In this paper, Shaykh Musa Furber explains how modern factory farming fails to fulfill the conditions laid down in Islamic texts, and how participating in this system as consumers is immoral.
A legal maxim states “whatever is unlawful to perform is unlawful to request”.46 Ordering animals from a farm where abuse is inevitable is, in effect, a request to abuse animals and, 44. al-Suyūṭī, al-Ashbāh wa al-naẓāʾir, 151. 45. al-Bukhārī, al-Ṣaḥīḥ, 7144; Muslim, Ṣaḥīḥ, 1839; Abū Dāwūd, Sunan, 2626; al-Tirmidhī, Sunan, 1707. 46. al-Suyūṭī, al-Ashbāh wa al-naẓāʾir, 151. thus, unlawful. The individual who places the order has committed the unlawful act of requesting perpetration of an unlawful act. One must keep in mind that another maxim states that “acceptance of a thing is acceptance of its consequences”.47 And the wrongness does not stop here. Engaging in a transaction that one knows provides a means to the unlawful is unlawful, even if the transaction itself is valid. If one merely suspects that it provides a means to the unlawful, then it is offensive.48 For example, it is offensive to sell grapes one presumes will be used for making wine, and unlawful if one knows that they will be. This argument is an example of “blocking the means” (sadd al-dharīʿah). So it is offensive to engage in a transaction that one suspects will lead to the unlawful, and unlawful when one knows that it will. Purchasing animals from a farm where one knows unlawful animal abuse occurs provides that farm with a means to perpetuate their unlawful treatment of animals. Since providing a means that one knows will be used to commit the unlawful is unlawful, that purchase is itself unlawful—even if it is legally valid and effects a transfer of ownership. Similar reasoning can be applied to individuals who provide animals, feed, and services to farms where abuse is known to occur. (p 19-20).Shaykh Musa Furber, writing in “Intensive Animal Farming: Wrongs & Responsibilities”
Shaykh Musa Furber further says in a Facebook post:
Meat in moderation is halal. Animal sacrifice & slaughter are rites, and the animal is intended to be consumed—not wasted. Eating meat excessively to such an extent that it becomes detrimental to human health is not halal, and neither is animal abuse. Putting the human race in jeopardy is not only a threat to the maqsad of human life, it is also a threat to our ability practice Islam which is itself a maqsad.Shaykh Musa Furber