Prawns, calamari, lobster, crab, etc

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by

Q: My question relates the permissibility of prawns calamari lobster crab etc. 

I understand that the hadith states that all samak is permissible for consumption. According to hanafi the word samak relates to that which is only samak (fish) as we know calamari crab looks nothing like a fish. I understand the interpretation of the hanafis on this hadith. My question is how can one thing be haram for one muslim and not haram for another muslim i.e. one following shafi mazhab. Isn’t it that if something is haram it should be haram for all muslims like pig, alcohol, ect. And doesn’t Allah (Ta’ala) only have the right to make haram and halaal. Where as the hadith in question is not making out a substance haram but halaal. Or is this just a case of taqleed? And can a hanafi sell crab, lobster, prawns, etc for consumption to other muslims who are allowed to consume it?

Please would you shed some light on this matter as I’m confused?


A: The reasoning they employed is different to the reasoning that we employ. The hadeeth that they use is: هو الطهور ماؤها والحل ميتتها

He can sell it to them. Thereafter however they use it will be their responsibility.

And Allah Ta’ala (الله تعالى) knows best.


Answered by:

Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)

This answer was collected from, where the questions have been answered by Mufti Zakaria Makada (Hafizahullah), who is currently a senior lecturer in the science of Hadith and Fiqh at Madrasah Ta’leemuddeen, Isipingo Beach, South Africa.

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