Hyderabad-based seminary Jamia Nizamia has issued a fatwa against eating prawns as they do not fall in the category of fish. The decision has created a controversy. While many Muslim clerics are satisfied with it, several Muslim scholars differ with the view.
A fatwa issued by the Mufti Mohammad Azeemuddin, the chief mufti, on January 1, declared prawn to be ‘makruh tahrim’, being an anthropod (an animal with no spine having an external skeleton like insects, spiders, ants etc), according to Times of India. Makruh tahrim is a reference to something detestable, that is to be avoided.
In Islam, the food is divided into three categories: Halal (permissible), Haraam (forbidden) and Makruh (abominable). The third category is further divided into Makruh (abominable but can be eaten) and Makruh Tahrim (detestable and should not be eaten). According to this, the ones eating prawns are committing a sin and deserve a punishment in hell. Many Muslim scholars differ from Jamia Nizami’s fatwa, however.