Islamic slaughtering of a sheep
Dhabīḥah (or Zabiha, Arabic: ذَبِيْحَة ḏabīḥah IPA: [ðæˈbiːħɐ], “slaughter”) is, in Islamic law, the prescribed method of ritual slaughter of all animals excluding camels, locusts, fish and most sea-life. This method of slaughtering animals consists of a swift, deep incision with a sharp knife on the neck, cutting thejugular veins and carotid arteries of both sides but leaving the spinal cord intact. It must be done with respect and compassion; avoiding as much as possible any animal pain or discomfort. The precise details of the slaughtering method arise from Islamic tradition educated by the prophet Muhammad, rather than direct Quranic mandate. It is used to comply with the conditions stated in the Qur’an:
Quran , Sura 5 (Al-Maidah), Ayat 3.
The act of slaughtering itself is preceded by mentioning the name of God. Invoking the name of God at the moment of slaughtering is sometimes interpreted as acknowledgment of God’s right over all things, and thanking God for the sustenance He provides: it is a sign the food is taken not in sin or in gluttony, but to survive and praise Allah, as the most common blessing is, “Bismiallah”, or, “In the Name of God”. Furthermore, it is an asking of permission to take the life of the animal to be slaughtered, and endows the slaughterer with a sense of gratitude for God’s creation, even prior to partaking in the meat of the animal. According to Islamic tradition, the animal is brought to the place of slaughter and laid down gently so as to not injure it. The blade must be kept hidden until the very last moment while the jugular of the animal is felt. The conventional method used to slaughter the animal involves cutting the large arteries in the neck along with the esophagus and vertebrate trachea with one swipe of an non-serrated blade. Care must be taken that the nervous system is not damaged, as this may cause the animal to die before exsanguination has taken place. While blood is draining, the animal is not handled until it has died. If any other method is used its meat will not be halal.