historically we find, due to the lack of technology, little could be done to change the environment around humans; this included the material that was used to build, furnish and wear. Consequntially we find amongst the body of hadith literature the use of wools, cottons and leathers for various types of clothing to suit purpose and climate. One type of clothing was the khuffs which have been described as leather footwear; I intentionally chose not to use the word sock as it will bring a particular image to the mind of the reader and may complicate further discussions.

The Islamic Calendar according to Muslims in the UK (PDF)

Amjad M Mohammed

Abstract

The Islamic Calendar referred to as the Ḥijrī Calendar is followed by Muslims across the
world in order to fulfil their religious obligations. There are certain months which carry more relevance due to the significant religious acts which are performed during them; namely, Ramaḍān, Shawwāl, Dhū al-Ḥijja and Muḥarram, having said that there are religious acts within the other months as well. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the methodology that Muslims in the UK adopt in order to determine the start of the Islamic months.

The Effect of Contamination on the Purity of Water and Foods (PDF)

Amjad M Mohammed

Abstract

The injunction to consume the permissible which is described as the wholesome and
healthy has to be strictly adhered to by Muslims in their diets. This can be relatively
straight forward in determining what is impermissible by clear scriptural texts, namely pork, alcoholic victuals, and meat not slaughtered by Islamic ritual methods amongst other items; but is complicated in the many Islamically defined impurities and additives which are found in our processed ingredients, food and drink. There is also some confusion amongst scholars as to the legal status of a product containing objects which may have been impure but can now be considered pure. This concept is termed al-Istiḥāla, also known as Tabdīl al-māhiya and Inqilāb al-‘ayn; this will be detailed later but is defined as the ‘change in nature of the substance’. The aim of the paper is to explore the effect of contamination on the purity of water and on the legal status of food and drink. It is also an aim to bring together the various issues of contamination in a coherent structure in order that the principles highlighted can be utilised by scholars in specific cases.

The Islamic Prayer Times for ʿIshāʾ and Fajr according to Muslims in the UK (PDF)

Amjad M Mohammed

Abstract

Once a person enters the Islamic faith the responsibility of praying five times a day at fixed times is immediate and binding. Therefore, determining the correct times for prayer is paramount. Originally, this was based upon the movements of the Sun throughout the day and night, but in the presence of artificial lighting, the difficulty of seeing first light or last light, for the sake of consistency and due to a lack of knowledge with respect to observing amongst the masses, timetables are produced based on astronomical data. As the method of
determining the prayer times is not fixed by the sharīʿa then alternatives methods can be
used, which was not the case with determining lunar month start dates as discussed elsewhere (Mohammed, 2015). This astronomical data is linked with the observations, so in other words it replaces them. The aim of the paper is to explore the times in particular for ʿIshāʾ and Fajr and as a consequence Suḥūr, as there seems to be agreement, within the scope of human error, for the remaining prayers. As we saw when discussing the basis for the start of the lunar months, this topic has also become divisive within the community of Ulamā and conclusions are jumped to without fairly assessing the argument of the other.
Therefore, the aim has been to interrogate those views rooted in sound research and based on acceptable classical sources.

UK Divorce Process and its Compatability with the Sharīʿa

Amjad M Mohammed

Abstract

A recent study by the UK government on Muslim marriages/divorces in particular (Secretary of State for Home Department, 2018) made a number of recommendations 1 which would mean the increase of civil marriages and that could unfortunately mean more civil divorces. Hence the importance of understanding whether a divorce obtained through the UK civil courts equates to a ṭalāq is paramount. Some have adopted the legitimacy of a ṭalāq taking place based upon the premise that the judge acts as an agent for the man, as the husband is in a position to unilaterally issue ṭalāq. This is when he is the petitioner or if he chooses not to defend the divorce during the process. 2 However, there is some doubt cast on this premise of wakāla and it is argued that the judge is independent and therefore cannot act on behalf of any party and as a result ṭalāq does not take place. 3 However in all these cases there has been no details on the actual divorce process and what documents are being considered with respect to ṭalāq. It is the author’s intention to highlight the UK divorce process and handin-hand compare and contrast it with the sharīʿa as understood by the Ḥanafī school in order to determine its compliance and whether a ṭalāq occurs during the process.