Question # 451: Is it permissible to eat Bone Marrow?
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).
First of all, we implore Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) to help us serve His cause and render our work for His sake.
Shorter Answer: It is permissible to consume the bone marrow of any halal animal. Furthermore, although it is permissible to eat all the parts of a halal animal except flowing blood, the Hanafi School of Thought regards the following organs as prohibitively disliked (makruh tahrim) for consumption: Penis, Testicles, Vulva (external parts of the female genitalia), Glands, Urinary bladder, and Gall-bladder. It is also stated that Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) used to dislike eating the above-mentioned parts.
Long Answer: It is permissible to eat all the parts of a halal (lawful) animal, without any exception. Al-Mudawwanah reads, “What is extra to the meat, such as the fat, liver, stomach, heart, lungs, spleen, kidneys, throat, testicles, leg (foot), head and the like, then all this takes the same ruling as meat.” (Islamweb.net)
[Therefore, it is permissible to eat bone marrow.] Majority of the Muslim scholars hold of its permissibility. However, some from the Shia religion rely on a fabricated hadith, “The worst of my ummah are those who consume bone marrow” (Bihar al-Anwar, 62/293)
[However,] according to the Hanafi School of Islamic law, seven things from a Halal and lawfully-slaughtered animal cannot be eaten. The first of these seven items has been emphatically forbidden by a decisive text of the Qur’an, hence it is unlawful (haraam) to consume it; whereas consuming the other six items is considered prohibitively disliked (makruh tahrim), because there is no decisive text regarding their prohibition although their prohibitive dislike is proven through non decisive texts. (See: Bada’i al-Sana’i)
The seven things are as follows:
- Flowing Blood
The prohibition of consuming blood that flows has been proven through a decisive text of the Qur’an. Allah (swt) says in the Qur’an: “’Say, I do not find, in what has been revealed to me anything [out of the cattle under discussion] prohibited for anyone who eats it, unless it be carrion, or blood that pours forth, or flesh of swine, because it is impure, or there be an animal slaughtered sinfully by invoking on it the name of someone other than Allah.” (Soorah al-An’am, 6: 146)
- Vulva (external parts of the female genitalia)
- Urinary bladder
Allah (swt) says: “For he allows them as lawful what is pure and makes unlawful for them filthy things.” (Soorah al-A’raf, 7: 157)
This verse of Soorah al-A’raf signifies that ‘filthy things (khaba’ith)’ have been prohibited by Allah and His Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم). The term used in the Qur’an is ‘khaba’ith‘ which refers to things whose consumption would be detested by sound natured people. As such, the Hanafi jurists have ruled that the consumption of the above mentioned six things from a Halal animal is Makruh Tahrim, since they are of the filthy things (khaba’ith) entailed by the verse of the Qur’an.
Moreover, Imam Muhammad ibn al-Hasan al-Shaybani reports from al-Awza’i, from Wasil ibn Abi Jamil that Mujahid said: “The Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) disliked consuming seven things from the sheep: the gall-bladder, the urinary bladder, the glands, the vulva, the penis, the testicles and the blood. The Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) used to like the forepart of sheep and goats.’ (Kitab al-Athar, with a sound chain of narration) (Mufti Muhammad ibn Adam, Darul Iftaa)
It is also mentioned in Ad-Damiri’s Hayat Al-hayawan: (a Zoological Lexicon) that “it is stated in the Sunan of al-baihaki and other books that the Prophet used to disliked in a sheep or goat, when it is slaughtered, seven things, namely, the penis, the two testicles, blood, the gall-bladder, the vulva, the clitoris, and the bladder.”
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.
 According to Hanafi fiqh, Makruh Tahriman or Karaha Tahrimiyya is a command for abstinence that has been established by speculative proof (dalil dhanni). It is closer to the unlawful (haraam) and can also be defined as being in diametrical opposition to a Wajib.(islamqa.org)