Answered by: Maulana Sibghat Ullah
Are prawns haram?
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
According to Imam Abu Hanifa, only fish is allowed from the sea creatures[i] and according to the other three Imams, prawns are halal as they consider every sea creature to be halal.
In the Hanafi Fiqh, there are two opinions regarding prawns being halal. The difference is based upon whether prawns are fish or insects?
According to many linguists, prawns are small redfish. So, according to them, prawns are halal.
According to modern animal classification prawns are arthropods as they don’t have backbones so according to that definition prawns are not fish. Hence, the ulemas calling them insects, call prawns haram.
Based on this we cannot classify prawns as haram. It could be classified as makrooh so we should be careful not to eat them but if someone is eating them, we should not say anything to them.
Only Allah knows best.
Written by Maulana Sibghat Ullah
Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham
[i] Fatawa Usmania, Page 279:- Halal and Haram Animals. Al Asr Academy, Peshawar.