Islamically, all food is lawful to eat except what God has made forbidden. God forbids only what is of no benefit to man, or what may have a bad effect on man’s health or what is sinful.

Food, Animal Slaughter and Hunting

The basic rule that defines what is permissible or forbidden to eat is the Qur’anic verse that says

‘Say: In all that has been revealed to me, I do not find anything forbidden to eat, if one wishes to eat thereof, unless it be carrion, or blood poured forth, or the flesh of swine – for all that is unclean – or a sinful offering over which any name other than Allah’s has been invoked. But if one is driven by necessity, neither intending disobedience nor exceeding his bare need, then know that your Lord is Much-Forgiving, Ever-Merciful.’


:Allah also says

‘He makes lawful to them the good things of life and forbid them all that is foul.’


‘Say, Who is there to forbid the beauty which Allah has produced for His servants, and the wholesome means of sustenance?” Say: “They are [lawful] in the life of this world, to all who believe”’


The second of these verses mentions the ‘good things of life’ and pronounces them as lawful. This occurs in the context of eating and refers to whatever is wholesome and useful for man to eat. Allah forbids only what has a bad effect on man’s health or what is sinful. This means that all food is lawful to eat except what Allah, in His infinite wisdom, has made forbidden.

:Allah says

‘He has clearly spelled out to you what He has forbidden you [to eat] unless you are driven to do so by sheer necessity.’


 The ‘spelling out’ takes three forms: 1) a clear statement of permission; 2) a clear statement of prohibition; and 3) giving no verdict of either.

:The Prophet (peace be upon him)  refers to this as he says

‘Allah has made certain things obligatory, so do not neglect these; and He has made others forbidden, so do not approach them; and He has set certain limits, so do not transgress these; and He has left things unspecified, without forgetting them, so do not search after these.’

Related by al-Daraqutni, hadith No. 4,396; al-Hakim, vol. 4, p. 129; al-Bayhaqi, vol. 10, p. 22.