Crab and Octopus Halal in Islam? Yes or No

Majorities of Muslims community do not believe the fact that octopus is halal due to different factors and thoughts.

Octopus is a popular seafood that can be found in dishes around the world, from Japanese sushi to Mediterranean salads. However, many Muslims who follow a halal diet may wonder, is octopus halal or haram to eat according to Islamic law? This detailed guide examines the different opinions on octopus and halal seafood among Islamic schools of thought.

Eating halal is an important part of life for observant Muslims. Following a halal diet involves abstaining from pork, alcohol and any meat that is not slaughtered according to Islamic guidelines. However, when it comes to seafood, there are different interpretations on what is considered halal. Sea creatures like fish, prawns, are common ingredients in cuisines around the world, so Muslims want to know whether they can enjoy these foods while adhering to a halal diet.

Is Crab and Octopus Halal in Islam?


The main consensus among Islamic scholars is that seafood and creatures found in the ocean are generally halal to eat for Muslims. This would make eating octopus permissible. However, there are some additional considerations and debate around octopus and halal which we will explore in detail below.

Understanding Halal and Haram

What Does Halal Mean?

Halal is an Arabic word meaning permissible or lawful. In the context of food, it refers to what is allowed for Muslims to eat according to Islamic law. This law is derived from the Quran, the Hadith (sayings and practices of Prophet Muhammad), and the consensus of Islamic scholars.

What is Haram?

Haram is the opposite of halal and means forbidden. Foods and drinks that are considered haram are prohibited for Muslims to consume. Common haram items include pork, alcohol, and any form of intoxicants.

Seafood in Islamic Dietary Law

Crab and Octopus Halal in Islam?

General Rule for Seafood

In general, seafood is considered halal in Islam. This includes fish and other sea creatures. The Quran mentions that the catch from the sea is permissible for Muslims to eat.

The Debate on Shellfish and Other Sea Creatures

While most fish are clearly halal, there is debate among scholars about other sea creatures, particularly shellfish and cephalopods like crabs and octopuses. Different Islamic schools of thought (madhabs) have varying opinions on this matter.

Crab in Islamic Dietary Law

Opinions from Different Islamic Schools

  • Hanafi School: According to the Hanafi school, only fish are considered halal. Shellfish, including crabs, are generally regarded as haram. This is because they do not fit the Hanafi definition of fish.
  • Shafi’i, Maliki, and Hanbali Schools: These schools of thought are more lenient. They consider all sea creatures to be halal, including crabs. They base their rulings on the Quranic verse that permits the catch from the sea.

Hadith and Scholarly Opinions

There are various Hadiths and scholarly opinions that further influence the ruling. Some Hadiths suggest that Prophet Muhammad permitted the consumption of all sea creatures, while others imply restrictions.

Octopus in Islamic Dietary Law

Opinions from Different Islamic Schools

  • Hanafi School: Similar to their stance on crabs, the Hanafi school does not consider octopuses to be halal. They are not seen as typical fish and thus fall outside the permissible category.
  • Shafi’i, Maliki, and Hanbali Schools: These schools generally consider octopuses to be halal. They follow the broader interpretation of the permissibility of sea creatures.

Hadith and Scholarly Opinions

The discussion around octopus often references the same Quranic verses and Hadiths that apply to other sea creatures. The interpretation of these texts varies, leading to different rulings.

Quranic References

Quranic Verses Supporting Permissibility

The Quran mentions that all seafood is permissible for consumption. This is found in Surah Al-Ma’idah (5:96): “Lawful to you is what you catch from the sea and use for food as provision for yourselves and for the travelers…”

Interpretation of Verses

The interpretation of this verse is a key point of difference among Islamic scholars. Some take it to mean all sea creatures are halal, while others interpret it more narrowly.

Hadith References

Hadith on Seafood

Several Hadiths address the permissibility of seafood. For example, a well-known Hadith reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim states: “Its water is pure and its dead are lawful (for food).”

Different Interpretations

Interpretations of these Hadiths vary. Some scholars see them as a blanket permission for all sea creatures, while others limit their scope to certain types of fish.

Scientific and Cultural Perspectives

Health Benefits of Crab and Octopus

Crabs and octopuses are rich in nutrients. They provide high-quality protein, essential vitamins, and minerals. These health benefits can influence opinions on their permissibility.

Cultural Influences

Cultural practices and traditions also play a role in the dietary choices of Muslim communities. In regions where seafood is a staple, there might be a stronger inclination to consider a broader range of sea creatures as halal.

Modern Scholarly Debates

Contemporary Fatwas

In recent times, various fatwas (Islamic rulings) have been issued regarding the consumption of octopuses. These rulings reflect ongoing scholarly debates and consider contemporary contexts.

Diverse Opinions

There is no unanimous consensus. Some modern scholars lean towards permissibility, while others maintain traditional restrictions based on classical jurisprudence.

Practical Considerations for Muslims

Checking Local Halal Certification

Many countries have halal certification bodies. Muslims can check these certifications to ensure that the seafood they consume meets halal standards.

Consulting Local Scholars

Muslims are encouraged to consult local scholars or trusted religious authorities for guidance tailored to their specific context and community practices.

List of Islamic verses on the law of seafood 📖

Islamic law or Sharia is a complex and comprehensive code of living that governs all aspects of a Muslim’s life, whether Sunni or Shia Muslims, including what they eat. Halal food, permitted by Islamic dietary laws, is not merely about ritualistic practices but encompasses ethics, hygiene, and spirituality.

Allah Almighty guides us through the Holy Qur’an in the following verses:

“O mankind, eat from whatever is on earth [that is] lawful and good…” [Quran 2:168]

This verse emphasises the importance of consuming what is both lawful and wholesome. Islamic scholars have deduced these Islamic guidelines from the Quran and Hadith to create a systematic approach to halal food consumption. Allah also says:

“Lawful to you is game from the sea and its food as provision for you and the travelers…” [Quran 5:96]

The Quran also commands:

“Eat not (O believers) of that (meat) on which Allah’s Name has not been pronounced…” [Quran 6:121]

There are certain things Allah has expressed explicitly as not being considered halal. Certain dead animals, blood, and the flesh of swine are strictly prohibited in Islam:

“He has only forbidden to you dead animals, blood, the flesh of swine, and that which has been dedicated to other than Allah” [Quran 2:173]

The wisdom behind these prohibitions is vast, including health concerns around the types of blood purity present in animals, ethical treatment of animals, and spiritual purity. It fosters a holistic approach to dietary habits, encompassing physical and spiritual well-being.

Did Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) eat seafood?

It was mentioned in Sīf al-Bahr (Habat) Sariyyah (A.H. 8/A.D. 629) that pieces of a whale casted up the shore was dried and served to The Messenger of Allah and The Prophet of Allah ate this meat (Ibn Sa‘d, III, 411; Nasāī, Said, 35).


In conclusion, the permissibility of eating crabs and octopuses in Islam varies among different schools of thought and scholars. While the Shafi’i, Maliki, and Hanbali schools generally consider them halal, the Hanafi school does not. Muslims should seek guidance from knowledgeable scholars and consider their local context when making dietary choices. This diversity in opinion reflects the richness and flexibility within Islamic jurisprudence, allowing for varying interpretations and practices.

FAQs on Crab and octopuses is Halal

Are crabs halal in Islam?

The permissibility of crabs varies. The Shafi’i, Maliki, and Hanbali schools consider them halal, while the Hanafi school does not.

Are octopuses halal in Islam?

Similar to crabs, octopuses are considered halal by the Shafi’i, Maliki, and Hanbali schools but not by the Hanafi school.

What is the general rule for seafood in Islam?

Generally, seafood is considered halal. However, opinions differ regarding specific types like shellfish and cephalopods.

Can cultural practices influence dietary choices in Islam?

Yes, cultural practices and regional traditions can influence how Islamic dietary laws are interpreted and followed.

How can Muslims ensure their seafood is halal?

Muslims can check local halal certifications and consult local scholars to ensure their seafood meets halal standards.

Maharij Saleem

Hi, I'm Maharij Saleem, founder of A blog that provides authentic information regarding blogging, SEO, Islam, Wordpress, and how to Earn Money Online with blogging.

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