Is Crab Haram In Islam? (Sea and Freshwater)

If you’re a Muslim trying to follow a halal diet, you might be wondering about the status of crab. Is it considered halal, or is it haram (forbidden)?

Well, crab is considered halal by most Islamic scholars, while others consider them haram.

Is Crab Haram In Islam? (Sea and Freshwater)

We’ll explore the rules for determining whether the crab is halal or haram in Islam and the different opinions on this topic among Islamic scholars.

About Haram and Halal

Halal refers to things permitted or allowed in Islam, while haram refers to forbidden things. This can include various things, from food and drink to actions, behaviors, and beliefs.

Regarding food, there are specific guidelines that Muslims follow to determine what is halal and what is haram. All food is considered halal unless prohibited explicitly in the Qur’an or Hadith (sayings and actions of the Prophet Muhammad).

Some examples of food considered haram include pork, alcohol, and meat from animals slaughtered in a way that doesn’t follow Islamic guidelines.

It’s worth noting that there are some grey areas regarding halal and haram. For example, some types of seafood, like crab, shrimp, and lobster, are considered haram by some scholars, while others consider them halal.

Is Crab Haram?

Is Crab Haram In Islam? (Sea and Freshwater)
Credit: canva

No, crab is not Haram. It is permissible in Islam to eat crab and other sea foods provided they have been well-prepared and not subjected to any form of cruelty.

It is considered halal by three of the four Sunni schools of thought. The only exception is the Hanafi school of thought and Shia.

Seafood is Halal: In General

Is Crab Haram In Islam? (Sea and Freshwater)
All types of seafood. Credit: canva

Through the verses, Allah Almighty reveals that sea creatures are permissible to be consumed without having to endure a slaughtering procedure like other animals while affording His followers with comfort and ease.

In addition, He permits any device to capture them as long as the animal is not subjected to unnecessary torture.

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” – [Surah Fatir:12]

“It is He Who has made the sea subject, that ye may eat thereof flesh that is fresh and tender” – [Surah 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 al-Maidah: 96]

Yet, there are several exceptions to this rule. Various marine creatures have been the center of scholarly debate regarding whether or not they abide by it.

Is it permissible to eat crabs?

Crab is Halal: According to Sunni

All non-harmful shellfish, including crabs, is halal to eat, according to three of the four Sunni schools of thought: the Maliki, Shafi’i, and Hanbalis.

Sunni Muslims consider crabs halal as they lack a set of legs to walk away from their shells. The observation further reinforces this belief that the crab’s shell has five little fingers on its underside, suggesting it cannot easily be broken in half and killed.

Land crabs, however, have been considered foul and are not permissible, according to Imam Shafi’i, Imam Ahmad, and Imam Abu Hanifa.

Crab is Makruh: According to Hanafi

The only exception of Sunni is the Hanafi school of thought.

In the Hanafi Madhab, fish is the only halal seafood available. Prawns, crabs, lobster, and other foodstuffs in the sea are not considered fish. As a result, according to Hanafis, crab is not permitted. It is considered haram.

However, a sect of the Hanafi school of thought believes that crabs are halal. Some people may have been told by their families to eat crabs, or their ancestors had eaten them.

So, according to Hanafis, shellfish, including crabs, are considered Makruh (detestable).

Crab is Haram: According to Shia

The Shia sect of Islam shuns crab consumption, subscribing to the belief that it can still move about and crawl within its shell despite appearing to have five little fingers on its underside.

So, according to Shia, crabs are haram and are not permissible to eat.


Most Islamic scholars concur that crabs are permissible to eat, provided they have been well-prepared and not subjected to cruelty.

Additionally, crab meat must be unadulterated and free from pollutants and toxins – which could irreversibly damage one’s health.

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