Crocodile meat is an exotic, healthy, delicacy in many cuisines today. It is exceptionally tender and juicy with a taste similar to chicken and a texture like a large fish.
This firm and tender succulent white meat, flakes apart with ease when compared to beef or lamb. It is low in fat but very high in protein and is known for its numerous health benefits.
But, is these mouth-watering predators considered to be halal? Let’s find out!
Despite being a long-standing favourite dish for many worldwide, Crocodiles are one of those meats with questionable halal status. The better part of this debate centers on if it could be classified as a water or land animal.
While it is not forbidden in any of the trustworthy Sharia sources, three out of the four Islamic schools of thought believe that Crocodiles are non-halal despite spending some time in the water.
Why Crocodile is considered haram by some scholars
Here are some of the reasons Crocodile is considered haram;
Not a complete sea animal
Crocodiles spend a great amount of their life span in water but also on land due to their inability to create their heat as normal fishes do. Their shuttle between water and land makes them unfit for the seafood title.
So while experts may debate if crabs, prawns, or shrimps are seafood, a better part of them already ruled out crocodiles, and alligators, as being fish. This takes them off the immunity given to all seafood by Allah.
Crocodiles are classified as kitabiyyat
Kitabiyyat is a classification of animals according to Islamic laws. They are simply animals with fangs and claws. Animals like lions, tigers, cats, and other flesh-eating animals belong to this group.
According to the Islamic halal rule, animals with fangs and claws, alongside birds with talons are non-halal and unfit for eating. Since crocodiles are also land animals, the reason for the prohibition is valid.
They are land animals with fangs, therefore non-halal.
Crocodiles are carnivores
Crocodiles are believed to be one of the most grisly predators out there, even to man.
While other sea animals like Sharks feed on man accidentally and go away once they realize, crocodiles hunt man, accounting for over 1000 man kills each year. Most times they lay still in swamps waiting for their prey to pass by so they can happily pounce on them.
Islamic law prohibits the consumption of any animal concerned with killing or eating any form of flesh. Crocodiles not only eat but derive pleasure from eating them, therefore, it is considered haram for devout Muslims.
Crocodiles feed on carcasses
More than being predators, crocodiles are also scavengers and hence feed on anything edible they come across whether living or dead. According to the law of Islam, it is unlawful to feed on animals that eat dead meat or even bloodied meat.
This makes Crocodiles non-halal!
Crocodile slaughter methods can’t be guaranteed to be halal
Crocodiles are merciless beasts and can’t just lay around and watch you painlessly cut their throats which is the recommended Islamic slaughter method.
Battering the animal to death which is the most common way of killing crocodiles is considered haram, so also is striking with horns. Also, this animal is considered haram if eaten when it dies by itself.
So yes, it might make a nice meal but is it worth all the hurdles and risks?
Why are crocodiles considered halal by some Scholars?
There is only one answer to this, Crocodile is covered by the seafood permissibility rule. One of the four schools of thought in Islam still considers Crocodiles sea animals, despite their appearance on land.
Seafood could be said to be halal, regardless of anything! No matter if they have scales or not, if they consume other small fish and animals as part of their diet, if they are not killed following Islamic law, or even if they are already killed by something else.
Provided they are drawn out of the water, they are purified. Hence permissible for an Islamic diet. Just like hippos and alligators, crocodiles are one of those animals with conflicting halal status.
Crocodile meat consumption might be healthy if prepared properly and are even friendly to the environment for some reasons. They also taste like fish and chicken together, but the huge question mark on their halal status makes them a bad fit for a devout Muslim diet.
It depends on you to decide if Crocodile meat is haram or halal. Both of these opposing viewpoints on eating Crocodile meat are valid. Therefore, eating Crocodile meat is considered controversial.
You can check out Chewwies to see other foods that are halal and safe for your consumption.