Is it permissible to eat the meat of a lamb that drunk dog’s milk? What things should we pay attention to related to animal feeds?

The Details of the Question

 - Is it permissible to add fish flour or blood to animal feed?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

It is permissible but makruh to eat the meat of a free-range chicken and a cow that eats dirt (jallala), as long as their meat does not stink, or if they also eat their normal food along with the dirt and if dirt is less than half of what they eat. The state of the lamb that has sucked dog’s milk is decided according to those criteria.

The following is written in our fiqh books:

“It is makruh to eat the meat of animals such as chickens, sheep, cattle and camels that have eaten unclean things if they are immediately slaughtered without being detained for a while. Otherwise, their meat will not be free from a bad smell. The detention period is three days for chickens, four days for sheep, and ten days for cattle and camels. Those animals do not need to be detained if they have not eaten too much unclean food to cause their meat to stink. Their meat can be eaten.”

The following is understood from those expressions: Even if the animals whose meat is permissible to eat have eaten unclean things, it is not haram to eat their meat; it is only makruh. The reason for being makruh is the bad smell that occurs in the meat.
Chicken manure is given to animals after it has been removed from microbes; thus, the bad smell that may occur in the meat of the animal is prevented. Besides, as it is mentioned in the excerpt above, if those animals have eaten a small amount of such unclean substances that will not cause their meat to stink, their meat is eaten without karahah.

Let us deal with your question from two different aspects:

1. General principles and analysis of the issue.
2. The current state of the issue.

In the Quran, unclean meat of dead animals (mayta), blood, pork and the meat of animals not slaughtered in the name of Allah are prohibited in more than one verses in the same category, and it is declared that they are haram:

“Say: ‘I find not in the message received by me by inspiration any (meat) forbidden to be eaten by for an eater to eat it, unless it be dead meat, or blood poured forth, or the flesh of swine,- for it is an abomination - or, what is impious, (meat) on which a name has been invoked, other than Allah’s.’...” (al-An`am, 6/145); for similar meanings, see al-Baqara, 2/173; al-Maida, 4/3; an-Nahl, 16/115)

Acting upon those verses, scholars agree unanimously that the blood shed when the animal is slaughtered is unclean and cannot be eaten, and that it cannot be used by any means. (Ibnul-Arabi, Ahkamul-Quran, I/53) It is stated that the agreement is unanimous (ijma). (see Sabuni, Ahkamul-Quran, I/160,163) Jassas, the famous Hanafi fiqh scholars, states that the prohibition of those things includes all kinds of use, and hence the meat of dead animals cannot be used in any way, and even dogs and other meat eaters cannot be fed with them because it is also a kind of use. (Sabuni, ibid, I/160)

Again, the following news reported by Jassas also supports that view: “When the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) came to Makkah, Christians who collected the suet and fat of animals came to him and said: O Messenger of Allah! We take the suet and fat of dead and stinking animals, and use them only to lubricate leather and ships. “What do you say about it? The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) expressed his displeasure by saying, “God damn the Jews! When meat was forbidden to them, they sold them and spent the money.” (Jassas, Ahkamul-Quran) However, there are also the following narrations: “The haram part of the carrion is only the meat”, “What is haram is to eat it only.” (Jassas, ibid. I/150) Nevertheless, the majority of fiqh scholars do not rely on them in the presence of other narrations; even if those haram substances are not eaten, using them in another way is also considered eating in conclusion. The way Jews are condemned in this regard also shows it.

However, there is another hadith: “What is haram to drink is also haram to sell.” (see al-Jaziri, al-Madhahibul-Arba’a, IV/8) Thus, its purchase will have to be haram too. Qurtubi explains the consensus regarding the issue and the view of Malikis in this direction: “It is no longer permissible to use them and all kinds of unclean things in any way whatsoever. Even crops and animals cannot be watered with dirty water either (Ebussuud Efendi says that the plants watered with dirt are halal without karahah according to most of the fiqh scholars. see Ibn Abidin, VI/341); unclean things cannot be given to sheep and goats as fodder. A dead animal is not given to dogs and wild animals. However, if they eat it, they are not prevented. That is the apparent meaning of the verse “Forbidden to you (for food) are: dead meat…” and no use of them is excluded.” (Qurtubi, IV/218)

In addition, although it is not mentioned in any tafsir, the verse above explains for whom are the substances rendered haram prohibited with an interesting Quranic expression: “by an eater to eat”. Since animals are “eaters”, this verse must indicate that those substances are also haram for them. The following objection may come to mind here: “Since “haram” is a concept related to the actions of responsible people, how can it be said that something is unlawful for animals? We can briefly answer it as follows: What is haram is not the animals’ eating them themselves but people’s feeding the animals with them.  Something similar is in question in the following verse:

and the (children) among you who have not come of age ask your permission (before they come to your presence).” (see an-Nur, 24/58)

The responsible people in the verse above are not the children, but their parents, who have to teach them.

In that case, though it is makruh to eat the meat of a free-range chicken and a cow that eats dirt (jallala) as long as their meat does not stink or if they also eat their normal food along with the dirt and if dirt is less than half of what they eat, it is halal to eat their meat.  Furthermore, the same thing holds true for the lamb that has sucked pig’s milk. However, acting upon it, it would not be appropriate to say that substances such as blood can be mixed with chicken and animal feeds less than half in amount because it is permissible when they eat by themselves. However, as we have mentioned above, it is haram to benefit from blood and similar things in any way. Since blood is haram, that is, it is not “permissible property”, its sale and purchase is haram. In that case, no matter what proportion is added, how can a Muslim who wants to buy blood to make animal feed buy it, and how will the seller sell it? As it is seen, there is no way to justify the deeds of those two parties. In this regard, it can be said that legitimacy is in question for those who buy and eat the animals fed with those feeds; it can be said that those animals are eaten. They are two are different things.

Hanafis state the following briefly: It is permissible to eat an animal that eats excrement as long as its meat does not smell bad. As a matter of fact, a lamb sucking pig’s milk is eaten because its meat will not change. However, the free-range chicken should be detained for three days, the excrement eating sheep for four days and cow for ten days; and they need to be fed with clean food. There are also those who stipulate different numbers of days for detention. However, Sarakhsi state that there is no basis for determination of the number of days; what matters is to wait until the bad smell goes away. If the chicken is eaten without waiting, it will be makruh tanzihi. (Ibn Abidin IV/341)

According to Qurtubi, who represents the view of Malikis, if the taste or smell of the meat shows a sign of uncleanness, it is haram to eat; otherwise, it is halal. Khattabi states that the prohibition in those hadiths is a mild prohibition. They are in question when most of what they eat is dirt. However, if an animal grazes, eats grain, and occasionally also eats dirt, it is not called “jallala”. It is like a free-range chicken. Therefore, it is forbidden to throw dirt in places where animals roam. According to a narration, a man used to fertilize his garden with human excrement. Hz. Umar criticized him by saying, “You are a person who tries to feed people with what comes out of them.” (Qurtubi VN/122)

According to Hanbalis, as Ahmad b. Hanbal states, “I regard both the meat and milk of jallala as haram (makruh).” (Ibn Qudama, al-Mughni, VNI/593-94) The same view is reported from Thawri. (Shawkani; Naylul-Awtar, VNI/140)

Shafiis hold the view that it is haram to eat the meat of “jallala”. Nawawi states that if most of its feed is clean, it will not be called “jallala”; so, it will not be haram. Izz b. Abdussalam says, “If a sheep eats haram things for ten years, it will not be halal for its owner or anyone else to eat it.” (Shawkani, ibid, VNI/139-140).
On the other hand, Shawkani states the following: “The apparent meaning of those hadiths says that it is haram to eat jallala and to drink their milk because that is the real meaning of prohibition. Therefore, it is not permissible to slaughter such an animal without detaining it. If it is slaughtered without being detained, its meat will be haram.” (Shawkani, as-Saylul-Jarar, IV/102; see also Sayyid Sabiq, Fiqhus-Sunna, NI/256)

In fact, there is another view in Hanafi madhhab: If an animal that has died and bloated is found in a well, and if dough is made with that water after it has been seen, that dough is thrown to dogs, or animals are fed with it according to a weak view. Some say that the dough is sold to Shafiis, who think that the water of that well is not dirtied with it. (Tahtawi ala-Maraqil-Falah, 33) However, there is no intention of feeding animals with it here; it is not a strong view. Therefore, it is not permissible to sell or buy blood for any purpose (Allah knows best), to make animals eat it even if it is added to animal feed. The wise reasons behind this decree are not the topic of this article and it interests Muslim doctors and veterinarians.

The following statement of Nasuhi Bilmen also supports what we have said above: “It is not permissible to feed animals whose meat can be eaten with things that have bad and are not clean such as stinking meat.” (Bilmen, Büyük Islâm Ilmihali, 426)

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