Is it haram to eat insects?
Are insects (e.g. grasshoppers) to be eaten halal according to the Koran and the Sunna?
Most of the scientific opinion that declares eating insects haram is based on this ayah:
"And forbids them as illegal Al-Khabaa'ith (i.e. all evil and illegal in relation to things, deeds, beliefs, people and food)"
[Al-A'raaf 7: 157 - interpretation of the meaning]
And this ayah:
Say (O Muhammad): 'I do not find anything in what has been revealed to me that is forbidden from one who wishes to eat it, unless it is maytah (a dead animal) or blood that is poured out (by Slaughter or the like) or the meat of pigs (pork); for that is surely unclean or ungodly (unlawful) meat (of an animal) that is slaughtered as a sacrifice for others than Allah (or slaughtered for idols or on which Allah's name was not mentioned at the time of slaughter). "[Al-An'aam 6: 145]
As well as this hadith:
"(There are) five animals, all of which are evil and should be killed in the haram (sanctuary of Mecca): crows, dragons [a kind of bird], scorpions, rats, and vicious dogs." (Narrated by al-Bukhaari and Muslim from the account of 'Aa'ishah, Hafsah and Ibn' Umar).
According to this website (which is run by scientists, although I'm not sure what line of thought they follow):
However, none of the above sources suggest that eating insects is prohibited per se. While the hadith on crows, dragons, scorpions, rats, and dogs could serve as evidence that eating these 5 specifically haram, nothing is mentioned about other taxa, including insects, arachnids (spiders), marigolds (worms), etc. belong. The ayah from Surat al-An'am also says nothing about insects, and the ayah I provided earlier is too vague.
The rationale behind the use of the ayah from Surat al-A'raaf is that since the ayah forbids the unclean and Insects are impure To eat insects are haram. However, there is no evidence whatsoever in the Qur'an or in the hadiths in which most of the insects (except scorpions, etc. according to the above hadiths) are referred to as "unclean", which means that the use of this Ayah and the other evidences that say insects are haram, righteousness is a cultural thing, not a religious thing. Hence, insects are halal and you can eat them if you want without committing a sin.
There are very good reasons to eat insects too, especially given the growing population and higher energy conversion efficiency of insects compared to cattle and other farm animals. See this article titled "Should We Eat Bugs Like Angelina Jolie".
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