Is Squid Halal: Understanding Its Permissibility in Islamic Dietary Laws

For many Muslims, consuming halal food is a vital part of their faith. It involves adhering to strict dietary laws prescribed by Islamic teachings, which prohibit the consumption of certain foods and follow specific guidelines for others.

Squid, which is a type of seafood with eight arms and two tentacles, has been a subject of debate when it comes to its halal status. Some argue that since squid is a type of seafood, it is automatically considered halal as long as it is not caught in contaminated waters. Others believe that the way squid is harvested and processed may make it haram (forbidden).

In this article, we’ll thoroughly examine whether squid is halal or haram, considering various viewpoints and factors.

Permissibility of Squid in Islam

Understanding the Concept of Halal in Islam

Before we dive into the question of squid’s halal status, it is essential to understand what exactly halal means in Islam. In Arabic, “halal” translates to “permissible,” while “haram” means “forbidden.” These terms are used to categorize various actions, behaviors, and objects, including food. In Islam, the consumption of halal food is considered a way to maintain spiritual and physical purity. It is believed that following the rules of halal helps to protect individuals from harmful substances and promotes overall well-being [1].

What is a Squid?

A squid is a type of marine creature belonging to the cephalopod family. It’s recognized for its elongated body, large eyes, and a circle of arms and tentacles around its mouth. Squids live in ocean waters worldwide, from shallow coastal areas to the deep sea. With over 300 species, squid sizes can vary greatly. They come in various sizes, from as small as an inch to giant squids that can reach up to 43 feet in length. Squids are famous for their color-changing abilities used for communication and camouflage.

Is Squid a Fish?

Squid is not a fish; instead, it belongs to the cephalopod family under the mollusk category. This family also includes creatures like octopus and cuttlefish. These sea animals, unlike fish, don’t have scales or fins, but they possess unique features like tentacles and ink sacs. So, despite living in the same environment, squid and fish are distinct in their classification. This difference plays a role in Islamic law’s perspective on whether squid is halal or not [2].

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Is Squid Halal in Islam

The precise classification of squid within dietary laws varies across different schools of Islamic jurisprudence. Some scholars consider all creatures of the sea as Halal, based on a Hadith of Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) saying, “Its water is pure, and its dead are lawful” (Sunan Ibn Majah). Hence, according to this view, squid is Halal.

On the other hand, some scholars refer to the Quranic verse in Surah An-Nahl (16:14), which mentions “moving (living) creatures,” interpreted by some as fish. In this perspective, only fish, and not all sea creatures, are Halal. Therefore, since squid is not a fish, it might be seen as Haram.

These diverse interpretations contribute to the ongoing debate about whether squid is Halal or Haram. It is advisable for Muslims to consult with their local religious leader or a trusted scholar for personal guidance on this matter.

Harvesting and processing of squid

The main concern with squid’s halal status is the way it is harvested and processed. Squids are typically caught using trawler nets, which can also capture other marine creatures [3]. Islam prohibits the consumption of any animals that die due to suffocation or strangulation.

Another issue is the method of killing squids. For seafood to be considered halal, it must meet all criteria according to Islamic guidelines. In most cases, squids are killed by blanching or boiling them alive. This method does not meet the requirements for halal slaughter.

Interpretations by Different Islamic Scholars

As mentioned earlier, there is no consensus among Islamic scholars on the halal status of squid.

Is Squid Halal Hanafi School of Thought

The Hanafi school of thought, one of the four major Sunni Islamic schools, has a distinctive stance on this issue. They offer a range of views on the consumption of squid. In Hanafi jurisprudence, only fish is considered halal, and other sea creatures, including squid, are seen as haram. Several scholars deem it impermissible, while others regard it as Makrooh, and a few even perceive it as lawful. This perspective is rooted in Hadith and the teachings of Imam Abu Hanifa, the school’s founder [4].

Is Squid Halal in Sunni Islam?

In Sunni Islam (Shafi’i, Hanbali, and Maliki), the dominant belief holds that all aquatic animals are halal for consumption. This position is based on the hadith of Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him), saying, “Its water is pure, and its dead are lawful” (Sunan Ibn Majah). Thus, according to this view, squid is halal.

However, some Sunni scholars argue that since squids do not have scales or fins like fish, they cannot be considered fish and, hence, are not halal. This perspective is based on a strict interpretation of the Quranic verse that mentions “moving (living) creatures,” interpreted by some as referring to only fish.

Muslims adhering to Sunni Islam are encouraged to seek advice from their local imam or trusted Islamic scholar for personal guidance on consuming squid.

Is Squid Halal Salafi?

The Salafi school of thought, like the majority of Sunni Islamic scholars, tends to consider all sea creatures, including squid, as halal. This understanding is based on the Quranic verse that permits the consumption of seafood.

Is Squid Halal in Shia Islam?

In Shia Islam, the dietary laws are quite specific. Only fish with scales and aquatic animals that have shells are deemed halal. As squid does not fit into either of these categories, it is generally considered haram in Shia jurisprudence. However, as with any religious interpretation, there may be variances in views among different scholars. Therefore, Shia Muslims are advised to seek guidance from their local scholar or imam for personal clarity on this matter.

Is Squid Halal Sistani?

According to Ayatollah Sistani, a prominent Shia Islamic scholar, all types of fish that have scales are halal, but other types of seafood are not permissible. This rule would suggest that squid, which does not have scales, is not considered halal in the Sistani school of thought [5].

Is Squid Halal Islamqa?

Islamqa, a popular online platform for Islamic Q&A, follows the opinion that all sea creatures are halal, including squid. This permissibility is based on the interpretation that the Quran does not explicitly forbid the consumption of any marine life. Hence, squid falls under the category of halal food according to this perspective [6].

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Squid Consumption Worldwide

Worldwide, squid is a popular food item. In numerous countries, it forms a key part of the local diet. Asian countries like Japan, China, and Korea are known for their extensive use of squid in traditional dishes. For instance, in Japan, squid is a primary ingredient in sushi and sashimi. Similarly, in Mediterranean countries, including Spain and Italy, squid is often served as calamari, a popular appetizer. The high nutritional value and unique texture of squid contribute to its widespread popularity. However, the consumption of squid among Muslims varies greatly, largely due to differing interpretations regarding its halal status. Despite this, squid continues to be a major element in global seafood consumption.

Can Muslims Eat Squid?

The question of whether Muslims can eat squid is not straightforward due to differing views among Islamic scholars. Therefore, the consumption of squid by Muslims largely depends on their adherence to specific Islamic schools of thought. To ensure compliance with Islamic dietary laws, it’s advisable for Muslims to seek guidance from their local Islamic scholars or religious leaders.

Common Misconceptions About Squid

One common misconception about squid is that they are fish. As we’ve already clarified, squid are not fish but belong to the cephalopod family of the mollusk category. Another widespread misunderstanding is that all seafood, including squid, is universally halal. As we’ve discussed, whether squid is halal or not can depend on the specific school of Islamic thought that one follows. Some people may also erroneously believe that squid is dangerous to eat due to their ink sacs. However, the ink is not harmful and is even used in some culinary dishes. Finally, some individuals might think that squid are all gigantic creatures, inspired by tales of the ‘giant squid.’ In reality, squid comes in various sizes, with the majority being much smaller than their oversized cousins. It’s crucial to rely on scientific and religious authorities for accurate information about squid and their status in dietary laws.


Is squid generally considered halal in Islamic dietary guidelines?

Squid is typically considered halal in Islamic dietary guidelines, as it is a type of seafood.

What are the key criteria for squid to be considered halal?

To be halal, squid must be sourced from clean waters and prepared according to Islamic dietary laws.

Are there specific variations in halal practices for squid across different Islamic communities?

Halal practices for squid are generally consistent across Islamic communities, with the focus on cleanliness and proper handling.

Can Muslims consume squid from non-Muslim countries?

Yes, Muslims can consume squid from non-Muslim countries if it adheres to the general halal principles of cleanliness and proper preparation.

Is it important for Muslims to verify the halal status of squid when dining out or purchasing squid products?

Yes, it is advisable for Muslims to verify the halal status of squid when dining out or buying squid products, especially if they have concerns about the source and preparation methods.


After considering different perspectives and factors, we can conclude that squid is not considered halal in Islam. The way it is harvested and processed goes against Islamic guidelines for consuming seafood, making it haram.

Being mindful of the food we consume and its alignment with our faith’s teachings is crucial. May this article shed light on the topic of squid’s halal status and help Muslims make informed dietary choices. So, it is recommended for Muslims to avoid consuming squid if they want to adhere to halal food guidelines strictly. Although it may be a delicious and popular seafood choice, adhering to religious principles should take precedence in the diet of a devout Muslim.

Useful Resources

  1. https://www.isahalal.com/news-events/blog/halal-seafood#:~:text=Because%20they%20are%20acceptable%2C%20fish,that%20avoids%20non%2DHalal%20meat.
  2. https://study.com/learn/lesson/squid-characteristics-anatomy.html#:~:text=to%20cold%20seas.-,Squid%20are%20not%20fish.,means%20they%20eat%20other%20animals.
  3. https://littleflowercollege.edu.in/upload/e_contents/files/66c9b393eb9189a8c0ed8d406ae7a74a.pdf
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanafi_school
  5. https://www.sistani.org/english/qa/01251/
  6. https://islamqa.info/

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