I have a Shi'a co-worker. Recently, our team planned a team lunch, and he mentioned that he doesn't eat fish, because of something called "kanta" (in Urdu). He said it's due to certain communities/nations in the past that were destroyed by Allah, and their people were turned into fish.

Can I get more information on this? I've heard only of Allah turning some people into swine and apes (which is mentioned in Surah Ma'idah). I would particularly like to know the evidences used by the Shi'a for this ruling, and especially if this is something widespread in Shi'a jurisprudence or exclusive only to certain sects/groups. And while not necessary, I would also be grateful for any information regarding how these same evidences are held among the Sunni schools of thought.

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    i think you got a misunderstanding and didn't understand the real thing what that person wants to say. according to my knowledge/research Shia fiqa will only forbid boneless (without kanta) fish and another type of fish which is without shells (the upper skin of fish).Please confirm this.
    – Freak
    Jan 9, 2013 at 4:47
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    @Learner scaleless fish, or fish without true scales.
    – phoenix
    Jan 9, 2013 at 5:59
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    i think i am not getting "scaleless" and "true scales" but I am sure that before baking if fisherman didn't clear its scale (due to no scale on the fish) then this tyep of fish they will not eat
    – Freak
    Jan 9, 2013 at 6:24

2 Answers 2


By Fish he was meaning every Fish? That would be odd, we have only stated not to eat Fish very much (it can reduce our seeing ability and etc.), but eating Fish is not forbidden (Haram) in general as long as the fish is among the allowed ones.

Also about Allah turning some people into Fish and etc. see this answer which tells a story about the holy Prophet --peace be upon him-- saying such and then referring to the verse [34:19] of the holy Qur'an.


No. Shia cannot eat only those fish that does not have scales. The rest is halal. The reason behind is that fish without scale feed on the remnants of the sea that can be harmful to human health.

  • Salam and welcome to Islam SE. This answer needs more elaboration to be useful [see How to Answer).
    – Medi1Saif
    Jul 18, 2016 at 7:11
  • Can you please provide a reference for "fish without scale feed on the remnants of the sea that can be harmful to human health"?
    – Khadim Ali
    Jan 23, 2022 at 3:12

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