Eating shrimp, shark and crab.

Q. Did Quran and Sunnah say don’t eat shrimp, shark and crab or did Hanafi?

A. The Quran has nothing about eating shrimp, shark and crab. The Sunnah also has nothing about eating shrimp, shark and crab. Instead, there is a tradition in which the Prophet (SA) is reported to have said, ‘Two (carrion) things that die on its own are halal for you. They are the locust and the fish’.

Based on this tradition, it shows that there are certain things that die on their own without being slaughtered. For example, the crab, the shrimp, fish, locust, shark, whale etc. these creatures die on their own and are not required to be slaughter. For this reason, they are all considered to be ‘carrion’ (dead). The hadith says that from these that die on their own, only two are permissible, the fish and the locust. It’s because of this hadith, Imam Abu Hanifa has stated that from the sea, only the fish is permissible, since the Prophet (SA) has considered this carrion to be lawful.

Whatever falls within the definition and category of fish will also be permissible, and what is not a fish will not be permissible. This is based on the fact that those animals/creatures etc. that are carrion will fall under its original prohibition unless otherwise exempted.

And Allah knows best.

Mufti Waseem Khan