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why is catfish haram?

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salam,

i have a question concerning halal food.

i have never eaten catfish, because my parents have said it to be haram and that we can only eat fish with scales. i asked them why it is haram, and they said that they do not know for sure, but it has something to do with the catfish eats junk from the bottom of the sea, as compared to fish with scales that make thier own food. i then asked what if the catfish was raised on a fish farm, and was given nutrients and special food? they told me that the food catfish eat is not the only reason, but they do not know exactly what the others reasons are.

so my question is why is it haram to eat catfish other than that it eats junk off the bottom of the sea?

please reply!

ws

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(salam)

Because they do NOT have scales.

In order for fish to become permissible for a Muslim, it must have the following conditions:

(a) The fish must have scales on it. [That is, it should not be a skin fish.]

(b ) The Muslim should be certain or satisfied that the fish has come out of the water alive or that it died while it was already in the fishing net.

Also from Resala of Sayyid Seestani

Some experts of fisheries say that scaleless fish mostly feed upon the waste of the sea and are in a way purifier of the filth, the squalor and the garbage of the sea.

ws

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salam,

so, the reasoning is that fish without scales eats junk. i know i am being a little to insistant, but what if the fish did not eat junk and it came out of the water alive? is it halal now?

i am trying to understand, even though i am very likely to never eat catfish in my lifetime. i think that if the only reasoning for a rule becomes null and void, then the law loses its credability. its logic, if there is a law that one should not drink beer because it has alchohol, and there is beer that has no alchohol, then the rule banning beer should be limited to alchoholic beer because that is the reasoning of the rule in the first place.

since fish without scales normally eat junk, thus making the meat filthy, then the fish should not be eaten. if a fish without scales does not eat junk, but rather nutrients, then the fish can be eaten. that is the logic i applied.

now, my question is if there is any OTHER conditions that a fish must have to be permissable to eat, other than the ones listed.

i am also asking for the exact reasoning behind the law pertaining to why fish with scales are haram, and if this reasoning becomes null and void, then does the law become null and void?

ws

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is there any scientific reason or is the reason purely religious?

that is another question worth asking. the scientific reason would have logical reasoning, and the religious reason should be supported by the scientific reason and the religious element of why.

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A similiar arguement was directed to me to when i was working in corporate america. They used to make fun of how i wouldnt eat the other white meat (Pork), So i told them its a dirty animal so i dont eat/touch it. In their defense they replied that in this era these pigs are raised in clean envoirnment with proper food, So now what? My opinion is that you cant change the nature of the beast..

Like the saying goes

You can take the kid out of the trailer park but you cant take the trailer park out of the kid.

Hope i am making sense. As a sport fisherman i was wondering why would you want catfish anyway? they are so hideous looking that i everytime i would take a bite it would remind me of them whiskers yuck. I would suggest try either red snapper or mackerel.

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(salam)

is there any scientific reason or is the reason purely religious?

Well logical reason is to protect the health of the consumer. Scientifically it is known today that fish without scales are said to feed on the waste at the bottom of the sea. They are usually known as Bottom-feeders and feed on anything from algae to insects to worms. For this reason they may pose a harm to the humans eating them. Therefore they are forbidden to eat.

As for eating dead fish or any dead meat, well that's again for the purpose of protecting humans. For example you can never be sure how the fish died, naturally or because of poisoning by chemicals in the water or something. Dead meat may cause many diseases because of germs etc that may not be destroyed by roasting or other cooking methods, that will in turn pose a threat to your health as well.

Just some of the reasons that i could think of right now.

ws :)

Edited by kanez-e-Zahra

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(salam)

so, the reasoning is that fish without scales eats junk. i know i am being a little to insistant, but what if the fish did not eat junk and it came out of the water alive? is it halal now?

This is one of the reasons that is known (maybe there are other reasons that i'm not aware of). I believe that this in itself is a recent discovery…….Allah (JJ) is the All Knowing and his Laws are without flaws. For all we know there may be other solid reasons for this prohibition, so I would say that what is prohibited will remain prohibited. Even if they are grown in another environment you still cannot change the characteristics of that fish. There are specific hadith were the Holy Prophet pbuh and Ayimma (as) have said clearly that fish without scales should not be consumed.

Muhammad bin Muslim asked Imam Jaffer Al-Sadiq (as) about a fish that has no

scales to which the Imam(AS) replied: " Eat of the fishes that have scales

and do not eat of the fishes that have no scales"

(Fiqh Al-Imam Jaffer Al-Sadiq by Jawad Mughniya Vol 4 Pg 368)

ws :)

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Guest Peace

(bismillah)

(salam)

God prohibits what must be prohibited. None of his limits are stupid or vain. We might not understand why but it is enough that he is The Wise, The All-Knowing and The Merciful. He is too generous to impose on us anything that was not beneficial for us.

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Assalamu alaykum,

Apparently the fish without scales have a higher level of mercury in their body which can affect the human health (its deadly). Also shell fish which are haram such as Oyster, Lobster etc etc have a higher level of mercury..

Just because we dont have the answers why they are haram, an answer will pop out scientifically sooner or later, everything that is Halal and Haram for us is made that way because its the best for our bodies.

I used to question the reason why our Holy Imams (as) recommended us to eat a pomegranite every friday or atleast every 40 days if we couldnt every Friday. Subhan'Allah on Wednesday I was reading the newspaper and I read that scientist have just found out that eating a pomegranite can reduce heart disease and cholesterol in the body.

Our Holy Imam's (as) mightve recommended certain actions without giving an explenation. But there are good reasons behind them.

Such as why it is recommended to sleep on your back or on your right hand side, and Not to sleep on your Left side or on your stomach.

wa alaykum assalam

Khoder.

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Guest abaleada
Assalamu alaykum,

Apparently the fish without scales have a higher level of mercury in their body which can affect the human health (its deadly).

(bismillah)

(salam)

They wouldn't if we didn't have coal-burning electricity factories dumping high amounts of mercury into lakes and streams nearby 56% of the population of the US. Most of the affected population are poor and minority or indigenous. Turn off the light if you don't need it, get solar panels, and push your elected (and selected) leaders to fund windmills for energy.

KPFT News of KPFT 90.1 FM Houston 89.5 Galveston http://www.kpft.org interviewed some of those poor minority people in Houston. When one man was asked about whether those mercury-ridden fish had caused any ill effects in his neighbourhood, the man broke into sobs and described how many children had tumors and neurological birth defects, and how many people had been affected with mental disabilities and cancers because of corporate pollution.

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Thought people might find this interesting. Fish without scales were prohibited to the Bani Israel too:

Leviticus 11:9 These you may eat, of all that are in the waters. Everything in the waters that has fins and scales, whether in the seas or in the rivers, you may eat. 10 But anything in the seas or the rivers that has not fins and scales, of the swarming creatures in the waters and of the living creatures that are in the waters, is an abomination to you. 11 They shall remain an abomination to you; of their flesh you shall not eat, and their carcasses you shall have in abomination. 12 Everything in the waters that has not fins and scales is an abomination to you.

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salam,

THANK YOU, EVERYONE!

i am exceptionally satisfied with many of the replies i recieved. i learned many things that i had not know before, like that mercury content differentiates between fish with scales and fish without scales.

thank you again!

ws

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one of my fav pre-conversion days sea food was crabs......

I love crabs... esp the way my grandma makes em... unfortunately i cant have em now..... *sigh*

btw i dont eat pork... never did either... even before changing... just looking at that 3inch thick slab of fat makes me sick... and being a goan (goan = guy from goa india) pork is a part of life there... so you can imagine how my grandma felt when i said "eeewww!!!"

btw isnt mackerel also without scales????

Ali

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Guest Eilis

salaam...

just a few notes...

modern pig farms are filthy... a health hazard to anyone that works there, and an environmental nightmare (so there goes that argument!).

jews eat catfish at passover (the gilfiltefish is often made out of catfish).

Q. what's the difference between a lawyer and a catfish?

A. one's a scum sucking bottom-dweller, and the other one's a fish! (my apologies to any good honest muslim lawyers out there... this one was for your typical western money stealing lawyer!)

Eilis

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one of my fav pre-conversion days sea food was crabs......

I love crabs... esp the way my grandma makes em... unfortunately i cant have em now..... *sigh*

btw i dont eat pork... never did either... even before changing... just looking at that 3inch thick slab of fat makes me sick... and being a goan (goan = guy from goa india) pork is a part of life there... so you can imagine how my grandma felt when i said "eeewww!!!"

btw isnt mackerel also without scales????

Ali

(salam)

Bro Ali I love crabs too :cry:

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This is da chinese myth

Their was a cat and she met a fish in a pond/lake/ocean *watevr*...and dey fell in love...the cat went in da water and started hanging around with the fish...and over time da cat started to adapt to the water..and den u knwo dey had kids blah blah and den da CAT FISH was made

haha

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(salam)
btw isnt mackerel also without scales????

Yes seems that mackerels do not have scales, therefore they are not permissible to eat.

ws :)

Salaam alaikum,

Mackerels do have scales, just not on their heads. Their bodies are covered with small scales.

http://cnet.windsor.ns.ca/Environment/Advo...m/mackerel.html

They are halal to eat. A fish doesn't have to be completely covered in scales to be allowed.

Sayyid Khamene'i

Question: Our today's question is about the definition for fish to be halal. What are the criteria for a fish, that it can be accepted as halal. Can you give us a complete definition. As we know one of the criteria is, that a fish should have fish scale. Therefor our questions in this regard:

1. Are there also other criteria as precondition, that a fish is halal for meal?

2. Is the precondition to have scale a scientific one or based on the opinion of people?

3. How many scale should a fish have, that it is accepted as halal?

4. Is it acceptable, that a fish has only scale on one body side but no one on the other side, as it is described for example for the fish called plaice We would be very happy, if you could enlighten us in this regard.

Answer: Bismihi Ta`ala

1. There is no other condition but to get it out of water alive i.e. to die outside the water.

2. The recognition of this matter is the responsibility of the mukallaf (person bound by religious obligations) even with referring to the expert people or to the `urf (common view).

3. There is no certain number for the scales. However, it should be said that it has scales according to `urf. It suffice that the fish is originally a scaled one even if all its scales had disappeared later. Like a kind of fishes which rubs its body against every thing and its scales fall away and when one looks near its ears, he may see some of them.

4. The ruling is made clear in the above answer.

WaSalaam, Hajar

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(salam)

Really :unsure: Does it depend on what species of mackerel it is coz I was told that they don’t have scales. Hmmm……looked around the net and seems for some species of mackerel it is conditional i.e. some may have small scales while others may not.

http://www.fact-index.com/m/ma/mackerel.html

The scales are extremely small, if present.

This site says:

http://www.havbruk.no/fishlist/makrel.html

Mackerel does not have a swim bladder, which makes it difficult to register on fish finding equiment. Nor does it have scales, so it is difficult to register its age.

Have they made a generalisation because not all of it's body is covered with scales or the scales are so tiny that it can't be seen?? ... :unsure:

Thanks for the rulings and clarification.

ws

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(salam)

It could be that the ones they catch in countries, other than the US and Canada are a different variety. Or their scales could be so small, that some don't consider them scales.

WaSalaam, Hajar

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