I am aware of hadith which have stated that it is halal to eat an animal which has been hunted using an arrow and died before the hunter was able to get to it to slaughter it by cutting the neck.
I would like to know if it is permissible to eat a hunted animal, like a deer, if it has been shot by a rifle bullet but dies before the hunter can get to it.
As these animals are wild, the shots are often take at quite a long range, and then the animal may also run a few more yards after it has been shot so often it is difficult to get to it before it dies.
Al-jawab billahi at-taufeeq (the answer with Allah's guidance)
Allah Ta'ala says,
"Forbidden to you (for food) are: Al-Maytatah (the dead animals - cattle-beast not slaughtered), blood, the flesh of swine, and the meat of that which has been slaughtered as a sacrifice for others than All‚h, or has been slaughtered for idols, etc., or on which All‚h's Name has not been mentioned while slaughtering, and that which has been killed by strangling, or by a violent blow, or by a headlong fall, or by the goring of horns - and that which has been (partly) eaten by a wild animal - unless you are able to slaughter it (before its death) ≠......" (5:3)
The above verse mentions about the animals which are made unlawful. Hence, the animal that has been killed by a violent blow like, staff, stick, stone, rock etc, is impermissible unless you are able to slaughter it (before it dies).
The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wassallam) said, "Throwing stones will not hunt the game or kill an enemy, but it may break a tooth or gouge out an eye." (Bukhari and Muslim)
Also, if an arrow has been shot in a manner that the arrow does not hit it with its sharp arrow head but it ends up killing it by the force of the blow, this will be counted as 'Mawqudha' (killed due to violent blow).
'Adi ibn Hatim (RadhiyAllahu Unhu) said to the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wassallam): 'There are times when I hunt with an arrow heavy in the middle. If the game is killed with this arrow, can I eat it?' He said: 'If the animal has been killed by a blow from the heavy side of the arrow, it is included under Mawqudhah - do not eat it (and if it has been hit by the sharp-edged point and it has wounded the game, then, you can eat it.
(Bukhari and Muslim)
(see: Ahkamul Quran)
Question: If someone utters Bismillah when shooting the animal and died whould the animal be permisissible to consume or not?
According to the early jurist (Fuqaha Mutaqaddimeen) there is no mentioning of this issue.
However, there is difference between the later jurists about its permissibility and non-permissibility.
The Fuqahaa who states its permissibility say, that the bullet pierces through the animal and wounds it, and due to the piercing of the bullet sometimes the blood flows more from the wound than doing Zabah with a knife. Therefore, this falls under the priniciple of Zabah i.e. blood flows out from the animal.
The Fuqahaa who state its impermissibility say, that the bullet in itself is not sharp because it is shot from far and with speed it enters the body. Thus, this will not fall under wounding the animal, but by the force of the blow.
Allama Shami (Rahmatullahi Alaih) states in Raddul Muhtar, the death of an animal shot by the bullet is due to 'Indifa' Aneef', a violent blow. (Raddul Muhtar Vol.5 Pg.417)
According to the majority of Ulamaa Deoband the Fatwa is that if someone hunts an animal with a rifle it will be permissible, but doing Shar'i Zabah i.e. cutting the throat is necessary.
(Imdadul Fatawaa Vol.3 Pg.619)
The above differences is based on the bullet not being sharp. However, if it is made sharp then it will be permissible to consume without Zabah.
It is mentioned in Raddul Muhtar, that the Asl (principle) is that if the animal was killed due to the wound which is of certainty then it is permissible to consume, otherwise it will be impermissible i.e. if it is due to force of the blow. If doubt occurs as to whether the animal was wounded or had a violent blow then it will not be permissible due to caution.
(Raddul Muhtar Vol.5 Pg.417)
(see also: Ahsanul Fatawaa Vol.7 Pg.426-438 and Darse Tirmidhi Vol.5 Pg.131-133)