Is Elephant Halal?

The question of whether or not elephant meat is halal, or permissible according to Islamic dietary laws, is a controversial topic that many Muslims are curious about.

While many animals are considered Halal by Islamic dietary laws, there are rumors and debates about whether elephants can be considered as Halal food.

In this article, we’ll explore the debate over whether eating elephant meat is halal or not. We will delve into the Islamic perspective and explore other factors that contribute to the argument. Join us as we discuss this controversial topic in depth.

What is Elephant Meat?

Elephant meat refers to the flesh and other edible parts of elephants. It has likely been a source of food for humans during the entire time of the species’ coexistence.

Although it is not commonly consumed, elephant meat has been reported to be high in iron, potassium, vitamin C, and zinc, making it a good source of protein with more overall grams per 100g than any other animal product, including beef.

The taste of elephant meat has been described as gamey and strong, similar to red meats like venison, with a slightly sweet and nutty flavor. Chefs often season and serve the meat with a sauce to enhance its taste.

Elephant meat is generally gritty and fibrous, but it can be softened and made tender through stewing or other methods of cooking. The meat is tough and fibrous, making it a challenge to chew, and is often seasoned and served with a sauce to enhance the flavor.

There are many different names for elephant meat in different parts of the world, such as bush beef, tusker meat, ivory, and mahout cheese, among others.

If you want to cook elephant meat, it should be placed in a pot and covered with water, then sprinkled with salt and pepper. It will take 1-2 days for the elephant meat to be cooked through and tender.

Is Elephant and Elephant Meat Halal?

According to Hadith 4348 of The Book of Hunting and Slaughtering

It was narrated from Ibn ‘Abbas that:

on the Day of Khaibar, the Prophet of Allah forbade eating any birds with talons and any predators with fangs. (Daif)

Ibn ‘Abbas, a person who lived during the time of the Prophet Muhammad, said that on the day of the Battle of Khaibar, the Prophet of Allah prohibited people from eating birds that have talons and predators with fangs.

According to various sources of Islamic jurisprudence, namely, Nailul-Autar by As-Syaukani, Al-Majmu by An-Nawawi and Al-Mausu’ah al-Fiqhiyyah al-Kuwaitiyyah fanged animals are defined as dogs, cats, lions, tigers, wolves, elephants, monkeys and the like.

Considering that elephants fall under the category of fanged animals, they are haram in Islam. Based on this, it is also prohibited to consume elephant meat.

An elephant is a fanged animal; hence, it will be prohibitively disliked (makruh) to consume its meat. (ibid)

Syafiiyah scholars have also deemed elephants as forbidden to consume, despite being slaughtered in accordance with Sharia law. This is due to their classification as fanged animals, which renders their meat impermissible to eat. Imam Al-Ghazali also supports this view in his work, Al-Wasith, where he includes every beast with fangs and bird with claws in the list of forbidden food items.

Ruling on Objects Made From Elephant Skin

According to Islamic teachings, the ruling on objects made from elephant skin is the same as that of skins of other animals whose meat is not allowed for consumption. Such animals include dogs, wolves, lions, and elephants among others. These skins are considered impure (naajis) whether or not they are tanned.

However, skins of animals that are permitted to be eaten are considered pure (taahir) after proper slaughter, regardless of whether they are tanned or not. These include the skins of camels, cattle, sheep, gazelles, rabbits, and other similar animals.

There are also skins of animals that become pure after tanning, but they are not pure before tanning. These are the skins of animals whose meat may be eaten if they are slaughtered properly but not if they die otherwise.

It should be noted that the issue of animal welfare during the production, handling, transport, and slaughter of animals is also an important consideration in Islamic teachings. Although many Muslims and Islamic leaders may not be aware of this cruelty, it is important to take measures to ensure that animal welfare is maintained.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can elephant meat be eaten?

Yes, it is possible to eat elephant meat, but it is not a common food item on menus and may not be safe to consume due to ethical and conservation concerns, as well as potential health risks. Due to the decline in elephant populations and the risk of disease transmission, it is crucial to discourage the consumption of elephant meat and promote sustainable and ethical alternatives.

2. What does elephant meat taste like?

Elephant meat is known for having a dense and fibrous texture which can make it tough to chew. The taste of elephant meat has been described as similar to beef or veal, but with a gamier flavor. Some people describe the flavor as being very gamey with a strong taste of red meats, and it is often compared to venison. Others say that it has a slightly sweet and nutty flavor. Elephant meat has also been described as tasting mildly of pork, but with a more robust flavor than beef or lamb because its muscles get less exercise.

3. Is elephant meat expensive?

Compared to other types of meat, elephant meat is considered expensive due to its scarcity and the high cost of hunting and butchering an elephant. The cost of one kilogram of elephant meat can range upwards of $200 USD. In some African countries, such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, elephant meat is sold by hunters and is considered a valuable by-product.

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Written By Nazim Almasi

Nazim is an Islamic scholar, author and External Consultant at Renewable Energy Maldives. He writes on Islamic finance, food and halal dietary guidelines. He is a respected voice in the Muslim community, known for his clear explanations of complex religious concepts. He has been invited to speak at various conferences and seminars on topics related to Islamic finance, food and Renewable Energy.

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