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Zibah - Zibah (Arabic) is the Muslim method or the act of slaughter of animals,  also known as zibah-al-Ikhtiyaariy by which an animal  is slaughtered by a Muslim while saying "Bismillah Allahu Akbar," - in the name of Allah the great, using a sharp knife.  If the slaughter is not done by zibah method, any meat or derivatives from such carcasses cannot be deemed to be Muslim or permissible for Muslims to consume.

Requirements for zibah are:

  • The animal should be alive and healthy at the time of slaughter.
  • Animal skin or fur, and bird feathers must be clean prior to slaughter and be free from faeces, mud or other unhygienic substances
  • Stunning is not used to kill the animal
  • A licensed Muslim slaughterer should slaughter by saying,  when the knife is put on the throat of the animal being slaughtered, “Bismillah Allahu Akbar”;
  • All the flowing blood should be drained out from the carcass by natural convulsion
  • According to some authorities, mechanized slaughter is permitted. When slaughtering is carried out in a mechanized plant, because of expediency of machinery and fixed blade operation, licensed Muslim slaughterman/men (Molvi) should be present to do the rendition of the Bismillah. Number of slaughtermen depends on the speed of the machine/line. Generally it is accepted that a healthy young male can recite the Bismillah approximately fifteen hundred times per hour. It is therefore, suggested that we have 2-3 Muslim slaughtermen at the slaughtering station/s of medium abattoirs. These slaughtermen would also slaughter with full recitation of the Bismillah any animal missed by the machine. Other authorities claim that mechanical slaughter is forbidden
  • Poultry may not be slaughtered by dorsal cut.

Synonyms and alternate spellings: Zibahah

Further Information:

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Encyclopedia of the Middle East

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Spelling - Spelling of words in Middle-Eastern languages is often arbitrary. There may be many variants of the same name or word such as Hezbollah, Hizbolla, Hisbolla or Husayn and Hussein. There are some conventions for converting words from Semitic languages such as Arabic and Hebrew There are numerous variant renderings of the same Arabic or Hebrew words, such as "Hizbollah," "Hisbulla" etc. It is not possible to find exact equivalents for several letters. 

Pronunciation - Arabic and Hebrew vowels are pronounced differently than in English. "o" is very short. The "a" is usually pronounced like the "a" in market, sometimes as the "a" in "Arafat."  The " 'A " is guttural.  " 'H "- the 'het ('Hirbeh, 'Hebron, 'Hisbollah') designates a sound somewhat similar to the ch in "loch" in Scots pronunciation, but made by touching the back of your tongue to the roof of your mouth. The CH should be pronounced like Loch, a more assertive consonant than 'het.

The "Gh" combination, and sometimes the "G," designate a deep guttural sound that Westerners may hear approximately as "r." The "r" sound is always formed with the back of the tongue, and is not like the English "r."

More information: Hebrew, Arabic

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