Is Calamari Halal? What You Need To Know

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This is a question that many Muslims ask themselves before eating calamari.

Is calamari halal? According to the majority of scholars, calamari is halal. However, there is one sect that considers calamari haram.

Why? And how? This article provides a quick answer to the question and also goes in-depth on what makes seafood halal or not.


What is Calamari?

Calamari is a type of seafood that is made from squid. It is often used in Italian dishes and can be cooked in various ways. You can find them at many grocery stores and fish markets.

The most popular calamari dishes include calamari rings, calamari steaks, deep-fried calamari, and crispy calamari.

However, many people are not sure if calamari is halal or not.

Is Calamari Halal?

calamari with seafood pasta

It depends on which group or school of Islam you follow. Some scholars of Islam have differed over what type of seafood is halal and haram. Let’s discuss it below.

Is Seafood Halal?

As it is already known, animals are divided into two as sea animals and land animals depending on where they live. 

The dead land animals that can be eaten and those that cannot be eaten are recorded in Islamic jurisprudence books.

In the verses, Allah, the Supreme, informs us that all sea creatures are permissible to eat and do not need to be killed in the same manner as other animals, and He provides His people with ease and breadth.

He also permits any kind of mechanism to capture them on the condition that one does not torture the animal as much as possible.

In general, all sea animals and plants are permissible for Muslims to eat.

Here is the translation of the verses:

“And not alike are the two bodies of water. One is fresh and sweet, palatable for drinking, and one is salty and bitter. And from each you eat tender meat and extract ornaments which you wear” – [Qur’an 35:12]

“It is He Who has made the sea subject, that ye may eat thereof flesh that is fresh and tender”

“Lawful to you is the pursuit of water-game and its use for food,- for the benefit of yourselves and those who travel”

However, there are always exceptions. Some sea creatures have been disputed by scholars whether or not they adhere to this standard.

Is Calamari Halal? – According to Sunni School

Squid, Octopus, and Calamari are sea creatures. Therefore, everything originating from the sea that is not dangerous, including fish with scales, has been made permissible by Allah.

Aside from the exceptions mentioned. This exception does not include the three fish species calamari, octopus, or squid. As a result, most scholars believe that octopus, calamari, and squid are all halal seafood.

Octopus, squids, and calamari, like fish, can be eaten without slaughtering (Zabiha).

According to scholars from Shafii, Maliki, and Hanbali Sect

According to Shafii, Maliki, and Hanbali scholars, all sea creatures—including those that can’t survive out of the water—are permissible to eat.

They base their judgments on the verses whose interpretations we have given above.

And that means the scholars consider calamari or squid halal.

According to the same groups, whether they are captured alive or dead, whether they are taken by Muslims or non-Muslims, and regardless of their names, this allowance is unaffected.

 According to scholars from Hanafi Sect

The Oxford English Dictionary defines calamari as “a squid served as food.” The Arabic dictionary Al-Mawrid also gives the same meaning. So, squid is not regarded as a category of fish.

According to the sect of Hanafi, it is Haram to eat sea animals that are not in the form of any kinds of fish. And sea animals like mussels, shells, lobsters, and crabs are not in the category of scale fish. So, they are considered prohibited and not permissible to eat.

The other reason why the Hanafi school considered them unlawful is that they are not pleasant both physically and in terms of their edible parts, and they are regarded as unattractive and filthy.

In conclusion, according to the Hanafi sect, calamari is Haram to eat.

All types of fish that usually dwell in the water can be consumed in this regard. Turbot, carp, dolphin, and eel are among the halal fish.

To confirm what that means to you, you might want to check with your Marja or research the relevant hadiths. 

Other Seafood That is Halal or Haram

General Exceptions of Seafood That is Haram


According to the general exceptions, any plant or animal from the sea that is poisonous would be Haram to consume.

Such a fish like a blowfish would be Haram to eat because it is poisonous.

This is based on the verse:

“And do not kill yourselves [or one another]. Indeed, Allah is to you ever Merciful.” – [Qur’an 4:29]


If you have an allergy or if eating sea creatures might harm you in any way, it is Haram (impermissible) for you to eat that seafood or plant.

This is based on the verse:

“…and do not throw (yourselves) with your (own) hands into destruction. And do good; indeed, Allah loves the doers of good.” – [Qur’an 2:195]

Is Sushi Halal or Haram?

Sushi is a popular dish of cooked vinegared rice combined with other ingredients, usually seafood. Raw fish and shellfish are typical mainstays of sushi.

All fish from the sea that does not harm others is halal. It is the permissible result as long as other ingredients are admissible in the sushi’s making.

Then sushi is halal and permissible to eat in Islam.

You should check the accompaniment of the sushi, though (the soya sauce, for example), whether it is halal or not.

Is Shellfish Halal or Haram? (Prawns, Crabs, Shrimps, Lobsters, Oysters)

Shellfish are marine animals belonging to the phylum Mollusca.

Prawns, crabs, shrimps, lobsters, and oysters are all examples of shellfish.

According to Maliki, Shafii, and Hanbali scholars, all types of shellfish are considered halal by most Islamic scholars. And Islam allows you to eat seafood. So prawns, shrimps, lobsters, crabs, and oysters are all halal foods.

The Hanafi school of thought is the only exception. They consider all shellfish to be Makruh (detestable).

Is Dead Fish Halal or Haram?

Dead fish is fish that died of natural causes or was killed by another animal before being caught.

Some scholars feel that eating dead fish (such as dead animal carrion) is Haram.

Although this is the case, several hadiths claim that dead fish are an exception to the rule.

Because fish do not need to be killed under the sharia, they are exempt.

In the following sahih (authentic) hadith, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:

“Two kinds of dead meat and two kinds of blood have been permitted for us. The two kinds of dead meat are fish and locusts, and the two kinds of blood are the liver and spleen.” – [Collected by Sunan ibn Majah]

To confirm what it all means to you, you might want to check with your Marja or research the relevant hadith. 


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