Answered by: Maulana Yusuf Khan
Which seafood is haram in Islam?
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
“Forbidden to you is that which dies of itself, and blood, and flesh of swine, and that on which any other name than that of Allah has been invoked, and the strangled (animal) and that beaten to death, and that killed by a fall and that killed by being smitten with the horn, and that which wild beasts have eaten, except what you slaughter, and what is sacrificed on stones set up (for idols) and that you divide by the arrows; that is a transgression. This day have those who disbelieve despaired of your religion, so fear them not, and fear Me. This day have I perfected for you your religion and completed My favor on you and chosen for you Islam as a religion; but whoever is compelled by hunger, not inclining willfully to sin, then surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.” (Surah Maaidah v.3)
The animals prohibited in the Qur’an explicitly are haram without a doubt however, further principles must be applied when differentiating between those animals whose prohibition is not clear.
Due to the verse above any animal which dies of natural causes will be haram, any animal whether it be a fish or a land animal.
It was narrated from ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:
“Two kinds of dead meat and two kinds of blood have been permitted to us. The two kinds of dead meat are fish and locusts, and the two kinds of blood are the liver and spleen.”(Sunan Ibn Majah Number 3314)
Narrated Jabir ibn Abdullah:
The Prophet (ﷺ) said: What the sea throws up and is left by the tide you may eat, but what dies in the sea and floats you must not eat.
Abu Dawud said: This tradition has been transmitted by Sufyan al-Thawri, Ayyub and Hammad from Abu al-Zubair as the statement of Jabor himself (and not from the Prophet). It has been also transmitted directly from the Prophet (ﷺ) through a weak chain by Abu Dhi’b, from Abu al-Zubair on the authority of Jabir from the Prophet (ﷺ).(Sunan Abu Dawud Number 3815)
The hadeeth above specifies the instance in which fish is halal and when it is haram.
Sea creatures termed as fish are the only ones permissible, and there is a difference of opinion as to whether certain creatures fall under the category of fish such as prawns.
Only Allah knows best
Written by Maulana Yusuf Khan
Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham