The Basmala and Ritual Slaughter
Before shooting the animal or releasing a hunting dog, a Muslim hunter must say the basmala, although the hunted animal is still permissible if he accidentally forgets to say it. However, if he intentionally omits the basmala, then the hunted animal is impermissible to eat.
If the animal is killed as a result of the hunt, then no additional slaughter is necessary, and its meat is halal. However, if the animal is still alive after being hunted, then one must slaughter it. If the slaughter is not done in this case, then animal is impermissible to eat.
[Shurunbulali, Ascent to Felicity]
Hunted Animals from People of the Book
According to the Hanafi school, the hunted game of a Christian is permissible, but only if Allah’s name is mentioned, or at least not intentionally omitted. Therefore, in the scenario you mention, the meat would not be permissible if the Christian never mentions God’s name at the time of shooting.
Further Information on Hunting
Some general rules to remember about hunting:
– hunting cannot be done for sport (i.e. only for entertainment and enjoyment)
– it is permissible to use a trained hunting animal (i.e. that abstains from eating the animals it hunts)
– the hunted animal must be wild such that ritual slaughter is not possible – whenever ritual slaughter is possible, hunting is not
These rules are merely an introduction to the fiqh of hunting. I highly recommend that anyone interested in hunting read Shaykh Faraz Khan’s translation of Imam Shurunbulali’s Ascent to Felicity, which has short but detailed sections on hunting and slaughtering.
And Allah knows best.
By: Shaykh Faraz Rabbani