NO PROHIBITION AGAINST MUSSELS AND SHRIMP!
As we have seen in the above verses only four things have been forbidden, namely: dead animals, blood, pork and the meat of an animal on whom a name other than God’s has been invoked. However, in a situation when there is no other choice, a person may eat of these, provided not with willful obedience and without going to extremes. One can see that the Quran leaves no loopholes. Yet, thinking there are loopholes, the sects have thought it advisable to add other prohibitions. For instance, the Hanafi sect, the largest of the sects, has forbidden the eating of mussels and shrimp. It is to be regretted that many people believe that these gifts of nature have been prohibited by religion, depriving themselves of them. The sects contradicted not only the Quran but also each other. For example, the Maliki sect acknowledges the edibility of mussels and shrimp banned by the Hanafi sect. On the other hand, the flesh of horses forbidden by Maliki is consumable for the Shafi and Hanbali sects. These are not all that are declared forbidden by great scholars. Carnivores like the wolf, the bear and the squirrel are also on the black list. The sects also have banned the rapacious birds. One may also add to the black list serpents, frogs, toads, tortoises and crabs. Those who did not deem enough the prohibitions laid down in the Quran felt the necessity to add to the list of prohibited animals those that appeared unsightly. One should remember that the cuisine of populations living in different regions of the earth differs greatly. Given the fact that there are no restrictions stated in the Quran, other than the four items mentioned above, we are free in our choices.
140 – Lost are those who slay their children, from folly, without knowledge, and forbid food that God has provided for them, inventing lies against God. They have indeed gone astray and heeded no guidance.
6 The Cattle, 140
As one clearly sees in the verses, man’s attributing to religion those things that do not exist in the Quran is tantamount to raising arms against God; a slander against God, a betrayal of religion. Being instrumental in causing people to turn their backs to religion is a capital sin.
87 – O you, who believe, do not forbid good things which God has made lawful for you and do not transgress. God does not love transgressors.
5 The Feast, 87