Assalamualaikum respected Ulama.
I suffer from rheumatoid arthritis which has been quite severe and modern medicine hasn’t been able to control it. A friend who also suffers from the same disease has found significant improvement through the supplementation of high quality krill oil more specifically the brand named Dr Mercola Krill oil. There are a few small studies on the benefits of krill oil for such a disease, however nothing to the scale for it to be deemed reliable enough for it to be accepted within modern medicine practices. As a hanafi would it be permitted to trial this supplement as it is derived from shellfish? The exact type is not stated so it is unknown whether this is derived from prawns or other shellfish .
Malacostraca is one of the various classes of crustaceans and includes crabs, prawns, shrimp and krill. In the Hanafi school sea creatures are impermissible except for fish. Hence, crabs, lobster etc are impermissible as they are not classed as fish. As for prawns and shrimps they are disputed over. Many contemporary jurists have considered prawns to be a type of fish and therefore rendered them permissible to consume. This is based on earlier linguists having considering prawns to be a fish. These linguists however do not seem to have discussed krill.
If we look at the anatomy of krill it is very similar to that of prawns. The main differences are only in size, colour, number of antennae etc. There does not seem to be any major difference between krill and prawns that would render one a fish and the other not a fish. Therefore, due to the similarities between them prawns and krill should have the same ruling and thus would be permissible to consume. Based on the above we do not see any reason to prohibit the use of krill oil.
Ifta Research Fellow
Checked & Approved by:
Mufti Abdul Rahman Mangera
Mufti Zubair Patel