Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Are Lobster and crab permissible to eat according to the Hanafi School? What about prawn and shrimp?
Answer: Walaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray this finds you in the best of health and spirits.
Lobster and crab weren’t considered “fish” by the Arabs, and are thus considered impermissible to consume in the Hanafi school–where the permission for the “produce of the sea” (sayd al-bahr) in the Qur’an [3.96] is considered limited to what was the customary produce of the sea considered wholesome (tayyib) by the Arabs, namely fish alone. [Kasani, Bada’i` al-Sana’i`; Ibn al-Humam/Marghinani, Fath al-Qadir `ala al-Hidaya]
The Arabs appear to have considered prawn/shrimp like fish in being from the “produce of the sea” and wholesome–and it is thus considered permissible in the Hanafi school.
Note that there is difference of opinion among the schools about the consumption of lobster and other seafood besides fish. As such, don’t criticize nor think ill of those who consume such items–and there is leeway in terms of taking a sound dispensation from another school.
And Allah alone gives success.