Muslim Scholars Should Declare Factory Farming Haram
Animals: Tradition - Philosophy


The Vegan Muslim Initiative
November 2017

Muslims by and large and unfortunately by extension, Islam itself, is seen as an entity that places very little value on animal rights.

caged hens

Dear Muslim scholars, men and women alike...

I write to you so you can wake the hell up.

If you’ve taken offense to this opening statement, then great because I intend to lay out for you standard industry practices across the world in the meat, dairy and egg industries and then perhaps your offense won’t be as important as the suffering of billions of God’s creatures.

I may be not as learned as you in theology or Islamic sciences. What I do however know is we are capable of compassion, mercy and love. I also know Islam is a faith of reason, logic and relevancy for all places and all times.

Today however, Muslims by and large and unfortunately by extension, Islam itself, is seen as an entity that places very little value on animal rights.

We have been largely disconnected from how these factory farmed animals feel. The closest we come to them is when we are munching on their corpses or being advertised to; to do so.

Therefore it is vitally important we do everything within our abilities to reclaim our identity as one that fights for the rights of all life.

The Evil Of Modern Day Factory Farming

It doesn’t matter what type of animal is being mass produced and f(h)armed.

Factory “farming” as an entity today, is one of the most demonic industries in existence.

I chose those words very carefully and hopefully once you familiarize yourself with how they operate, you will arrive at very similar conclusions.

Just to give you an idea, today’s meat, egg and dairy industries routinely:

1. Shoot male calves in the head or kill them for no other reason except they are male. Since they cannot produce milk, they are useless to the dairy industry. That’s the measure of their life today.

2. Tear apart newborn calves from their mothers soon after birth causing extreme emotional distress to mother and calf alike.

3. “Debeak”chickens. This is cutting off their beaks so they won’t peck each other due to them being tightly confined in cages together.

4. Mass gas and/or throw BILLIONS of male chicks alive into grinders each year because they can’t lay eggs (useless to egg industry).

5. Kill animals in front of others.

6. Put preventative “weaning” rings around the mouths of calves so no matter how hard they try to suckle from their mothers in their brief time with them, they cannot.

 As well as the gross violations above, many other atrocities routinely occur like:

  • Regular beatings
  • Animals living/standing in their own feces
  • Psychological torture
  • Mutilation by cutting horns, tails, beaks and branding them without anaesthetic
  • Confining them in an inhumane manner
  • Injecting them with hormones to make them increase their growth/milk and/or egg production at unnatural levels
  • Never letting them see the sun, grass or the outside world
  • Depriving them off their offspring

These are NOT isolated incidents.

These are STANDARD PRACTICES in the vast majority of today’s meat, egg and dairy industries around the world.

So, what do you think sheikh, is this not the work of devils?

Mass murdering, mutilating, killing infants, enslaving, etc – how on God’s good Earth can this be considered permissible in Islam?

It’s not, you know it and you need to step up and say so.

You don’t need to consult fiqh books to declare this outrightly impermissible and those who support such industries are indeed committing grave acts of injustice.

Didn’t the Prophet (pbuh) ask his companions “who has hurt the feelings of a mother bird?” and ordered them to return her chicks to her?

Well the dairy industry takes newborns from their mothers as standard practice to the point, mothers cry out for them for days at a time.

BILLIONS of mothers go through this every year but they will never see their newborns again.

Use your heart and compassion, use common sense, qiyas or whatever you like – just say something – ANYTHING against these practices.

Effects On Our World

Our previous article [Don't Kill An Animal This Eid] on how animals are treated during Eid demonstrates just how far we as a community have regressed on these critical issues.

It also highlighted how much the world is in peril as a result of animal agriculture.

In summary, it is THE LEADING CAUSE of:

  • Habitat loss
  • Species extinction
  • Ocean dead zones
  • Air and water pollution
  • Soil erosion

This is what happens when billions upon billions of pounds of animal excrement is dumped into our waters, decimating all life that it touches; creating “ocean dead zones” that are now the biggest they’ve ever been.

The same oceans referred to in the Qu’ran.

This is what happens when entire swaths of rainforests and wilderness are razed to the ground to make room for yet MORE livestock – purposely bred into existence for no other reason other than to perpetuate the insidious cycle of such industries.

The same trees referred to in the Qu’ran.

The scale of the ecological disaster is so far reaching and immense, it’s hard to fathom how Muslim scholars once knowing these facts, wouldn’t declare such industries as outright dangerous to this world and exhort fellow Muslims to boycott them.

I cannot accept Islam sanctions annihilating entire species.

I cannot accept the religion I have been taught is so compassionate would have it’s followers sit by and watch as our oceans are gradually decimated of beautiful life.

As fellow humans starve. As millions of sentient creatures each day are brutally tortured then killed like their lives don’t matter.

I urge you to familiarise yourself with the toll these industries are exacting on our world.

Start with Cowspiracy and work your way from there to our Documentaries section.

You Are Needed

When I write, debate, discuss, share, donate, petition and lobby as best as I can to help fight against these industries, you know who I see MOSTLY involved?

Our non Muslim friends.

Do you know who is sadly missing?


You are so badly needed to show our communities a better way because we’re getting left out of the conversation and marching heedlessly towards our own destruction.

I grow increasingly tired of speaking with Muslims about these issues and their indoctrinated, knee-jerk response is “the Prophet ate meat, it’s in the Qu’ran, don’t make haram what Allah has made halal, end of discussion!” – as if being a Muslim compels one to forfeit all faculties of logic and reason and to forsake all deductive capabilities of what’s going on around us.

I would love for you to explain to them that just because something may technically be allowed, it does not mean it will always be the case, particularly when greater harm can be avoided.

If by doing X, a great harm will result, then better not to do X.

You know better than I that our tradition is riddled with examples of how important it is to treat animals and all life with kindness and mercy.

Yes, we hear you talk so much about adab (mannerisms) and rightly so. But where is the adab towards these animals? Where is the respect towards God’s creatures? Where is the “character” and taqwa (God consciousness) when buying products that support industries that institutionalise rape and murder towards the very creatures God entrusted us with?

Where is the mizaan (balance) spoken about in the Qu’ran and not to upset this balance?

In fact, all of the qualities you speak frequently about – compassion, justice, mercy, kindness, beauty, benevolence, love, care, forbearance, courage – are hauntingly absent as these animals are subjected to daily abuse, far beyond the awareness of detached consumers.

These animals have done NOTHING to deserve this and are treated this way just for being who they are.

If you cannot bring yourself to condemn and call on others to boycott such industries, then you’re a walking contradiction and you’ll be answerable for wilfully turning away from open oppression.

I’m sorry but you don’t get afforded the luxury to lecture about love, compassion and mercy then remain silent on industries that don’t afford any of this to these animals.

We Are In 2017 – Different Times, Different Circumstances – Why The Same Rulings?

We can no longer live by age old held rulings that have a complete disconnect with today’s realities.

With respect, scholars of the past didn’t issue rulings pertaining to modern day challenges.

They wrote and spoke about what concerned them in their own times.

Had they encountered what we are facing today, it leaves little doubt they would have been the pioneers of change; not reactionaries.

Doing nothing isn’t an option sheikh.

I’ll be damned if I hear you or any other person declare in the name of Islam that the practices used against these animals is “halal” or to even excuse, rationalise or justify them in any way.

Look, I understand these conversations unsettle a lot of people because they have been indoctrinated since birth that this is just the way it’s supposed to be with little to no opposition to make them critically think.

On the contrary, the Muslims I do speak with who try and tell their families and communities about these issues are openly mocked and ridiculed!

They are told they are going against God Himself by NOT participating in something that clearly mistreats His creation.

These uncomfortable conversations must be had.

We need open, clear dialogue and education because as long as we continue down our old ways, we’ll get more of the same.

We’re calling upon you as a Muslim scholar to:

  1. Thoroughly educate yourself on factory farming practices.
  2. Officially declare such practices and all establishments that use such products as impermissible to support. Denouncing such practices and declaring them in direct opposition with Islamic values and encouraging Muslims to boycott these industries would be a positive first step.

Do not turn away.

Critically evaluate what you know at this point and be prepared to do what’s best for all concerned.

Your focus to date has been almost exclusively on what animals to kill and eat and it has never been about how to protect them, care for them or uphold their rights.

Understanding mass commercialisation of animals is literally destroying our world on so many levels will facilitate a more holistic understanding of the issues at hand.

Only when these industries see consumers vote with their $ will they affect real change.

The people responsible for such evil in the world are real people with names. They are not some faceless entity.

Make them feel a portion of distress they inflict on countless beings.

Make them understand we as Muslims will never stand for their barbaric practices.

I’ve laid out my thoughts. I've love to hear yours. Send comments HERE.

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