Date : 23-08-2009

Question :

What is the ruling on eating hyena's meat?

The Answer :


All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of The Worlds, and may His peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all of his family and companions.

Our Shafiee Jurists  and Hanbalee jurists in addition to Abu Yousef and Muhammad (Hanafiee's jurists) are of the view that: Eating Hyena meat is permissible. This opinion is stated in Ibn Abi Shyba in his book [Al-Mosanaf pp.536 vol.5], and Abdelrazaq in [Al-Mosanaf pp.536 vol.5]; as it is confirmed by the righteous companions such: Ali, Ibn Omar, Ibn Abbas, Jaber, Abi Hurayra, Saa'd Ibn Abi Waqas and Abi Saeed Al-Khodree (May Allah be pleased with all of them) as well as Ibn Al-Monther attributed this opinion in his book [Al-Awsat pp.210 vol.3] to the majority of Muslim jurists.

Their opinion was based on the following Hadith, where it says (What means): "Ibn Abi Ammar said: "I asked Jabir bin Abdullah: 'Is the hyena game?' He said: 'Yes'" He said: "I said: 'Can it be eaten?' He said: 'Yes.'" He said: "I said: 'Did the Messenger of Allah say that?' He said: 'Yes.'" Abu Issa At-Tirmithi graded the above narration as a sound one.

In addition, Al-Imam Ashafiee (May Allah have mercy on his soul) stated: "The meat of Hyena used to be sold in Mecca save the area between Al-Safaa' Wal Marwa. Further, an animal with canines is considered a predator ;yet, the ones that chase people for the purpose of eating them are unlawful to be eaten, and this applies on three kinds of them as follows: lions, wolves and tigers; on the other hand, hyena and fox aren't among this category since they don't attack people." [Al-Oum pp.265 vol. 2].

He (May Allah have mercy on his soul) added: "Our Opinion was based on the Hadith mentioned above by Jaber reported from the Prophet (PBUH) as regards the permissibility of eating Hyena as it don't chase people in spite of being a predator; rather, it usually attacks their cattle most in comparison with the three kinds of predators mentioned above .

Finally, this opinion confirms Arabs habit earlier in pre Islamic times as regards the impermissibility of eating predators which chase people. In addition to the fact that they used to eat Hyena back those days till present and render the prohibition of eating lion, tiger and wolf on the basis of being impure and later, at the time of prophetic tradition, the Holy Quran regarded what Arabs used to consider as unlawful or lawful for eating as right." [Al-Oum pp.265 vol. 2]. And Allah Knows Best.