When you think of seafood, one of the first things that comes to mind is probably octopus. But what about its halal status? Is octopus halal or harm?
In this post, we will look at the Islamic perspective on octopus and discuss whether or not eating octopus is halal according to Islamic law.
Is Octopus Halal?
Yes, octopus is halal in Islam. According to most scholars, octopus is halal. However, 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.
All seafood is halal and permissible to eat according to Sunni (Shafi, Maliki, and Hanbali).
Why Octopus Is Halal?
Octopus 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 octopus, lobster, crab, shrimp, and locusts. The two types of blood are the liver and the spleen.
In response to whether octopus is halal or haram, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states: Allah Almighty says,
“The game of the sea and its food are lawful unto you.”Surah Al-Ma’idah verse 96
He said since 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.
In addition, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was asked about the sea, and his reply was,
“Its water is pure (for the purpose of purification rites) and its fish is lawful for you to eat.” Abu Dawud
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
Lawful to you is the pursuit of water-game and its use for food, – for the benefit of yourselves and those who travel” (Surah of Maida, 96)
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 Octopus 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 octopus 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.
Is Octopus Halal Hanafi?
Only “fish” (as opposed to all “sea game”) are permissible in the Hanafi school of Sunni Muslim jurisprudence, including eel and hagfish. This means that only fish and fish-shaped animals are permitted.
Other sea or water creatures that are not fish are therefore makrooh. This includes fish with gills (such as prawns, lobsters, and crabs, which are crustaceans), as well as mollusks such as clams, octopus, mussels, and squid.
And because the octopus is not a fish, it is Makrooh according to the Hanafi sect.
Is Octopus Haram?
No, octopus is not Haram. It is permissible in Islam to eat octopus and other sea foods that are not poisonous and harmful. It is derived from what Allah and His beloved Prophet Muhammad SAW said in the Quran and Sunnah respectively.
Can Muslims Eat Octopus?
Yes, Muslims can eat octopus simply because eating octopus is halal and permissible in Islam.
To be on the safe side, the rule in this case is that in the case of animals that live both on land and in the sea, the rules concerning land animals should take precedence, so they must be slaughtered properly, except for crabs, which do not need to be slaughtered even though they live both on land and in the sea because they do not have blood.
To summarize, octopus 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.