Game

Al-Muwatta' of Imam Malik

by Imam Malik ibn Anas
Translated by: Ustadha Aisha Bewley

25.0 Game

 

25.1 Eating Game Killed with Throwing Sticks and by Stones

1 Yahya related to me from Malik from Nafi' said Nafi' said, "I was at al-Juruf (near Madina) and threw a stone at two birds, and hit them. One of them died, and 'Abdullah ibn 'Umar threw it away, and then went to slaughter the other one with an adze. It died before he could slaughter it, so 'Abdullah threw that one away as well."

2 Yahya related to me from Malik that he had heard that al-Qasim ibn Muhammad disapproved of eating game that had been killed with throwing sticks and by clay pellets.

3 Yahya related to me from Malik that he had heard that Sa'id ibn al-Musayyab disapproved of killing domestic animals by any means that game was slain such as arrows and the like.

Malik said, "I do not see any harm in eating game which is pierced by a throwing stick in a vital organ. Allah, the Blessed, the Exalted! said, 'O you who believe, Allah will test you with game animals which come within the reach of your hands and spears.'" (5:97)

Malik said, "So any game that a man obtains by his hand or by his spear or by any weapon which pierces it and reaches a vital organ, is acceptable as Allah, the Exalted, has indicated."

4 Yahya related to me from Malik that he had heard the people of knowledge say that when a man hit game and something else might have contributed to death, like water or an untrained dog, such game was not to be eaten unless it was beyond doubt that it was the arrow of the hunter that had killed it by piercing a vital organ, so that it did not have any life after that.

Yahya said that he heard Malik say that there was no harm in eating game when you did not see it die if you found the mark of your dog on it or your arrow in it as long as it had not remained overnight. If it had remained overnight, then it was disapproved of to eat it.

 

25.2 Game Caught by Trained Dogs

5 Yahya related to me from Malik from Nafi' that 'Abdullah ibn 'Umar said about a trained dog, "Eat whatever it catches for you whether it kills it or not."

6 Yahya related to me from Malik that he heard Nafi' say that 'Abdullah ibn 'Umar said, "Whether it eats from it or not."

7 Yahya related to me from Malik that he had heard that Sa'id ibn Abi Waqqas had said, when asked about a trained dog killing game, "Eat, even if only one piece of it remains."

8 Yahya related to me from Malik that he had heard some of the people of knowledge say that when falcons, eagles, and hawks and their like, understand as trained dogs understand, there is no harm in eating what they kill in the course of hunting, if the name of Allah is mentioned when they were sent out.

Malik said, "The best of what I have heard about retrieving game from the falcon's talons or from the mouth of a dog and then waiting until it dies, is that it is not halal to eat it."

Malik said, "The same applies to anything which could have been slaughtered by the hunter when it was in the talons of the falcon or the mouth of a dog. If the hunter leaves it until the falcon or dog has killed it, it is not halal to eat it either."

He continued, "The same thing applies to any game hit by a hunter and caught while still alive, which he neglects to slaughter before it dies."

Malik said, "It is generally agreed among us that it is halal to eat the game that a hunting-dog belonging to Magians hunts or kills, if it is sent out by a Muslim and the animal is trained. There is no harm in it even if the Muslim does not actually slaughter it. That is like a Muslim using a Magian's knife to slaughter with or using his bow and arrows to shoot and kill with. The game he shoots and the animal he slaughters are halal. There is no harm in eating them. If a Magian sends out a Muslim's hunting dog for game, and it catches it, the game is not to be eaten unless it is slaughtered by a Muslim. That is like a Magian using a Muslim's bow and arrow to hunt game with, or like his using a Muslim's knife to slaughter with. It is not halal to eat anything killed like that.

 

25.3 Game of the Sea

9 Yahya related to me from Malik from Nafi' that 'Abd ar-Rahman ibn Abi Hurayra asked 'Abdullah ibn 'Umar about eating what was cast up by the sea and he forbade him to eat it. Then 'Abdullah turned and asked for a Qur'an, and read, "The game of the sea and its flesh are halal for you."

Nafi' added, "'Abdullah ibn 'Umar sent me to 'Abd ar-Rahman ibn Abi Hurayra to say that there was no harm in eating it."

10 Yahya related to me from Malik from Zayd ibn Aslam that Sa'id al-Jari, the mawla of 'Umar ibn al-Khattab, asked 'Abdullah ibn 'Umar about fish which had killed each other or which had died from severe cold. He said, "There is no harm in eating them." Sa'd said, "I then asked 'Abdullah ibn 'Amr ibn al-'As and he said the same."

11 Yahya related to me from Malik from Abu'z-Zinad from Abu Salama ibn 'Abd ar-Rahman from Abu Hurayra and Zayd ibn Thabit that they saw no harm in eating what was cast up by the sea.

12 Yahya related to me from Malik from Abu'z-Zinad from Abu Salama ibn 'Abd ar-Rahman that some people from al-Jar came to Marwan ibn al-Hakam and asked him about eating what was cast up by the sea. He said, "There is no harm in eating it." Marwan said, "Go to Zayd ibn Thabit and Abu Hurayra and ask them about it, then come to me and tell me what they say." They went to them and asked them, and they both said, "There is no harm in eating it." They returned to Marwan and told him. Marwan said, "I told you."

Malik added that there was no harm in eating fish caught by Magians, because the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "The water of the sea is pure, and its dead creatures are halal."

Malik said, "Since that is eaten dead, it does not matter who has caught it."

 

25.4 Prohibition Against Eating Animals with Fangs

 

13 Yahya related to me from Malik from Ibn Shihab from Abu Idris al-Khawlani from Abu Tha'laba al-Khushani that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "It is haram to eat animals with fangs."

[In Bukhari and Muslim]

14 Yahya related to me from Malik from Isma'il ibn Abi Hakim from 'Abida ibn Sufyan al-Hadrami from Abu Hurayra that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Eating animals with fangs is haram."

[In Muslim]

Malik said, "This is the custom among us."

 

25.5 What is Disapproved of Regarding Eating Riding Animals

15 Yahya related to me from Malik that the best of what he had heard about horses, mules and donkeys was that they were not eaten because Allah, the Blessed, the Exalted, says, "And horses, mules and donkeys both to ride and for adornment." (16:8) He also says, may He be Blessed and Exalted, about livestock, "Some for you to ride and some to eat." (40:79) He also says, the Blessed, the Exalted, "So that they may mention the name of Allah over the livestock He has given them ... eat of them and feed both those who ask and (al-qani') and those who are too shy to ask (al-mu'tarr)." (22:34-36)

Malik commented, "Allah mentions horses, mules and donkeys for riding and adornment, and He mentions cattle for riding and eating."

Malik said, "Al-qani' also means the poor."

 

25.6 Using the Skin of Animals Found Dead

16 Yahya related to me from Malik from Ibn Shihab from 'Ubaydullah ibn 'Abdullah ibn 'Utba ibn Mas'ud that 'Abdullah ibn 'Abbas said, "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, passed by a dead sheep which had been given to a mawla of his wife, Maymuna. He said, 'Aren't you going to use its skin?' They said, 'Messenger of Allah, but it is carrion.' The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said. 'Only eating it is haram.'"

[cf Bukhari 1421]

17 Malik related to me from Zayd ibn Aslam from Ibn Wa'la al-Misri from 'Abdullah ibn 'Abbas that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "A skin when it is tanned is pure."

[Muslim]

18 Yahya related to me from Malik from Yazid ibn 'Abdullah ibn Qusayt from Muhammad ibn 'Abd ar-Rahman ibn Thawban from his mother that 'A'isha, the wife of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, ordered that the skins of carrion be used after they had been tanned."

[In Abu Dawud, at-Tirmidhi, an-nasa'i and Ibn Majah]

 

25.7 Eating Carrion when Forced to, out of Necessity

19 Yahya related to me from Malik that the best of what he had heard about a man who was forced by necessity to eat carrion was that he ate it until he was full and then took provision from it. If he found something which would enable him to dispense with it, he threw it away.

Malik, when asked whether or not a man who had been forced by necessity to eat carrion, should eat it when he also found the fruit, crops or sheep of a people in that place, answered, "If he thinks that the owners of the fruit, crops or sheep will accept that it was a necessity so that he will not be deemed a thief and have his hand cut off, then I think that he should eat from what he finds whatever will remove his hunger but he should not carry any of it away. I prefer that he does that than eat carrion. If he fears that he will not be believed, and will be deemed a thief for what he has taken, then I think that it is better for him to eat the carrion, and he has leeway to eat carrion in this respect. Even so, I fear that someone who is not forced by necessity to eat carrion might exceed the limits out of a desire to consume other people's property, crops or fruit."

Malik said, "That is the best of what I have heard."