Multiple Scholars Agree Creekstone Farms Slaughter Method is Halal
[Photograph: Creekstone Farms]
Shortly after the article that Creekstone Farms is certified Halal was published there were questions about the slaughtering method of the cattle at Creekstone Farms. There were also some inquiries about their Halal certifier, Halal Transactions of Omaha. While I thought I had done thorough research on the issue, there were some things that came up from various readers that I needed to look into.
I reached out to Mufti Hussain Kamani, a scholar and friend in my Chicagoland locality I know and trust. With his help I reached back out to Halal Transactions of Omaha for a follow-up seeking clarification on their standards as a certifier and on Creekstone in specific.
HTO clarified all of the issues that arose via Email and phone. They even offered to let me meet up with them and some of the scholars on their Shari‘ah Board during a business trip to Chicago. Together with Mufti Hussain Kamani, we had a friendly conversation about Halal, issues in the Muslim community, and specifically the issues which I had reached back out to them on.
In the end, I wrote a high-level summary of the information I found. Per Mufti Hussain’s advice, I sent the summary to a number of other American scholars to verify and check the research I did checked out. While I had done this with one scholar for my initial article that broke the Creekstone news, Mufti Hussain advised to send it to multiple scholars to ensure the research is accepted by scholars from multiple backgrounds, schools of Islamic law, and opinions.
The Email I sent to those scholars was as follows.
Subject: Question regarding Creekstone Farms
I hope you’re doing well! I wanted to ask you question about Creekstone Farms which I had written an article on as being certified Halal and have been looking into in the past few weeks.
After posting my initial article covering their Halal certification, some questions came up about the company’s slaughtering method that is approved by their certifier Halal Transactions of Omaha (HTO). The inquiries were in regard to if the company was using the vertical “European” cut for their beef which doesn’t cut the major passages in the neck of the cow and potentially doesn’t drain out all blood.
I reached back out to HTO about their process. Their director, Dr. Alabsy, happened to be in town in Chicago and met with me along with two of the scholars on their Shari’ah Board. Together, they explained to me the following:
- HTO certifies the slaughter of cow using two methods: Dhabihah (horizontal slaughter) and Nahr (slaughter involving stabbing first then horizontally cutting vessels that’s ideally used for camel, allowed for cattle).
- These methods are approved by a fatwa from the International Islamic Fiqh Academy and HTO’s Shari‘ah Board.
- Both methods ultimately employ a horizontal cut. With Dhabihah the slaughterer cuts the throat of the cow in a horizontal orientation from the beginning onward. With Nahr, the slaughterer cuts the throat at the base of the neck then immediately follows it up with a horizontal cut.
- Each method has the slaughterer cut through the esophagus, trachea, and two major blood vessels on both sides of the neck. One of HTO’s scholars described what he witnessed when visiting a slaughterhouse employing a Nahr procedure in that the slaughterer follows up the first stab with a horizontal cut that fully severed the passages mentioned above until the back of the cow’s neck.
- A practicing Muslim performs these slaughters after reciting the tasmiyah (bismillah, Allahu akbar) over each cow using a sharp knife.
- Each method ensures a full and thorough bleed out of the carcass, as also required by the USDA.
- Creekstone is recognized by the USDA for packing Halal meat, however, the USDA does not implement a ritual slaughtering procedure of any kind at any plant.
- This is for any slaughterhouse HTO approves in general. Specifically for Creekstone, HTO recently performed one of their regular audits of the company. The audit passed and the certification stands as very recent.
From the conversations and meetings I had with the Halal certifier and their scholarly board I feel I’ve done the full amount of research possible on this issue.
Is there anything else you feel I need to confirm on this issue before concluding the methods HTO uses to certify their slaughterhouses in general and specifically for Creekstone Farms is acceptable as Halal?
Multiple scholars responded, some with follow up questions, some without. In the end, the following scholars agreed that my research was complete and sufficient and that the slaughtering method HTO employs at their slaughterhouses in general and at Creekstone is Halal:
Mufti Hussain Kamani (Chicago, IL)
Instructor, Qalam Institute
Graduate Shari’ah and Iftaa, Darul Uloom Bury, UK
Shaykh Yasir Qadhi (Memphis, TN)
Dean of Academics, AlMaghrib Institute
B.A., M.A. Islamic Studies, Islamic University of Madinah
Ph.D. Islamic Studies, Yale Univerity
Imam Tahir Anwar (San Jose, CA)
Imam, Islamic Center of San Jose
Instructor, Zaytuna College
Graduate, Darul Uloom Falah-e-Darain, Gujurat, India
Shaykh Omar Suleiman (Dallas, TX)
Instructor, AlMaghrib Institute and Bayyinah Institute, Mishkah University
Resident Scholar, Valley Ranch Islamic Center
Member, ICNA Shariah Council
Imam Kashif Ahmed (Sacramento, CA)B.A. Islamic Theology, M.A Qur’anic Studies Islamic Institute of Education Dewsbury, England
Imam, Islamic Society of Rancho Cordova, California
Shaykh Omer Haqqani (Chicago, IL)
Graduate, Darul Uloom Nadwatul Ulama, Lucknow, India
Shaykh Amir Saeed (Chicago, IL)
Resident scholar and researcher, Islamic Learning Foundation, Chicago
B.A. Shariah, Al-Azhar University
Shaykh AbdulNasir Jangda (Dallas, TX)
Instructor, Qalam Institute, Bayyinah Institute, AlMaghrib Institute
Graduate, Jamia Binoria, Pakistan
M.A. Arabic, Karachi University
So, there you have it. HTO’s slaughter process is overseen by their own scholars, checks out for numerous other American scholars, and addresses the issues of the Halal slaughter at Creekstone Farms.
As Muslim Eater continues to grow, I appreciate your readership and any communication you had with me regarding Creekstone, all of which I read. It’s this type of readership that drives me to continue working on this site and hopefully make it the ultimate resource on food for Muslims all over.
For the future of this site, I may publish articles similar to the Creekstone discovery from time to time. But Muslim Eater focuses on the overall education of food to Muslims. The spotlight will be on home cooking; those posts are underway.
Until then, thank you and happy eating!