Catfish is a type of fish that is widely consumed around the world and is popular for its delicate flavor and tender meat. In some cultures, catfish is considered a delicacy and is served at special occasions.
However, for Muslims, the question of whether or not catfish is halal (permissible to eat according to Islamic law) is an important one.
In this blog post, we will explore the Islamic perspective on catfish and whether it is considered halal. We will also examine the considerations that Muslims should take into account when deciding whether to eat catfish and other types of fish.
Is Catfish Halal?
Yes, catfish is halal in Islam according to most scholars. Eating all types of sea animals is halal in Islam, according to the majority of jurists. Eating catfish is also halal in this regard. All seafood is halal and permissible to eat according to Sunni (Shafi, Maliki, and Hanbali).
Why Catfish Is Halal?
Catfish is halal because Allah and His Prophet (Blessings and peace be upon him) have allowed it. Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said that two types of dead animals and two types of blood are halal to eat.
The types of dead animals are seafood which includes catfish, octopus, lobster, crab, shrimp, and locusts. The two types of blood are the liver and the spleen.
In the Holy Quran, Allah Ta’ala says:
Lawful to you is game from the sea and its food as provision for youSurah al-Ma’idah: 96
This verse validates that all of the sea animals are permitted to eat wherever and however they are found.
Whatever its name is, whoever catches it, either Muslim or non-Muslim, either it is dead or alive the same rule applies; those animals are lawful (halal) to eat.
Abu Hurayrah reports: ‘A man said: “O Messenger of Allah, we travel by sea and we carry with us some water. If we are to use it for ablution we will be thirsty and without water to drink. Can we do our ablution with sea water?” The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “The sea water is pure, and its dead animals are lawful to eat.’Related by Abu Dawud; al-Tirmidhi; al-Nassa’i.
You may also like: Is Beef Gelatin Halal Or Haram?
Furthermore, one of Islam’s fundamental principles is that all worldly things are halal unless they are forbidden in Islam.
Eating catfish, crab, octopus, or snail, for example, is not prohibited in the Quran or Hadith. As a result, they are halal.
Neither Allah nor His Messenger excluded any type of fish from this permission and we know that “Allah is never forgetful“, the vast majority of scholars hold the view that all varieties of fish found in water (including the sea, lakes, rivers, ponds, wells, and so on) are permissible for us to consume.
The wording here is general and it should be applied generally.
This was the view of Imams such as Imam Malik, Imam Ash-Shafi`i and Imam Ahmad. It is also the opinion of Imam Abu Hanifah and his two foremost disciples, Abu Yusuf and Muhammad, with regard to all types of fish, including octopus.
Shaikh Assim Al Hakeem, an Imam of a masjid in Jeddah and a graduate of Umm al-Qura University in Makkah, stated that unless Allah mentions a specific food in the Quran as haram, it is safe to assume that it is Halal.
He also mentions that there are foods that are obviously haram. This includes foods that were not slaughtered in accordance to Islamic guidelines.
It is He Who has made the sea subject, that you may eat thereof flesh that is fresh and tenderSurah an- Nahl, 14
With the above aayahs, Allah Almighty grants permission for all sea animals without exception and with no requirement of slaughtering.
In this manner, He makes it easy and comprehensive for His servants. Of course, it excludes anything dangerous, such as poisonous fish and plants that cause an allergic reaction – always putting the health of yourself and others above all else.
Is Catfish Halal in Sunni Islam?
Most Sunni Islamic schools of law (Shafi’i, Hanbali, and Maliki) consider all “sea game” to be halal in principle, with a few minor exceptions.
As a result, Allah has made permissible everything originating from the sea that is not tortured or dangerous (harmful), including fish with scales.
Since catfish is not one of the exceptions (it is not tortured or dangerous), it is considered Halal seafood and can be eaten without slaughtering by Shafi’i, Hanbali, and Maliki.
According to Hanafi, it is makrooh, and to Shia it is haram. Essentially, all types of seafood are halal unless they are harmful, poisonous or tortured.
Can Muslims Eat Catfish?
Yes, Muslims can eat catfish because eating catfish is halal and permissible in Islam.
To summarize, catfish and all kinds of food from the sea such as crabs and shrimps are halal and permissible, whether they are plants or animals, alive or dead. However, there are certain types of water animals which are Haram and forbidden such as crocodiles, frogs, otters and turtles.
There is no proof in the Qur’an or Sunnah directly forbidding catfish. However, if medical science proves harmful to the human body in the case of any sea animal, then it will be haram. Because Islam does not support anything that is harmful to the human body. Whether it is sea or land.