Machine slaughtered animal
In the name of Allah, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful.
There are two key points which need to be looked at in order to determine whether a machine slaughtered animal is permissible to consume or not.
The first point is that the blade of the machine tends to be really sharp and moves rapidly. When the chicken or bird moves past this blade then if the necks of the chicken are cut along with the veins of the animal instantly, then it is permissible and the animal will be considered lawful to consume.
If the blade completely cuts off the head of the chicken from the body, then this is considered Makruh Tahrimi, however the animal will be considered lawful.
If the chicken inadvertently moved its head and only a part of the head was cut or only some veins were cut, then in this instance the animal will be considered unlawful to consume. (Jawahirul Fiqh p.273 v.2)
The second point is with regards to reciting ‘Bismillah’ or pronouncing the name of Allah. One of the pre-requisites of a slaughtered animal being considered lawful in Islam is the pronouncing of the name of Allah (SWA) at the time of slaughter. (Jawahirul Fiqh p.375 v.2) Furthermore, it is necessary that ‘Bismillah’ is recited at the time the animal is slaughtered before one begins doing something else. So much so that if a person laid down two sheep’s, one over the other, and slaughtered them simultaneously with pronouncing the name of Allah once, then they will both be lawful, contrary to the situation where one slaughters them one after the other with one Bismillah as only the first animal will be lawful. (Khulasatul Masaail p.108 v.3)
Another important masala is that the one who is slaughtering the animal (Zabih) pronounces the Bismillah. However, in the mentioned scenario, the one standing next to the blade has nothing to do whatsoever with the chicken. He did not switch the machine on, neither did he turn the blade nor moved the chicken towards the blade. He is merely like an individual who was passing by a slaughterer who was slaughtering his animal.
With respect to machine slaughtered animals, which you have mentioned in the question. If ‘Bismillah’ is being recited by the person who is operating the machine for every chicken, then it will be lawful to consume. The person who is operating the machine is considered as the Zabih in this scenario, hence, it is imperative that he recites the Bismillah for the animal to be considered lawful. (Imdadul Fatawa p.547 v.3)
Only Allah Knows Best
Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham.