Alligators are primarily freshwater animals and they do not live in the ocean. Alligator meat is consumed by humans in many countries like Australia, Thailand, Philippines, South Africa, and some regions of the United States. But, Is alligator halal in Islam, continue reading to find out the answer.
Is Alligator Halal In Islam?
Yes, alligator is considered halal according to some scholars. The majority opinion holds that eating alligator meat is halal (lawful) because it does not fall into the categories prohibited by Shari’ah texts. Furthermore, it is considered a sea animal and takes the rulings pertaining to fish.
Eating alligator meat is a controversial issue. Scholars have differed on the ruling for eating alligator meat. We will be looking at the both sides of the argument and the final decision will always be yours to make.
Is Alligator Meat Halal?
Eating alligator meat is an issue of dispute, those who say it’s permissible look at it as a creature of the sea. What we mean by a creature of the sea is that any creature that lives in water, whether it’s an ocean, sea, river or lake.
This is creature of the sea is permissible to eat without slaughtering like fish and all types of fish.
Those who look at it being an amphibious animal that has teeth, they consider these teeth to be type of the canines that are prohibited which the prophet SAW prohibited us to eat anything that has teeth and claws among the birds.
But scholars said that the teeth that we are prohibited to eat the animals are referring to land animals not to sea creatures.
So for us, a whale shark has teeth and it eats meat but it’s 100 halal because it lives in the sea, so it’s a different.
It’s a difference of opinion among scholars whether it is permissible to eat or not.
Sheikh Assim Al Hakeem said that he inclined personally that it is not permissible to eat just to be on the safe side.
However, it is permissible to use its leather.
Alligator Halal Or Haram?
As stated above, Muslim scholars differed on the ruling for consuming alligator meat. Let’s start with the first opinion.
Why Alligator Is Halal?
The first opinion on this matter is that alligator is halal in Islam. The scholars stated that alligator is comparable to fish based on the general permissibility of eating water animals.
Allah has granted Muslims to eat any and all Seafood as long as it is not dangerous or poisonous to consume.
They support their opinion by referencing numerous sources from Quran and hadith. Their view encompasses that everything that lives in water, sea or ocean is Halal and permissible to eat as long as it will not harm you.
According to them, no evidence shows the prohibition of alligator meat. Thus, they consider it Halal.
Lawful to you is game from the sea and its food as provision for you and the travelers, but forbidden to you is game from the land as long as you are in the state of ihram. And fear Allah to whom you will be gathered.Surah Al Ma’idah verse 96
He also says:
Say, “I do not find within that which was revealed to me [anything] forbidden to one who would eat it unless it be a dead animal or blood spilled out or the flesh of swine – for indeed, it is impure – or it be [that slaughtered in] disobedience, dedicated to other than Allah.Surah An’am verse 145
There are some instances where the Prophet (SAW) told his companions to eat seafood. That is why there is a notion that everything that the sea contains is Halal for Muslims to consume.
Narrated AbuHurayrah: A man asked the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ): Messenger of Allah, we travel on the sea and take a small quantity of water with us. If we use this for ablution, we would suffer from thirst. Can we perform ablution with sea water? The Messenger (ﷺ) replied: Its water is pure and what dies in it is lawful food. Sunan Abi Dawud 83
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Its water is pure and its dead animals are lawful to eat.” The principle of permissibility applies to alligator meat until it is established otherwise.
There is the description of one such event in Sahih Al-Bukhari as:
Narrated Jabir: We set out in the army of Al-Khabt and Abu Ubaida was the commander of the troops. We were struck with severe hunger and the sea threw out a dead fish the like of which we had never seen, and it was called Al-`Anbar. We ate of it for half a month.
Abu Ubaida took (and fixed) one of its bones and a rider passed underneath it (without touching it). (Jabir added:) Abu ‘Ubaida said (to us), “Eat (of that fish).” When we arrived at Medina, we informed the Prophet (ﷺ) about that, and he said, “Eat, for it is food Allah has brought out for you, and feed us if you have some of it.” So some of them gave him (of that fish) and he ate it. Sahih al-Bukhari 4362
These Quran verses and Hadith sheds light on the permissibility of eating alligator meat. Based on the above facts, alligators would be halal for Muslims to consume if they wish to do so.
Why Alligator Is Considered Haram?
The other opinion states that alligator and crocodile meat is not permissible for human consumption because these animals have fangs and because they are loathsome because they eat humans.
It also lives on land despite spending most of its time in the water. It eats flesh and is one of the prey animals that Islam prohibits.
Furthermore, because it eats dirt and filth, it is regarded as khabeeth (disliked by nature). According to this logic, they do not consider alligator meat to be halal.
And making Halal (lawful and permissible) for them wholesome things and prohibiting for them impure things (khabaa’ith)”Surah Al Araf verse 157
Sheikh Ibn al-Uthaymeen, may Allah shower mercy on his soul, a prominent Saudi scholar, states that:
“It is clear that eating alligator meat is something controversial. Some scholars adopt the view that it is Halal (lawful) as is the case with fish. They support their view by quoting the verse that reads:
“Say: I find not in that which is revealed unto me aught prohibited to an eater that he eat thereof, except it be carrion, or blood poured forth, or swine flesh for that verily is foul or the abomination which was immolated to the name of other than Allah. But whoso is compelled (thereto), neither craving nor transgressing, (for him) lo ! your Lord is Forgiving, Merciful.”Al-An`aam: 145
They also quote the Hadith of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, describing the sea: “Its water is pure and its dead animals are lawful.”
Some other scholars hold the view that it is not lawful as it is considered to be one of the prey animals which are declared prohibited in Islam such as lions, tigers…etc. The first view is preponderant.”
Based on the above, it is clear that the view that carries weight is that eating alligator meat is Halal (lawful) as it does not fall in the categories prohibited by the clear texts of Shari`ah.
It all depends on your point of view. Both of these opposing viewpoints on eating alligator are valid. Eating alligator meat is clearly controversial.
In general, a Hadith states that it is best to avoid all doubtful and ambiguous situations. The prophet SAW said “Leave that about which you are in doubt for that about which you are in no doubt.
And Allah knows best.