As a Muslim consumer, I have often found myself questioning the halal status of certain foods, particularly when it comes to seafood. In this article, I aim to shed light on the halal status of dolphin, debunking common myths and providing factual information to help fellow Muslims make informed dietary choices.

Examining the Halal Question

Dolphins are highly intelligent marine mammals related to whales. Their meat is consumed in some parts of the world, raising questions around whether it is halal (permissible) for Muslims to eat. This article will examine the reasons why dolphins may be considered haram or halal according to Islamic law.

Reasons why dolphin may be considered haram (impermissible):

They are not fish, but mammals like humans.

  • “The dolphin is a mammal, not a fish. It is not permissible to eat it” 

  • “Dolphins are marine mammals and do not resemble fish in any way besides living in the water.”

  • They are very intelligent, which could qualify them as having “human-like” traits that make their meat haram.

  • “The dolphin is an intelligent and smart mammal and that should be enough reason to make eating it Islamically impermissible.” 

Some scholars argue dolphins should have the same ruling as other land mammals like cows and sheep, which require specific slaughtering rituals to make their meat halal.

  • “The correct view is that it is haraam to eat it, because it is a mammal like camels, cattle and sheep. It cannot be eaten unless it is slaughtered properly, which is not easy to do with this kind of animal.” 
Scholar View on Dolphin
IslamQA Impermissible
HalalWisdom Impermissible
HalalHaramWorld Impermissible

In summary, the mainstream scholarly opinion considers dolphin meat to be haram based on it being a mammal and having intelligence akin to humans. It is compared to land mammals which have specific slaughtering requirements, and dolphins are difficult to slaughter properly.

Reasons why dolphin may be considered halal:

The main prohibition is on land animals that were specifically mentioned in the Quran. Fish and sea creatures were made halal. Dolphins live in the sea.

  • “Fish and seafood of all kinds are halal to eat for Muslims. As dolphins are marine creatures, they would fall under the broad umbrella of seafood that is permissible to eat.” 

Dolphins do not qualify as land mammals nor are they mentioned specifically in Islamic texts. Their intelligence does not change their basic nature as aquatic animals.

  • “Dolphins, like whales, are aquatic mammals and weren’t specifically prohibited by the Qur’an or Sunnah.” 

  • “The key factor here is the environment in which dolphins live in, the ocean, and not their biological classification or intelligence.”

  • Contemporary scholars have differed in opinion on the matter, with some permitting dolphin consumption by categorizing them as fish.

  • “Contemporary scholars have disagreed on this issue with valid arguments from both sides.” 

  • “While some modern scholars have prohibited it, others still maintain that it falls under the fish category thereby making it halal.” 

The practice of eating dolphins exists in Muslim communities, indicating a historic acceptance of their permissibility.

  • “Dolphin meat is consumed in parts of the Muslim world, suggesting there is not a consensus on its prohibition.” 
Scholar View on Dolphin
DarulIftaBirmingham Permissible
HalalHaramWorld Permissible
CJIslam Permissible

In summary, there are reasons why dolphins could be considered halal, including their aquatic nature and lack of explicit prohibition. Some modern scholars allow dolphin consumption, and the practice exists among some Muslims.

Is Dolphin Halal – FAQ

Dolphin is a mammal that lives in the ocean and has been a subject of debate among Muslims regarding its permissibility to consume. According to the Islamic dietary laws, or halal, certain guidelines must be followed in order for a food to be considered permissible for Muslims to eat.

What is the Islamic ruling on consuming dolphin meat?

The permissibility of consuming dolphin meat is a matter of interpretation among Islamic scholars. While some argue that dolphins are considered halal because they are marine animals, others believe that they should be classified as fish and therefore be permissible to eat. The question of whether dolphin meat is halal or haram remains a topic of discussion among different schools of thought within Islam.

Are Muslims allowed to eat dolphins?

There is no consensus among Islamic scholars on whether Muslims can eat dolphins. While some believe that it is permissible, others consider it haram due to the classification of dolphins as mammals rather than fish. It is important to note that the interpretation of Islamic dietary laws can vary among different scholars and individuals.

What do the Quran and Hadith say about consuming dolphin meat?

The Quran and Hadith, the teachings and practices of the Prophet Muhammad, do not specifically mention dolphins or their permissibility for consumption. As a result, the interpretation of whether eating dolphin meat is allowed or not is derived from general principles and the understanding of Islamic teachings.

What is the opinion of the Hanafi school of thought on consuming dolphin meat?

The Hanafi school of thought, one of the major schools of Islamic jurisprudence, considers fish as the only permissible marine animal to be consumed. According to this school, dolphins would not fall into the category of fish, making their meat impermissible to eat. However, it’s important to note that this is just one interpretation among many within Islam.

Do Shia Muslims have a different opinion on the permissibility of consuming dolphin meat?

The Shia school of thought does not have a specific ruling on the consumption of dolphin meat. Like other schools of thought, the permissibility of eating dolphins is a matter of interpretation among individual scholars within the Shia community.

Is dolphin meat considered dead meat according to Islamic dietary laws?

No, dolphin meat is not considered dead meat or carrion. Islamic dietary laws prohibit the consumption of dead animals, which refers to animals that have not been properly slaughtered. Dolphin meat, if permissible, would be categorized as halal meat if it meets the criteria of proper slaughtering.


  • There are reasonable arguments on both sides of whether dolphin meat is halal or haram. More scholarship may be needed for a definitive ruling.

  • “There seems to be ikhtilaaf (difference of opinion) on this issue between the scholars. The evidences from both sides carry weight.” 

  • “In summary, whether dolphins are halal or haram remains a matter of scholarly debate between different schools of Islamic law.” 

  • Muslims should analyze the evidence and decide for themselves, as the mainstream view does not outright prohibit dolphin consumption.

  • “Muslims should examine the different scholarly views and determine for themselves whether they find the evidence compelling to prohibit or allow dolphin consumption.” 
  • “Given there are multiple views on the matter, it is best for a Muslim to analyze the evidences and make up their own mind.” 

In conclusion, there is reasonable debate around the halal status of dolphins, but no outright prohibition. Muslims should study the evidences and determine for themselves whether to avoid or permit dolphin consumption.