Is Eating Frog Meat HALAL or HARAM In Islam (2023)

Khadija Ahmed

September 19, 2023
Is frog meat considered halal for muslims

Our world is brimming with diverse flavours and ingredients and the blessings of Allah have provided a plethora of choices for humanity.

Among these many choices, an intriguing and recurring question has arisen within the Muslim community: What is the status of frog meat within the framework of Islamic dietary laws? And is the consumption of frog meat in alignment with the decrees of Islamic dietary principles?

What are frogs?

A frog climbing a leaf

A frog is an amphibian, which is a cold-blooded vertebrate animal. This means they have backbones but don't have scales. The frog amphibian species have short bodies, are tailless and are mostly carnivorous. Frogs belong to the order 'Anura'.

Frogs can live in water or on land and so are not merely creatures of swamps and ponds, but they do spend a significant amount of time in water. They occupy a significant position in the discourse of Islamic teachings and their diet includes insects, spiders, worms, slugs and small fish.

Different ways to eat frog

Asian way of eating frogs

In the cuisines of Vietnam, frog meat is an integral part of their rich culinary heritage. Likewise in luxurious gourmet restaurants of French cuisine, frog legs stand out as a cherished delicacy, celebrated for their unique taste and texture. Additionally, traditional dishes of Chinese cuisine further embrace the widespread use of this amphibian.

Historically, from the medieval times, the French celebrated frog legs as a culinary delight, highlighting the cultural significance of this dish.

These cultures cook frog legs in a variety of ways including sautéed frog legs, deep fried, grilled or baked.

Though frog legs are the primary attraction in many cuisines, other parts of their bodies are used in various dishes or products. Frog by-products, including excrement, can make their way into foods or other goods. This underscores the need for rigorous halal certification processes and the importance of being well-informed about the products we consume.

But does cultural prominence make it halal? Some argue that certain frog types, like the green frog common in the United States and United Kingdom, lean more towards the marine category, making their consumption more acceptable. However, this remains a hotly debated topic among scholars and the Muslim community.

The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) on frogs

Green frog in front of a mosque

The hadith detailing the life of the Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him), chronicled by esteemed compilers such as Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah, shed light on the stance of Prophet Muhammad regarding these amphibians.

There is a hadith in Abu Dawood stating the prohibition of frog by the Messenger of Allah. This hadith is reported to be Hasan (good) confirmed by Imam al-Nawawi:

Abd al-Rahman ibn Uthman (May Allah Most High be pleased with him) narrated that a physician asked the Prophet ﷺ about putting frogs in medicine. He ﷺ forbade him from killing them. (Abu Dawood, 3871)

There are other similar hadiths with slightly different wording with the same message:

As for the Hadith regarding the prohibition on killing frogs, it was narrated by (Imam) Abi Dawood with a Hasan chain, and by (Imam) al-Nasai with a Sahih chain. It is the narration of Abd al-Rahman bin Uthmaan bin Ubaydillah al-Tamimi the Sahabi. He is the nephew of Talhah bin Ubaydillah. (al-Majmoo’ Sharh al-Muhadhab, Imam al-Nawawi).

According to the Hanafi Madhhab's understanding, sea animals, encompassing marine animals and arguably frogs (given that they live in both water and land), are generally halal.

However, defining a frog purely as a sea animal is a point of contention. The Maliki school of thought and Ash-Shaafi's view align more towards the prohibition of frog consumption.

Notably, the esteemed scholar Ibn Qudaamah firmly states that frog meat is not permissible, basing his assertion on the widely accepted hadith about the prohibition of killing frogs. As a result of it being haram to kill frogs, then eating a frog (which necessitates its killing) is most likely haram too.

What determines halal vs haram?

Islamic scholar and law on whether frogs are halal

For the uninitiated, or even those within the Muslim community seeking a deeper understanding, the vast landscape of Islamic dietary principles warrants exploration.

What constitutes as halal (permissible) food are firmly rooted in the Holy Quran's divine teachings. Within its sacred verses, the general principle is lucidly conveyed: All foods, in their essence, are halal unless there exists irrefutable evidence within the Quran or the Hadith, pointing towards their categorization as haram (forbidden), like pork.

This principle underscores the immense trust placed in Allah's creations. Consequently, whenever we partake in a meal or snack, invoking the name of Allah serves not merely as a ritualistic chant but as a profound testament to its purity. It's a symbolic gesture, representing our deep-seated gratitude for the sustenance granted to us and acknowledging the omnipresent blessings of Allah in our lives.

So, is eating frogs halal or haram? 🐸

Green frog held by a Muslim

The world of halal food is vast and diverse. From popular dishes in French and Chinese cuisine to sweet treats like Cadbury’s Freddos, Muslims must navigate a complex landscape to ensure their meals comply with Islamic law. The consumption of frog meat, with its historical, cultural, and religious significance, serves as a testament to this journey.

The process of certifying food as halal is meticulous, ensuring every ingredient, including seemingly innocuous ones like glucose syrup or fatty acid, is compliant with Islamic law. For example, Cadbury’s Freddos, a chocolate treat, contains ingredients like glucose syrup, carnauba wax, and fatty acids. These components, while seemingly innocent, can sometimes be derived from haram sources. The presence of animal derivatives, such as animal fats or even frog excrement in some food processes, can jeopardize the halal status of a product, even if the main ingredient is permissible.

Notably, the esteemed scholar Ibn Qudaamah firmly states that frog meat is not permissible, basing his assertion on the widely accepted hadith about the prohibition of killing frogs. As a result of it being haram to kill frogs, then eating a frog (which necessitates its killing) is most likely haram too.

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