Alcohol in the Form of Perfume/Medication - Is it Allowed?
  • Question:

    Quran prohibits intake of alcohol, but the one that is use for drinking purpose is ethyl alcohol. Therefore my question is can we use products available in market with alcohol (other than ethyl alcohol) as perfume, spirit, medical tonic, etc. Also can we offer Salah with these products on body?

    Assalamu Alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh

    Thank you for your question.

    The first issue here is whether or not alcohol which intoxicates is impure in its physical nature. The majority of the scholars, including the 4 Imams, consider it as such which would give it the same ruling as any other form of najasa (impurity) and mean that praying with it on your clothes is impermissible. Some scholars such as Al Layth Ibn Saad (ra), the teacher of Imam Malik (ra) and Imam Al Muzani (ra) the great Shafi Jurist, argued that the impurity of intoxicating alcohol is not physical but spiritual.

    The second issue is whether the alcohol is intoxicating in the first place. Alcohol extracted from grapes, dates and barley is prohibited by consensus and considered khamr (intoxicant). Alcohol is not the forbidden element here, it is khamr as the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wa salam) said: “Every intoxicant is Khamr and every intoxicant is Unlawful” (Muslim, Abu Dawud).

    Therefore, if the source of the alcohol is not grapes, dates, or barley and it is not meant for intoxication, it will be certainly halal to use and wear in colognes, perfumes, etc. If it is from an intoxicating source, it is best to avoid to remain on the safe side.

    And Allah knows best.

    Answered by Shaykh Omar Suleiman
    Hadith of the Day Imam
    Director – Islamic Learning Foundation
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