The Law of Eating Fish Blood

By: Dr. KH. Maulana Hasanuddin, M.A. (Deputy Chairperson of the National Board of the Fatwa Commission of Indonesian Council of Ulama ); and Dr. KH. Abdul Halim Sholeh, M.A. (Member of the National Board of  the Fatwa Commission of Indonesian Council of Ulama).


Assalamu’alaikum wr. wb.

Our mother often processes fish for family consumption. Sometimes, when cutting up fish, such as large fresh tuna, blood flowing out. Likewise when cutting the fish meat into small pieces, there are also blood spots attached to the fish’s flesh. But it is difficult to clean thoroughly.

We have received information from the religious council that blood is forbidden to consume. So we became confused and doubtful about this condition, is fish meat containing blood halal for consumption? So I also ask this question. How exactly is the law of consuming or eating fish that has red blood spots in the flesh? Thank you for the answers and explanations given.

Wassalamu’alaikum wr. wb.

Bakhtiar, Jakarta


Wa’laikumsalam wr. wb.

In texts, from the verses of the Qur’an, eating fish meat or any product that comes from the sea is lawful. This is stated in the verse which means: “Lawful to you is game from the sea and its food as provision for you and the travelers, but forbidden to you is game from the land as long as you are in the state of ihram. And fear Allah to whom you will be gathered.” (Surah Al-Maidah, 5: 96). Also included in the understanding of the sea here are rivers, lakes, ponds, and so on.

Whereas the blood of fish that flows, belongs to the general definition of blood referred to in the Qur’an: “Daman Masfuuhan”, blood that flows. Pay attention to the meaning of the verse: “Say, I do not find  within that which was revealed to me (anything) forbidden  to one who eat it unless it be a dead animal or blood spilled out or the flesh of swine – for indeed it is impure – or it be (that slaughtered in) disobedience,  dedicated to other than Allah. But whoever is forced (by necessity), neither desiring (it) nor transgressing (its limit), then indeed, your Lord is Forgiving and Merciful.” (Surah al-An’am, 6: 145).

Tabari explains the meaning of “rijsun” in this verse: “Ar-rijsu means unclean” (Jami’ul Bayan, 8/53). So this verse states that carcasses, blood flowing, and pork are all unclean.

Then, Imam An-Nawawi brought a hadith in the Saheeh Muslim Prayer in the Unclean chapter of the Blood and How to Cleanse it which some scholars used to express the uncleanness of blood, the hadith narrated from Abu Bakr as-Siddiq: “A woman came to the Prophet, he said,” he said. : one of us clothes menstruated with blood, what needs to be done? The Prophet said: you should scrape and brush with water then rinse, then after that please use it to pray. ” (Narrated by Bukhari and Muslim).

Furthermore, Ibn Arabi said “Ulama agree that blood is haram, must not be eaten and unclean” (Hasyiyah ar-Ruhuni, 1/73). Al-Qurthubi also states “Ulama agree that blood is haram and unclean” (Tafseer Al-Qurthubi, 2/222). Even An-Nawawi explicitly said “In this hadith there is an argument that blood is unclean and this is the consent of Muslim scholars” (Syarah Sahih Muslim, 3/200).

From the meaning of the verse (Surah Al’An’am, 6: 145), it should be underlined that the prohibited is Daman Masfuuhan (blood flowing). Because in the Hadith of the Prophet there is a type of halal blood consumed. Notice the Prophet SAW said with the meaning, “Lighted up for us two corpses and two kinds of blood. The two carcasses are fish and grasshoppers, while the two bloods are liver and spleen. ” (Narrated by Imam Ahmad and Ibn Majah).

Fish blood (i. e. blood flowing) is generally included in this category, of course it is a big fish. Examples are the Tuna asked above, and the larger fish. Although not as much blood as land animals that have blood flowing, such as chickens, goats, and others.

Large fish, such as Tuna, if cut, will emerge and blood will flow out, even though the blood will flow a little. The blood of the fish that flowing in, belongs to the category of blood referred to in the meaning of the verse (QS. Al-An’am 6: 145). Therefore, the blood must be cleaned. Based on the meaning of the verse, the blood is “rijsun” or unclean. Cannot be eaten. And if exposed to clothing, clothing that is exposed to blood or unclean must be washed until the color, smell and taste of the blood disappears.

From the (meaning) verse about fish meat or any product derived from the sea the law is lawful (QS Al_Maidah, 5: 96), but the blood of the fish that flows is haraam and unclean. This can be understood by the Qiyash method in Fiqhiyyah rules, or by analogy, namely chicken and goat meat, for example those slaughtered in accordance with sharia principles, lawful. However, the blood of animal that was slain was haraam and unclean.

If there is no more blood flowing or blood remaining in the flesh of the fish, according to the scholars, that includes the category of Ma’fu Anhu, which is forgiven. It is difficult to clean blood spots on fish meat fibers, so it is enough to just wash or rinse it. That is what Ma’fu Anhu means.

This needs to be understood and emphasized again, because there are sea animals (relatively) large in size but do not have blood flowing, such as squid, shrimp, and others. So the law is absolutely halal to be consumed, in accordance with the meaning of the text (Surah Al-Maidah, 5: 96) mentioned. Wallahu alam bish-showab, wal-hamdulillah. (USM)

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