Everyone knows how healthy fish is.
Fish is a good source of protein, vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, minerals, and other nutrients necessary for our body.
The fact that all over the world, people who live near the sea and eat mainly fish have the longest life expectancy is the best evidence of how good it is to eat fish.
Although not all fish are equally good for nutrition and do not provide the same health benefits, experts agree that everyone should consume fish at least once a week.
All over the world, fish is one of the favorite foods among people.
One of the most popular fish is tuna.
Tuna is widely available, affordable compared to many other types of fish, and has a taste that appeals to most people, making it a very popular choice.
Tuna can be purchased fresh, frozen, or canned and prepared in many ways.
Tuna steak, grilled tuna, pan-fried tuna, tuna soup, tuna salad, tuna sandwiches, and tuna pasta are just some ways to prepare it.
However, many Muslims and others who follow the rules of halal nutrition wonder if tuna is halal or haram, that is, does Islamic law allow or forbid tuna?
In the following, we will answer this question and consider the various angles that influence the final opinion on the halal status of tuna.
You will find out what different Islamic schools of thought think about the halal status of tuna, whether there is a difference between different types of tuna, and how geographic location affects the halal status of tuna.
We will also reveal to you which types of fish are considered haram and which are halal and whether the halal status of tuna changes when it is canned.
To make an informed decision about whether or not tuna is suitable for your diet, read what Islamic scholars think about it and what conditions fresh and canned tuna must meet to be considered permissible for Muslims, i.e., halal.
So, Is Tuna Halal or Haram?
At the outset, it should be noted that most Islamic scholars consider tuna to be halal.
However, as with many other foods, things are not quite that simple, and some Islamic scholars consider some types of tuna (or even all) haram after all.
They justify their position with different reasons, which we will state in the following text.
But let’s first explain why most Islamic experts agree that tuna is halal.
Islamic law includes pork, pork by-products, blood, prohibited animals such as carnivorous animals, birds of prey, animals sacrificed to idols, alcohol, and several other categories among the haram, i.e., forbidden foods.
Fish is not on the haram food list.
Islamic law allows Muslims to eat fish and anything humans catch from the sea, although some restrictions exist.
First, the fish must be caught humanely and by a man.
It means that one can eat tuna fished or caught using a net, but one should not eat tuna caught using dynamite, for example.
Also, like all other types of fish, tuna must be caught alive and die just outside the water to be halal.
Then, Muslims believe that only those fish that have scales and fins are allowed to eat.
Although tuna has few scales, it is not a fish with no scales.
Also, tuna has fins, so it meets both requirements to be halal for Muslims.
Of course, tuna’s preparation method should also be considered because it also affects its halal status.
Since Muslims consider all halal food that comes into contact with haram food to be impure, tuna must not contain any haram ingredients to be halal.
It means that, for example, tuna must not be fried in the same oil where the pork was previously fried, as this would change its halal status and make it tainted and prohibited under Islamic law.
Also, canned tuna must not contain any illegal additives that would change its halal status.
Why Do Some Islamic Scholars Consider Tuna Haram?
Although most Muslims and Islamic scholars agree that tuna is halal, some do not think so.
There are several reasons why some Islamic scholars consider tuna (or some types of it) haram after all.
First, there is the fact that tuna is a predatory fish.
The fact that tuna is fed on other fish is reason enough for some Muslims to consider it haram.
Also, some Muslims and Islamic scholars think that tuna is forbidden because it is often caught using nets, which kills other fish besides tuna.
However, those who believe that tuna is halal point out that this method of hunting does not violate the rules of Islamic law because the fish dies outside the water and is hunted by a person to be eaten.
Several types of tuna do not have scales; therefore, most Islamic scholars agree that these types are haram.
According to Islamic law, Muslims are allowed to eat anything from the sea as long as it has scales and fins.
When this condition is considered, some types of tuna, such as skipjack, bluefin, and yellowfin, cannot be regarded as halal, meaning they are prohibited, i.e., haram.
Also, it is essential to note that different Islamic schools of thought have different interpretations of Islamic law, which is why there is disagreement regarding the halal status of tuna.
Muslims are always advised when in doubt to follow the position of the Islamic school of thought they follow.
Also, for any individual doubts, it is best to turn to your religious authority and ask him for advice.
What Affects the Halal Status of Tuna?
As mentioned, different schools of thought have different views on whether tuna is halal or haram.
It is somewhat influenced by geographical location, as Muslims worldwide follow the views of different Islamic schools of thought.
For example, tuna is considered halal in Saudi Arabia, and Muslims often buy and eat it.
On the other hand, in countries like Bangladesh and Pakistan, for example, Muslims follow more rigid Islamic schools that generally consider tuna haram or possibly makrooh, which means it is not haram but not recommended for Muslims.
Also, the decision on whether tuna is halal or haram is also influenced by the type of tuna because some tuna do not have scales and are therefore considered haram according to Islamic law.
It is also important in which part of the world the tuna was caught.
Tuna is one of the fish that can contain high levels of mercury, which can harm the human body.
Tuna is found in oceans and seas worldwide and is not the same quality everywhere.
According to Islamic law, anything bad for human health is haram; tuna with high mercury or other toxic substances cannot be halal.
How the tuna was caught should also be taken into account.
According to Islamic law, a fish is halal if caught by a human intending to be eaten and if the fish dies outside the water.
Therefore, tuna caught traditionally or with a fishing net is halal for most Muslims.
On the contrary, if dynamite is used to catch tuna, it is haram because it is taken out of the water dead, and this method of hunting harms the quality of its flesh.
Is Canned Tuna Halal or Haram in Islam?
Tuna canning is a process that, as a rule, does not change the halal status of this fish.
Therefore, for Islamic schools of thought considering tuna halal, there is no reason to believe canned tuna haram.
However, it is essential to add that canned tuna must not contain haram ingredients to be considered halal.
Also, canned tuna must meet all the criteria for raw tuna to be halal.
It means that it must be caught in an acceptable halal way and that the canned tuna must be a type of tuna that has scales and fins.
If these conditions are met, tuna is halal for those Islamic scholars who define raw tuna as halal.
Some Islamic sources also provide a list of halal-certified canned tuna.
That list includes tuna brands like By the Sea, Peter Pan, Starkist, Chicken of the Sea, Bumble Bee, and Gift of the Sea.
The list of halal canned tuna does not end here, but these are some of the most famous brands.
Another vital thing to pay attention to when it comes to canned tuna is the presence of additives.
Muslims consider some additives unacceptable, so all food containing these additives is haram according to Islamic law.
One of these additives, sometimes found in tuna, is phosphate.
Phosphate is sometimes added to fish and meat products to extend their shelf life and improve taste, but under Islamic law, this additive is not permitted for Muslim consumption.
Therefore, if canned tuna contains phosphates, it cannot be considered halal, and Muslims are not allowed to eat it, i.e., it is haram.
If you follow a halal diet, the surest way to find canned tuna that is permissible is to look for a can of tuna with a halal certification mark on it.
Around the world, some organizations are responsible for monitoring, checking, and confirming the halal status of food and other products.
If a product has a logo that says it is certified as halal, it is reliable proof that you can consume it without fear of doing something that goes against the tenets of your religion.
Is Everything that Comes from the Sea Halal?
It is usually said that according to Islamic law, everything that comes from the sea is halal, and Muslims are allowed to eat anything they catch.
However, that is not entirely true.
There are some exceptions among foods that come from water.
First, fish that do not have scales and fish that do not have fins are haram.
Such fish include eel, swordfish, shark, and others.
Also, some fish are considered haram because they feed on other haram creatures from the sea.
Although there is no complete agreement among the various Islamic schools of thought, lobster, squid, crab, and shrimp are haram for most Muslims.
Another reason some types of seafood can be haram is the high presence of various toxins.
Also, Islamic law prohibits animals that live both on land and in water, such as crocodiles, frogs, alligators, and many others.
If you were interested in whether tuna is halal or haram in Islam, we believe the situation is much clearer now.
Although different schools of Islam do not agree on all the details, most Islamic scholars consider tuna to be halal.
However, some conditions must be met for tuna to be halal, such as how it was caught, the type of tuna, and the healthiness of the flesh.
Those Islamic scholars who believe that tuna is still haram base their position on the fact that tuna eat other fish and that the fishing method, such as fishing nets, also kills other animals from the sea.
Canned tuna is also considered halal if it meets all the conditions of fresh tuna and does not contain haram ingredients or additives such as phosphate.
The most reliable way to find halal canned tuna is to choose one with an official halal certificate, of which many are on the market.
Also, if you are unsure whether a particular canned tuna is halal or haram, we recommend you check with the manufacturer.
If you are confused by the different views of Islamic scholars on the question of the halal status of tuna, follow the position of the school of thought you follow.
Remember that fish is an important item in the human diet, so if you decide not to eat tuna after all, replace it with another type of fish that matches your personal beliefs.
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