Are Turtle Eggs Halal?

European Swamp Turtle and laid eggs isolated

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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People often mail me asking whether turtle eggs are halal or haram. Considering that I am a Muslim and raise turtles, I would know the answer. To be frank, we can discuss hours on this topic and yet come to no conclusion.

But I will keep things brief and clarify this haram-halal situation as simply as possible.

According to one group, eating turtle eggs is haram. This belief is based on the view that the flesh of turtles is not pure. Another group of scholars, however, believes turtle eggs are halal and permissible to eat because they consider turtles harmless. Your decision to eat or avoid turtle eggs should align with your personal beliefs.

What is my take? Keep reading to find out.

By the way, I am not a Mufti or someone very knowledgeable on Islamic Shariah. Before taking any decision, talk to Mufti or someone who is knowledgeable about halal-haram shariah. Surely Allah knows the best!

Key Takeaways

  • Turtles are endangered creatures.
  • Many states have banned turtle trades and hunting.
  • Eating, collecting, and even touching marine turtles is a federal offence. 

Is It Okay For Muslims To Eat Turtle Eggs? Are They Halal?

Let’s start with an ayah from the Quran,

O you who have believed, do not prohibit the good things which Allah has made lawful to you and do not transgress. Indeed, Allah does not like transgressors.” Surah al-Maidah: 87

It implies that a Muslim should not stop another Muslim from accepting Rizq in any form. That means if turtle eggs are halal, Muslim brothers and sisters are welcome to eat them.

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However, the purity of turtle eggs is definitely questionable. The scholars seem to be divided into 2 groups.

One (followers of al-Khatib al-Syirbini) believes that turtles live in filth and carry germs. So, eating either turtle or turtle eggs is not permissible.

Besides, Abd al-Rahman al-Jaziri said that we could not trust animals living in both water and land. Therefore, we should restrain ourselves from eating turtle eggs.

Another scholar had made it very clear that the eggs and flesh of a haram animal can never be halal. He gave us more reasons to avoid turtle eggs.

Now, there is a group that strongly believes that turtle eggs are not harmful.

Al-Qalyubi, an Islamic scholar said that eggs are always halal. It does not matter whether they come from a halal or haram animal.

Scholars, including Al-Dimyati, supported this thought. He claims that both eggs and semen of non-harmful animals are pure. Thus, eating those will not be a punishable act.

In conclusion, it is up to your madhhab and belief. I firmly believe turtle eggs are not for humans to enjoy. No, it is not because I think turtles are filthy animals or haram. I do not want to get into that fight.

However, I believe as a Muslim I am responsible for taking care of the world and preserving its beauty. Turtles, especially the sea turtles are at the verge of extinction. Even the freshwater turtle species are also in the red list made by IUCN.

If we keep eating this species, they will be gone even sooner than we realize. When one animal species bids farewell, the ecosystem takes the blow. The food chain will collapse, and animals dependent on that group will starve to death. Eventually, it will bite our back but it will be too late.

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Thus, as a responsible Muslim and citizen of the world, I can only speak up for myself and refuse any turtle delicacies. I also request you to think this matter through and then move forward with your action.

Recent research has also highlighted some potential health risks of consuming sea turtle eggs, including risks of heavy metal exposure and gastrointestinal illness from pathogens.

Any Non-Muslim Can Eat Eggs! Thoughts?

Now that we are not getting into religion, let’s discuss the rules and regulations.

Eating turtles and turtle eggs is not considered a crime in many Asian countries and even many states of America. However, note down one thing.

The turtle dishes you get served in the restaurants are harvested on farms. They are not wild turtles and killing those does not affect conservation status.

On the contrary, many states are against the harvested turtles, too. If you are caught tampering with turtles in such regions, be ready to pay a fine.

Every wildlife expert has agreed upon one point. No one should eat sea turtle flesh or eggs. Even touching the creature and taking the eggs home is a federal crime. So, in no situation should you think of eating the marine turtle or its eggs.

Before You Go

When I say we need sea turtles to survive, I mean it. But because of man-made pollution, these majestic creatures are getting killed. See how global warming is taking a toll on sea turtles in the article below.

Global Concern: The Diminishing Population Of Male Sea Turtles Sparks Alarm

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About Author

Muntaseer Rahman started keeping pet turtles back in 2013. He also owns the largest Turtle & Tortoise Facebook community in Bangladesh. These days he is mostly active on Facebook.

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