I Have Found a Hadith Permitting Eating Seafood. Why do Hanafi Scholars Prohibit It?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam’aleykum,

I have found a hadith in Abu Dawud, (Kitaab At-Tahaarah #83), where the Prophet (peace be upon him) is quoted as saying “Its water is pure and it’s dead are lawful (as food)”. Does this mean we can eat Lobsters? Sharks? Whales? Stingrays?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

The tradition (hadith) you are referring to is reported by Imam Malik in his Muwatta’ in which the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, as part of a longer tradition, “Its water is purifying and its dead is lawful.”

The outward purport of this wording would seem to indicate the permissibility of the creatures you mention, but the Hanafis actually conditioned this by the text of the Qur’an: “who makes good things lawful to them and bad things unlawful” [7.157] and, “produce of the sea” [5.96], namely, fish.

[`Itr, I`lam al-Anam Sharh Bulugh al-Maram]

Please also see: Is Lobster Permissible According to the Hanafi School? and: What Animals Are Halal and Haram to Eat in the Hanafi School?

And Allah alone gives success.

Wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

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