Why eating crabs is halal in Islam

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Eating crabs is not haram in Islam because there is no clear text prohibiting it. The general confusion among some Muslims on whether is crab halal or not is due to various differing opinions and disagreements that have existed among scholars and schools of thought and the topic of whether crabs are halal has ended as an unnecessary issue.

The issue of whether a Muslim should eat crabs or not has been a debate that has been raging for quite a while now. The reason for such a debate to take place in the first place is because there are many divisions among Muslims when it comes to understanding Islam and these divisions are mainly due to the blind following of various sects and madhhabs. In Islam following a madhhab is haram and I have explained this in my article and you can read it by clicking here cjislam.weebly.com/why-following-madhhabs-is-haram.html . The Encyclopedia Britannica explains crabs as follows.
“Crab, any short-tailed member of the crustacean order Decapoda (phylum Arthropoda) — especially the brachyurans (infraorder Brachyura), or true crabs, but also other forms such as the anomurans (suborder Anomura), which include the hermit crabs. Decapods occur in all oceans, in fresh water, and on land; about 10,000 species have been described”.
In general, a crab is a sea creature or animal that moves on it’s sideways when on land and and has two distinctive pincers like arms to catch or hold anything.
There is a big confusion among Muslims as to whether you can eat crabs and this misunderstanding and confusion is a result of having a baseless view that eating crabs is makrooh and I have heard people arguing that eating more than three or so crabs is haram and anything less is makrooh. This is what will happen when ignorance creeps in to your mind and ignorance is dangerous because it is like a virus or bacteria that slowly feeds on your numb leg and you will never realize this until it is too late. In Islam, if there is a difference of opinion, Allah(Swt) tells us to refer to him and his messenger(Sal).

“ if you differ in anything amongst yourselves, refer it to Allah and His Messenger (SAW), if you believe in Allah and in the Last Day. That is better and more suitable for final determination”.(Al-Quran-4:59)

If we refer the argument on whether we can eat crabs or not, we can see that no where in Islam does it say that eating crabs is makrooh or haram. This is what Allah(Swt) says in the Quran,

“The game of the water and eating thereof are permitted to you as a provision for you and for those on a journey”(Al-Quran-5:96)

Ibn Abbas(Rali) explained the above verse as mentioned in Ibn kathir as “Sayduhu (lit. hunting, pursuit) refers to whatever is taken from it alive, and ta’aamuhu (lit. its food) means whatever is taken dead.”
This verse is clear proof that any animal that lives in the sea is halal and the crab lives in the sea it falls under the explanation of the above chapter in the Quran. Now, some might argue that crabs do not live entirely in the sea live other fish and they come up with an analogy that the crab is makrooh or haram because it does not live completely in the sea. This is a false argument because this argument has no basis in the Quran or Sunnah and if crabs were haram in the first place,there would be clear textual evidence to prove it. No where in the Quran or authentic hadiths does it say that animals that live in the land or sea is haram. What needs to be understood is that Islam is a rligion of ease. Allah(Swt) says in the Quran,

“Allah intends for you ease, and He does not want to make things difficult for you”
(Al-Quran-2:185)

The other misunderstood argument among Muslims about eating crab is that crabs have fangs and they fall in to the category of animals have fangs. They quote the below hadith.
Abu Thalaba(Rali) narrated,
The prophet(Sal) forbade the eating of the flesh of every wild beast having fangs”(Bukhari)
What is mentioned in the above hadith is about eating the flesh of wild predators like lions and tigers. Crabs are not predators and even if they are predators, they are still halal because they are animals from the ocean and live in the water. There are several hadiths prohibiting the eating of animals with fangs but this is only limited to predators and not all animals.
Abu Thalabah (Rali) narrated,The prophet (Sal) forbidding the eating of all beast of prey with fangs”
(Sahih Muslim)

Abu Hurayrah (Rali) narrated,The prophet(Sal) as saying,”The eating of all fanged beasts of prey is unlawful”.(Sahih Muslim)

Ana(Rali) narrated that the prophet(Sal) prohibited the eating of all fanged beasts of prey, and all the birds having talons.”
(Sahih Muslim)

None of these hadith have anything to do with crabs. crabs are nor predatory animals and even for the sake of argument if we agree that crabs are predatory animals, it is still halal to eat them because all animals in the sea are halal even if they are predatory animals.

This article was published in a more detailed version in my blog. You can read the detailed version of my article by simply clicking here https://cjislam.weebly.com/is-eating-crabs-halal-or-haram-or-makrooh-best-answer.html

Graduate Islamic theology (IOU University), Writer, Author and Researcher in Islam, comparative religions and politics. Founder of https://cjislam.weebly.com/