The End - 2000 to 2009

Islam & Mermaids

  • Author: MR
  • Filed under: Funny, Random
  • Date: Nov 26,2007 | 11:47 AM

Note: This is not mockery towards any scholar or any Muslim. Just read, laugh/smile and move on, inshaAllah!

The Ruling on Eating Mermaids

Question:
Is there any such thing as a mermaid?.

Answer:
Praise be to Allaah.

A mermaid is a creature that lives in water and looks like a human. As to whether it really exists or it is a mythical being, that is subject to further discussion.

It says in a footnote in al-Mawsoo’ah al-Fiqhiyyah (5/129): From the modern academic resources that are available to us, it may be understood that the mermaid, which is called Sirène in French, is a mythical creature that is described in fairy tales as having an upper body like a woman and a lower half like a fish.

See the French Larousse encyclopédique on the word Sirène.

The encyclopaedia goes on to say: The widespread notion in ancient times was that the wonders and animals of the sea were more and greater than the wonders of dry land, and that there was no kind of animal in the sea that did not have a counterpart on land. This was confirmed by Prof. Muhammad Fareed Wajdi in his encyclopaedia, quoting from modern academic sources. See: Daa’irah Ma’aarif al-Qarn al-‘Ishreen: Bahr – Hayawiyan. End quote.

Al-Dumayri said in Hayaat al-Haywaan al-Kubra: Mermaid: it resembles a human but it has a tail. Al-Qazweeni said: Someone brought one of them in our time. End quote.

Many of the fuqaha’ mentioned mermaids and differed on the ruling concerning them. Some of them said that they are permissible (to eat) because of the general meaning of the evidence which says that whatever is in the sea is permissible. This is the view of the Shaafa’is and Hanbalis, and is the view of most of the Maalikis and of Ibn Hazm and others. And some of them regarded it as haraam because it is not a kind of fish. This is the view of the Hanafis and of al-Layth ibn Sa’d.

Ibn Hazm (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in al-Muhalla (6/50): As for that which lives in the water and cannot live anywhere else, it is all halaal no matter what state it is in, whether it is caught alive and then dies, or it dies in the water and then floats or does not float, whether it was killed by a sea creature or a land animal. It is all halaal to eat, whether it is the pig of the sea (i.e., a dolphin), a mermaid, or a dog of the sea (i.e., shark) and so on. It is halaal to eat, whether it was killed by an idol-worshipper, a Muslim, a kitaabi (Jew or Christian) or it was not killed by anyone. The proof of that is the verses in which Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “And the two seas (kinds of water) are not alike: this is palatable, sweet and pleasant to drink, and that is salt and bitter. And from them both you eat fresh tender meat (fish)” [Faatir 35:12] and “Lawful to you is (the pursuit of) water game and its use for food — for the benefit of yourselves and those who travel” [al-Maa’idah 5:64]. Allaah spoke in general terms and did not exclude anything, “and your Lord is never forgetful” [Maryam 19:64]. End quote.

Al-Durayr – a Maaliki scholar – said in al-Sharh al-Sagheer (2/182): Sea animals in general are permissible, whether it is dead meat or a ‘dog’ (shark) or a ‘pig’ (dolphin), and they do not need to be slaughtered properly. End quote.

Al-Saawi said in his commentary on that: The words “or a ‘dog’ or a ‘pig’ also include a ‘human’, referring thereby to mermaids. End quote.

Al-Nawawi – who was a Shaafa’i scholar – said in al-Majmoo’ (9/33): As for that which does not appear in the well known form of a fish, the correct view according to our companions is that everything (from the sea) is permissible, because the correct view is that the name fish may be applied to all of it, and Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “Lawful to you is (the pursuit of) water game and its use for food” [al-Maa’idah 5:64]. Ibn ‘Abbaas and others said: Its game is that which is hunted and its food is that which the sea throws out. And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said in the saheeh hadeeth: “Its water is a means of purification and its dead meat is halaal.” End quote.

Al-Mardaawi – who was a Hanafi scholar – said in al-Insaaf (10/364): All sea animals are permissible, except frogs, snakes and crocodiles. End quote.

Al-Kaasaani – who was a Hanafi scholar – said in Badaa’i’ al-Sanaa’i’ (5/35): As for that which lives in the sea, there is no animal in the sea that is haraam to eat except in the case of fish, it is permissible to eat it except that which floats. This is the view of our companions (may Allaah be pleased with them). End quote.

Ibn ‘Aabideen – who was a Hanafi scholar – said in Radd al-Muhtaar (6/307): Anything other than fish and the like, such as mermaids and dolphins, is impure and remains prohibited.

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said, after stating that it is more likely that it is permissible to eat crocodiles and sea snakes: The correct view is that nothing is excluded from that, and that all the sea creatures which can only live in water are halaal, alive or dead, because of the general meaning of the verse – i.e., “Lawful to you is (the pursuit of) water game and its use for food” [al-Maa’idah 5:64]. End quote from al-Sharh al-Mumti’ (6/327). Fajr edition.

And Allaah knows best.

Source: Islamqa.com


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  • 49 Responses for "Islam & Mermaids"

    1. Danya November 26th, 2007 at 12:02 pm

      ahahahahaha

      wow.

    2. Baba November 26th, 2007 at 1:23 pm

      Weird.

    3. mujahid7ia November 26th, 2007 at 2:06 pm

      Interesting…. I guess

    4. Danya November 26th, 2007 at 2:48 pm

      Actually, now that I come to think of it.. well, here are my thoughts.

      It’s true (and useful!) for students of law to ask odd questions like that not so much as to really reach a conclusion, but to learn how to apply the rule to various fact patterns.

      However, such an exercise, in my opinion, should be kept amongst those who understand the purpose of them and benefit from them. It might be fun for legal nerds to ponder this, but to pass out as a fatwa, especially when that’s not even what the asker had posed, is kind of off to me.

    5. Abdur-Rahman Muhammad November 26th, 2007 at 3:15 pm

      More questions:

      - Is the feces of Godzilla considered najas?
      - Is it permissible to wear dragon-skin belts?

    6. Baba November 26th, 2007 at 3:50 pm

      Danya on November 26, 2007 at 2:48 pm said:

      Actually, now that I come to think of it.. well, here are my thoughts.

      It’s true (and useful!) for students of law to ask odd questions like that not so much as to really reach a conclusion, but to learn how to apply the rule to various fact patterns.

      However, such an exercise, in my opinion, should be kept amongst those who understand the purpose of them and benefit from them. It might be fun for legal nerds to ponder this, but to pass out as a fatwa, especially when that’s not even what the asker had posed, is kind of off to me.

      It’s a fatwa-matic site, though. Here’s your fatwa! Come and get em!

    7. Baba November 26th, 2007 at 3:57 pm

      Abdur-Rahman Muhammad on November 26, 2007 at 3:15 pm said:

      More questions:

      - Is the feces of Godzilla considered najas?
      - Is it permissible to wear dragon-skin belts?

      Very good. I guess if one is a werewolf it would be best to follow the Maliki madhab. Do you have to make ghusl after changing back into human form or is wudhu ok?

    8. sillybachi November 26th, 2007 at 4:53 pm

      Well, I’m glad we got that cleared up. Who wants to come over for some mermaid biryani? :)

    9. Yusuf November 26th, 2007 at 8:02 pm

      salam
      i think back to a khutba i was once in. the imam said that there are people who question things that are of little or no importance to the faith, and sadly enough, its these little discrepencies that explode into huge fights and arguments among the different madhabs, furthuring the lack of unity among the muslim ummah.
      there is no such thing as a stupid question, but there is such thing as an illogical question. sure this person, in asking the questions, was trying to satisfy some inner longing of curiosity, but was it necessary to ask a question which just has no relevance to society at all?
      from a scientific perspective (it also annoys me that these online imams ignore science…wen muslims were the greatest scientists of their time) a mermaid is not possible. not one has been seen on earth up to know, and if one were to live in depths unknown to humans, im sure it wouldnt look even remotely human due to high water pressure. so far from what ive seen, Allah has not created a permanent , lasting (if ur thinking of the animal on which Mohammad Sa rode on) animal on earth that defies the bounds of logic of human understanding and science. yes, no?
      sorry for my long “daal chawwal and machli” fueled response. the narcotics from my wisdom tooth removal arent aiding this logic trip either, but i hope i contributed something to the post. :)
      peace yo

    10. Some Important Fiqh Questions « Umar Lee November 26th, 2007 at 8:03 pm

      [...] all the problems the Muslim Ummah is facing, MR posted a fatwa on the permissibility of eating mermaids that all of us can use and shows just why these movements [...]

    11. Yusuf November 26th, 2007 at 8:30 pm

      oh. forgot.
      Allah know best.

    12. amad November 26th, 2007 at 9:26 pm

      The fatwa is redundant I agree… but there are many scholars quoted from all the madahibs, so we should be careful about making a mockery of this. One benefit I can extract is what Danya kind of referred to, and that how Fiqh is being worked here.

      Regardless, the benefit could be applied in realistic situations, and need not to be learned through imaginary situations. I will say that I probably would have sent the folks at Islam-QA an email explaining how bad this sounds and asking about its benefit, instead of making fun of it.

      wallahualam

    13. Mujahideen Ryder November 26th, 2007 at 11:17 pm

      amad on November 26, 2007 at 9:26 pm said:

      The fatwa is redundant I agree… but there are many scholars quoted from all the madahibs, so we should be careful about making a mockery of this. One benefit I can extract is what Danya kind of referred to, and that how Fiqh is being worked here.

      Regardless, the benefit could be applied in realistic situations, and need not to be learned through imaginary situations. I will say that I probably would have sent the folks at Islam-QA an email explaining how bad this sounds and asking about its benefit, instead of making fun of it.

      wallahualam

      Actually. I’m not making fun of it. This is halal comedy. I think the ulema probably wanted the readers to have a little laugh. I see nothing wrong in this. This proves the statement “there is no such thing as a stupid question”.

      It’s funny and should make everyone smile and laugh. :-D

    14. Islam Blog November 26th, 2007 at 11:20 pm

      I have to agree with amad. Mermaids, maybe not the biggest concern for this ummah. But when the names of a lot of scholars come up, the least someone can do is not mock at it.

      Islam QA has one of the largest databases of questions that I’ve seen on the internet and this scope and the number of languages that they’re catering to makes it indispensable to many folks I’m sure.

      Truly, how many sites can boast of fatwa bases in so many languages. This is a case of ignoring the overwhelming good and focusing on the controversial. Not the best attitude you’d like to show your fellow Muslim, more so a scholar.

      A comparison to show just how many people depend on this site for answers
      http://www.alexa.com/data/details/traffic_details/downloadhelper.net?site0=islam-qa.com&site1=islamonline.net&site2=sunnipath.com&y=r&z=3&h=300&w=610&range=3m&size=Medium

      Wasn’t there some ‘mutual respect among sunni scholars’ pledge going around. Did the pledge not include mockery or did I miss something.

      May Allah forgive our mistakes.

    15. Mujahideen Ryder November 26th, 2007 at 11:24 pm

      IslamBlog – I’m not mocking anyone. This was just a funny fatwa. Laughing isn’t haram. There is comedy in the sunnah. :-D

    16. still a loser November 26th, 2007 at 11:47 pm

      Jazakl’Allah Khayr rrrrryder… i’ll keep that in mind next time i catch a mermaid

    17. zaki November 26th, 2007 at 11:49 pm

      haha…to eat a mermaid!!!
      I am laughing with you, MR. nice funny fatwa which should not offend anyone. I don’t think any mermaid reads your blog or not.

    18. Mujahideen Ryder November 26th, 2007 at 11:58 pm

      Just to add to this. This fatwa shows that the ulema of the present and past have a sense of humor and also a sense of knowledge about almost everything possible.

      MashaAllah!

    19. Egyptian Gumbo November 27th, 2007 at 12:05 am

      my favorite fatwah of all time.

    20. Yaser November 27th, 2007 at 12:37 am

      Since Ibn ‘Abidin said its not a fish – I can’t eat mermaids. Good to know, often I am hungry and think, is that mermaid over there edible or no?

    21. h. ahmed November 27th, 2007 at 12:51 am

      What if the mermaid meets an evil Sea Witch who makes a deal with her to give her human form for a couple of days. While the mermaid is in her human form – u cant eat the mermaid then…. Im sure theres no ikhtilaf on this issue.

    22. ali November 27th, 2007 at 1:45 am

      can we marry the mermaid?

      and if we do, then divorce her, can we still eat her?

      this is a very pressing question for me…

    23. Yaser November 27th, 2007 at 1:46 am

      Probaly not. Either way Hanafis cant eat them since their not really considered fish. So on the bright side, I’d never accidentally eat the Sea King’s daughter but a Shafi’i might. But you know mermaids shouldn’t engage in magic – its really haram – basically kufr…

    24. Humor_Me November 27th, 2007 at 3:46 am

      Here’s another gem

      Take this answer from http://qa.sunnipath.com/issue_view.asp?HD=1&ID=1763&CATE=126

      It talks about Sufism and the Reality of Spiritual Inspiration

      From the answer:

      ‘This state, then, can be revealed to the initiated in ecstasy, and to him who is incapable of ecstasy, by obedience and attention, on condition that he frequents the society of Sufis till he arrives, so to speak, at an imitative initiation. Such is the faith which one can obtain by remaining among them, and intercourse with them is never painful. ‘

      Whoa! Now that’s a fully loaded answer.. Especially that last sentence… Humor at its best if you ask me. Let’s share these fatwas and have a laugh fest.. what say you?

      PS. I swear I haven’t added a word to that paragraph.. haha!

    25. Humor_Me November 27th, 2007 at 3:48 am

      Yaser,

      That one was classified under Hanafi Fiqh. Just FYI :p

    26. Yaser November 27th, 2007 at 9:41 am

      oh i was trying to figure the connection…

      but magic is still haram – don’t do magic kids

    27. Hasan November 27th, 2007 at 10:16 am

      Thanks for posting this link! I’ve been wondering for many years now if I was committing a sin by eating mermaids.

      I wonder if griffin and unicorn meat are halal or not.

    28. bibilophile November 27th, 2007 at 2:46 pm

      (I posted this on Br Umar’s blog. I hope it is .o.k. to post it here too…)

      assalaamu aleikum

      I think this is one of those things that don’t translate too well. AFAIK, the confusion may have stemmed from Arabic terms for sea creatures, ins al-bahr (man/person of the sea), kalb al-bahr (dog of the sea = shark) and khinzeer al-bahr (pig of the sea = dolphin). Obviously the land-based dog and pig are haraam so someone, somewhere asked about the marine animals that bear these names *in Arabic*. I’m not 100% certain what ins al-bahr refers to, but am aware of there being quite some debate about mermaids in the western tradition and ideas that the creature of myth is somehow connected to an actual marine creature that was perhaps misidentified at some point.

      The original question on Islam Q&A was whether mermaids exist. I suspect that the Shaykh looked up whatever he could find about mermaids in the fiqh literature and chose to quote it in his answer.

      It is sad indeed to see people mocking the scholars. This is an unusual question, to be sure, but I think we have to go beyind the hootin’ and hollerin’ and references to popular western culture and Disney movies and realize that it was grounded in a genuine issue of concern at some point in the past.

    29. Yusuf Smith November 27th, 2007 at 2:51 pm

      As-Salaamu ‘alaikum,

      I read the fatwa earlier when iMuslim blogged it. I cannot imagine that, if such creatures actually existed and had been authentically reported, the idea of whether they were permissible to eat would not arise. How can we kill a person, particularly a believer, for mere food? I found it distressing that Muslim scholars would discuss this matter in terms of the creature having gills or not or its ritual purity status, rather than its being human. Still, they don’t exist, and if they did, this issue would not have come up anyway.

    30. Yusuf Smith November 27th, 2007 at 2:51 pm

      Sorry, I meant I could not imagine that it would arise.

    31. Hood November 27th, 2007 at 7:06 pm

      I’m not 100% certain what ins al-bahr refers to, but am aware of there being quite some debate about mermaids in the western tradition and ideas that the creature of myth is somehow connected to an actual marine creature that was perhaps misidentified at some point.

      This is actually exactly what happened and the above translation is a terribly bad and most literal translation. not to mentioned the befuddled nature in which they confuse a Siren for a Mermaid.

      The arabic for this is ‘arusat al-Bahr, or the princess of the sea. It is also called insan al-Maa’ or ins al-maa’

      It is a medieval term for a Manatee or a Dudong, from wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mermaids#Legend_and_myth

      It has been widely suggested or implied that manatees or dugongs could be behind the myth of the mermaid. An example supporting this theory would be that Christopher Columbus had logged that he had seen mermaids on his journey to the new world, but thought they would be more attractive. These large aquatic mammals are notable for the way in which they carry their young, cradled in their arms much as a human would carry a baby. It is possible that sailors seeing these unfamiliar beasts for the first time, would assume that they had in fact stumbled across some sort of humanoid species, and consequently spread their accounts of the sightings through their homelands on their return from voyages. It has even been posited that the traditional image of a mermaid with long flowing hair could be attributed to manatees breaking the ocean surface underneath patches of seaweed, and giving the unfamiliar observer the impression of having long hair. Sightings from first-hand witnesses generally describe mermaids who do not talk and have green or black hair.

      Given that Manatees and Dudongs are largely inhabitants of the Atlantic Ocean, it is not surprising that scholars anywhere past Libya going east would rightfully know what a “ins al-maa” is.

      And in the end it could rightfully be a hypothetical used to teach underlying legal principles to new students. Books of fiqh are descriptive in nature and not prescriptive, meaning that if empirical knowledge changes then the ruling will change with that knowledge.

      So it is as if the jurists were saying: if we find an animal that possesses some human characteristics, would it be permissible to eat? For example, rabbits and the Arabian Lizard known as a Dhabb (???)both will protect their necks by raising their frint paws to their necks when you approach them with a knife. Someone could then say that this shwos some form of sentient nature, knowledge of death, and value of life. As such would it still be permissible to kill and eat? This example was not mentioned by Jurists (to my knowledge) however its just an example.

    32. Egyptian Gumbo November 27th, 2007 at 9:20 pm

      Subhanallah, Honestly no one is making fun of the scholars. I honestly think that people like to be really uptight and criticize whenever they find the opportunity. I think the point is that This fatwah is halarious BECAUSE it was answered seriously. if you look on Islam QA I can only find that fatwah and ONE more that were completely weird. the other one being a question about Pokemon. (look it up in the search..) lol

      lighten up :)

    33. Bushra N November 27th, 2007 at 9:22 pm

      hahah. There’s also this gem:
      http://www.islam-qa.com/index.php?ref=21179&ln=eng#

    34. Bushra N November 27th, 2007 at 9:24 pm

      yea, my above post is the pokemon one Egyptian Gumbo mentioned. I bookmarked it when I found it. :-/

    35. jinnzaman November 27th, 2007 at 10:27 pm

      Assalamu alaikum

      SubhanaAllah! While this might be a laughing matter to some, it shows the soundness of our jurists who explored every possible area of the law. :)

      May Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) grant us knowledge that benefits. Ameen.

      masalama

    36. Yaser November 28th, 2007 at 12:02 am

      Yes I agree with Jinnzaman.
      I was just having some ‘halal’ fun. I didn’t mean to make fun of the scholar, honestly.

    37. h. ahmed November 28th, 2007 at 12:51 am

      me neither :(

    38. zeyadram November 28th, 2007 at 2:00 pm

      I know it might have not been the intention of some but we should be very careful when it comes to making jokes in relation to the deen, as Allah has revealed about the hypocrites:

      And if you ask them, they will surely say, “We were only conversing and playing.” Say, “Is it Allah and His verses and His Messenger that you were mocking?” Make no excuse; you have disbelieved after your belief. If We pardon one faction of you – We will punish another faction because they were criminals.- Surat Tawbah, 65-66

      May Allah forgive us for our shortcomings. Ameen

    39. AnonyMouse November 28th, 2007 at 2:29 pm

      As the others have mentioned, while we might find it quite amusing (I have to admit even I do), it’s also a sign of how thorough our scholars are.
      Besides, many people used to believe in mermaids “back in the day”! Unicorns and dragons too were believed to be real.

      One of my friends, who is studying at AOU, mentioned to me once that there was one school of thought that focused a great deal on hypothetical situations because “what if” it really happened? In fact, long before space travel became reality, people wondered what direction to pray in if they weren’t on earth (i.e. if they were in space).

    40. a muslim brother November 28th, 2007 at 5:20 pm

      clearly the shaykh was making a joke, and many ulema in the past actually used the term “mermaid.”

      people who think this is serious just need to ligten up a bit!–your life needs some sunshine.

      may Allah reward you anonymouse!

    41. Fatwa of the Week: Mermaids are Halal « Umm LOLCats December 25th, 2007 at 3:57 pm

      [...] Sushi, well no need to feel guilty anymore, the Sheiks have solved your problem now. Here is a legit fatwa regarding mermaids quoted in full for your reading pleasure. By the way this is not a satire but its a real fatwa. It [...]

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    43. A Muslim May 2nd, 2008 at 11:23 pm

      Rider: Hey guyz lets ridicule the scholars of Islam,

      others: sure.

      all together: we are not ridiculing them, just having a laugh! laughing isnt haram!

    44. Stupid May 3rd, 2008 at 8:33 am

      A Muslim on May 2, 2008 at 11:23 pm said:

      Rider: Hey guyz lets ridicule the scholars of Islam,

      others: sure.

      all together: we are not ridiculing them, just having a laugh! laughing isnt haram!

      A Muslim – I am God, I know everyone’s intention.

      AstagfirAllah ‘A Muslim’ Fear Allah! There is nothing wrong in having some HALAL laughs. The fatwa is real and funny. Funny in a good sense. Open up like these scholars:
      http://muslimmatters.org/2008/04/29/check-out-yasir-qadhi-zakir-naik-yasser-fazaqa-mini-mes/

    45. mo po too September 18th, 2008 at 10:06 am

      ello im 13 years of ageand my name is mo po too….. so doo u boleve in mermods…or do u thank its a miuth…

    46. Is It Permissible to Eat a Mermaid? « Anonymous Arabist وين الناس August 1st, 2009 at 11:48 am

      [...] found some Arabic-language sites discussing this exact fatwa back in 2007. Like this one, Mujahideen Ryder, “Not the average Muslim blog.” The blogger posts the entire fatwas [...]

    47. Giuseppe May 30th, 2010 at 7:47 pm

      Mermaids !!!!!! just mythical creature come from someones imagination ……….do we have to give a Fatwa for every creatur come from our imagination ??? then we will have a problem with our kids imagination………………..!!! that’s sure.
      It is not bad to discuss such things but …. just discussion. not at that much !!! Fatwa should be for real and touched things ….come’onnnn…………………..

      Hey … shouldn’t we discuss and argue about real problems ….

    48. Nabeel Khalid June 30th, 2010 at 4:31 am

      My next question is: Is it permissable in Islam to marry a Mermaid (supposing one exists), if she believes in Allah?

      2nd Question:-
      Can we eat, what we marry?

      Lol, 2nd Question is a joke but 1st Question in real……

    49. hisham July 17th, 2010 at 1:52 am

      A lot of people in the world beleive that the mermaid is an imaginary creature,or a legend ,a lot of people say that mermaids and mermen are not real.But the truth is that the mermaid is a real creature: the upper half of a mermaid’s body is human,but the lower half of her body is fish.The scientists in our world beleive that it is impossible to have a baby if the sexual ***** of a man was mixed with the sexual substance of a fish,but the friends of the satan have that knowledge:they mix the ***** of a human man with that of a fish in a certain way and they make mermaid.so the father of a mermaid is a human man,but the mother of a mermaid is a fish.the satan has labs in which the friends of the satan make experiments.i beleive that there will be a time in which all the people can see the mermaids and mermen.The mermaids live in the bottom of the ocean:there where the satan is hiding.The satan doese not want the memaids to go to the surface of the ocean because the satan doese not want the human beings to know about the satan.There are human women taking care of the nice and innocent creatures that are called mermaids

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