Can I Buy Seafood for My Shafi’i Wife Despite Being Hanafi?

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: Being Hanafi, can I buy seafood for my Shafi’i wife?

Answer: assalamu alaykum

This would be permitted as seafood – even that which Hanafis deem prohibitively disliked – is considered permissible according to the majority of scholars and it would be rather tedious and potentially burdensome to state that a Hanafi cannot buy such food for his Shafi’i wife.

[Ustadh] Salman Younas

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Salman Younas graduated from Stony Brook University with a degree in Political Science and Religious Studies. After studying the Islamic sciences online and with local scholars in New York, Ustadh Salman moved to Amman. There he studies Islamic law, legal methodology, belief, hadith methodology, logic, Arabic, and tafsir.

I Have Found a Hadith Permitting Eating Seafood. Why do Hanafi Scholars Prohibit It?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam’aleykum,

I have found a hadith in Abu Dawud, (Kitaab At-Tahaarah #83), where the Prophet (peace be upon him) is quoted as saying “Its water is pure and it’s dead are lawful (as food)”. Does this mean we can eat Lobsters? Sharks? Whales? Stingrays?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

The tradition (hadith) you are referring to is reported by Imam Malik in his Muwatta’ in which the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, as part of a longer tradition, “Its water is purifying and its dead is lawful.”

The outward purport of this wording would seem to indicate the permissibility of the creatures you mention, but the Hanafis actually conditioned this by the text of the Qur’an: “who makes good things lawful to them and bad things unlawful” [7.157] and, “produce of the sea” [5.96], namely, fish.

[`Itr, I`lam al-Anam Sharh Bulugh al-Maram]

Please also see: Is Lobster Permissible According to the Hanafi School? and: What Animals Are Halal and Haram to Eat in the Hanafi School?

And Allah alone gives success.


Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani


Is It Permissible to Eat Clams in the Hanafi School?

Answered by Ustadha Shaista Maqbool

Question: Are clams permissible to eat in the Hanafi school?


Answer: Wa’alaikum assalaam warahmatu Allah,

No, clams are not permissible to consume in the Hanafi school since they are not considered fish.

Shaista Maqbool

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Related Answers:

Are Stingrays and Puffer Fish Halal to Eat?

Is It Permissible to Eat Squid in the Hanafi School?

Are There Any Hadiths That Prohibit Eating Shrimp?

What Animals Are Halal and Haram to Eat in the Hanafi School?

Are Stingrays and Puffer Fish Halal to Eat?

Answered by Sidi Wasim Shiliwala

Question: Is a Hanafi allowed to eat stingrays and puffer fish?


Answer: Walaikum As-salaam wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu,

May Allah reward you for your concern about halal food.

All Fish are Permissible

According to the scholars of the Hanafi school, all fish are halal to eat. This is based on the Qur’anic verse “Permitted to you is game from the sea [i.e. fishing].” [5:96] Whereas other schools extend this permission to other types of sea-creatures, the Hanafi scholars judged that only fish are permissible to eat.

This general rule can be applied to both stingrays and puffer-fish: Stingrays are from the order of batoidea (also known as rays), which are cartilaginous fish related to sharks. Puffer-fish are from the order of tetraodontiformes, which are ray-finned fish. Because both are types of fish, both are permissible to eat.

*However, I would encourage you to avoid eating pufferfish out of precaution, as they can be lethal if not served properly due to the poison (tetrodotoxin) found in some of their organs.

Other Considerations

Of course, simply because a fish is theoretically permissible to eat does not mean one should eat it. One also needs to consider health and environmental factors as well. Toxins and pollutants from human industrial waste have been absorbed into many types of fish, making them dangerous to eat. Furthermore, overfishing has damaged many ecosystems and endangered several types of fish.

Therefore, it is important for us as Muslims to have a better understanding of the potential effects of our food, both on ourselves and on our environment, before eating it. May Allah give us the tawfiq to eat only from that which is halal and pleasing to Him.

Please also see the following related resources:

A Reader on Halal Meat

Is Escargot Halal to Eat?

Is Shark Meat Halal?

Baarak Allahu Fikum,

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Is It Permissible To Eat Shrimp?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: What is the ruling on shrimp and scampi? Are they permissible to consume?


In the Hanafi school, it is permitted to eat shrimp according to the soundest position.

The basic criterion is that anything that the Arabs considered ‘fish’ (samak) at time of revelation is permitted. Other produce of the sea is not permitted in the Hanafi school.

Therefore, if “scampi” refers to a shrimp dish made with garlic butter, as in America, then it would be permitted to consume. If it refers to a lobster dish, as commonly done in Europe, it would not be permitted to consume.

A lot of times though, “scampi” served in restaurants is cooked with white wine and so consuming it in such a case would be impermissible. Generally, a person should inquire as to what’s in the recipe, given the abundant usage in the West of wine and pork in dishes.

Faraz Rabbani