The Law of Consuming Shark Meat

By: Dr.K.H. Maulana Hasanuddin, M.A. (Deputy Chairperson of the Central MUI Fatwa Commission); and Drs.H. Sholahudin Al-Aiyub, M.Sc. (Deputy Secretary General of the Central MUI and member of the Central MUI Fatwa Commission).


Assalamualaikum warahmatullah

We feel confused about halal consumption of sharks. As it is known, the shark has fangs and fierce animal. Even reported that it happened, there were people who were preyed by sharks when swimming in the sea. In addition, we also receive religious information, there are nash or hadiths that forbid us to eat fanged and wild animals.

So with this, I asked for an explanation to Ustadz, how does the law eat sharks that are clearly wild and fanged? For the answers and explanations from Ustadz, I say thank you. Wal-hamdulillahi robbil amin alamin.


Andi, Makassar


Indeed there is a Hadith narrated from Abu Hurairah, he said that the Prophet saw said, “Every fierce beast and fanged, then eating it is haram.” (H.R. Muslim). In the Hadith of Abi Tsa’labah, it is also stated, “Rasulullah saw. forbade eating any fierce beasts and fanged.” (Narrated by Bukhari and Muslim). Another hadith from Ibn ‘Abbas, he said,” The Messenger of Allah forbade eating any fierce wild beasts, and every type of bird that has nails to grip.” (H.R. Muslim).

But the ulama explained, when viewed from the hadith text, and the Asbabul Wurud hadith which explained the problem of wild beasts, then it applies only to land animals. Excludes water/sea animals or fish or marine animals. So that the ulama also understood this. Because in the case of marine animals, there are other propositions/texts that are Lex Specialist, as a special provision, which states the halal consumption of marine animals.

In the rules of the Fiqhiyyah Rule one expression is stated, “Maa min” aammin illa lahu khossh “. Every provision is general in nature, so there are specific provisions. And the special provisions are Qothi, a strong proposition.

Moreover, in the Qur’an mentioned, as a definite proposition, Allah says which means: “It is permissible for you the game of the sea and food (which originates) from the sea.” (Q.S. Al-Maidah: 96)

In the hadith narrated from Abu Hurairah, he said, “Someone once asked Rasulullah saw, ‘Ya Rasulullah, we once boarded a ship and only brought a little water. If we ablution with him, then we will thirst. Can we make ablution with sea water?’ Rasulullah saw then replied, ‘The sea water is holy and the carcass is halal.'” (H. R. Abu Dawud, An-Nasa’i, and At-Tirmidhi. Syaikh Al-Albani said that this hadith is valid)

From Ibn Umar, the Rasulullah saw said, “We were cut off by two carcasses and blood. The two carcasses are fish and grasshoppers. Whereas the two types of blood are the liver and spleen. “(H.R. Ibn Majah).

In the famous words of Ibn ‘Abbas, what is meant by “shoidul bahr” in the above verse is a water animal caught alive, while what is meant by “tho’amuhu” is a carcass of a water animal. What is meant by carcasses of water animals is that they just die, without knowing why.

Ibn Hajar Al-Asqolani said, “There is no dispute between the ulama that fish is a kind of halal animal. There are disputes among them are aquatic animals that have the same shape as land animals such as human, dog, pig, and snake.”

From the verses and hadith mentioned above, it shows and becomes the argument that marine animals are halal consumed. Even if there are differences of opinion, such as in the case of seals or sea pigs, then it is relatively insignificant because Jumhur Ulama agrees that sea animals are halal. Namely with characteristics, animals that live and breed in the sea, breathe with gills.

So the ulama agreed, all types of marine fish were lawful for consumption, except those that caused Mudhorot or were harmful to human health. With this provision, then whether marine animals are malignant, savage, or shaped like seals, sea pigs, then in general, they are all halal for consumption.

Even so, there is indeed an opinion that states that sea fish is in the form of pigs, then the law is not allowed. But it is only as an opinion or the result of ijtihad which is not supported by clear texts and arguments.

Wallahu a’lam bimurodih, wal-hamdulillahi robbil ‘alamin.

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