Eating frogs

Q: Is it permissible to kill frogs? Are frogs regarded as land or sea animals? If they are land animals, is it permissible to eat them without slaughtering them? People do not slaughter them, as it is not possible to do so because they have no necks; so they usually just cut the frogs’ legs off to eat them and throw the other parts away. Is there anything to prevent them from being included among the sea animals, which Allah has made Halal (lawful)? Some scholars say that all the Hadiths that are reported about the prohibition of killing frogs are Da‘if (a Hadith that fails to reach the status of Hasan, due to a weakness in the chain of narration or one of the narrators) and there is nothing authentic in them. What is your opinion?

A: Scholars have differed concerning the ruling on eating frogs. Some say that it is permissible to eat them and others say that it is not permissible. Those who regarded eating frogs as permissible were Malik ibn Anas and those scholars who agreed with him. Those who regarded eating frogs as not permissible were Imam Ahmad and those scholars who agreed with him. (Part No. 22; Page No. 323) Those who regard it as permissible use the evidence from the general meaning of Allah’s Saying: Lawful to you is (the pursuit of) water-game and its use for food - for the benefit of yourselves and those who travel and the saying of the Prophet (peace be upon him) when he was asked about sea water, “Its water is a purifier and its Maytah (dead sea creatures) are Halal.” The general meaning of these applies to frogs, as they are included among water-game.Those who regard it as not permissible use as evidence the report related by Abu Dawud about medicine and etiquette and the report related by Al-Nasa'y about hunting and fishing from Ibn Abu Dhi’b, who related it on the authority of Sa‘id ibn Khalid, who related it on the authority of Sa‘id ibn Al-Musayyib, who related it on the authority of `Abdul-Rahman ibn `Uthman Al-Qurashy: A doctor asked the Prophet (peace be upon him) about using frogs in medicine and he (peace be upon him) forbade him from killing them. This was related by Ahmad, Is-haq ibn Rahawayh and Abu Dawud Al-Tayalisy in their Musnad (Hadith compilations). It was also related by Al-Hakim in "Al-Mustadrak", the chapter on merits, on the authority of `Abdul-Rahman ibn `Uthman Al-Taymy. Al-Hakim related it again in his chapter on medicine, and classified its Sanad (chain of narrators) as Sahih (authentic). (Part No. 22; Page No. 324) However, they did not mention the Takhrij (referencing) of the Hadith. Al-Bayhaqy said that it was the strongest Hadith reported in regard to frogs. This Hadith includes evidence that it is Haram (prohibited) to eat frogs, because the Prophet (peace be upon him) forbade the killing of frogs. The prohibition of killing an animal can either be due to it being inviolable, as it is for humans, or due to the prohibition of eating it, and, as frogs are not inviolable like humans, the prohibition is related to eating them.This Hadith is said to be a Hadith Ma‘lul (a Hadith that appears to be sound, but thorough research reveals a disparaging factor in the chain of narrators or the text), as one of its narrators, Sa‘id ibn Khalid ibn Qarid, was regarded as Da‘if (weak) by Al-Nasa’y. This was refuted by Ibn Hibban who regarded him as Thiqah (trustworthy) narrator. Al-Daraqutny said that he was a reliable narrator from Al-Madinah.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.