Monday, 5 June 2017

Lizard Meat is Haram

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Some Muslims, especially Bedouins from the Arabian Peninsula, customarily eat lizard meat. But the lizard (الضَّبّ) is a reptile and an impure animals which crawls about in the dirt. Depending on the species, some lizards eat insects, while others are herbivores, omnivores, and carnivores. In the Hadith it is mentioned that the Prophet   was served lizard meat but he refused to eat it. Nonetheless, he did not prohibit it and declared it Halal, and some of his other companions, such as Khalid b. Walid (Allah be pleased with him) ate from it. One of the reasons why the Prophet was hesitant to eat lizard meat was because he suspected that the lizard was a result of a previous nation of people who had been transformed:

أُتِيَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم بِضَبٍّ فَأَبَى أَنْ يَأْكُلَ مِنْهُ وَقَالَ ‏ "‏ لاَ أَدْرِي لَعَلَّهُ مِنَ الْقُرُونِ الَّتِي مُسِخَتْ ‏"‏

Abu Zubair reported that he heard Jabir b. Abdullah saying that there was presented to Allah’s Messenger (the flesh) of the lizard, but he refused to eat that, saying:

“I do not know; perhaps it (lizard) might (be one of those natives of) the distant past whose (forms) had been distorted.” (Sahih Muslim)

*Note: This was not the definite opinion of the Prophet , but only something he wandered about.

Some Ulema use this incident as proof that although the Prophet personally did not partake of lizard meat, he nevertheless declared it Halal.

However, the truth is that this ruling was later abrogated when the Prophet expressly forbade eating lizard meat:

عَنْ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنِ شِبْلٍ، أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم نَهَى عَنْ أَكْلِ لَحْمِ الضَّبِّ

Narrated Abdur Rahman ibn Shibl: The Messenger of Allah () forbade to eat the flesh of lizard. (Abi Dawud)

The Muhaddith Nasiruddin al-Albani (rahimahullah) declared this Hadith as authentic, but concluded from it that lizard meat is only Makruh (disliked) and not Haram.

(Silsilah as-Sahihah #239)

However, the wording of the Hadith proves Nahi (prohibition) and so the correct ruling is that previous ruling of allowing the consumption of lizard meat was later abrogated.

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