Though sharks are far from being the most popular seafood, there seems to be a rise in their demand in today's world.
Shark meat is widely considered one of the top delicacies in many countries around the world, with chefs raving about its unique taste and versatility in cooking.
The answer to this question, in short, is yes – shark meat is halal.
This article will explain why this is the case and examine the beliefs that lead to the misconception that it may be halal.
Deep-dive: Why is Shark Halal?
Sea foods are one of the few halal foods, regardless of anything!
Whether they have scales or not, whether they eat other small fish as part of their diet, whether they are not slaughtered according to the laws of Islam, or even if they are dead already.
They are still considered halal.
This notion might not be an answer accepted by all, but the Quran and the sunnah back it!
Sharks are a special kind of fish, having cartilage instead of bones. They also are cold-blooded and breathe with gills but eat less than most people imagine.
Depending on the chef, Shark meat tastes just like chicken, meaty and mild but must be soaked as they urinate all over their body.
It is also essential to add that they might contain toxins!
Some of the reasons sharks are considered halal include;
For something to be halal or haram, we need not just laws or thoughts but evidence from the Qur'an and Sunnah.
In the case of sharks and other seafood, Allah Most High says:
"Lawful to you is the pursuit of water-game (fishing) and its use for food, for the benefit of yourselves and those who travel…" (Surah al-Ma'ida, V: 96)
Allah Most High, the All-Wise and All-Knowing, gave a notable exception: he exempted fishes from the general halal rule.
Therefore, all four of the major Sunni Madhabs (Maliki, Shafi'i, Hanafi, and Hanbali) agree that consuming all seafood is, without a doubt, permissible.
Another reason sharks are considered halal is because, despite the awful image sharks have gotten from many Hollywood monster movies.
According to the National Ocean Service, humans are not a common element of sharks' diets. They only eat humans when frightened or anxious.
However, humans are not their prey, but smaller fishes and marine invertebrates.
Even if a shark happens to eat a stray human in the ocean, it still would not be forbidden to eat sharks.
Because most fishes eat nearly anything edible, Including human flesh, if it is sliced up into small pieces and dumped in the water.
Therefore, a fish's haram or halal status is determined solely by Allah and His Messenger's (saw) guidance and teachings, not by whether it consumes human flesh or not.
Such uncommon mannerisms have no bearing on sharia judgments.
Another reason sharks are also considered halal is that they do not fit neatly into the category of kitabiyyat.
Kitabiyyat are animals with fangs and claws. They are considered non-halal according to the laws of Islam.
Sharks do not possess both fangs and claws simultaneously, So they are not categorized as kitabiyyat.
Sharks use their fangs and claws for different purposes at different times. The fang is used when they are pursuing prey, while the talons are used for scavenging.
Allah's Messenger (Allah grant him peace) and his precious Companions (Allah be exalted through them) have been reported to have consumed fish on more than one of their journeys.
On one occasion, it was already dead and the size of a mountain. It further bolsters that eating seafood is halal, no matter the size and if found alive.
Times when seafood is considered haram;
While Allah calls all fish "taree," meaning something fresh, tender, nutritious, and spicy.
Here are a few exceptions to seafood being halal and permissible for consumption;
These fish or other seafood could cause harm and even death. An example is a blowfish.
Cases of allergies;
Allergy is when the consumption of a particular diet threatens an individual's standard well-being.
If the diet is fish, it becomes non-halal to the individual!
This is considered non-halal because it is not permissible to endanger one or take one's life, and doing either of these causes that!
Allah is Al-Khaliq, the Creator of everything.
Sharks were made by him and have existed for millions of years. Allah would have mentioned it in the magnificent Qur'an, His permanent revelation if they were forbidden.
But Allah says nothing about it, and based on the Prophet's (SAW) words (peace be upon him), anything about which Allah says nothing by default is deemed halal.
Therefore, we should make the most of this blessing and thank Allah for providing us with healthy shark meats.