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Many cultures and religions have different ideas of what the ideal diet or dietary restrictions are. In today’s world especially, where diets and moral restrictions such as veganism are on the rise in popularity, it is a good idea to learn as much as you can about other people’s cultures or religions. Food is universally loved and is a great starting point to understanding more about people all over the world.
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What Is Halal?
The word halal is an Arabic word that translates to ‘lawful’ or ‘permitted’. It is mostly used when referring to food but can be applied to all aspects of life. What determines if food is halal or not is the Qur’an, which is the Muslim scripture studied and read by many Muslims. In the Qur’an, there is another word that is the complete opposite of halal, which is haram. This means it is unlawful and not permitted by the Muslim religion. Generally, if a certain food is mentioned in the Qur’an then it is permitted and is halal.
Food that is specifically mentioned as being haram are put under two rules, that is;
- Made, produced, manufactured, processed, and stored using machinery, equipment, or utensils that have been cleaned according to the Islamic law
- Free from any component that Muslims are prohibited from eating according to Islamic law
Is Lobster Halal Or Haram?
A better question, with a simpler answer, would be ‘Is eating Lobster halal?’. The answer to this is yes, as it is not directly prohibited or mentioned as being unpermitted in the Qur’an. Generally, fish, shellfish, prawns, and shrimp, are considered seafood halal. Scholars argue that lobster is haram, as they sometimes eat their young, but this is not the opinion of the vast majority, so they are still considered halal.
Is Boiling Lobster Halal?
Depending on how you prepare the lobster, the state of if it is halal or not can change. For the lobster to be halal, it must be killed without torture before consumption. This poses a bit of an issue as lobster is famous for being boiled alive to yield the best quality meat. As you can imagine, this means the lobster is cooked in a way that is haram, therefore alternative cooking methods are required. If the lobster is being cooked at home, this is not an issue. However, if this was at a restaurant, Muslims would have to be wary of how the lobster is prepared.
There are ways to still boil a lobster alive without it being considered haram. This requires the lobster to be slowly introduced to the boiling water as this will kill it very quickly. If the lobster is instead rapidly dunked into the boiling water, it will fall unconscious first which is haram.
Is Lobster Halal Shia?
In Islam, there is a divide amongst the followers depending on what they believe. This has led to what is known as Sunni Muslims, and Shi’a Muslims. Sunni Muslims make up 90% of the world’s Muslim population, whereas Shi’a Muslims make up just under 10% of this population. The reason for this divide is that while both denominations believe in the Qur’an and the Islamic prophet Muhammad, the two denominations disagree over who the successor was after Muhammad’s death.
Sunni Muslims believe that Muhammad did not appoint a successor, so they accepted the elected successor, Abu Bakr. Shi’a Muslims believe that Muhammad’s son-in-law is the rightful successor and reject the legitimacy of Sunni Muslim’s beliefs. The Sunni Hanafi School considers lobster to be seafood halal, but Shia Islam’s opinions are based on a different idea.
Despite the differences in what they believe, Shia Muslims still consider sea creatures to be halal. Only certain sea animals mentioned as haram are haram. The animals must be treated respectfully and have a painless death for them to be considered halal to eat. In certain Islamic beliefs, there must also be a ritual held when slaughtering the sea animal for the meat to be halal and permissible. Some other Islamic beliefs are that only fish with scales are considered halal, although this is not a majority opinion so it is not considered a rule.
Lobster Health Benefits
Anyone who likes to eat lobster will know how delicious they are, but eating lobster is also surprisingly healthy. Lobster is a low-calorie food that is also very lean, meaning it has a high protein content while containing minimal fat. Alongside this, lobster also has a lot of vitamins and minerals that are important to your overall health.
Protein, as we know, is crucial for building and healing muscles and other parts of your body. Lobster is very high in protein while having no carbs and barely any fat. Due to the high amount of protein, lobster also has a lot of essential amino acids, which means that lobster is as high quality as other protein-rich sources such as milk, red meat, and soy.
Research also suggests that high-protein foods such as lobster can aid in weight loss as they boost your metabolism and increase your feelings of fullness. Your body also burns more calories when processing protein than it does when processing carbs and fats. Protein reduces appetite-stimulating hormones and increases the levels of hormones that reduce hunger which is why protein is so good for making you feel full and satisfied.
Other than protein, lobster also has a lot of vitamins and minerals. Eating lobster is a great way to increase your consumption of Omega-3 fatty acids. These are linked to reducing the risk of stroke, depression, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease. On top of this, vitamin B12 is also found in lobster which can further help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
Omega-3 fatty acids are also linked with protecting against heart disease. Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in the world and is the leading cause of death in the United States. long-chain omega-3s such as EPA and DHA have protective effects that help with heart disease. Fish and seafood, in general, is known for being very protective of this, but some fish, such as lobster, that has both EPA and DHA are considered to be the most protective.
The General Verdict?
Both Shia and Sunni Muslims believe that lobster is halal seafood. The way the lobster is prepared is the only factor that will affect this, as the lobster must die painlessly. As long as it is not eaten alongside any meat that is considered haram, you do not have to worry about eating lobsters. Most scholars also argue that as lobsters are cold-blooded, they do not have a central nervous system and therefore do not feel pain, so it is permissible to cook them however you want. This is not a majority opinion, so caution is still advised when it comes to cooking them.
FAQs On Eating Lobster
What seafood is haram?
Depending on what Islamic laws you follow, seafood that eats other animals is considered haram. Eating seafood that does not have scales is also considered haram. Despite what sea food it actually is, the food is instantly considered haram if treated poorly and tortured before death.