Answered by Shaykh Amjad Rasheed
Which animals are permissible and not permissible to eat?
It is obvious that the number of animals that are permissible to eat is lengthy and cannot be enumerated in this answer, however, I can mention for you some criteria and examples by which the ruling may be known, as our imams mentioned. And if you have any problem with it after that, then please ask. So I say:
Animals are of three types: Land life, aquatic life which cannot live outside water, such if you were to take it out, it would die, and the third is that which lives on land and in water together.
As for the first group which is land animals, a few types are haram to eat:
First, it is impermissible to eat land animals that attack with their fangs among predatory animals, such as lions, wolves, dogs, cats, bears, monkeys, elephants, according to our imams. Also impermissible are those that attack with their claws, their nails that is, of birds such as the falcon, the eagle and others of that type.
Second, any animal that the Prophet, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, commanded to kill is haram to eat, such as the snake, the crow and the mouse.
Third, any filthy creature such as worms, ants, bees, flies and all insects, and those that have poison [s. are impermissible to eat].
Fourth, any animal whose impermissibility to eat which has been specifically established, such as the domestic donkey.
Fifth, an animal that is born of one parent that is permissible to eat and another that is not permissible to eat is haram to eat because the impermissibility overcomes it, such as a mule born of a horse and a domestic donkey.
Sixth, any animal that the Prophet, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, prohibited to kill such as frogs, is impermissible to eat.
So this is some clear criteria by which you should know what is haram to eat of land life. You will also know by this which animals are permissible to eat, so we say:
Any animal that does not derive strength from its fangs or claws and was not prohibited by the Prophet, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, to eat or kill, or one that he didn’t command about, or anything that is not a filthy animal, nor one that harms, or was not born of a parent that is permissible to eat and another that is not, then it is permissible to eat. And those are grazing livestock, such as camels, cows, goats, deer, horses, wild donkeys, which have stripes, and according to our imams, it is permissible to eat rabbit, hyenas and fox, as well as chicken, doves and birds, ducks and goose and other birds like it that don’t attack with their claws.
As for aquatic life, it is all permissible to eat, whether it looks like fish or not, except for harmful ones that they contain poison, for they are not permissible to eat.
As for what lives on land and in water, it is haram to eat them, such as the snake, the crocodile, the turtle, and the crab and others like them.
[Translated by Sr. Shazia Ahmad]