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In the Name of God بسم الله

Does Seer/Surmai fish have scales? Is it Halal?

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  • Advanced Member

Salaam dear fellow Shia Chatters,

As the subject states, does Seer/Surmai fish have scales and is it Halal? The fishmonger has given me conflicting information. First he says it has small scales, then he says it has no scales. Furthermore I believe I heard in a majlis that Seer/Surmai fish is born with scales, but then it s[Edited Out]es itself on rocks to remove it's scales.

Does anybody have any authentic reports on this?

Also what is the law on having fish. Is it that we are allowed to eat only scaly fish?

Jazakallah brothers and sisters. Keep smiling :-)


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  • Advanced Member

Ruling 163 under Eating and Drinking at:


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.

It is not necessary for the fisherman to be a Muslim or to utter the name of Allãh for the fish to become halãl. So, if a non-Muslim catches a fish and brings it alive from the water or it dies after getting caught in his fishing net or fishing line, and it has scales on it, it is permissible to eat.

A Muslim can ascertain the first condition by examining the fish if it is being displayed or by observing its name [which can tell you whether it is a skin fish or a scale fish] as long as you can trust the authenticity of the label. A list of scale fish has been appended at the end of this book.

The second condition is fulfilled in almost all the countries, as they say, because the universal method in fishing ensures that the fish comes out of the water alive or they die after they are caught in the fishing net. Based on this, it is permissible to eat the fish that one gets from a non-Muslim just as one gets from a Muslim, irrespective of whether it is canned or uncanned. (See the question-answer section below.)

There is a list of fish with scales as well as pictures at above mentioned link at very end, under Appendices. As for Seer fish, it's not in the list. Have you seen it yourself if it has scales or not? I found the following picture on Google:


Now assuming that really is a Seer Fish, the name says so and the site mentioned too. Then compare it with a Mullet fish which has scales in picture here:


You will notice Seer Fish in the picture I attached doesn't seem to have scales so I don't think it would be halal to eat and if still in doubt, I think it's best to check the fish in full yourself or avoid it anyway as precaution.

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