What do the scholars of the Din and muftis of the Sacred Law state regarding the following issue: as we know, Fish is Halaal (allowed to eat), other than this which other sea animals are Halaal. Are Octopus, Cuttlefish and Shrimp Halaal? Also, what is the ruling on Tattler and Shellfish? Could you also explain regarding crabs as well?

Questioner: Mawlana Junaid Yusuf Qadiri from Italy


بسم اللہ الرحمن الرحیم
الجواب بعون الملک الوھاب اللھم ھدایۃ الحق والصواب

Other than fish every other animal in the sea is (Haraam) forbidden for us to eat. Only fish is permissible to eat. Normally those animals which have not been slaughtered but died naturally they are forbidden for us to eat.

However, fish which has died naturally is Halaal for us to eat as the Beloved Prophet صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ has stated:

عَنْ عبداللہ بن عمر أَنّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ:‏‏‏‏”أُحِلَّتْ لَنَا مَيْتَتَانِ، الْحُوتُ وَالْجَرَادُ”

Translation: “On the Authority of Abdullah bin Umar رضي الله تعالى عنهما that the Messenger of Allah صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ  said:

“2 dead things have been made Halaal for us Fish (Whale) and locusts.”

(سنن ابن ماجہ باب صید الحیتان والجراد  رقم3218 )

And those fish died without being hunted found upside on the sea, these are also forbidden for us to eat. As noted in Fatawah Ridawiyyah:

الَّذِي يَعِيشُ فِي الْبَحْرِ فَجَمِيعُ مَا فِي الْبَحْرِ مِنْ الْحَيَوَانِ يَحْرُمُ أَكْلُهُ إلَّا السَّمَكُ خَاصَّةً فَإِنَّهُ يَحِلُّ أَكْلُهُ إلَّا مَا طَفَا مِنْهُ

Translation:  “All animals which live in the sea are forbidden (for us) to eat except fish as it is Halaal to eat fish. Except such a fish which died and is floating in the sea.”

(فتاوی ہندیہ الباب الثانی فی بیان ما یوکل من الحیوان ج5 ص 289)

According to my research Octopus is not classified as a fish rather it is not a fish but another sea animal. Hence it is NOT Halaal (for us) to consume it.

Likewise, Cuttlefish is a sea animal, even though their name contains the word fish, cuttlefish are not fish.

As researchers have cited: “Despite their name, cuttlefish are not fish but molluscs.”

From an evolution viewpoint, Cuttlefish is a close relative of Octopus and from a scientific stand/viewpoint, Cuttlefish is regarded as being a part of the same family as the octopus. Therefore (we) are not allowed to eat either of them.

Shrimp is a type of جھینگے (Prawn) and regarding جھینگے there is a difference of opinion as to whether it is a fish or not and due to this there is difference in it being Halaal or Haraam to consume.

The correct view is that جھینگا is a fish and it is Halaal to consume it, however it is better to avoid from eating it.

A’la Hazrat considers جھینگا to be a type of fish however he (A’la Hazrat) knows that it is better to not eat it. As mentioned in Fatawah Ridawiyyah, “According to those who consider جھینگا to not be a type of fish, it should be Haraam for them to consume it, however Faqir has found in the books of language and books of medicine and books about the knowledge of animals that with agreement /joint opinion that specifically it is cited that جھینگا is a fish, As stated in Qaamoos:

” الاربیان بالکسر سمک کالدود “

Translation: ” الاِربیان with a kasrah is a fish like worms.”

( القاموس المحیط     باب الواؤ   فصل الراء    مصطفی البابی مصر   ۴/ ۲۳۵)

[فتاوی رضویہ ج20 ص337]

Also at another place A’la Hazrat states, those people who consider جھینگا as a fish they say it is Halaal to consume because according to us all types of fish are Halaal (to consume) whereas those who consider جھینگا not a fish state that it is Haraam to consume because other than fish all other sea animals according to us are Haraam to eat. It is better to avoid in these cases.

Next, Tattler is a type of fish and it also resembles (looks like) a fish and experts/specialists of آشنالوجی state:

“The Tattler, Serrano’s phoebe, is a member of the Sea Bass or Serranidae Family. The Serranidae are a large family of fishes.”

Hence Tattler Fish is Halaal. Crab and Shellfish are sea creatures however they are not Halaal because according to us every sea creature other than fish is Haraam to eat, like A’la Hazrat has stated that the place of research is that our religion classifies all types of sea animals other than fish, generally as Haraam.

واللہ تعالی اعلم ورسولہ اعلم صلی اللہ علیہ وآلہ وسلم
کتبہ ابو الحسن محمد قاسم ضیاء قادری

Answered by Mufti Qasim Zia al-Qadri
Translated by Bilal Shabir

Read the original Urdu answer here: [Q-ID0513] Are Octopus, Cuttlefish, Tattler and Shrimp halal to eat?

Also see:

[Q-ID0725] Is it permissible to eat oyster sauce?

[Q-ID0354] Are Prawns, Crabs & Shellfish halal to eat?

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