Is Rabbit Meat Halal?


Rabbits
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Rabbit meat is a delicacy in many different parts of the world and consumed heavily in Muslim Middle Eastern countries. For example, molokhya bil aranab “ملوخية بالأرانب” is a popular dish in Egypt where they eat rabbit meat with Mulukhiyah (Mulukhiyah is the leaves of Corchorus olitorius – it’s also known as Egyptian spinach or jute mallow).

It’s popularity does not necessarily mean that it is halal. That’s why we looked into whether rabbit meat is halal or not and here’s what we found.

Multiple sources from the Quran as well as several hadiths indicate that rabbit meat is halal and is permissible for muslims to eat. Rabbit meat is halal because it is not considered a carrion or swine. However, as with any meat, rabbit meat must be slaughtered in accordance to Islamic law to be considered halal.

What Does the Quran Say About Muslims Eating Rabbit

Say, ˹O Prophet,˺ “I do not find in what has been revealed to me anything forbidden to eat except carrion, running blood, swine—which is impure—or a sinful offering in the name of any other than Allah…

Quran [6:45] (source)

O believers! Honour your obligations. All grazing livestock has been made lawful to you—except what is hereby announced to you and hunting while on pilgrimage…

Quran [5:1] (source)

As mentioned in the Quran, Muslims are forbidden from eating carrion (the flesh of dead animals), blood or blood-filled meat, and swine (pork). Rabbit isn’t a carrion or swine. It’s also stated that grazing animals are halal and a rabbit is a grazing animal, while predators with fanged teeth e.g. lions, and birds with talons or hunting birds are haram in Islam. 

Muslims are forbidden from eating animals that hunt other animals because these animals have violent tendencies. Rabbit is a harmless creature that only eats grass and vegetables and doesn’t hunt other animals.

Hence, rabbit meat is halal when slaughtered in accordance to Islamic law. (source & source)

Hadith About Eating Rabbit

We chased a rabbit at ‘Mar az Zahran. The people ran after it but got tired. I got to it, took it and brought it to Abu Talhah (radiyallahu ‘anhu) who slaughtered it and sent its haunch or thighs to Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam). [Shu’bah rahimahullah, one of the narrators said, “There is no doubt that it was its thighs”] Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) accepted it. I asked, ‘Did he eat some of it?’ He replied, ‘He ate some of it.’ Then he later said, ‘He accepted it.

(Sahih Bukhari, Hadith: 2572. Also see: Hadith: 5489, Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 1953 and Fathul Bari, Hadith: 5535) (source)

This Hadith shows that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) accepted the meat of a rabbit. Most narrators agree that it was a rabbit’s thighs instead of its hunches but all narrators agree that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) accepted it and ate rabbit meat. 

If the Holy Prophet (PBUH) didn’t consider it halal, who are we to say that rabbit meat is haram? The sunnah of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) is there to show us acts that aren’t mentioned in the Quran but are considered halal.

Hence, rabbit meat is halal if we follow the sunnah of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and if it’s slaughtered in a halal manner.

Rabbit Meat Must Be Slaughtered In Accordance to Islamic Law To Be Considered Halal

Verily Allah has enjoined goodness to everything; so when you kill, kill in a good way and when you slaughter, slaughter in a good way. So every one of you should sharpen his knife, and let the slaughtered animal die comfortably.

(Sahih Muslim (Book 21, Chapter 11, Number 4810) records the Holy Prophet stating) (source)

This hadith makes it clear that the animal should be treated with care even when it’s being slaughtered.

It further goes on to say that the knife should be sharp so that the animal doesn’t feel any meaningless pain. A blunt knife can cause needless pain to the animal that could have easily been avoided if the knife had been sharpened.

Final Thoughts

Rabbit meat is halal and permissible for muslims to eat since it is a grazing animal. There is no mention in the Quran to state that rabbit meat is haram and several hadiths further confirm this.

Furthermore, the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) ate rabbit meat, which provides us with more proof that is it halal to eat. we still encourage you to do more research as we do

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