Section 1: Permissible and Impermissible Animals

Precious Provisions

taught by Yasir Qadhi

Section 1: Permissible and Impermissible Animals


The general rule in regards to animals is: everything is permitted unless an evidence says it is haraam.

The evidence for this is that generally in religion (mu’amalaat), everything is halaal except what the shari’ah prohibits. Contrast this to the rule of worship (‘ibadaat): when it comes to worship and purely religious rituals, everything is haraam unless proven halaal (hajj, dhikr, salah, etc).

Allah says in the Qur’an: “Say: I do not find in that which has been revealed to me anything forbidden for an eater to eat, except that it be what has died itself, or blood poured forth, or flesh of swine — for that surely is unclean — or that which is a transgression, other than (the name of) Allah having been invoked on it; but whoever is driven to necessity, not desiring nor exceeding the limit, then surely your Lord is Forgiving, Merciful.” (Al An’aam, 145)

Wat’s important is how the list is set up: Nothing is prohibited except, and therefore the general rule is that everything is halaal.

The way things are done in AlMaghrib is that we study compartive fiqh; i.e, we learn the opinions of the different madhaahib. You may do two things: 1) just follow the madhab which you generally follow or 2) you follow what you are taught is a stronger position based upon evidences from the Qur’aan and Sunnah (which is basically taqleed with a knowledgeable person you trust).

You will notice the following patterns when studying the permissible and impermissble animals: the Malikis are the most lax: nothing is haraam in the Maliki madhab, except for pork. The strictest madhab, on the other hand, is the Hanafi madhab. The other two madhaahib are smack in the middle.

The shari’ah categorizes animals into four:

1.) land animals (usually referring to large animals)

2.) animals that live in the oceans and seas

3.) birds

4.) land vermin (spiders, reptiles, cockroaches, and basically anything considered disgusting).

This is not a very scientific categorization of animals. Does this mean that the shari’ah contradicts science? Of course not! The purpose of categorization in both cases is quite different, and therefore the two do not contradict one another. InshaAllah the next post will be about the halal and haraam land animals.

Of course, when it comes to non-animal items such as vegetation, they are all halaal, as long as it is not poisonous.
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