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What is the ruling of feeding chicken with meat bone meal from cows (as the source of protein) of which the source of the cow is unknown, whether the cow is slaughtered or not and the chicken is fed with this feed five days before the chicken is slaughtered? What is the ruling of eating the chicken?



Bismillah ar-Rahman ar-Rahim.

Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.

This issue has been discussed by previous jurists and is included under the chapter of jallalah animals. The Prophet PBUH said:

نَهَى رَسُوْلُ اللهِ عَنِ الْجَلَّاْلَةِ وَ أَلْبَاْنِهَاْ

“The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) prohibited eating the animal which feeds on filth and drinking its milk.”

Sunan Abi Daud (3785)

According to Imam Nawawi, jallalah animal means animals that consume najis, whether they are camel, cow, chicken of which their flesh smell of najis. The ruling of eating them is makruh (undesirable). The issue is whether the meat of the animal has changed in terms of smell, color and taste. (Refer Al-Majmu’ Syarh al-Muhazzab, 9/28)

Previously Imam Syafie has emphasized that it is prohibited to eat jallalah animals until the animal has been quarantined for a certain duration of time to remove the smell and change its impurity. (Refer Al-Umm, 2/265)

The fatwa issued by Imam Syafie is congruent with the fatwa of Imam Nawawi, where the ‘illah of the prohibition of jallalah animals is because the smell and taste of the meat have changed.

The State Mufti of Brunei in his fatwa titled: “Eating Fish That Was Fed with Najis” fatwa series (35/2006) issued the following fatwa:

The ruling of eating jallalah animal is makruh (undesirable) when its meat and intestine smells like najis. However, if the meat of jallalah animal does not change in terms of taste, color or smell of najis, then it is permissible to eat it, even if the jallalah animal only consume najis.

The same applies to jallalah animal that has been quarantined and fed only from pure feed until the smell and effects of najis on it are removed from it. Afterwards, it is then slaughtered, then it is not makruh (undesirable) to eat the jallalah animal. However, the duration of time the jallalah animal is fed and quarantined to remove the effects of najis is not determined. It is subject to the customary time the smell of najis is no longer there.

Second, for the ruling of feeding permissible animals to be eaten with najis is makruh (undesirable).

Third, as for the sale of jallalah animals. It is makruh to sell slaughtered jallalah animal, that has not been quarantined and fed with pure feed to remove the effects of najis on it before it is slaughtered.

The fatwa from Brunei is accurate and in-line with the fatwa presented by Imam Syafie and Imam Nawawi that have been stated above.

However, the 73rd National Muzakarah Council on Islamic Religious Affairs Committee (MJFK) which convened on 4-6 April 2006 has issued a fatwa regarding the issue of fish that is kept in breeding ponds and others like it is prohibited from being eaten if the fishes are PURPOSELY bred in najis water or PURPOSELY fed with najis, such as swine meat, carcass and others.

Our notion on the fatwa issued by MJFK is the fatwa is issued as a sadd az-zara’ie step. Which means a preventive step against the negligence of breeders who overlook the matters of permissibility and prohibition in food. It is also to maintain and preserve the sensitivity of the majority of Muslims in Malaysia. It involves two different issues of which swine that is well-known for its rotten smell and swine meat that is not slaughtered according to syarak that do not have such a smell.


To conclude, in our opinion it is PERMISSIBLE to feed chickens with meat bone meal that the status of it is doubtful, but it is MAKRUH according to the final opinion of madhhab Syafi’e.

Furthermore, whether the meat bone meal feed is from slaughtered cows or otherwise is uncertain. Considering the custom of Malaysian community of which the majority of them are Muslims and are concerned regarding the purity of their food, then the meat bone meal can be considered as being made from cows slaughtered according to syarak.

The 5 days duration practised is similar to the fatwa issued by Imam Syafie (7 days) of which the effects of najis are no longer present and the meat will not retain the effects of najis in terms of its smell and taste.