Sunday, May 06, 2018

Obsessing without understanding: trace elements of alcohol in food and drinks

There has been a lot of discussion these days about some drinks which contain a very small percentage of alcohol and about some foods which may contain traces of animal products from pigs or other animals which have not been slaughtered in the ways set by Sharī’ah or traces of other impurities (najasah). Hardly a day passes by without a new publication being broadcast on the Internet warning about some specific product either because it contains alcohol or because it contains such and such substances which are either ‘forbidden’ or ‘impure’.


The whole subject is surrounded by a lot of sensitivity and is combined with a lack of thorough reading and comprehension of Sharī’ah texts, a lack of accurate identification of the reality of these drinks, foods and substances under consideration and the lack of a diligent study of all the aforementioned matters. This has had many Islamic personalities and institutions to assume positions that are rather exaggerated and extreme which dictate that any percentage of alcohol or any trace of such and such substances would make the product impure and forbidden, rendering it unsuitable for consumption by Muslims.

This research addresses also the debate initiated by the standard industrial process, used by the majority of drink manufacturers, to infuse flavouring into soft drinks utilising Ethyl Alcohol as a carrier.

The objective of this study is to enable the Muslim public to form a balanced view about this issue based on a study of confirmed religious texts having understood these texts in the correct manner based on an in- depth diligent examination of these texts. The texts are further enlightened by relating them to the physical reality of the issue at hand as demonstrated by modern experimental sciences and reliable laboratory experimentation and results that are based on accurate observation and strictly controlled repeatable processes.

Download the paper from here: Permissibility or Impermissibility of Foods

A ruling application for guidance concerning the permissibility or impermissibility of foods where they contain alcohol and / or animal products

By Professor Muḥammad ibn Abdullah al-Mas’ari

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