Land Snails, Halal Are They Consumed?

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By: Dr. KH. Asrorun Niam Sholeh, M.A.

Chairman of the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) for Fatwas


Assalamualaikum wr. Wb.

Along with the dynamics that occur in the community, there are a group of people and restaurants that use snails as one of the menus for food. With certain techniques, they can process land snails that were originally slimy and contain toxins into dishes that are ready to be eaten.

As a Muslim, I personally still feel disgusted if I have to eat the land snail. What's more, there is no clarity regarding its halalness. Therefore, through this forum we ask for an explanation from the ustad regarding the law of consuming land snails. Thanks for the answer and explanation.

Wassalamualaikum wr. Wb.

Hashim Azhar

Rejang Lebong, Bengkulu


Waalaikumsalam wr. Wb.

The Word of Allah Swt. commands to eat the good, and to forbid all bad things. "…. and justify for them all that is good and forbid for them all that is bad…" QS. Al-A'raf (7): 157.

"Hai Apostles! Eat from good food (kosher) and work righteous charity. Verily I am all-knowing what you are doing". (QS. Al-Mu'minun 23:51).

Allah Swt. also affirmed the prohibition of eating certain types of goods such as carrion. "It is forbidden to you (to eat) carrion, blood, pork, (animal meat) slaughtered in names other than Allah, the strangled, the beaten, the fallen, the horned, and the pounced on by wild animals, except those that you had time slaughtered, and (it is forbidden for you to eat animals) that were slaughtered for idols…" (QS. Al-Ma'idah [5]: 3).

The hadith of the Prophet saw., among others: "The halal is clear and the haram is also clear; and between them there are things that are musyta-bihat (syubhat, vaguely, not clearly halal haram), most human beings do not know the law. Whosoever is careful of the matter of syubhat, truly he has saved his religion and pride…" (HR. Muslims of Nu'man bin Basyir).

"From Ibn Abbas ra., he said: The Messenger of Allah pbuh said: It must not harm/harm others and must not (also) repay the danger (harm caused by others) with danger (deeds that harm him)." (HR. Ahmad)

"O human race! Verily Allah is tayyib (good), will not accept except the tayyib (good and lawful); and God commanded the faithful all that he commanded the apostles. He said, 'O Apostles! Eat from good food (kosher) and work righteous charity. Verily I am all-knowing what you are doing' (QS. Al-Mu'minun [23]: 51).

Imam An-Nawawi in the book of Al-Majmu' Syarh AlMuhadzab Maktabah Syamilah, Juz 9, p. 9. 13 and p. 16 states, "It is not lawful to eat small animals of the earth such as snakes, scorpions, rats, beetles, gentle animals, cockroaches, spiders."

Imam Ibn Hazm's opinion in the Kitab al-Muhalla (6/76-77): "It is not lawful to eat land snails, and neither lawful to eat any kind of hasyarat such as geckos, beetles, ants, wasps, flies, bees, caterpillars, –whether they can fly or not–, fleas, mosquitoes, and insects of all their kind, based on the word of Allah "Forbidden upon you carrion"… and his words "… except what you guys slaughtered".

From the above, then land snails include khabits. The definition of khabits here is any thing that is considered dirty (disgusting) by habit ('urf). Snails are also one of the types of animals that fall into the category of hasyarat. The law of eating hasyarat is haram according to the jumhur ulama (Hanafiyyah, Shafi'iyyah, Hanabilah, Zhahiriyyah).

Thus, the law of eating snails is haram.

Likewise cultivate and utilize it for the benefit of consumption.

Wassalamualaikum wr. Wb.

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