Question # 258: Can you please tell me, if it is okay to eat skin of chicken? Like in fried chicken from KFC?

Bismi-llahi r-raḥmani r-raḥīm,

Assalamu ‘laikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,

All praise and thanks are due to Allah (سبحانه و تعالى), and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم).

Dear questioner,

First of all, we implore Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) to help us serve His cause and render our work for His sake.

Shorter Answer: The basic principle concerning all birds is that in general they are permissible, except for those which have been excluded. Since, there is not specific reference restricting the eating of all permissible birds’ skin, it is permissible to eat chicken’s skin. Also, we do not know that any scholar has ever stated that it is disliked to eat chicken’s skin, rather some scholars clearly stated that it is permissible to eat it.

Long Answer: The basic principle concerning all birds is that in general they are permissible, except for those which have been excluded. Since, there is not specific reference restricting the eating of all permissible birds’ skin, it is permissible to eat chicken’s skin. Although there is a no direct reference, in the following long hadith about breaking of oath, we can find reference to Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) eating chicken, and there is no mention of any reservation on eating chicken with or without the skin:

There was a relation of love and brotherhood between this tribe of Jarm and Al-Ash’ariyin. Once we were with Abu Musa Al-Ash’ari, and then a meal containing chicken was brought to Abu Musa, and there was present, a man from the tribe of Taimillah who was of red complexion as if he were from non-Arab freed slaves. Abu Musa invited him to the meal. He said, “I have seen chickens eating dirty things, so I deemed it filthy and took an oath that I would never eat chicken.” On that, Abu Musa said, “Get up, I will narrate to you about that. Once a group of the Ash’ariyin and I went to Allah’s Apostle and asked him to provide us with mounts; he said, ‘By Allah, I will never give you any mounts nor do I have anything to mount you on.’ Then a few camels of war booty were brought to Allah’s Apostle, and he asked about us, saying, ‘Where are the Ash’ariyin?’ He then ordered five nice camels to be given to us, and when we had departed, we said, ‘What have we done? Allah’s Apostle had taken the oath not to give us any mounts, and that he had nothing to mount us on, and later he gave us that we might ride? Did we take advantage of the fact that Allah’s Apostle had forgotten his oath? By Allah, we will never succeed.’ So, we went back to him and said to him, ‘We came to you to give us mounts, and you took an oath that you would not give us any mounts and that you had nothing to mount us on.’ On that he said, ‘I did not provide you with mounts, but Allah did. By Allah, if I take an oath to do something, and then find something else better than it, I do that which is better and make expiation for the dissolution of the oath.’” (Saheeh Bukhari)

Moreover, according to the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs, “…We do not know that any scholar has ever stated that it is disliked to eat chicken’s skin, rather some scholars clearly stated that it is permissible to eat it.”

Allahu A’lam (Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) knows best) and all Perfections belong to Allah, and all mistakes belong to me alone. May Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) forgive me, Ameen.

Wassalaam