What does Islam say about racoons?

The Details of the Question

- Is the meat of the racoon halal to eat? Are they clean animals? Or, are they regarded the same as vermin, mice and rats in terms of religious decree?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

According to Hanafi madhhab, predatory animals that hunt their prey with canine teeth such as wolves, bears, lions, tigers, leopards, squirrels, sables, martens, monkeys, hyenas, elephants, dogs, cats, foxes and weasels are not permissible to eat.

Hanafis concluded that the meat of these animals could not be eaten based on the hadith (see Muslim, Sayd, 15-16) stating that predatory animals with canine teeth and birds of prey with claws were haram. (Marghinani, al-Hidaya, 4/351)

In the definition of a predator, the criterion is that it hunts with its four pointed and long teeth - called canine teeth - in its lower and upper jaws and defends itself in this way.

Except for a group of scholars that are in minority in Maliki madhhab, a great majority of fiqh scholars holds the view that the dog is considered to be in the category of predatory animals and that it is haram to eat its meat.

In this direction, according to the view that is taken as basis, including Shafii madhhab, it is haram to eat the meat of the dog.

The meat of the racoon dog should also be evaluated within this framework.

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