Fatwa Bank

Eating Shrimps and Lobster


As-Salamu `alaykum. Please let me know if eating shrimps and lobster is halal (lawful) or not.

Wa `alaykum As-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.


All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

Dear sister in Islam, thanks a lot for your question, which reflects your care to have a clear view of the teachings of Islam. Allah commands Muslims to refer to people of knowledge to acquaint themselves with the teachings of Islam in aspects of life.

As for your question, it should be clear that all types of fish are deemed permissible according to the vast majority of scholars.

In response to your question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states:

“Allah says, “The game of the sea and its food are lawful unto you” (Al-Ma’idah: 96). The wording here is general and it should be applied generally. Furthermore, 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.”

Since neither Allah nor His Messenger excluded any type of fish from this permission (and we know for a fact that “Allah is never forgetful”), the vast majority of scholars hold the view that all varieties of fish found in water (which includes the sea, lakes, rivers, ponds, wells, etc.) are lawful for us to consume. This was the view of imams such as Malik, Ash-Shafi`i and 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 shellfish. Those scholars who exclude shellfish from this category of lawful game of the sea have no solid proof. Therefore, the view of the former is considered to be the strongest.

In conclusion: It is considered lawful for us to consume shrimps and lobsters.”

Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: www.muslims.ca

You can also read:

Keeping Pet Fish

Eating Alligator Meat: Is It Halal (Lawful)?





Ahmad Kutty