Jamia Nizamia, one of the oldest Islamic seminaries in India, has drawn ire of sea food loving Muslims across the country after it issued a fatwa (decree) against prawns, shrimps and crabs. The seminary has asked the Muslims not to eat the above mentioned species from sea as it does not fall under the category of fish and it is haraam (sin) in Islam to consume them. The freshly issued fatwa has apparently not gone down well with the public.

The Hyderabad-based Jamia Nizamia or Jami’ah Nizamiyyah was founded in 1876 and has a huge following in the southern states of India. It actually issued the fatwa on January 1 labelling prawns, crabs and shrimps as makruh tahrim which effectively makes it an offensive act. The decree was issued by Chief Mufti Mohammed Azeemuddin which read, “Prawn is an arthropod and it doesn’t belong to the fish community and so falls under ‘markruh tahrim’ category. It is strictly abominable for Muslims.”

There is already a number of sea species that fall under the haraam category of food, most notably lobster. There is a widespread consumption of shrimps and prawns among Muslim populace that reside in the coastal regions and now it remains to be seen how the newly issued fatwa will come into effect.

There are a variety of substances considered haraam for humans to consume in Islam like alcoholic beverages, carcass of dead animal, animal that has been strangled, beaten to death, killed by a fall, gored to death, savaged by a beast; blood, pork and any food dedicated to other than God.

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