The question of whether consuming catfish is permitted according to Islamic law is one that has been debated among Muslim scholars for centuries. Within Islam, dietary restrictions are based on verses from the Quran and hadith (sayings of the Prophet Muhammad PBUH). Foods are classified as either halal (permitted) or haram (prohibited). The criteria for what makes fish halal or haram are:

  • Fish with scales are halal in islam
  • Fish without scales are haram

The key issue with catfish is whether they truly have scales or not. This affects their halal status.

The Halal/Haram Debate

Some major points in the debate over catfish include:

Arguments that catfish is halal:

  • Most major Islamic organizations and scholars say catfish is halal to eat
  • Catfish have scales, which makes them permissible according to the Quran
  • Catfish are not bottom-feeders like other haram seafood

Arguments that catfish is considered haram:

  • Some scholars argue catfish scales and are not “true” scales
  • Some claim catfish feed on impurities making them haram

“Eat of that which is lawful and good on the earth…” (Quran, 2:168)

The evidence suggests catfish is halal, but differences in opinion show the need for deeper analysis by Islamic scholars.

Analysis of the Debate

There are several key points underlining the debate about whether catfish are truly halal:

The Issue of Scales

  • Catfish have thin scales that are smooth and embedded in their skin. These may not qualify as full “scales” acccording to some scholars.

  • The Hanafi school argues that to be halal, fish scales must be able to be removed without tearing flesh.

  • The Shafi’i school accepts any form of scale, so rules catfish as halal to eat according to islamic law.

Scholar Ruling on Catfish
Hanafi Haram
Shafi’i Halal

Review of Hadith Evidence

Some hadith state fish without scales are forbidden includes catfish is without:

“That which is in the sea without fins or scales is unlawful.”

  • But catfish do technically have scales, so may not be covered by this prohibition.

  • The credibility and accuracy of hadith needs scholarly analysis.

Feeding Habits

  • Most catfish are known to feed on plankton, insects, plants – not bottom-feeding.

  • But some large catfish may scavenge dead animals, causing debate.

The evidence remains conflicted, indicating the need for further investigation by Islamic experts.

Frequently Asked Questions: Is Catfish Halal

Yes, catfish in islam is halal and fall under the category.

What is catfish?

Catfish is a type of fish sea creature that is known for its distinctive whiskers (barbels) around its mouth.

Are catfish halal or haram?

Catfish is halal in islam according to the Hanafi school of thought in Islamic law.

Is catfish considered halal?

Yes, catfish is considered halal for Muslims to eat depends on whether you follow three schools of fiqh.

Can Muslims eat catfish?

Yes, many muslims argue they are permitted to eat catfish halal way slaughtered according to islamic law.

What does Islam say about eating catfish?

According to the Hanafi, Maliki and Hanbali  islamic schools of thought, since catfish is considered a fish and thus lawful to eat.

Is catfish permissible to eat?

Yes, majority of scholars say catfish including fish is permissible to eat according to islamic dietary laws.

Is catfish considered halal in Sunni Islam?

Yes, catfish is not poisonous fish so is considered halal seafood according to Sunni Islam.


The question of whether catfish is halal ultimately requires thorough analysis by qualified Islamic scholars mention. Some key conclusions include:

  • Most major Islamic organizations consider catfish to be halal based on the following general ruling:

    • Catfish have scale-like skin covering their bodies

    • They feed on plankton and plants rather than filth

  • However, dissenting opinions remain based on:

    • The nature of catfish scales

    • Some catfish species scavenging dead animals

  • Muslims should follow the guidance of their particular madhab (school of law):

    • Hanafis tend to consider catfish haram

    • Shafi’is rule catfish is halal

  • When scholarly opinions differ, it is best to avoid catfish to be cautious.

“Eat from the good foods which We have provided for you.” (Quran, 2:57)

In cases of uncertainty, it is best for Muslims to eat foods that are clearly established as halal, and avoid any doubtful meats like catfish. Further research by Islamic scholars is required for a definitive ruling.