Are prawns halal? A theoretical analysis

Dear readers, there is good news for you on this page: Are prawns halal? Here you are going to get a theoretical answer to this question.

I have been studying the books of Islamic Fiqh for many years, and based on that, I will give you this answer.

My answer will include references to the Quran and Hadith and opinions of famous Muslim scholars. So you can enrich your knowledge about prawns provision in Islam by reading the article.

Table of contents

1. What are prawns?5. Prawns in the Hanafi Madhhab
2. Are prawns halal?6. Evidence of the Hanafi Madhhab
3. What does the Quran say about prawns?7. Summary of the answer
4. Opinions of Islamic scholars8. My comments about the article

What are prawns?

Prawn is a holistic animal like a crab. It has many small legs. But he is spineless. Prawns are not considered to belong to the class of fishes in zoology.

Shrimp usually live in the sea but can live in small canals and ponds—shrimp love to live in freshwater.

Each large shrimp can weigh from 200 to 250 grams. Moreover, the shape and structure of the shrimp look like an insect.

Are prawns halal?

Yes, prawns are halal. Quran – Hadith and Fiqh books do not say shrimp is Haram. This is the opinion of most scholars. So as a Muslim, it is lawful for you to eat shrimp.

Except for some animals like frogs, crocodile turtles, etc. Marine animals have different nutritional qualities.

Moreover, these animals do not produce any harmful effects on the body. Many Hanafi jurists say that eating all sea creatures is Haram except for fish.

Many scholars in India and Pakistan have opined that eating prawns is Makruh Tahrimi, and he thinks prawns do not belong to marine animals.

What does the Quran say about prawns?

Those who call prawns halal usually say no Quranic verse or hadith declares marine animals Haram.

A fundamental principle of Islamic Shari’ah is that it remains halal until a portion of food is declared Haram.

Again in a verse of the Holy Quran, it is said –

ﻗُﻞْ ﻣَﻦْ ﺣَﺮَّﻡَ ﺯِﻳﻨَﺔَ ﺍﻟﻠَّﻪِ ﺍﻟَّﺘِﻲ ﺃَﺧْﺮَﺝَ ﻟِﻌِﺒَﺎﺩِﻩِ ﻭَﺍﻟﻄَّﻴِّﺒَﺎﺕِ ﻣِﻦَ ﺍﻟﺮِّﺯْﻕِ

Translation: Say: Who has prohibited the adornment of Allah, which He has created for His servants, and the sacred food items? {Surah Araf-32}

احل لكم صيد البحر وطعامه متاعا لكم

Translation: Hunting the sea and its food has been lawful for you.

From this verse, it is proved that the hunting of marine animals is halal. Be it any animal. However, certain animals are forbidden in another hadith, like Byng each chap.

In a hadith, a companion asked the Messenger of Allah – may peace and blessings be upon him – what can he eat, and what should he avoid while travelling by sea?

‘The waters’ water and its mortal life are lawful. (Tirmidhi, Hadith: 69)

Opinions of Islamic scholars

Are prawns halal
Prawns halal

Dr Zakir Naik said that all fresh and healthy sea waters are halal.

It is clearly stated in the Qur’an that the best things are made lawful from among the sea creatures.

What good means here is that it improves health, increases body strength, and helps build our body.

It is acceptable to take that which will not create any side effects.

Although many people say it is makruh and many people say it is Haram, the truth is that marine animals can be eaten as halal shrimps.

Prawns in the Hanafi Madhhab

The Qur’an and Hadith do not explicitly say that Prawn is Haram. And this is proof that Prawn is halal.

Because a principle in Islamic jurisprudence is – that food that is not declared Haram, that food will be accepted as halal.

Hanafi Madhhab scholars say that eating all aquatic animals except fish is not permissible. (Badayus Sanayi: 5/35)

Evidence in favour of the opinion of the Hanafi Madhhab

This is the opinion of Imam Abu Hanifa, Sufyan Sawri (R.A.), and many other faqihs. According to Ibn Hajar Askalani (R.A.), this is also the reliable opinion of the Shafi’i Madhhab. (Fathul Bari 9/419)

They said nowadays, many people are seen eating prawns, crabs, frogs, etc., which are forbidden.

Because Allah, the Exalted, mentions the qualities of the successful believers and says, “And for themselves the best things are lawful, and the worst things are forbidden. (Surah: Araf, verse: 157)

Imam Marginani (R.A.) wrote, No animal except fish can be eaten from among aquatic animals. Because God Almighty has forbidden bad things, all water creatures are inferior except fish. (Hedaya 4/353)

It is proven that eating any animal from among aquatic animals except fish is not permissible. Because fish is the only noble halal thing among marine animals, and the rest are evil and vile.

Therefore, according to Hanafi Madhhab, eating prawns is not permissible. But it is also not Haram. Rather Makruh Tahrimi. And Bangladeshi scholars do not think it is Makrah.

Summary of the answer

prawns are halal in Islam. This is the accepted opinion adopted by the Musliworld’s famous scholars and the main Chief Imams of the four schools of thought. Among them are Imam Malim, Imam Shafi, Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal Rahimahullah.

However, in the Hanafi school, prawns are Haram. On the other hand, some scholars of the Hanafi Madhhab consider shrimp to be good and eat it regularly.

My comments about the article

To my complete knowledge and scrutinizing the Quranic hadith references prawns, the strongest opinion seems to be – eating prawns is halal. So any Muslim can eat shrimp.

Although the Hanafi madhhab has said that shrimp is Haram, their opinion is not so strong in evidence, and Muslims have not accepted it.

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