Is Crab Halal Or Haram?

is crab halal or haram

Most Muslim scholars agree that crabs are halal and permissible for Muslims to consume, however, some say they are not.

For Muslims, most seafood is halal, although there are several cases where there is doubt. You can continue reading the post where I explored all of the statements and Islamic references about seafood and Muslim academics.

Is Crab Halal Or Haram?

The short answer is that most Muslim scholars believe that crab is halal and totally safe to consume for Muslims. These scholars see the crab as a sea creature and Islam tells that all sea creatures are halal.

is crab halal

There is a doubt though. Some scholars also say that crabs are not allowed as the only seafood allowed for Muslims is fish.

As there is confusion between schools of thought we will discuss it further and you can follow the scholars you follow or think is more accurate to you.

Seafood is discussed in Quran and then many scholars also have given fatwas on crabs. Let’s discuss every aspect of crabs whether they are halal or haram so that you can figure out the best decision.

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Quran About Fish And Seafood

Almost all varieties of seafood are considered halal. Quran states:

“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.”

[Quran 5:96]

This verse specifically tells all the Muslims that they can hunt and consume all the seafood and there is no exception. The only exception is if you are on Holy soil performing pilgrimage hunting is not allowed but nothing about crabs is said here.

According to Islam, Muslims should avoid all harmful foods, so everything harmful to humans is automatically haram. In the sea, for instance, there are many poisonous plants. Due to the harmful haram rule, they are automatically haram, even though this Quran verse mentions seafood.


While most seafood is halal, there can be some exceptions if the creature is harmful in any way.

Another Quranic verse explains that all sea creatures and plants are allowed:

“The two bodies of water are not alike: one is fresh, palatable, and pleasant to drink and the other is salty and bitter. Yet from them both you eat tender seafood and extract ornaments to wear. And you see the ships ploughing their way through both, so you may seek His bounty and give thanks ˹to Him˺.”

[Quran 35:12]

Again the general applies here that any seafood is halal but only if it’s not poisonous to humans.

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Is Crab Halal Sunni?

Most of all the Sunni scholars agree that crabs are halal. They consider all the crabs to be sea creatures and no need for them to be slaughtered. Crabs are also considered halal by Sunni Muslims since they lack the ability to walk away from their shell.

Crabs are allowed in Sunni Islam, and most Sunnis eat crabs and other seafood often.

These Sunni scholars include Hanbali and Shaafi Muslim scholars who state that all seafood is halal whether it’s a fish or any other sea creature. If you are a follower of the Hanbal or Shaafi school of thought crabs are considered halal.

There is one school of thought which creates doubt and that is Hanafi Islam.

Is Crab Halal Hanafi?

Crabs are halal and haram both in the Hanafi school of thought of Islam. Some Hanafi scholars allow crabs and state that crab is halal. Others believe crabs to be haram and so Hanafi followers are in doubt.

There is a fatwa from Maulana Moinul Abu Hamza​​:

“In the Hanafi madhab, fish is the only seafood that is halal to consume. Therefore, crab would not be permitted according to Hanafis (1) However, there are other views within the Hanafi school that suggest prawns, crabs and lobster and other foodstuffs in the sea not considered to be fish are in fact considered to be part of the category of fish from a linguistic perspective.”


This fatwa describes that it is better to avoid eating crabs if you follow the Hanafi school of thought. Although some scholars believe that crabs are halal Muslims following the Hanafi school of thought are highly suggested to stay away from crabs.

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Is Crab Halal Shia?

All the Shia Muslim followers do not eat crabs. Generally, Shia scholars believe that crabs can walk a bit inside their shells and hence not halal. Most of the Shia followers avoid crabs although some say that they are halal.

Again there is a doubt but I suggest you avoid crabs if you follow Shia scholars as most of them state crabs as haram.

Are Crab Claws Halal?

The halal status of the claws of crabs depends upon the physical appearance of the claws. The rule here is if you can remove the claws of the crab without cutting it then the claws are halal.

If you have to cut the crab in order to remove the claws from the crab then they will be considered haram as you have killed the crab in an inhuman manner which is strictly prohibited in Islam.

In the end, it will depend on the crabs themselves and the halal or haram status will vary on the physical properties of the claws. You need to figure this one out yourself.

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Final Thoughts

Crabs are considered halal by most Muslim scholars following the Hanbali and Shaafi schools of thought of Islam. There is doubt amongst the Hanafi and Shia scholars who share the concept that crabs might be haram to consume as they can move under their shells.

If you follow the Hanbali or Shaafi sect then crabs are totally halal but avoid them if you are following the Hanafi or Shia sect.

And Allah Knows Best.

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