hadeeth 17 : the command to slaughter and kill in the best manner
on the authority of abu ya'laa shaddaad bin aws (radiallaahu anhu), that the messenger of allaah sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam said :
verily allaah has prescribed ihsaan (proficiency, perfection) in all things. so if you kill then kill well; and if you slaughter, then slaughter well. let each one of you sharpen his blade and let him spare suffering to the animal he slaughters.
it was related by muslim
explanation of hadeeth number 17
the arabic terms "al-qitlah" and "adh-dhibhah", used for killing and slaughtering respectively, refer to the manner and situation of the performance of these acts.
and his (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) statement "then kill well" is general to all situations, whether it be slaughtering animals, or killing a human in qisaas (equal retaliation) or killing as a shari'ah punishment, or other than that.
this hadeeth is from the comprehensive statements of the prophet sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, and contains many principles. and the meaning of "killing well" is that one exerts himself the utmost in performing it well, and does not intend to cause unnecessary pain or torment through it. and "slaughtering well" in respect to livestock implies that one shows kindness to the animal to be slaughtered, and that one does not fell it to the ground cruelly or harshly, nor drag it from one place to another. it also includes facing it towards the qiblah and taking the name of allaah upon it, and cleanly and quickly cutting the throat and the two jugular veins, and then leaving it until it has turned cold. and it also includes recognising and acknowledging allaah's favours upon us, and thanking him and being grateful to him for them, for verily he - subhaanahu - has subdued for us from amongst his creation whatever pleases him, and has made permissible for us what he could have made forbidden, if he had so wished.
that it is obligatory on one doing something to do it in the best possible way
that even killing must be done efficiently and well
that the knife must be sharpened before using it for slaughtering an animal
that sparing unnecessary suffering to the animal to be slaughtered is part of fulfilling the deen
that one must try to do everything in life in the best and most efficient manner possible