The Law of Consuming German Caterpillar

Lately, many people process the German caterpillar to be used as material for consumption. For example, made into a mixture of sambal, or peanut brittle, such as shrimp / ebi peanut brittle, etc. Some say the nutritional content is very good.

Even because the fat content is also high, some even deliberately cultivate it to be processed into cooking oil. Because it is considered more environmentally friendly. As a substitute for cooking oil from palm oil, which requires a very large area of land, and is considered likely to damage (balance) the environment.

Seeing this, the scholars argue that in truth, the establishment of law in Islam is simple. That refers to the provisions mentioned in the Qur’an and Al-Hadith. From this, it can be understood, that illicit food is only a little, as specifically mentioned in the Qur’an and Al-Hadith. While the rest, which is lawful, very much.

In terms of Islamic texts, the law regarding eating German caterpillars is not found in the Qur’an or Al-Hadith. There is also no proof of the texts which sharih (clearly and unequivocally) states its prohibition. In this case, then as a guide can refer to the Fiqhiyyah Rule which states: “Al-ashlu fi al-asy-ya’i al-ibaahah, illaa maa dalla daliilu ‘alaa tahriimihi” (Everything is basically a mubah or may , unless there is an argument that forbids it). Thus in Islamic principles, consuming German caterpillars is included in the category of silence. Therefore, as long as it is not clearly explained about its prohibition, or is not disgusting, or does not endanger, then the German caterpillar may be consumed.

The scholars interpreted and explained, the things that were silenced also meant Ma’fu ‘Anhu, forgiven things. That is, permissible or lawful, except if disgusting and / or dangerous. In this case the rule of law that is general in nature, namely benefit and benefit. If it is useful and brings benefit (goodness), then it is permissible. And conversely, if it is dangerous, it is forbidden: “Laa dhoror wa laa dhiror”. Must not endanger or cause danger. If it’s dangerous, then it becomes unclean.

Disgusting, as a translation of the phrase “Khobaits” mentioned in the text, it means that it is contrary to the normal human instincts, so that people will always avoid it. Indeed, disgusting itself is very relative. For example, for certain people, durian fruit is very disgusting. Just smell it or smell it, immediately want to throw up. So dangerous for him. So, for that person, durian is prohibited. Therefore, some scholars explain “Khobaits” meaning disgusting it is unclean. Because, you might say, everyone would feel disgusted with unclean things.

Caterpillars, if included khobaits, disgusting, then the law is haram for consumption, whereas if it does not include khobaits, then the law may or halal. Because there are opinions of scholars, if the caterpillars live in the environment or from halal feed, then the law is also halal for consumption. Conversely, if the food is from unclean or unclean goods, then the law is also unclean. Like a caterpillar or maggot that lives and feeds on the carcass, then the law is haram. Meanwhile, if the caterpillar lives in fruit, for example, mango or long beans, then eaten, then it does not matter in terms of religion. From this it can be understood, if the caterpillars are cultivated, then the feed must be known in advance.

However, it can specifically be explained that the German caterpillar is part of the metamorphosis of beetles. In the opinion of some scholars, physically, physical appearance, the German caterpillar has an Istiqdzar or disgusting element, including part of the Khobaits in a general sense. If it can indeed be concluded including Istiqdzar in general, then consuming German caterpillars is prohibited. Because it is Khobaits. But if, for various reasons, the German caterpillar is not included Istiqdzar, then it is not included in the Khobaits, and is not haram. Can be punished the same as animals / insects Cochineal which has been lawful with the Fatwa Commission of Indonesia Council of Ulama (MUI). Or also like larons which are also halal, and have been commonly consumed by some people.

Furthermore, according to the scholars, the caterpillar is one type of animal that is included in the category of al-Hasyarot, and can be compared or analogous to worms.

In this regard, in the Fatwa that has been established by the Fatwa Commission of Indonesia Council of Ulama (MUI), and has also been published in the Fatwa Commission of Indonesia Council of Ulama (MUI) book, pp. 636-638, it is stated that there are some scholars who believe that it is lawful to eat worms, as long as it is useful, and not harmful. This is the opinion of Imam Malik, Ibn Abi Laila and Al-Auza’i. But there are also opinions of scholars who forbid eating it.

Next, cultivating worms to take advantage, not to eat, then it is not contrary to Islamic law. while cultivating these worms for their own benefit indirectly, for example to feed birds, not for human consumption, then the law may (mubah).

In addition, it must also be examined, whether the German caterpillar has blood that is red, or blood that flows. Because, if it contains such blood, then the law is haram. Therefore it is also necessary to verify the work of biologists or animal experts of this type. We as scholars, can only provide guidelines or restrictions on the provisions of halal-haram for this type of animal. So far, the Fatwa Commission of Indonesia Council of Ulama (MUI) has not issued a special fatwa on halal or haram consumption of this animal. Wallahu a’lam. (USM)

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