What do the scholars of the Dīn and muftīs of the Sacred Law state regarding the following issue: Can we use use mouthwash, as it contains alcohol?

Questioner: Kashif from UK


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

There are two types of mouthwash:

  1. One which is used to cure health problems in relation to the gums
  2. The other used to merely create a pleasant smell [& fresh taste] in the mouth

There is no issue in using the former i.e. the mouthwash used to rid health problems, even if there is alcohol in it, because it is being used in the form of  medicine [cure], and using medicines with alcohol in them have the ruling of permissibility due to ‘umūm balwā (i.e. all kinds of people are involved in this); this permissibility is in order to remove difficulty and hardship.

Allāh Almighty states,

{مَایُرِیۡدُ اللہُ لِیَجْعَلَ عَلَیۡکُمْ مِّنْ حَرَجٍ}

{Allāh does not desire to place any hardship upon you}

[Sūrah al-Mā’idah, v 6]

Sayyidī Ālahazrat Imām Ahmad Razā Khān, may Allāh ﷻ shower endless mercies upon him, gave the ruling of purity due to ‘umūm balwā for the dose of medicine which would contain spirits, etc. He states that spirits being mixed in a dose of medicine, even if it is proven via a method of sharī’ah, so there is no doubt that Hindis (those who live in India and Pakistan) are heavily engrossed in this situation, and ‘umūm balwā is a cause of lightening the rule with regards to its impurity for which there is a consensus upon.

[Fatāwā Ridawiyyah, vol 6, pg 381]

He also states in another place that just how ‘umūm balwā makes the rule lighter with regards to matters pertaining to impurity, likewise it is also has an effect with regards to halāl and harām.

“ولایخفی علی خادم الفقۃ ان ھذا کماھوجار فی باب الطھارۃ والنجاسۃ کذٰلک فی باب الاباحۃ والحرمۃ”

“It is not hidden for the servant of Fiqh as just how this rule is applicable to purity and impurity, it is also similarly applicable to lawfulness and unlawfulness.”

[Fatāwā Ridawiyyah, vol 25, pg 88]

In addition, many respected Muftīs from India jointly agreed that the decision with regards to this is that the usage of alcoholic medicines is permissible.

As for the using of alcoholic mouthwash solely for the purpose of attaining fresh breath – it is not permitted to use this unless there is a need; thus this should be avoided.

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-ID0614] Can I use mouthwash that contains Alcohol?

Also see:

[Q-ID0493] Does using mouthwash nullify the Fast?

[Q-ID0289] What is the Islamic ruling on consuming medicine that contains Alcohol?

[Q-ID0304] Can I consume medicine that contains Gelatine?

[Q-ID0110] Using medicines & sprays that contain Alcohol

[Q-ID0539] Coke, Lucozade, Rubicon Mango all contain small traces of Alcohol, can we still drink them?

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