Are prawns Halal according to the Hanafi’s?
In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,
The permissibility of eating prawns or otherwise (according to the Hanafi School of thought) depends on whether they are considered to be from the fish family or not.
Many scholars of the Arabic language like Imam al-Zabidi, Fayrozabadi and others have considered prawns to be fish. On the other hand, the contemporary zoologists do not consider prawns to be fish, as they do not have a spine.
Normally, the ruling of such issues is not based on technical research, rather it is based upon the understanding of the common people, and we have learnt that according to the understanding of the scholars of the Arabic language, prawns are considered fish.
Moreover, according to the other three schools of Fiqh (i.e. Shafi’i, Maliki and Hanbali), to eat prawns is totally permissible, which makes a leniency in the ruling.
Therefore it is permissible to eat prawns, but to refrain and abstain is always advisable.
And Allah Knows Best
[Mufti] Muhammad ibn Adam
Leicester , UK