Hunting prey – according to the Hanbalis

The following rulings are translated from Zad al-mustaqniʿ, with selected notes from its commentary Al-Raud al-murbiʿ placed between ‹…›, build upon to the previous article on slaughtering according to the Hanbalis.

Prey killed while hunting is not lawful except with four conditions.

The first is that the hunter is qualified to slaughter. ‹Prey killed by Zoroastrians, idolators, and the like are not permissible. Neither is prey they participated in killing.›

The second ‹condition› is the instrument. There are two types in instruments.

‹The first of the two is› edged. Its conditions are the same as the conditions as instruments for slaughtering. ‹It is a condition› that the instrument wounds ‹the prey›. Thus, if it kills the prey through blunt force, the prey is not lawful. Anything killed by an edgeless instrument is unlawful, such as a round shot [bunduq], staff, net, or snare ‹even if the throat and esophagus are also cut. […] But if one reaches the prey while it is still viable and then slaughters it, the prey is permissible. And if one fires at prey that is airborne or in a tree and it then falls, the prey is permissible. But if it falls into water or the like, it is not permissible›.

The second type [of instrument] is a predatory animal. Whatever ‹the predator› kills is lawful if the predator is trained. ‹This applies equally whether the predator is a bird that hunts with its talons, or a lynx or dog that hunts with its fangs. This is because Allah Most High says, “and [game caught by] what you have trained of hunting animals which you train as Allah has taught you” [Q5:4].›

‹A completely black dog is an exception, as its prey is unlawful. And a completely black dog is unlawful to keep and lawful to kill.

Training a dog, lynx, or their like, means that it goes when sent, responds when urged or chided, and refrains from eating [its prey] when it holds it.

Training a hawk, or its like, means that it goes when sent, returns when called – but not by it refraining from eating its prey.›

The third ‹condition› is deliberately sending the instrument ‹used for hunting›. If a dog or something else sends itself, the prey is not lawful unless he chides the predator and his chiding increases his tenacity to search – and then ‹the prey› is lawful. ‹This is because his incitement had an effect on its tenacity, so it becomes as though he had sent it.

If someone fires upon prey and hits something else, it is permissible [to eat].›

The fourth ‹condition› is saying “Bismi Llāh” when loosing the spear or predatory animal. If one omitted saying it intentionally or forgetfully, ‹the prey› is not lawful. ‹There is no harm if the saying of “Bismi Llāh” is slightly before; or if there is a long delay when sending a predator – so long he urges the predator and it responds.

If one says “Bismi Llāh” for one prey and strikes another, the prey is permissible.›

It is a sunnah to say “Allāhu akbar” while saying “Bismi Llāh” – just like with slaughtering.

The first quarter of this book is already published as Supplement for the Seeker of Certitude.

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