Eggs from lawful animals (chicken, duck, fish, etc.) are considered halal to consume. While those from impermissible animals (snake, turtles) are considered haram.
When we talk about eating an egg, it’s almost guaranteed that ‘chicken egg’ is the first that comes to mind. Have you ever wondered about trying out sushi with fish roe? Or a duck egg, maybe?
If you’re concerned whether various eggs are halal or not, keep reading. This article discusses all you need to know about their permissibility according to Islamic dietary law.
Are All Types of Eggs Halal?
Chicken egg is a popular protein source and a versatile food ingredient. But do you know that other species also lay edible eggs? These animals include birds, fish, reptiles, some mammals, and amphibians.
We’ll go through different types of eggs and several issues that raise a concern about their halal status.
Side note: If you’re goal is to increase your protein intake, you may be interested in whey protein. Check out our recent post is whey protein halal to find out what makes protein powder halal or not and to find halal alternatives.
Eggs from Halal Animals
Muslim scholars agree unanimously that eggs from permissible animals are also halal to eat. They are considered inherently halal, just like fresh fruits, milk, honey, vegetables, and spices. (source)
Here are some types of halal eggs:
- Acceptable birds (chicken, duck, goose, turkey, quail, pigeons, ostrich)
- Fish (roe/ caviar/ tobiko)
- Crab, horseshoe crab (source)
Eggs from Haram Animals
Most scholars agree that eggs from impermissible animals are haram to consume. For example:
- Reptiles (turtles, snakes)
- Birds of prey (eagles, vultures, etc.)
However, Shafii scholars ruled them permissible, except those from snakes and insects, due to their potential harms. (source)
Eggs from those animals are unlikely to get to your plates. However, in some parts of the world, these unusual items are part of traditional diets. For example, eating turtle eggs in Nicaragua. If you plan to travel to exotic places, it’s useful to know that despite a famous local delicacy, such food is haram.
Blood in Eggs
We’ve all been there. We crack a seemingly fresh egg only to find that it has a tiny droplet of blood.
Don’t worry. Referring to Islamqa.org, the blood spot doesn’t make eggs impure and haram, as long as the eggs haven’t gone bad.
As a matter of fact, the blood spot is a ruptured blood vessel during egg formation. Moreover, the USDA says that it does not raise a safety concern.
An unlaid egg is found inside an egg-laying hen during slaughtering. It has different forms and sizes, ranging from small to large, from a yolk-like appearance to soft-shelled ones.
According to Hanafi scholars, an unlaid egg is considered halal, regardless of how the hen is slaughtered. It doesn’t have to be killed following Islamic rules (dhabiha). (source)
Balut (eggs containing developing embryo)
If you have a chance to travel to Asia, you’re likely to encounter this unique food.
Balut (or ballot) is a typical street food commonly sold in the Philippines and other Southeast Asian countries. It is a fertilized egg, commonly from duck or chicken, and then incubated for 16 – 20 days until forming an almost fully developed embryo. It is then boiled, and the stillborn chick is eaten from the shell.
As cited from Islamqa.info, the scholars of the Standing Committee for Issuing Fatwas agreed that balut is haram.
The ruling is based on the view that a balut contains a dead chick considered a maytah (something died with improper slaughtering). It is obvious in Islam that eating maytah is prohibited.
In a nutshell, eggs from naturally halal animals, such as chicken, duck, and fish, are also halal to consume. Meanwhile, those from haram animals are also impermissible to eat.