Yes, prawns (shrimp) are Halal in the Shafi’i School.
Allah states in the Holy Qur’an:
أُحِلَّ لَكُمْ صَيْدُ الْبَحْرِ وَطَعَامُهُ مَتَاعًا لَّكُمْ وَلِلسَّيَّارَةِ
“It has been made permissible for you to hunt the sea and its food as a provision for you and travellers….” – [al-Ma’idah:96]
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:
عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ فِي مَاءِ الْبَحْرِ: هُوَ الطَّهُورُ مَاؤُهُ، الْحَلَالُ مَيْتَتُهُ
Abu Hurairah (May Allah Most High be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet ﷺ was asked about sea water and he said, ‘Its water is purifying and its dead creatures are Halal.’ (Ahmad, 7233).
عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ رضي الله عنه قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ﷺ فِي الْبَحْرِ: هُوَ الطَّهُورُ مَاؤُهُ، الْحِلُّ مَيْتَتُهُ
أَخْرَجَهُ الْأَرْبَعَةُ, وَابْنُ أَبِي شَيْبَةَ -وَاللَّفْظُ لَهُ- وَصَحَّحَهُ ابْنُ خُزَيْمَةَ وَالتِّرْمِذِيُّ، وَرَوَاهُ مَالِكٌ وَالشَّافِعِيُّ وَأَحْمَدُ
On the authority of Abu Hurairah, may Allah be Pleased with him, who said, ‘The Messenger of Allah, ﷺ, said regarding the sea, ‘Its water is purifying, and its dead creatures of permitted.’ Reported by the Four (Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi, Nasa’i and Ibn Majah), Ibn Abi Shaybah – the wording is from his -, and it has been classified as Ṣaḥīḥ by Ibn Khuzaymah and Tirmidhi. It has also been related by Malik, ash-Shafi’i and Ahmad.” – [Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, Bulūgh’ul-marām].
Imam an-Nawawi (d. 676), may Allah have mercy on him, states in Minhaj’ut-Talibin:
حيوان البحر السمك منه حلال كيف مات وكذا غيره في الأصح
“Sea creatures, its fish are permitted [to eat] however they die. Similarly, other than fish is permitted according to the Aṣaḥ (soundest opinion).”
This statement by the great Imam clarifies that aquatic life is permitted for eating purposes in the Shafi’i schools, be it fish or other than fish. Shrimp is included within this permissibility. The exception to this general permissibility is aquatic life than can live both on land and sea. Imam Nawawi (d. 676), may Allah have mercy on him, states in Minhaj’ut-Talibin:
وما يعيش في بر وبحر كضفدع وسرطان وحية حرام
“And that which lives on land and in sea, such as frog, crab and snake, are prohibited.”
And Allah and His Messenger ﷺ know best.
Answered by Shaykh Mohammed Jamili
9th Shawwal 1443
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