Ruling of Intoxicants
Q 300: Are alcoholic beverages najis?
A: By obligatory caution, intoxicating drinks are najis.
Q 301: What is the rule applicable to grape juice that boils over a fire and two-thirds of which has not yet evaporated, although it is not intoxicating?
A: Drinking it is ḥarām, but it is not najis.
Q 302: It is said that when a quantity of unripe grapes are boiled to extract their juice, the substance derived after boiling is ḥarām if they included a few or even a single ripe grape. Is this opinion correct?
A: If the quantity of the juice derived from a few ripe grapes is so insignificant that it disappears in the juice of the raw grapes so that it cannot be called the juice of ripe grapes, it is ḥalāl. But, if only the ripe grapes are boiled on the fire, then it is ḥarām to drink the juice.
Q 303: Nowadays alcohol (which is in fact intoxicating) is used in making a large number of medicines, especially syrups, and in perfumes and colognes that are generally imported. Do you consider it permissible for a person, whether he is aware of this or not, to buy, sell, prepare and use such products?
A: An alcohol which you do not know whether it originally belongs to the category of a liquid intoxicant is considered pure, and there is no problem in buying, selling and using liquids containing it.
Q 304: Is it permissible to use white alcohol for disinfecting the hands and medical equipments, like thermometers etc., or their use in medical work and treatment by doctors? White alcohol is an alcohol used for medical purposes and is also fit for consumption. Are prayers valid in clothes on which a drop or more of this alcohol has fallen?
A: An alcohol that is not originally liquid is considered pure even if it is intoxicant and prayer performed in clothes which come into contact with such an alcohol is valid and they do not require purification. But if it is originally liquid and, according to the experts, intoxicant as well, it is najis by obligatory caution and should be purified from the body or clothes on which it falls before praying. However, using it for sterilizing medical equipment and the like is no problem.
Q 305: There is a substance called ‘kafīr’ which is used in food and medical industries, and during fermentation 5% to 8% alcohol is found in the produced material, and this small quantity of alcohol does not cause any kind of intoxication. Is there any problem from the shar‘ī viewpoint in using this substance?
A: If the alcohol in the product is intoxicating by itself, it is najis and ḥarām by obligatory caution, even if it is not intoxicating for the consumer due to its small quantity or as it is mixed with the produced item. But if there is a doubt as to its being intoxicant in itself or as to its being originally a liquid, the rule is different.
Q 306: i. Is ethyl alcohol najis or not? (Apparently it is this type of alcohol that is present in all intoxicants and the cause of intoxication.)
ii. What is the criterion for the najāsah of alcohol?
iii. What is the method of ascertaining whether a drink is an intoxicant?
A: i. All the various kinds of alcohol that are intoxicating and originally in liquid form are najis by obligatory caution.
ii. The criterion is its being intoxicating and originally a liquid.
iii. If the mukallaf is not sure, then the information provided by reliable specialists will be sufficient.
Q 307: What is the rule concerning the soft drinks available in the market, including soft drinks produced within the country, e.g. Coca Cola, Pepsi, with the knowledge that some of the ingredients are imported and it is probable that they may contain alcohol?
A: They are considered pure and ḥalāl except where the mukallaf is sure that they contain an alcohol that is intoxicating and originally liquid.
Q 308: Basically, is it necessary, while purchasing food items from a non-Muslim, to investigate whether the hand of its seller or the person preparing it has touched it, or whether he uses alcohol in preparing it?
A: It is not necessary to ask and investigate.
Q 309: I make atropine sulfate spray and alcohol is an essential ingredient in its formulation, that is, if we do not add alcohol to the compound, it is not possible to prepare the spray. This spray is considered a counter weapon that can protect the Islamic forces from chemical weapons. Is it permissible in your opinion to use alcohol in preparing medicines in the above-mentioned manner?
A: If the alcohol is intoxicating and originally liquid, it is ḥarām and by obligatory caution najis, but to use it as a medicine does not involve any problem whatsoever.
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