Is Alligator Halal?


Muslims frequently inquire whether it is allowed to eat alligators or crocodiles. Because there is only a minor biological difference between alligators and crocodiles, the Islamic ruling will be the same for both.

There is a disagreement among Muslim scholars. Those who believe it is lawful or halal regard the alligator as a sea creature. A sea creature is any creature that lives in water. They state that it is a sea creature and is halal without slaughtering just like the fish and lobsters. Scholars who regard alligators as amphibious animals with teeth regard them as prey animals. Alligator meat is haram, or forbidden, according to these scholars.

Is Alligator Meat Halal?

Many hadith and Quranic texts state that all sea creatures are halal and do not require slaughter. Some Muslim scholars believe alligators to be sea animals and so halal. These researchers compare alligators and crocodiles to fish and lobsters. Alligators are halal because the Prophet (peace be upon him) commanded Muslims to eat seafood and consider it halal.

Other Muslim scholars, on the other hand, regard alligators as predators. Alligators have keen teeth that they use for prey. Alligators are amphibious beasts that consume humans. They have claws as well and can live on land. So all the Islamic ruling of sea creatures doesn’t apply to alligators according to these Muslim scholars.

Muslims are rather confused about alligator meat and can’t come to a conclusion about whether alligator meat is halal or haram.

Muslim Scholars’ Views On Eating Alligator Meat

There is a difference in opinion amongst Muslim scholars regarding alligator meat being halal or haram. Some deem alligator halal as it is a sea creature and others think that it is an amphibious animal that is haram and not allowed in Islam to eat.

Shaikh has addressed the matter in the following video:

“Al Qurtubi  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him related from Ibn Al-‘Arabi that he said: “The meat of the amphibious animals is unlawful because it embodies two conflicting rulings: one that it is lawful and the other that it is unlawful. Now the ruling of unlawfulness is given priority to that of lawfulness. So, it is unlawful to eat the meat of crocodile or alligator.”


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Quran About Alligator Meat

“It is lawful for you to hunt and eat seafood, as a provision for you and for travellers. But hunting on land is forbidden to you while on pilgrimage. Be mindful of Allah to Whom you all will be gathered.”

[Al-Ma`ida: 96]

Say, ˹O Prophet,˺ “I do not find in what has been revealed to me anything forbidden to eat except carrion, running blood, swine—which is impure—or a sinful offering in the name of any other than Allah. But if someone is compelled by necessity—neither driven by desire nor exceeding immediate need—then surely your Lord is All-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”

[Al-An’am: 145]

These verses from the Quran give us a verdict on all sea creatures. However, the problem arises when we consider that alligator is also land animal. It can safely travel on land without being in the water for a long time. And when there is confusion or doubt Muslims are told to avoid such foods and drinks.

Why Do Muslims Consider Alligators Haram?

Alligator meat is controversial among Muslim scholars. According to some scholars, the meat is halal as alligators and crocodiles are sea animals which is deemed halal by many hadith and Quranic verses.

Other scholars, however, state that alligators have sharp teeth and claws. Besides being prey animals, alligators and crocodiles can also live on land without water. So, it is not right to consider it a sea animal and apply all the rules to it. Alligators are considered haram by these Muslim scholars.

Whenever Muslims are in doubt Islam teaches us to stay away so as to be safe. We can’t argue with the facts when it comes to the scholars considering alligator meat halal or haram. 

Due to this, most Muslim scholars consider alligator meat to be haram since there is a doubt and we are told to play safe.

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What do Muslims think?

There are no specific guidelines on whether or not to consume its meat according to Shariah Law. The prohibition of alligator meat is not supported by any evidence, but Muslims also lack a clear indication that alligator meat is halal. As a result, Muslims are confused. There are some hadith that goes in the favor of alligator meat being halal.

In the Light of Sunnah

There are countless examples in which the Prophet (peace be upon him) advised his companions to consume seafood since it is halal. That is why there is a widespread belief that everything in the sea is Halal for Muslim consumption. 

The following hadith is an example:

“We set out in the army of Al-Khabt and Abu Ubaida was the commander of the troops. We were struck with severe hunger and the sea threw out a dead fish the like of which we had never seen, and it was called Al-`Anbar. We ate of it for half a month. Abu Ubaida took (and fixed) one of its bones and a rider passed underneath it (without touching it). (Jabir added:) Abu ‘Ubaida said (to us), “Eat (of that fish).” When we arrived at Medina, we informed the Prophet (ﷺ) about that, and he said, “Eat, for it is food Allah has brought out for you, and feed us if you have some of it.” So some of them gave him (of that fish) and he ate it.”

[Sahih al-Bukhari 4362]

The following hadith clarifies the legality of alligator meat as halal. Alligators do live on land and have fangs for hunting. They are, nonetheless, sea creatures because they dwell in the water.

“Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said regarding the sea, “It’s water is purifying and its dead (animals) are lawful (to eat).” [Al- Arba’a and Ibn Abu Shaiba reported it (this version is of the latter). Ibn Khuzaima and Tirmidhi graded it Sahih. It was also reported by Malik, Shafi’i and Ahmad.]”

[Bulugh al-Maram 1]

According to Sheikh Ibn Uthaymeen

The Saudi Islamic scholar Muhammad bin Salih al-Uthaymeen, also known as Muhammad ibn al-Uthaymeen, is one of the most famous scholars in the Muslim world. He claims that eating alligator meat is a controversial subject.

There is no doubt that eating alligator meat is controversial. Similar to fish, some scholars believe it is halal or allowed. According to some experts, it is illegal because it is one of the prey animals that are prohibited in Islam, such as lions and tigers.

Even Sheikh Ibn Uthaymeen himself didn’t simply say alligator meat was halal or haram. He stated two differences and can’t come to a conclusion.

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Is crocodile haram in Islam?

Crocodiles or alligators are controversial among Muslim scholars. Some say that they are halal as they are sea creatures. However, others deem them haram as they are amphibious animals. In doubt, Muslims should away and avoid such meat on which there is no clear verdict.

Is alligator meat allowed?

In the US alligator meat is allowed legally and you can consume it. Although some Muslim scholars deem it haram so if you are Muslim better to avoid it.

Is an alligator a fish or meat?

It is classified as game meat since it is naturally low in fat and high in protein. In terms of taste gator meat is similar to chicken and fish.

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Final thoughts

There is disagreement among Muslim scholars on whether alligator meat is halal or haram. Some argue that it is halal since it is a sea creature, and all sea creatures are considered halal in Islam. Others argue that it is an amphibious animal that is prohibited.

When in doubt, Muslims are advised by Islam to avoid and remain secure. Because there is ambiguity here, you must ultimately make that decision for yourself. Although it is best to avoid the consumption of alligator meat because it is considered haram.

And Allah Knows Best.

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