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LPPOM MUI

Is Porcupine Meat Halal to be Consumed?

Nurtured by: Dr.K.H. Maulana Hasanuddin, M.A. (Deputy Chairman of the Central MUI Fatwa Commission); and Drs.H. Sholahudin Al-Aiyub, M.Si. (Deputy Secretary of the MUI Center for Fatwas).

Question

Assalamu’alaikum warahmatullah

Ustadz I respect.

There is a family that has been affected by diabetes for a long time and the condition is very worrying. He has tried medical treatment, but his body condition continues to be poor. Then there are friends who advise to do natural alternative remedies by consuming hedgehog meat.

According to the friend just now, hedgehog meat contains chitothefin which is good for treatment for diabetics. There is also a mention, hedgehog meat and hedgehog liver are also efficacious for treating asthma.

Because it is believed to have many benefits, in several regions in Central and East Java, there are Porcupine Satay and Porcupine Rica-rica menus which have also become menus sought after by the public.

My question is, how is it legal to consume hedgehog meat? For the answer and explanation, I thank you.

Wassalamu’alaikum wr. wb.

A. Said, Batang, Central Java

Answer

Hedgehog in Arabic is called Al-Qunfudzu. Namely, the type of rodent (Rodentia) is similar to a mouse, has thick hair, and when it feels threatened, it can harden, become a long and pointed spine, very terrible.

Hedgehogs belong to insectivora (insectivorous animals), but also eat other animals such as snails and worms, so some call them very disgusting.

There are some scholars who forbid hedgehogs, based on a hadith from Ibn Umar, when he was asked by someone about the law of hedgehogs, he said, while reading the verse: “Say: “Say: “I have not obtained in the revelation revealed to me, anything that is forbidden but… (until the end of QS. 6:146).”

Then there was a Shaikh by his side who said: I heard Abu Hurairah say: it was mentioned on the side of the Prophet saw about hedgehogs, so he saw also said: “It is something bad among the bad.” So, Ibn Umar said: “If the Messenger of Allah saw said so then it is indeed the case of anything that we do not yet know.” (HR. Abu Dawud and Ahmad).

In the hadith it is affirmed that hedgehogs belong to something bad, while bad ones are haram based on the verse: “… And justify for them all that is good and forbid for them all that is bad…” (QS. Al-A’raf, 7: 157).

However, there are also scholars who justify hedgehogs, because they think that the hadith of Ibn Umar cannot be used as hujjah, because it is classified as dha’if (weak). Among the hadith scholars who weaken this hadith are Imam Al-Khithabi and Al-Baihaqi.

Imam Al-Baihaqi said: “This hadith has only one path of passage, and on it there are weaknesses.”  Shaikh Sayyid Sabiq said: “Hedgehogs are not why to eat, because the Arabs are treated with them and the hadith that explains their expectations is weak. Imam ash-Shan’ani explained that the reason for his weakness was the identity of the unknown shaikh (majhuul).

Apart from the fact that the hadith about the expectation of weak hedgehogs, (cannot be used as hujjah) the majority of scholars also adhere to the Ushul Rule “The origin of the law of all kinds of food is halal until there is a postulate that prohibits it.” And another rule: Al-Yaqinu La Yazulu Bisy-Syakki. (Something that is sure cannot be changed by a conjecture). So they viewed that hedgehogs were not forbidden.

In addition, the halalness of the animal can also be viewed from the side of “Thobi’ah As-Salimah”.That is, in good human instincts, whether it can accept to consume an animal like that hedgehog, or not. And we think it is more likely to take opinions that forbid hedgehogs, because they include khobaits, disgusting animals. Notice the content of the verse that says: … wa yuharrimu ‘alayhimul khobaits… “And (He, God) forbids for them all things that are disgusting (bad)…” (Q.S. Al-A’raaf [7]:157).

It is seen as disgusting, especially in terms of its food, its habitat and daily life living in dirty places. In turn of course all that will form his body or body flesh, which is then used for consumption.

Now, under the condition that there are two opinions with these two legal perspectives, with reasons that are not inherently also contradictory, then we should take the opinion of ihtiyaathi, being cautious.

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