Some means of mass media reported a fatwa (Shari'ah opinion) attributed to some scholars from of Al-Azhar permitting the use of electrical stunning to slaughter animals. Other means of mass media have attributed this Fatwa to Al-Azhar.
To clarify the issue we state:
First: It is forbidden to use electricity to stun an animal till it dies, as this is a forbidden way of slaughtering that renders animals meat unlawful to eat.
Second: It is permissible to use the electricity to stun raging animals to control them to ease their slaughtering; this should be carried out under specific conditions defined by experts as follows:
1. The two electrodes should be placed on the temples.
2. The voltage should range between 100 and 400 volts; this depends on the size and the strength of the animal.
3. The current should be between (0.75 and 1 amp.) for sheep and between (2 and 2.5 amps.) for cattle.
4. The electrical current should be applied for between 3 and 6 seconds.
5. It is not permissible to stun an animal that is intended for slaughtering by using a captive bolt pistol, an ax, hammer, or by gassing in the English way.
6. It isn't allowed to stun poultry using electric shock as experiment has proven that this way immediately kills a large number of poultry before slaughtering.
All these rules are deduced from studies and experiments of experts. To follow these rules, there would be no possibility to kill an animal by electric stunning, and this is why different academies of jurisprudence have adopted this view. What is attributed to Al-Azhar scholars does not go beyond this scientific framework. Whosoever expands the ruling of permissibility in using electricity to kill slaughtered animals, this is regarded his personal opinion, and it conveys just the view of the speaker not Al-Azhar Al Sharif, and this is not the case of the current fatwa published in mass media.
Al-Azhar fatwa concerning this issue is that it is prohibited to eat the animal that has been killed by electric stunning or any other means that leads to its death other than slaughtering. Al-Azhar Al Sharif assures that the shari'ah slaughtering is a must for the permissibility of eating animal's meat and this is applies to all cases and circumstances.