Fatwa: # 16699
Category: Food and Nourishment
Country: South Africa
Date: 11th May 2008

Title

It is permissible to use alcohol which is not derived from grapes or dates with the following conditions

Question

Please can you verify whether alcohol can be consumed? because as I understand it Alcohol is haraam but yet in March you responded to a question by saying the following and I quote "

1.   It is permissible to use alcohol which is not derived from grapes or dates with the following conditions:

a.    It is not used as an intoxicant or to an amount which intoxicates

b.    It is not used in vain

2.  The permissibility and impermissibility will differ from person to person as each person’s level to bear the alcohol without getting intoxicated differs.  One should avoid using excessive amounts of Alcohol in cooking if there is a doubt of it intoxicating.  If there are alternatives available, then they should be adopted to avoid the chances of alcohol leading to intoxication.

So now this is really confusing, does this mean that we are actually allowed to consume alcohol just not to the point of intoxication. please can you clarify this. because i have always been taught that alcohol is haraam and if you consume alcohol you cannot read quraan or your salaah for 40 days. So I would really appreciate some clarity on this.

Answer

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Assalaamu `alaykum waRahmatullahi Wabarakatuh

As stated in our previous fatwa, alcohol which is derived from grapes and dates cannot be consumed. A single drop of it will be unlawful for consumption and considered impure.

Alcohol made from other sources other than dates and grapes are permissible ONLY with the following conditions.

  1. It is not used as an intoxicant or to an amount which intoxicates
  2. It is not used in vain.

Alcoholic beverages fall in the category of vain, thus will not be lawful to consume. A small amount from it will also be unlawful and the person drinking it will be committing a sinful act.

Products which contain alcohol as an ingredient for intoxication will fall in the same ruling as alcoholic beverages.

Those products which have the capability to intoxicate will also be unlawful, even if a small amount of consumption does not intoxicate the consumer.

If the alcohol is derived from a source other than grapes and dates and it is not used in vain or as an intoxicant such as the alcohol found in medicines and perfumes, then it will not be unlawful or impure. One may recite the Qur’an and perform salat after using such products. We hope the above clarifies the issue.

And Allah Ta'ala Knows Best

Ml. Ehzaz Ajmeri,
Student Darul Iftaa

Checked and Approved by:

Mufti Ebrahim Desai

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