Is Catfish Halal?

is catfish halal

Muslims typically hold the belief that all seafood is halal, and we have talked extensively about halal seafood. All varieties of fish are considered to be halal seafood, however, because some scholars do not classify catfish as a fish, the question of whether it is halal or not arises.

Catfish is halal. All seafood is considered halal by three schools of thought (Shafi, Maliki, and Hanbali), but only the fish family is acknowledged by Hanafi. Catfish is halal because it is considered a fish.

What’s The Confusion

is catfish halal

The fish has to fulfill a number of requirements in order to be considered halal.

Muslims cannot eat fish that doesn’t have scales since it is not halal. Because it lacks scales, some people disagree that catfish is a fish. Others claim that the catfish is in fact a fish as it possesses fins and gills.

Catfish is halal since it complies with the definition of a fish. Given that it has gills and fins, it is a species of fish and is halal.

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Fatwa About Catfish

is catfish halal

The only marine animals that are prohibited from consumption are sea dogs and sea pigs. However, according to the Hanafi School, only things that are known to be members of the fish family are allowed, and everything else is forbidden.

The issue arises because certain Hanafi scholars do not believe that catfish belong in the fish family.

[Mufti] Muhammad ibn Adam says:

“In the three schools of Islamic law other than the Hanafis (namely Shafi’i, Maliki and Hanbali), the general ruling is that the produce of the sea is permitted. Meaning, everything from the sea is lawful to consume with the exception of a sea-dog and sea-pig.

However, according to the Hanafi School, whatever is known to be from the fish family will be permitted, and the rest is unlawful. (Hidaya, 4/71)

Keeping this principle in mind, it is evident that a catfish is without doubt Halal according to the other three schools of fiqh. However, according to the Hanafi school, this depends on whether it is considered a fish or not.

After researching into the catfish, the scholars mention that it is a special type of fish, thus lawful to eat according to the Hanafi School also. (See the Encyclopedia Britannica, for example.)”


After this fatwa, I assume your doubts might have been cleared but still you need to decide this for yourself. There will always be doubts about some things due to some scholarly opinion.

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Final Thoughts

It is ultimately up to each and every Muslim to decide for themselves whether or not they wish to consume catfish. I just researched and the majority of the scholars consider it halal.

And Allah Knows Best.

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