Difference between haraam and makrooh

Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,

As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.  (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)


One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:

Dear Mr. Burhan, Assalamualaikum;

While sea food is halaal, is every thing from sea is halaal?   I mean to Say Shark, Crab, Prawn, Fish Eggs etc.  Some say these are makrooh.

By the by, what is difference between Haraam and Makrooh.


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Difference between haraam and makrooh

In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol,  no person,  no grave, no prophet,  no imam,  no dai,  nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad(saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.


Q-1: While sea food is halaal, is every thing from sea is halaal?   I mean to

say Shark, Crab, Prawn, Fish Eggs etc.

Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 16 Surah Nahl verse 14:If is He (Allah) Who has subjected the sea to your service so that you may get fresh flesh from it to eat and bring out of it articles of ornaments,  which you wear.


Abu Hurairah (r.a.)  related that a man asked the Messenger of Allah (saws), "O Messenger of Allah, we sail on the ocean and we carry only a little water.  If we use it for ablution, we will have to go thirsty.  May we use sea water for ablution?"   Said the Messenger of Allah (saws),   "Its (the sea) water is pure and (even) its dead (animals) are lawful (i.e., they can be eaten without any prescribed slaughtering)."


In light of the above Aayah of the Quran,  and the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (saws),  almost all the scholars in Islam are unanimous in their opinion that all types of sea-food is halaal for the believers;  be they shark,  crabs,  prawns,  fish eggs, or any other animal that predominantly lives in the sea.


In determining whether a thing is halaal or haraam,  the principle or ‘usool’ in Shariah is that unless the thing is not found in the list of the haraam,  it will be considered halaal for the believers. 


Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 7 Surah Aaraaf verse 32 (part): Say: Who hath forbidden the beautiful (gifts) of Allah which He hath produced for His servants,  and the things clean and pure (which He hath provided) for sustenance?


Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 16 Surah Nahl verses 114-116:

114    So eat of the sustenance which Allah has provided for you,  lawful and good; and be grateful for the favors of Allah,  if it is He whom ye serve.

115    He has only forbidden you: dead meat,  and blood,  and the flesh of swine,  and any (food) over which the name of other than Allah has been invoked.  But if one is forced by necessity without willful disobedience nor transgressing due limits,  then Allah is Oft-Forgiving Most Merciful.

116    But say not for any false thing that your tongues may put forth "This is lawful and this is forbidden" so as to ascribe false things to Allah.   For those who ascribe false things to Allah will never prosper.


If Allah and His Messenger (saws) have not forbidden something,  no man has a right to forbid what Allah and His Messenger (saws) have deemed lawful! 


Q-2: By the by, what is difference between Haraam and Makrooh.

Haraam is something which is specifically prohibited and forbidden by Allah and His Messenger (saws);  eg. The flesh of swine,  gambling,  intoxicants, zina,  usury, etc.   The commands of Allah and His Messenger (saws) regarding the prohibition of these things are absolutely clear and unambiguous.


On some things where the Quran and Sunnah are silent,  and it becomes evident that these things are impure and unsuitable for the believers in light of the guidance of the Quran and Sunnah;  the scholars have termed such things ‘Makrooh’ or disliked.   Example being cigarettes,  etc.  


Everything that is declared Haraam by Allah and His Messenger (saws) are also disliked,  and thus every Haraam thing will also be considered ‘Makrooh’;   but not all ‘makrooh’ things will necessarily be considered Haraam.


Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah’s Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me.  Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.


Your Brother in Islam,



















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