Turkey meat is considered halal and permissible to eat, provided the animal is slaughtered according to Islamic guidelines.
To confirm that turkey is halal to consume, we checked:
According to Islamic Scholars, eating turkey meat is permissible and halal. However, for the turkey meat to be considered halal, it must be slaughtered in accordance with Islamic law (dhabiha).
Which Birds Are Forbidden To Eat In Islam?
To answer this question, we referred to the following text:
“Ibn ‘Abbas reported that Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) prohibited the eating of all fanged beasts of prey, and all the birds having talons.Sahih Muslim-no.1934 (source)
Birds that have talons, including eagles and hawks, are all expressly forbidden to eat in Islam. Turkeys, however, do not have talons, nor are they classified as ‘fanged beasts of prey’. Thus, in accordance with the criteria outlined by this text, turkeys are halal to eat.
To be absolutely sure that turkey is halal, we investigated some more sources. This brings us to…
What do Islamic Scholars Say About Eating Turkey?
Maulana Moinul Abu Hamza answered the question of whether turkey meat is halal or haram by saying (source):
Turkey meat, like any other poultry, is halal with no stated prohibition provided it is slaughtered in accordance with Islamic law (dhabiha). A Muslim is welcome to take advantage when there are perhaps cheaper prices for Turkey during the Christmas period. However, care must be taken that the intention is not to emulate non-muslims in their festivals as this would incur sin.Maulana Moinul Abu Hamza
The response was further checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah, a qualified Alim, Hafidh, and Mufti.
At this point, we can confidently say that turkey is permissible to eat. However, animals that are permissible to eat, and not from the sea, must be slaughtered as per Islamic law to be halal.
Dhabihah – Halal Slaughter of Animals
In Islam, animals that are not from the sea (crabs, shrimps etc) must be slaughtered in the halal way. This includes poultry, cows, goats, camels, and other animals that are permissible to eat. The general guidelines for dhabihah are as follows:
- The slaughter must be performed with a sharp blade, to make the cutting painless.
- There should be a swift cut to the throat, allowing the blood to drain out from the animal.
- The animal itself must be deemed healthy for slaughter and permissible to eat. As we have established, turkeys are indeed permissible to eat.
- Animals must not be facing one another when slaughtered.
- The Muslim performing the act must be sane and competent.
- The Muslim performing the act must recite Tasmiya (“Bismillah”) and Takbir (“Allahu Akbar”).
This is the general criteria for halal slaughter; you can always learn more about How Halal Meat Is Slaughtered and Prepared.
Turkey is widely accepted as halal meat, provided it is slaughtered in the Islamic way. The tricky part is finding the right source – you need to be sure that the supplier is slaughtering the meat in halal way. Thus, we encourage you to do your research and vet suppliers before buying turkey, or any halal in general.