[Q-ID0592] Can we eat foods that contain only a small amount of Alcohol?

QUESTION:

What do the scholars of the Dīn and muftīs of the Sacred Law state regarding the following issue: Is it permissible to eat foods which say there is alcohol inside them as an ingredient, and that actually contain alcohol as well, though one does not lose consciousness from it. Is there also a difference of opinion among the Hanafī Imāms with regards to alcohol? Please kindly bless with proofs also.

Questioner: Sajid and Amir from UK

ANSWER:

بسم اللہ الرحمن الرحیم
الجواب بعون الملک الوھاب اللھم ھدایۃ الحق والصواب

It is not halāl to eat such foods which contain alcohol because it is harām to drink alcohol. If this alcohol is made from khamr i.e. wine (in other words, extracted from grapes), then it is agreed that even just a drop of this type of alcohol is najas and harām [impure and unlawful], and whatever contains it [as an ingredient] is also harām to consume. However, if it has been made from another kind of alcohol, then according to Imām Muhammad, it is also harām to drink, even if it is only of a small amount, as well as whatever contains it [as an ingredient], even if it constitutes to such a small amount that one does not lose consciousness, and this [opinion] is what the fatwā [i.e. legal verdict] is upon. Just as it is stated in Durr Mukhtār & Radd al-Muhtār,

:وَحَرَّمَهَا مُحَمَّدٌ) أَيْ الْأَشْرِبَةَ الْمُتَّخَذَةَ مِنْ الْعَسَلِ وَالتِّينِ وَنَحْوِهِمَا قَالَهُ الْمُصَنِّفُ (مُطْلَقًا) قَلِيلَهَا وَكَثِيرَهَا (وَبِهِ يُفْتَى) ذَكَرَهُ الزَّيْلَعِيُّ وَغَيْرُهُ)

“‘Imām Muhammad stated that the other types of alcohol are also harām’, which are made from honey, fig or from the likes of these. The author mentioned that ‘unrestrictedly’, meaning be it of a large amount or small, ‘and the fatwā [legal verdict] is upon this’. It is this what Zayla’ī and other scholars have mentioned.”

‘Allāmah Shāmī states with regards to this,

وَبِهِ يُفْتَى) أَيْ بِقَوْلِ مُحَمَّدٍ، وَهُوَ قَوْلُ الْأَئِمَّةِ الثَّلَاثَةِ)

“Meaning, the fatwā [legal verdict] is of Imām Muhammad; this is the opinion of the three Imāms[1].”

He then states further on that,

قَوْلُهُ غَيْرُهُ)كَصَاحِبِ الْمُلْتَقَى وَالْمَوَاهِبِ وَالْكِفَايَةِ وَالنِّهَايَةِ وَالْمِعْرَاجِ وَشَرْحِ الْمَجْمَعِ وَشَرْحِ دُرَرِ الْبِحَارِ وَالْقُهُسْتَانِيِّ وَالْعَيْنِيِّ، حَيْثُ قَالُوا الْفَتْوَى فِي زَمَانِنَا بِقَوْلِ مُحَمَّدٍ لِغَلَبَةِ الْفَسَادِ)”

“Meaning, many scholars other than Imām Zayla’ī have given the fatwā upon the opinion of Imām Muhammad, such as the author of Multaqā, the author of Mawāhib, the author of Kifāyah, the author of Nihāyah, the author of Mi’rāj, the author of Sharh al-Majma’, the author of Sharh Durar al-Bihār, Quhustānī, ‘Allāmah ‘Aynī, etc. They said that the fatwā in our time is upon Imām Muhammad, due to there being more of a likelihood of controversy.”

[Durr Mukhtār & Radd al-Muhtār, vol 6, pg 448]

There are many proofs of Imām Muhammad’s opinion; that the most part of whichever alcohol causes intoxication, a small amount of it is also harām, just as it is mentioned in the blessed Hadīth,

“عَنْ جَابِرِ بْنِ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ، قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: «مَا أَسْكَرَ كَثِيرُهُ، فَقَلِيلُهُ حَرَامٌ”

“It is narrated from Sayyidunā Jābir that the Noble Prophet ﷺ stated that, ‘If a large amount of anything causes intoxication, a small amount of it is unlawful.’”

[Sunan Abī Dāwūd, Hadīth no 3681]

Likewise, this is stated in Tirmidhī[2] and this very Hadīth is present in Sunan Nasā’ī with a different chain of narration;

“حَدَّثَنَا عَمْرُو بْنُ شُعَيْبٍ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ، عَنْ جَدِّهِ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ: «مَا أَسْكَرَ كَثِيرُهُ، فَقَلِيلُهُ حَرَامٌ»”

“The Noble Prophet ﷺ stated that, “What intoxicates in large amounts, a small amount of it is unlawful.”

[Sunan Nasā’ī, Hadīth 5607]

[1] i.e. The three Imāms of the four, meaning other than Imām Abū Hanīfah; so Imām Mālik, Imām Shafi’ī and Imām Ahmad Bin Hanbal – may Allāh ﷻ be pleased with them and shower countless mercies upon them.

[2] Also present in Sunan Ibn Mājah.

واللہ تعالی اعلم ورسولہ اعلم صلی اللہ علیہ وآلہ وسلم
کتبہ ابو الحسن محمد قاسم ضیاء قادری

Answered by Mufti Qasim Zia al-Qadri
Translated by Haider Ali

Read the original Urdu answer here: [Q-ID0592] Can we eat foods that contain only a small amount of Alcohol?

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