Eels are snakelike fish with elongated bodies and shallow fins. They can be found in both fresh and saltwater, depending upon the species, although all breed in salt water. Many species of freshwater eel are consumed by humans, and the fish is popular in European and Asian cuisines. But, is eel halal?
In this post, we will look at the Islamic perspective on eel and discuss whether or not eating eel is halal or haram according to Islamic law.
Is Eel Halal?
Yes, eel is halal in Islam. Eating it is halal according to the basic principles of the four Sunni madhabs. Because the rule of the majority is that all creatures which live in water are halal, based on the general meaning of the Quran Surah 5 verse 96.
Lawful to you is game from the seaSurah Ma’idah verse 96
This ruling is equal for all the categories of fish, such as eel.
The evidence that has been presented above about the permissibility of fish, does not differentiate between the types of fish, unless there is a specific evidence which makes an exception to it.
And it is narrated from hadith that fish including eel is permissible, and opposition to this is not reported from any other sahaba, hence it is a matter of consensus.
Related Is Milk Halal?
Is Eel Halal Hanafi?
Yes, eel is Halal in Hanafi. The criterion of the Hanafis is that only the genus of ‘fish’ is halal from water creatures, and they accept that eel is a type of fish.
Their view is based on the hadith:
Two kinds of dead meat have been permitted to us … fish and locusts Ibn Majah
There is no reliable indication that any of the mainstream Sunni schools holds eel to be haram. On the contrary, the fiqh manuals imply that there is an extensive agreement that eel is halal.
Why Eel Is Halal?
Based of the Qur’an, which reads, “Lawful to you is what you capture from the sea and use for food as provision for yourselves and for the travelers,” practically all varieties of seafood are Halal-acceptable.
This broadly indicates that anything taken from the sea is permitted, thus plants like seaweed are also included!
It naturally excludes anything hazardous, such as fish that are poisonous and plants that can make someone allergic react; preventing harm always takes precedence over dietary tolerance.
The verse above 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.
Furthermore, one of Islam’s fundamental principles is that all worldly things are halal unless they are forbidden in Islam.
Eating eel, for example, is not prohibited in the Quran or Hadith. As a result, it is 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.
To summarize, eel and all kinds of food from the sea 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.
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.