Authentic Narrations about Halal and Haraam Animals and Their Rulings

General Principles On Halaal Animals:

Halal animals can divided in 3 types:

Principle: Everything on this earth is permissible, unless evidence is provided for its prohibition.

1)  Land Animals: All animals on land are permissible, as long as there is no evidence to prohibit them, and as long as they are slaughter correctly. Allah says, “So eat of the lawful and good food which Allah has provided for you. And be grateful for the Graces of Allah, if it is He Whom you worship.”[1]

2)  Sea creatures: However, everything in the sea is Halal and does not need any slaughtering. Allah says in the Qur’an, “Lawful to you is (the pursuit of) water game and its use for food – for the benefit of yourselves and those who travel…”[2]

3)  Meat of The People of The Book: “Made lawful to you this day are At-Tayyibât [all kinds of Halaal (lawful) foods, which Allah has made lawful (meat of slaughtered eatable animals, etc., milk products, fats, vegetables and fruits, etc.). The food (slaughtered cattle, eatable animals, etc.) of the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) is lawful to you and yours is lawful to them…”[3]

Some people believe that this verse does not apply to us anymore because the Christians and jews have deviated a lot now. But this is in great error. The reply to this, The Permanent Committee for Islaamic Research and Fataawa said, “The Jews and Christians were disbelievers in many of the fundamentals of faith which were brought in the Torah and Injeel: the Jews disbelieved in the prophethood of some prophets, such as ‘Isa and Muhammad (peace be upon them), and they killed the prophets unlawfully and corrupted many of the laws of the Torah. A number of them said ‘Uzair was the son of Allah, etc. and the Christians used to say that Allah is the third of three (in a trinity), and that Isa is the son of Allah, and they disbelieve in the prophet hood of Muhammad (peace be upon him)…etc.

Sheikh Ibn Baz said, “It is permissible to eat their slaughtered animals as long as it is not known that there were slaughtered by a method other than the Islamic method…”[4]

4)  Necessity:  In the case of Necessity, anything forbidden becomes Halal. So for example, if you were in a plane crash and you only had alcohol to drink, the alcohol would become Halal and in fact obligatory because it’s a matter of life and death. Also, if there is no food, and you find a dead person, you will be allowed to eat part of him, if that is the only way you can survive. However, this rule only limits you to eat what is necessary. So if you only need a class of wine, you should not have anymore, because anything extra would be Haram! “…But as for him who is forced by severe hunger, with no inclination to sin (such can eat these above-mentioned meats), then surely, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.[5]

General Principles On Haraam Animals:

Haram animals: Here are some of the specific animals that have been prohibited and some of the characteristics or features of prohibited animals.

1)  Fanged Animals: If fanged animals are prohibited, it will cover all animals with fangs. So if you find an animal not mentioned in the Quran and Sunnah, but has the feature of a prohibited animal, that animal is prohibited too. Narrated Abu Tha’labaa: Allah’s Messenger () forbade the eating of the meat of beasts having fangs.[6] So wild beasts like Lions, tigers, wolves, cheetahs, etc. are all prohibited unless stated otherwise.

2)  Dead Meat: “Forbidden to you (for food) are: Al-Maytatah (the dead animals – cattle-beast not slaughtered) …”[7] Included in the prohibition of carrion is any part of an animal that is cut off from the animal while it is still alive. Abu Waaqid al-Laythi narrated that the Messenger of Allah () said, “What is cut off of an animal while it is living is considered carrion (dead meat).”[8]

3)  Blood except for the liver and spleen: “Forbidden to you (for food) are… blood.…”[9]

4)  Swine: “Forbidden to you (for food) are: …the flesh of swine…”[10]

5) Animals Slaughtered in other than the name of Allah: (like to false gods or idols, etc.) Allah says: “Forbidden to you (for food) are: … meat of that which has been slaughtered as a sacrifice for others than Allah, or has been slaughtered for idols, etc., or on which Allah’s Name has not been mentioned while slaughtering,…”[11] This means meat from Hindus, Sikhs, atheists, etc. are all forbidden.

6) Birds with Talons/Claws: Ibn ‘Abbas reported that Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) prohibited the eating of all fanged beasts of prey, and all the birds having talons (claws).[12] So this includes birds like hawks, eagles, vultures, etc.

7) Domestic Donkeys: Narrated Al-Bara’ and Ibn Abi ‘Aufa: The Prophet prohibited the eating of (domestic) donkey’s meat.[13]

8)  Prohibited to eat al-Jallaalah: Al-Jallaalah is an animal the majority of whose diet is made up of impure things. It is forbidden to eat such animals, drink their milk or ride them. Abdullah Ibn Umar narrated that the Messenger of Allah () forbade the meat and milk of al-Jallaalah.[14]

9)  Animals (and creatures) that are commanded not to be killed: A’isha reported Allah’s Messenger (May peace be upon him) having said this: Five are the vicious and harmful things which should be killed even within the precincts of Haram: rat, scorpion, crow, kite and voracious dog.[15] Imam Al-Nawawi said: According to the scholars, the vermin of the earth such as (land) snakes, scorpions, dung beetles, cockroaches, rats etc., are Haraam. This is the view of Abu Hanifah, Ahmad and Dawood.[16]

It is not permitted to also eat frogs because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade killing them, as is reported in the hadeeth of Abdur Rahman ibn Uthman: When a physician consulted the Prophet () about putting frogs in medicine, he forbade him to kill them.[17]

10)  Harmful Animals: Everything that can cause harm is forbidden as food, even if it comes from the sea, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “… And do not kill yourselves (nor kill one another). Surely, Allaah is Most Merciful to you.”[18] and: “… and do not throw yourselves into destruction…”[19]



[1] Surah An-Nahl 16:114

[2] Surah Al-Maa’idah 5:96

[3] Surah Al-Ma’idah 5:5

[4] Fatawa Islamiyah, Vol. 6, p. 248

[5] Surah Al-Ma’idah 5:3

[6]Recorded by Bukhari

[7]Surah Al-Maa’idah 5:3

[8] Recorded by Ibn Majah and Abu Dawud. Graded Sahih by sheikh albani in Sahih Sunan ibn Majah no. 2606

[9]Surah Al-Maa’idah 5:3

[10]Surah Al-Maa’idah 5:3

[11]Surah Al-Maa’idah 5:3

[12] Recorded by Muslim

[13]Recorded by Bukhari

[14] Recorded by Ibn Majah, Abu Dawud and Tirmizi. Graded Sahih by sheikh albani in Sahih Sunan Ibn Majah no. 2582

[15] Recorded by Muslim

[16]Al-Majmoo’, 9/17, 18

[17] Recorded by Abu Dawud. Grade Sahih by sheikh albani

[18]Surah al-Nisa’ 4:29

[19]Surah al-Baqarah 2:195



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