Deer meat or venison is a popular delicacy in different parts of the world. It’s used to make venison meatballs, Shepherd’s Pie Soup, and so much more. Its popularity does not necessarily make it halal in Islam.
Moreover, the debate on deer hunting is equally important. Deer is a part of the cattle or grazing animal and the question arises, is hunting deer halal in Islam. We looked into both these pressing questions and here is what we found.
In light of the Quran and the Sunnah, it is confirmed that deer meat is Halal since it is not swine but rather a cattle animal. Most cattle or livestock animals are halal in Islam. Similarly, hunting a deer is only halal when it is hunted for food and hunted in the proper Islamic way.
What Does the Quran Say About Deer Meat?
In Surah Al-An’am, Allah has revealed what is halal and what is haram for Muslims.
“Some cattle are fit for labor, others are too small. Eat of what Allah has provided for you and do not follow Satan’s footsteps. Certainly, he is your sworn enemy.”(6:142) (source)
Allah says that some cattle like oxen and camels are good for labor.
On the other hand, other cattle animals like goats, and sheep are good for their meat, hide, and milk. Deer is also a cattle animal that isn’t fit for labor and grazes so its meat is permissible for consumption in Islam.
Say, ˹O Prophet,˺ “I do not find in what has been revealed to me anything forbidden to eat except carrion, running blood, swine—…(6:145) (source)
Later in the Surah, Allah says that the meat of dead animals, blood or meat with blood, and pig meat is haram in Islam. These are the animals that are forbidden since they are harmful to humans.
O believers! Honor your obligations. All grazing livestock has been made lawful to you—except what is hereby announced to you and hunting while on pilgrimage. Indeed, Allah commands what He wills.(5:1) (source)
Moreover, in Surah Mai’daht, Allah states that grazing animals are halal and lawful. Deer meat doesn’t come in any of these categories, and it is not a predator. A predator is any animal that has talons or fans and has a predatory nature.
Is Hunting a Deer Halal?
If an animal like deer, which is wild, is hunted according to the Islamic Shariah, then the deer is considered halal and clean.
However, if a tamed wild animal that is already clean is hunted, it becomes unclean and unfit for eating.
Likewise, the young of a deer is haram or unlawful as Shariah forbids the hunting of animals that cannot fly or run away from the hunter. Deer is halal for hunting if the hunt is carried out per the Islamic way of hunting (source).
What is the Islamic Way of Hunting?
There are certain things in hunting that Allah permits and some that are forbidden. You need to know what they are if you want to hunt and eat halal deer meat.
- When firing your gun, say the name of Allah
- After you have shot the animal, you should go find it as soon as possible.
- If the search for the shot animal is not continuous, and it was stopped for even a little while, the meat turns haram.
- When you find the animal, make sure it died due to the afflicted would and the blood loss. If it dies due to the bullet impact, then the meat is haram.
- If the animal is alive, and bleeding, slaughter it in the name of Allah.
Don’t Hunt Deer For Sport!
The first thing that any Muslim should remember is that hunting shouldn’t be done for sports. Hunting of deer becomes immoral when it is done for sports, instead of for food.
Assim Al-Hakeem explains this concept in detail in his “Ruling against ‘Hunting Animals For Fun’ in Islam” video. He explains that no animal should be hunted for sport. They should only be hunted for food. Deer meat is halal but it should only be hunted according to Islamic Law and for food.