The Law of Eating Lizard Meat

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


Assalamualaikum warahmatullah

Recently there was information suggesting to treat asthma by eating lizards. Some people say, the herb lizard meat can also be used to relieve asthma. In addition, if routinely consumed, the properties can increase sexual vitality. Many people believe that eating a lizard can cure or at least reduce the development of this chronic disease.

So with this I ask for an explanation, how is the law to eat the lizard? For the answers and explanations, I say thank you. Wal-hamdulillahi robbil amin alamin.


Irfan, Banten


According to the Fiqhiyyah Rule, the legal status of consuming lizards is a problem of the Khilafiyah. Clerics have different opinions. There is something that justifies, but some are forbidding it. For those who justify it, they put forward the argument / reason that everything that is forbidden by Allah or His Messenger has been explained in the Qur'an and Al-Hadith.

The rest of it comes in the sense that everything Allah creates is for the benefit and benefit of humans. Look at the word of Allah which means: “He is Allah, who made everything on earth for you all … ” (Q. S. 2: 29). So as long as there is no argument that prohibits, then the law is permissible or halal.

From here, basically, the lizard is an animal whose prohibition is not clearly stated, explicitly, in the Qur’an and Al-Hadith. There are several types of animals that are strictly forbidden in the text. If in the Qur’an, it is clear. It can’t be denied anymore. Likewise in the Hadith as narrated from Ibn ‘Abbas, he said,” The Messenger of Allah forbade eating every fierce beast, and every type of bird that has nails to grasp. (Narrated by Muslim, No. 1934)

Regarding this, specifically “Dhob” or a large group of lizards, some also call it “Arab Lizard”, a type of monitor lizard in the Arab country. There is a Taqririah Hadith from the Prophet saw which explains, as narrated from Khalid bin al-Walid, “He entered with the Prophet to the house of Maimunah, then served roast beef meat. The Prophet extended his hand (to take it). Said some women (who were in the house), ‘Tell the Prophet what to eat.’ They then said, ai O Messenger of Allah, that is Dhob’s flesh.’ The Prophet Saw pulled back his hand. I said, ‘O Messenger of Allah saw, is this animal haram?’ He replied, ‘No, but this animal is not in the land of my people so I feel disgusted with it’.” Khalid said, “I chopped it and ate it while the Prophet saw me.” (Narrated by Imam Bukhari and Muslim).

Dhob is a group of large lizards, some are called “Arab Lizards”, similar to monitor lizards and dwell in holes in the ground. But according to the description of the Arabic linguist about Dhob, as well as the comparison with monitor lizards, it is: Dhob is found mostly living in the desert of the Arab Land, while monitor lizards live on the banks of rivers. Food Dhob is grass, small grasshopper (daabbah), and other types of grasshoppers called jundub (plural janaadib). The monitor lizards are predators (predators of other animals) that prey on snakes, frogs and others.

Indeed, from the side of the qothi script, or a clear proposition, about lizards, it does not exist. So, according to the ulama, if there is an urgent need, such as to treat dangerous diseases, then the law is permitted. In the Fiqhiyyah Rule it is stated, Adh-dhorurotu tubihul-mahzhurot, “in an emergency, forbidden things become permissible”.

Furthermore, according to the ulama, because the law of the lizard’s prohibition is unclear in Qath’iyyah, but because there is a need for Lil-haajiyat, to treat a disease, which is difficult to treat with other drugs, although it is not Dhorurot, there are ulama which allows to consume it.

But there are also ulama who argue that lizards in Indonesia are different from “Arab lizards”, including the “Khobaits” group, animals that are disgusting or dirty, so they should not be eaten.

In addition, lizards also include animals that prey on insects, even small frogs, or other small animals. There are also types of lizards that are venomous and have canine teeth. From here, the lizard is generally forbidden to eat. But if there is a need to treat the disease, then the law becomes permissible for the temporary time as the drug, according to the rules described above. But of course consuming it is not excessive, nor is it done continuously.

Next, there are also ulama who analogize similar lizards to Geckos or lizards, including fawasiq species. There are a number of hadiths mentioning that the animal belongs to fawasiq, and therefore the law is also forbidden to eat. “That the Prophet ordered to kill lizards or geckos, and by him called fuwaisiq.” (Narrated by Muslim). Literally, fuwaisiq is a small evil animal.

From Umar Sharik, the Prophet saw ordered to kill the lizard. He stated, “In the past, lizards blew and enlarged the fire that burned Ibrahim.” (H.R. Muttafaq ‘alaih).

Imam An-Nawawi explained that the ulama agreed that lizards / geckos are small disturbing animals. Al-Munawi said that Allah ordered the killing of lizards / geckos because the animal had an ugly character, that is, it was said that this animal had blown the fire that burned Ibrahim to become big.

However, every general expression in the Qur'an must have a boundary. Well, whether this animal is in the restricted category or not. Such as khobaits, containing dangers, etc. And that needs further study. In addition, the halal nature of the animal can also be viewed from the "Thobi'ah As-Salimah" side. That is a good human instinct, whether it can accept to consume animals such as lizards, or not. Indeed, the "Khobaits" or disgusting category is subjective and very relative. Because it's disgusting for someone, maybe not for others.

So, as a parameter of “Khobaits”, according to Imam Abu Hanifah, it is an animal commonly consumed by Arabs. So if the Arab aristocrats do not want to consume it, then it is considered as “Khobaits”.

While using or eating it for medicine, it must first be understood as an individual case. The person in question really had tried to find and use drugs that were possible, but it was not successful. It is feared that the disease will become more severe, so using or consuming lizards as medicine. So that can be called the condition of “Dhorurot”, or “Haajiyaat”, very needed.

Dhorurot’s condition applies, if things / medicines that are halal really cannot be found. The question now, whether pharmacists have been trying to find, research and study ingredients for the drugs to be used, is absolutely guaranteed according to the Shariah rules. If it’s not yet, then it is certainly an obligation of Muslim experts to do so, to meet the needs of the people for this very important drug. And even if it is Dhorurot, the ability to consume it is only temporary, just for medicine. It should not be a common consumption, such as made into Lizard Satay and eaten daily.

However, simply, it must be reminded and advised, to consume or use drugs that are clearly halal. Do not do a grazing risk, or who is not clear (considered doubtful) the status of halalness. Because consuming halal is a religious order that must / must be followed.

Besides that, what is also important is that these aspects of danger and / or benefits must be based on the evidence from medical scientific research that is medically-clinically accountable. Not based on his words, the source is not clear. Consider the meaning of the verse which reminds us: “Then ask those who have knowledge if you do not know.” (Q. S. 16:43). The meaning of the verse like this is repeated again in Al-Anbiyaa’ (21) verse: 7. This shows about the importance of science in our lives. Bimurodih wallahu a’lam.

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