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Are Scallops Halal or Haram?

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Scallops belong to the mollusk family that dwells in seawater only. These bivalve animals never inhabit freshwater. Generally, there are two types of scallops – one is bay scallops, and the other is sea scallops.

Bay scallops are smaller compared to sea scallops that grow as big as two inches. These savory creatures also have a sweet taste when cooked. Due to the unique mixture of sweetness and saltiness, demand for scallops is rising steadily. Now they are on the menus list of every popular restaurant.

With the surge in their demands, many Muslims worldwide, especially in the UK, wonder whether these tasty creatures are halal or haram. Here we are going to discuss this question in detail so stay tuned.

Quranic Injunction about the Seafood

Generally, in Islam, most seafood is halal and therefore permissible to eat. Allah (SWT), in Surah Al-Ma’ida, has commanded seafood.

It is lawful for you to hunt and eat seafood, as a provision for you and for travelers. But hunting on land is forbidden to you while on pilgrimage. Be mindful of Allah to Whom you all will be gathered. (Surah Al-Ma’ida, V: 96)

(Source of above-cited Quranic Verse: https://quran.com/en/al-maidah/96-105)

By citing this verse, the four primary Islamic schools of thought consider most seafood halal. But the Hanafi school of thought believes this verse to be applicable to fish only. Therefore, according to the Hanafi school of thought, seafood other than fish like scallops, crabs, shrimps, oysters, etc., are undesirable (makrooh) or haram.

According to the four primary Islamic schools of thought, it is pertinent to note that all poisonous and harmful seafood is haram.

Scallop – A Seafood

Scallop belongs to the mollusk family and is a type of shellfish. The shellfish class includes both crustaceans and mollusks. Other prominent shellfish include shrimp, crab, lobster, squid, oysters, etc.

Scallops, like other seafood, can either be cooked or grilled. Its white meat is a muscle that has a rich taste. Besides its taste, seafood is also rich in Omega-3 and other nutrients and therefore promotes health.

But for Muslims, this delicacy is available only if it is halal for consumption. Though most seafood, except poisonous and harmful creatures, is halal for Muslims, the problem may arise regarding eating some seafood like scallops due to differences in opinion.

Are Scallops Halal or Haram?

As stated earlier, all of the four Islamic schools of thought, excluding the Hanafi School, consider scallops halal. But the Hanafi Mujtahids consider only fish halal. So, there is a difference of opinion on scallops’ legal halal/haram status.

Due to this difference in opinion, consuming seafood is somewhat tricky. As Muslims around the globe follow different schools of thought (madhabs), in most instances, it is best  you consult the respective Islamic scholars before eating seafood like scallops.

In the UK, the Muslim brethren may follow different madhabs so before ordering scallops from a restaurant or cooking it at home, each of you must consult your local Islamic scholar for proper guidance.

In a nutshell, a majority of the Muslim population can eat scallops. Still, followers of the Hanafi school of thought must consult their scholars, as according to this school of thought, seafood, including scallops, is either undesirable (makrooh) or haram.

Over to You

Holy Quran and Sunnah are the two primary sources of guidance for all Muslim populace. So, in light of the Quran and Sunnah, seafood is halal. But due to differences in opinion among Islamic scholars of different schools of thought, some seafood may become undesirable (makrooh) or haram.

According to the three schools of thought, eating scallops is halal but according to the Hanafi school of thought, eating scallops is either undesirable (makrooh) or haram. Before taking a final decision about eating scallops, you must seek guidance from an established Islamic scholar of your school of thought who can make an informed decision based on the teachings of the Holy Quran and the Sunnah.

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