Are There Any Hadiths That Prohibit Eating Shrimp?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: Asalamaualaykum,

I recently listened to an audio clip entitled “The Use of Weak Hadiths for Rulings” by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, and in it he mentions that if a weak hadith prohibits an act then it is recommended to follow, but not obligatory.

I have heard some people say that eating shrimp is haraam; although, it is permissible in the Hanafi madhab. Are there any hadiths, even amongst weak hadiths, that prohibit or show a dislike for eating shrimp?

JazakAllahkhair

Answer: Walaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you in the best of health and spirits.

In the Hanafi school, only that which the Arabs considered “fish” is permitted from the produce of the sea. [Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar; Ibn al-Humam/Marghinani, Fath al-Qadir `ala al-Hidaya] The Arabs considered shrimp to be “fish” (samak), and is therefore permissible, according to the stronger opinion in the Hanafi school.

The prohibition of other than fish from the produce of the sea is based on the general prohibition of “vile things” (al-khaba’ith) that are prohibited in the Qur’an (in Surat al-Ma’ida and elsewhere)–and which would be understood in light of what the Arabs deemed “vile” (khabith) at the time of revelation. [ibid.]

wassalam,
Faraz Rabbani

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