On the Permissibility of Boiling Lobsters & Other Seafood – Ask Shaykh YQ #219

Yasir Qadhi


Channel: Yasir Qadhi


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The second question Sharla very tasty question a shout out to other sisters Sena all the way from Australia emails from Down Under. And she asks about lobsters, not whether they are halal or haram, but a very good question actually. And she says that the cooking technique of a lobster in most countries involves cooking them while they are alive and putting them in hot or boiling water. So she says, Would this be permissible in light of the way that we are cooking the animal? And I'll take another question on brother baloche from country unknown. Brother baloche asks that the General permissibility of seafood does it also include alligators or frogs because he mentions Mashallah in

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a very explicit email that he was feeling very adventurous what in his younger called the jeers and he did partake of eating alligators and frogs and now that he is older he is wondering whether he has committed a sin by eating these these animals whether they come under seafood or not. What I

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mean Kobe league in Region Jalan, no Hey la him first.

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Lake Erie.

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I have given a much longer q&a about seafood, you can look this up. But these are very specific questions that again, I felt it's useful to to talk about them. I just briefly though I've already mentioned that the majority position, which is the hamburgers and Chef series, and Maliki's that all of the creatures that live in the ocean, whether they are the fish of the ocean, or the non fish creatures, the crustaceans or the crabs or whatnot, they're living the ocean, that they are permissible to eat. Because Allah says in the Quran, or hell Allah concidered bajo that the catch of the ocean and the food of the ocean, even above said, The catch is what you throw your net or your

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fishing rod and you get the side and the Tom is what it what you find at the top is just lying there dead on the ocean. So anything that is dead, that the nature has killed, that Allah has killed, you can take it anything you catch, you can take it and the prophets of Allah Almighty Who was sent him sending the famous Hadith

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who are Tahoma, who hail Luke Mater, to who, that the water of the ocean is pure. And it's dead is Hillel to eat? It's dead meaning you don't have to sacrifice it. It's automatically dead. So if you yourself catch it, then obviously even more so you can eat it. How about it's dead, but he said it's dead. It's dead. He didn't say only the fish. She said everything from the ocean. Somebody asked him about the ocean. So the profitsystem said, It's water is halaal. And it's the water meaning you can do will do with the ocean water. That's what it means like you can do will do with ocean water. Even if you don't drink you can do although, and it's dead, all of the ocean. So this includes whales, it

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includes all types of fish includes lobsters as well. Anything that comes from the ocean would be considered hallette. Now, obviously, the the Hanafi school has its exception and they say all of these they apply to the fish of the ocean with some conditions and they therefore don't open the door to

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those species are those animals that are non fish. So for example, lobsters and shrimps and whatnot. The honeybees then differ that is it this it is makuu derussy. It is how long and then they differ amongst themselves. Is it my crew to help me or is it mcru? Tansy? mcru to help me would mean it is even slightly sinful to eat, but gluten z, he means no, it's not sinful, but it's best to avoid and within the Hanafi school you find both of these positions and if you are hanafy, feel free to ask your chef and follow that position. If you ask me and you trust and you're following what I'm saying the majority position is very clear and it is also based in the Quran and Sunnah. And I think with

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utmost respect to that to the hanafis they also have their evidences but I believe that the majority position in this case is correct. However, the shaft race and the hem bellies they excluded from seafood and from river by seafood we don't just mean seafood, anything living in the water. So freshwater is included in this the shop freeze and the humble is they excluded from seafood. A number of creatures number one on the list is alligators and crocodiles himself. And they said that the alligators and crocodiles

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because it's catching with its teeth in a manner that resembles the animals of the the the the animals of the the lions and tigers are predators of the of the

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The land and the process of expressly forbade the presence of predators of the land. That's their position. And, you know, that's that's their basis. And again, I'm just narrating to what they what they say here. And they also said both of these men have said, the frog is also not allowed. Our brother asked about alligators, and frogs. And so alligators are very common to eat here in Texas, by the way, maybe, maybe, maybe some of you are not aware, but it is pretty common if you go to Florida. So Florida and Texas, many restaurants that when I was younger, driving around, you know, we would go between cities and we walked into a restaurant and it was an alligator restaurant,

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everything was alligator on the menu where there was no nothing for us to eat. And then we saw the sign and it said that we just didn't read design we walked in so it's very common in some parts of Texas and Florida and other places where alligators are eaten, and of course the French love their frogs legs. Frogs would also not be allowed by the Sharpies and the ham buddies and the hunter fees. It is the molecules that allow both of these animals but the other schools don't allow them and the shark freeze and ham bellies don't allow frogs because of an explicit Hadith reported that our Prophet salallahu it he was seldom forbade the killing of frogs. And in another Hadith, he said

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there croaking is the way they do the spirit that is there the spirit of ALLAH subhana wa Tada. So, once we are forbidden from killing, then this implies there should not be eaten the fact that we are forbidden from killing and that makes sense to me that means that they should not be eaten. Now, the humble is added another creature by them just adding for benefits here and they said the snake of the ocean is also not allowed the snake of the ocean is also not allowed. Now, this is an interesting point here. And again it shows us you know the the you know the perceptions that people had of the past and their understandings. The snake of the ocean. What is meant here is the yield

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the yield and they call this the Yani hater. And in reality, the eel has nothing to do with the snake family the eel is a fish the eel is a fish biologically it is actually related to the catfish. It breeds underwater it has gills it is not a reptile. And so with unef generally I'm humbly but in this particular case, I'm not that I've ever eaten a nail I've seen plenty of eels I scuba dive and even a few weeks ago I was actually diving somewhere and we saw a massive email literally almost as my that it was almost as big as my head his head it was a massive deal and it frightened me but eels are there and they're very interesting creatures they say they are fun to play with but never touch

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one because if you do and it bites you your finger is gone. It's a very sharp teeth but overall the notion of eels being snakes is simply not correct and even if one of them might have said it technically it would not come under that by the way there are so there are snakes that are reptiles there are snakes that are reptiles and they can dive into the water and they can come out of the water those are snakes snakes or how long to eat according to the majority opinion because our profit system for bead sorry our process and commanded us to kill specific creatures he said get rid of them kill them and Scorpion is one of them and rats is another one and snakes is another one so

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these are filthy disgusting creatures were allowed to kill them whether whether we're in Iran or not just get rid of them. So the fact that we are commanded to kill them in this matter shows that they are not to be eaten and therefore the majority position only the medic is had an exception the majority position is that snakes are not allowed so when we say water snakes if you mean an eel in my opinion it is allowed and this is the shaft freeze would allow it and the medic is would allow it but if you mean the the snake that is both on land and in the water as I said there are snakes that are actual reptiles, but they can go into the water and they can maybe even hunt and they have to

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come back up to the air to breathe they cannot live underwater. Unlike an eel those next would be held on to eat now all of this is although this is attention because of a brother asked about alligators and and frogs but now we get back to lobsters right Mashallah. We have a nice seafood menu today. Michelle, that's about a cola. So, lobsters Well, we went on so many tangents. Let me add some more tangents to the lobster question. Our sisters asking about lobsters already said that the majority position that it is helpful to eat lobsters and also crabs. Those animals that live on the shore. They would basically be considered to be ocean creatures by default unless there's an

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explicit reason to take them out. And they say the alligator is one of those explicit reasons but anyway, lobsters and crabs would be held out and lobsters Of course live underwater completely. crabs live between water and land crabs are always found on the shoreline. You never find them in lead. So we consider them to be sea creatures as Oh as well. Now it's interesting just to point out FYI, I find it interesting and I read lots of miscellaneous random facts and I love going into my

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Tangent accidentally. So these are one of the things I can't help now that the lobster question has been brought up. Just FYI, I find it very intriguing that in our era and civilization in Western culture, lobster is considered fancy meat, lobsters considered upper class food, you go and you treat yourself out. And it is usually more expensive to get a lobster than it is to get, you know, chicken or, or beef or whatnot. And this is an interesting switch that happened only in this century. In fact, lobsters have been eaten for 1000s of years. And generally speaking, especially in the 1819 hundred's, lobsters were considered food of the lower class food of the poor, it was called

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poor man's meat, it was called poor man's meat. And in fact, in Connecticut and Maine, these are two states here, and in this country of America, in Connecticut, and Maine, and even in portions of New Jersey, prisoners were given lobster meat all the time, so much so they complained. And in fact, it is said that a law was passed that is considered to inhumane to always feed them lobster, they have to give different varieties of food. And the reason for this is that lobsters were so plentiful next to the shores, you know, a Maine and New Jersey, and Connecticut have shorelines next to them. So the lobsters were so plentiful washed onto the shores, that children come and pick them by the

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dozen. And so anybody wants to eat it, you just go to the shore and pick it up. So it was considered to be poor man's meat poor man's food. What happened? Interesting story when the train system when the trains started traveling across the country in America, in the 1850s. And, and, and and one of the owners came across a really interesting idea, which is that people inland don't really know lobsters and lobster meat, and they don't know it's poor man's food. So what if I were to pretend it is rich man's food, because before this point in time, you cannot transport a lobster, you know, all the way to middle you know, like Mississippi or someplace not gonna, you're not gonna go all the way

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up, you know, places Oregon or something, you're not going to go all the way there. So what did they decide to do? They decided to then use lobster meat in first class and the trains. And they made this into a big platter and all the decorations, and you know how it goes and these days. And so that trickle down to the rest of America. Other than the coastal lines at that time, that it is an upper class food, not a lower class food, it was a marketing gimmick, believe it or not just like so many other gimmicks if you study them, like the diamond rings, go read the history of where it came from. It's a marketing gimmick and whatnot, complete PR for companies to gain money. And so the

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lobster industrial, he wanted to basically be cheap with his food, the guy who came across this idea, nonetheless, one that happened slowly, the notion came that lobster meat is actually upper class meat in the end of the day, these days is considered, you know, a fancy dish and whatnot. Look, we don't care if it's fancy or whatnot. Is it halal or not? Is the question and as we said that it is held out to eat but our sister asked a very good question. Let's get back to the topic. And all of this is completely random and tangents and whatnot, our sister asked a very relevant question. And that is,

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can we eat an animal that we are basically boiling? You know, because this is something that a lot of people don't realize that the way to cook a lobster, the lobster is a crustacean, it has a very hard shell, and it lives on land for quite a while, it's not going to die like a fish, if you take a fish out, is going to die immediately within a few minutes. As for a lobster, it does not die immediately, it takes maybe a few days, even to die. It's not again, take a very slow and in that case, you're basically starving to death, you know, so either way, I mean, how do you what do you do? And so the way that most western civilizations do this, is that they simply cook the lobster

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right then and there. So they basically boil it and make the meat soft, and then you can eat the, the lobster. So our Prophet sallallahu it he was sent them has a hadith which has been interpreted by some to imply that this should not be done. And this hadith is reported by authentic henchmen and books. Our Prophet system said that no one should torture by fire by heat, other than the Lord of the fire. Now you either will be naughty little boy now, no one should torture by the fire except the Lord of the fire. So here we are taking an animal and putting it into hot water. And so some people have balked at this and said hey, you can't do this now. Even Kodama, the great, one of the

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greatest humbly scholars of medieval Islam, and one of the compilers of the humbling Weatherby has one of the four as as everybody student knows he's compiled all of the primary resources the Humphrey School. Even Kodama died seventh century original. He says that Imam Ahmed was asked, Is it allowed to throw a fish directly onto the fire? You know, grill? A lie alive fish? Can we take a fish this is a fish even

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Not even a lobster, a fish. If you're patient two minutes it'll die. Right in my mama is asked about a live fish, can you throw it directly onto the fire, and the mama had said, I would rather not mount Djibouti, I don't like it. And if this is done to locusts, then I don't see any problem because they don't have any blood. But if the fish is cooked in this manner, then it is not mcaro to eat it. It is not mcru to eat it because what is mcru is if you want to punish it with the fire, what is mcru is if you want to punish it in the fire, so a mama basically said that when it comes to fish, by the way, this isn't lobster. He might not have he was saying I'd rather not basically but

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if you do it this way, the fish is halaal to eat. And the reason he said this is because the fish will die within a few minutes. As for the locusts By the way, the Locust is a special type of locals, the locals are highlighted to eat by unanimous consensus even the 100 is a lot locals generally speaking, the Hanafi school district is when it comes to meat issues and the molecules are the most lacks. So even locusts are halal because it is explicit if you wish to eat it. And locusts can be cooked over a fire. Why? Because as Mohammed said, locusts don't have blood, they're not blood flowing animals, and so you can cook them directly on fire. eema Monique was asked about more

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in the famous book on Mohammed journey, which is the main one of the main books at the Maliki school. A more general mention Sunita Malik under hood, that Malik was asked about a wheel that they find alive on the shore, can the whale be cut up before it dies naturally? So we're gonna cut it up, it's done. It's on the shorter a whale might take a few hours to die, whales mammals, a will if it comes on to the shore a beached whale and if you want to eat it, can you do you have to wait for it to die? Or can you literally start carving while it is alive? And eema? Malik said that there should there is no problem in this because there is no sacrificing for a fish there is no the cat, not the

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cat, the cat for a fish. And if he were to find it dead, he can eat it. So why can he not cut it up before it naturally dies. And Mr. maryk added, even if he throws it into the fire while it is alive, there is no problem in this Okay, a fish is not the same as an animal. We could never do this to a chicken. We could never do this to any other land animal. But animals of the ocean. They their death is not the death of the animals of the land. And therefore, Emma Manik allowed this for fish, which means even more so for lobsters would not be a problem anymore. Muhammad explicitly said, you know, I'd rather not for the fish, by the way, he did not speak about lobsters. And there is a difference

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because as I said, for the fish, you wait two three minutes is dead. As for a lobster, I mean, I don't know what he would have said, but even for the fish, he goes, if it is cooked this way, it's not even mcru Yanni I'd rather you just wait two minutes, but then how about two days who's gonna wait two days? So basically, from this, we can extrapolate that, look, the Hadith is there. But the Hadith is explicit that what is forbidden is to torture for the sake of torture. It is how long to torture for the sake of torture. However, fish and seafood don't have sacrificial procedures. And when you put it on a fire, your intention is to cook for the sake of eating not to torture it. And

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it will rushed the great Maliki scholar. He said, according to the Maliki school, he said that, you know, some in our minds have might consider this to be mcru. But he goes the correct position is that it is completely mobile completely permissible to cook alive fish over the fire, because he said there is no sacrifice and so its death is caused in this manner. And by the way, there is unanimous consensus of all of the schools of law, that you may cook locusts immediately while they are alive and that that includes smoking them, that includes throwing them in water or whatever what needs to be done, because they are not animals that have blood flowing in them. So from this one can

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make playoffs that lobsters as well do not have blood. Well. I mean, biologically, they have something that is the equivalent but they don't have blood like we do. They don't have our type of blood, the hemoglobin and whatnot, they have their own versions and whatnot that are the fluids in their bodies. And the point really is a number of things first and foremost like and by the way this needs to be said I mean, cooking is an easy and clean business. But sacrificing an animal is never an easy and clean business. And so all of us meat included on all of us in our husbands who cook and housewives who cook they have no very little problems getting nice packages of meat and slicing it

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up at home and putting into the silent and the Java and everything they're doing that excellent but Jani

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Excellent. But when we go to the place of sacrifice the arbitrary we go to the slaughterhouse

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even those that love meat and I'm one of them, it's it's not easy to watch all the time, there is no easy way to sacrifice an animal. It's going to cause some pain, it's gonna cause some consternation, and one understands if one doesn't believe in any, you know why vegetarians and vegans become what they do because they think it is cruel and unnatural. And that's their prerogative to view we have a Sharia, and Allah has given us permission, Allah has given us authority, the one who created those animals. That's the point that one who created those animals said to us, that if you mentioned my name, I have created them for you to eat from them, right? So this is explicit in the Quran and

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Sunnah, that of the blessings of Allah upon us, we thank Allah hamdulillah we thank Allah for meat hamdulillah and for seafood, I love meat, I love seafood, and I love seafood, seeing food and eating food at hamdulillah. This is Pullman Hara Rama talking about tomatoes, who has forbidden the good food. This is a Allah's blessings upon us. My point being that there is no easy way to slaughter an animal, and even a chicken or a cow, there is going to be pain, there is going to be some suffering, it is allowed because Allah has given us that allowance. So the same goes for those animals that don't have a sacrificing procedure, right. And that is seafood. And that is all types of seafood,

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there is no sacrifice. Therefore, if the reason why we are cooking it, the way that we're cooking it is to expedite its death, and to then have the meat for us to eat, then it is permissible in sha Allah to Allah because our goal is not to torture, our goal is to cause a quick death and to then cook the animal. And this is the explicit fatawa as I said, to be my magic, and of the

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hammer at school and whatnot. And by the way, this also needs to be said here, look, lots of studies have been done, whether you know, fish and whether

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lobsters actually even have pain, the way that we understand them. You know, there have been a lot of studies done. And to date, no study has been conclusive we do not even know if they feel pain, we don't know they don't have the type of sensory nerves that we are accustomed to. And it is very likely I'm not a marine biologist, but you know, from what I've read, it is very likely that they do not even sense pain, the way that we do and the way that land animals do, they don't have the type of sensory organs the way that we do and therefore this notion of Firstly, even if there was some pain or some suffering involved, it would still be permissible because this is the mechanism of

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cooking the seafood but secondly, we can also say in reality in all likelihood there is no pain for these creatures, there's simply going to be not existing anymore when we you know cook them in this manner and therefore it would be permissible to do so and so inshallah tada butcher away because you need butter for lobster obviously butter away and enjoy your lobster meat however you cook it if you choose to do so no problem in shallow tada with this

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people when he can