Fatwa ID: 05305
Answered by: Mufti Muhammad Imad Ali
In Pakistan, we have some restaurants selling crab. I and my family go to these restaurants but do not eat any of the dishes containing them. Is this ok? We order other items. If it was pork we would obviously not go there due to cross-contamination but since there is a difference of opinion among scholars regarding crab we eat at the restaurants but do not order the specific dishes containing crab?
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
According to the Hanafi Fiqh, animals that are born and live in the water are unlawful to consume with the exception of a fish.
Abdullah ibn Umar narrates that the Prophet (PBUH) said; “Two types of dead meat and two types of blood have been made lawful for our consumption; the two dead types of meat are: fish and locust and two types of blood are liver and spleen.” (Sunan Ibn Majah)
However, Imam Ahmed ibn Hanbal (RA) And Imam Shafi (RA) state that all living creatures that live in the sea are halal whether they are in the form of fish or not. Imam Malik (RA) has said that all living creatures are halal except for an eel. Based on this oysters, shrimp, lobsters, and crabs will be permissible to consume. (Hidayah p:442 v:4 & Al Lubab p:533 v:7)
Furthermore, Saaiduna Abu Hurairah RadiallahuAnhu narrates that a man asked the Prophet of Allah SallallahuAlahiWasalam “O Prophet of Allah SallallahuAlahiWasalam, we travel on the sea and take a small quantity of water with us. If we use this for ablution, we would suffer from thirst. Can we perform ablution with seawater? The Prophet of Allah SallallahuAlahiWasalam replied; its water is pure and what dies in it is lawful food.” (Sunan Abi Dawud p:13 v:1)
With regards to your question, one should avoid eating in such places where there may be a danger of contamination of crabs with other dishes.
Only Allah knows best.
Written by Mufti Muhammad Imad Ali
Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham