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Meet The Man Who Blesses Salmon

While we are certainly not jaded here at Ummahsonic, we’d be lying if we claimed to be easily surprised.

We haven’t seen it all, but we’ve definitely seen a fair amount.

Happily, that all changed when we were alerted to this story. On Loch Canaird, near Ullapool in the Scottish Highlands, a man called Hatim Ameen is travelling from Manchester to bless salmon just before they are slaughtered.

With assistance from a local salmon producer, he handles the slippery fish in the boat and says ‘Bismillah’ in order to make them halal:

At this point, you are probably thinking “Wait. Aren’t fish halal anyway?” For the majority of Muslims, this is true.

However, Ameen makes his journey on behalf of the Dawoodi Bohra, a small sect within the Shia branch of Islam that he is a follower of. Bohra Muslims believe fish must be caught alive and blessed before consumption, much like any other meat.

This got us thinking—are there any other fish some Muslims have to bless before eating? Or are there any fish that can’t be eaten at all?

As many of you will know, crustaceans and fish without scales are haram; meaning no clams, mussels, crab or lobster; so if you happen to be, we dunno, a Muslim Great Gatsby, and you’re planning a soiree in your East Hampton estate and its 1925 it may be best to swap out your oysters on the half shell for some chicken nuggets.

Also, the next time you get a hankering for fish and chips, don’t accidentally say “great white shark” when you meant to order cod, because that deep fried apex predator doesn’t have scales (on that note, make sure whatever fish you order isn’t beer-battered).

Fortunately, both of those scenarios seem pretty unlikely (if that’s not the case, please don’t message us about it. We don’t want to know), but they did spur us on to see what other unusual creatures should be avoided.

Well, some of our French readers (who possibly exist) will be sad (read: probably not sad) to learn that snails and frog legs are haram. Other amphibious species are outlawed, too, so better pass on that crocodile burger and the turtle soup.

Lions, tigers, bears and eagles are a no-no as well, but unless Tarzan gets back on his Deen we doubt this is going to cause anyone too much grief.

Insects are largely thought to be haram too; which isn’t bad news for us, but may be for anyone who’s alive after we’ve completely ravaged earth’s resources, and the last survivors are fighting over cockroaches on an arid, tree-less, dystopia.

Oh yeah, and if you’re buying candy make sure there’s no gelatine in it. This halal sweet shop may be able to help you on that.

Anyways, back to Hatim in the Highlands. Whatever you think of his beliefs, you can’t deny his commitment to faith.

Scottish Highlands. Bracing lochs. Halal blessings. Hi-vis vests. Salmon farms. Hot water bottles.

It’s a charming story that rests beneath the noise of everyday life; one we can only picture unfolding in the UK, to be honest.

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