Machine Slaughtered Halal Chicken
There has been a lot of confusion about whether it is permissible or impermissible to use machines to slaughter chicken. The questions revolve around whether or not this practice is halal, meaning whether or not one can eat the chicken that was machine slaughtered. Also, one of the conditions of slaughtering is brought into the discussion – namely whether stating on ‘bismillah’ is sufficient for slaughtering a number of chickens or does a specific ‘bismillah’ need to be stated for each and every chicken. This issue is particularly important in urban societies where the sheer number of chickens consumed by Muslims is so much that hand slaughtered might not cater to the needs of all.
Question: Is it sufficient to slaughter a number of birds with one ‘bismillah,’ or should a single ‘bismillah’ be pronounced for each bird?
Answer: A ‘bismillah’ must be stated for each one, and if a number are slaughtered at the same time one ‘bismillah’ will be sufficient for them.
Question: Some companies slaughter many chickens at the same time by machine. If a Muslim stands there and when they are being slaughtered recites the ‘bismillah’ once would their meat be halal…?
Answer: If the person in charge of the machine recites the ‘bismillah’ constantly while it is on than it is sufficient. If there is a doubt about it being halal due to the recitation of ‘bismillah’ than they are considered tahir and it is halal to eat them.
Question: In Iran chickens are slaughtered solely by machine. Is eating them permissible?
Answer: They are ruled [Islamically] slaughtered.
397: Saying one ‘bismillah’ for the chickens that are slaughtered together by a machine is sufficient. Then, when the next group is prepared and there is time to state ‘bismillah’ another ‘bismillah’ must be repeated.