Is it allowed to eat a sea turtle, seahorse, crocodile and hedgehog? ―Shaikh Ibn Bāz

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Is it allowed to eat a turtle, seahorse, crocodile and hedgehog?

Answer: It is allowed to eat a hedgehog due to what is understood from the verse:

قُل لَّا أَجِدُ فِي مَا أُوحِيَ إِلَيَّ مُحَرَّمًا عَلَىٰ طَاعِمٍ يَطْعَمُهُ إِلَّا أَن يَكُونَ مَيْتَةً أَوْ دَمًا مَّسْفُوحًا أَوْ لَحْمَ خِنزِيرٍ فَإِنَّهُ رِجْسٌ أَوْ فِسْقًا أُهِلَّ لِغَيْرِ اللَّهِ بِهِ ۚ فَمَنِ اضْطُرَّ غَيْرَ بَاغٍ وَلَا عَادٍ فَإِنَّ رَبَّكَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ

“Say (O Muhammad): I find not in that which has been inspired to me anything forbidden to be eaten by one who wishes to eat it unless it be a dead animal (unslaughtered) or blood poured forth, or the flesh of swine (pork, etc.) for that surely is impure, or unlawful meat of an animal which is slaughtered as a sacrifice for other than Allah (for idols, saints, etc). But whosoever is forced by necessity without wilful disobedience, nor transgressing due limits, then certainly, your Lord is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Al-An’ām: 145)

As for the sea turtle, then a group of scholars stated that it is permitted to eat even if it not slaughtered due to the meaning contained in the verse:

أُحِلَّ لَكُمْ صَيْدُ الْبَحْرِ وَطَعَامُهُ مَتَاعًا لَّكُمْ وَلِلسَّيَّارَةِ ۖ

“Lawful to you is the game from the sea and its food as provision for you and the travellers…” (Al-Mā’idah: 96) And due to the saying of the Prophet (ﷺ) regarding the sea: “Its water is pure (and a purifier) and its dead creatures are halāl.” (Abu Dawood, 83, At-Tirmidhi, 69, and others) However, the safer option is to slaughter it first to remove ourselves from differing in the matter.

As for the crocodile, then it has been stated (by some scholars): It can be eaten just like fish. And that is based on what has preceded, i.e. the verse and the hadeeth. And it has been said (by other scholars) that it cannot be eaten because it has canines of a predatory animal. However, the correct view is that it is halāl to eat.

As for the seahorse, then it is allowed to eat, again due to the verse and hadeeth already quoted, and due to the absence of any text that forbids it. The horse of the land is permissible to eat as there is proof for that, so the sea horse has a greater right of being halāl to eat.

See Al-Jāmi’ fī Fiqhil-‘Allāmah Ibn Bāz (p. 1046).

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