Message No : 18Sr.No : 205/724
Question By : Mirza

Brother Qasmi, Assalam Alaikum,

Regarding your reply about the Alcohol in the medicines, I have to say the following:

1. Alcohol in Arabic language means basically a solvent. But now-a-days it is used interchangeably for 'Khamar' or intoxicant. In the medicine, if alcohol is used, it is not meant for intoxicating the patient, it may be used to process other ingredients in the medicine, also the chemistry of alcohol changes when it is processed with other ingredients. This should not make the whole medicine Haram.
2. As alcohol is an Arabic word, it was discovered and used by Muslim scientists in the medicines as a modifier for the composition of ingredients. It was not meant to intoxicate patients.
3. The Alcohol is 'Najis' in linguistic (Ma'anawi)sense and not in real (Hissi or haqeeqi) sense. The verse 90 of surah Al-Ma'ida, says so. If alcohl is 'Najis' in real sense then what about touching 'Maisar', 'Al-Ansab' and 'Al-Azlam'. Then one should become unclean if he touches any of the things mentioned above. What Quran says means that they are the dirty acts of Satan. For the sake of argument, alcohol is made of clean or pure ingredients. What makes it forbidden is its characteristics and its reaction on the human body. But still the alcohol is clean (though it is Haram for consumption).
4. Your argument, that if alcohol is made of potatoes or wheat then it would be Halal, does not seem logical. If so, then drinking alcohol made of potatoes or wheat would not be Haram. In reality, it is not the ingredients which make alcohol Haram, it is the nature of the final product which makes it forbidden (Haram for consuption). So alcohol made from any ingredient, organic or inorganic is illegal (Haram) due to the intoxicating nature.

I urge the learned scholars to make ijtihad by discussing and learning from the pharmaceutical companies and chemists and revist their fatwa regarding the alcoholic contents in medicines.

These are just my comments and would appreciate your feedback.

Jazaak Allah alKhair


Reply By : Mohd. Shihabuddin Qasmi
Designation : Mufti, ODI, MMERC, Mumbai 

(Note: It is highly regretted that the answer of your question could not find you in time, because the organization has been shifted to a new place and it took more than two months to be settled. Pray for the better future of the organization.)

In the name of Allah, All Gracious, All Merciful

Wa Alaikumossalam

Dear Brother in Islam,

The answers to your questions are as follows:

1-2) In the case of necessity, drinking wine is permitted. Similarly, every intoxicant is permissible in the case of necessity. And medicine is amongst the necessities. Therefore, using the medicine contending Alcohol is permissible.

3) The revelation background of the verse 90 of Suratul Mayedah indicates that the sole purpose of the verse is to describe the prohibition of Khamar and gambling. The idols have been mentioned along with Khamar and gambling for indicating that the Khamar and gambling are as grave sins as idol worshiping. The Prophet of Islam (SAWS) is reported to have said, ¡°One who drinks wine is like the one who worships idols¡±. The same meaning is expressed in different words in another Hadith. It says, ¡°One who drinks wine is like the one who worships the idols of Laat and Uzzah.

After describing drinking, gambling, idols and divining arrows, the Glorious Qur¡¯an calls them Rijs. In Arabic language, Rijs refers to impure and unclean thing which is repulsive for one who has common sense and good taste. (Ma¡¯ariful-Qur¡¯an 3: 227-228)

Khamar itself is disgusting while other three are in linguistic sense. That is indulging in these activities is repulsive and are Satanic actions. Satan wants to excite enmity and malice between people and prevent them from the remembrance of Allah Ta¡¯alah through these tracks.

It should be carried in mind that similarity is one of the several conditions for relating a new Mas-alah to a Mas-alah, which has already been mentioned in the Glorious Qur¡¯an or in the Alahdith. And there is similarity between Khamar and Alcohol, because both are liquid and intoxicant. But there is no similarity between Alcohol and Maisir, Ansab and Azlam. Therefore, Alcohol cannot be related to Maisir, Ansab and Azlam. It will be related to Khamar, which is Haram in both linguistic and real sense regardless its ingredient. For, Khamar was mostly produced by pure and clean ingredients when it was prohibited. (Abu Dawood, Babu Tahreemil-Khamar Vol: 2 Page: 516) But it is unlawful in both linguistic and real sense. The same rule will be applied to every intoxicant. And since Alcohol is an intoxicant, it is Haram in the both linguistic and real sense.

Therefore, the clothes or the part of human body which is polluted by Khamar or any other intoxicant, should be washed and cleaned. Performing Salaah without washing and cleaning the same, in a case if it is one Dirham or more, would not be proper and in order.

4) It is the nature and characteristic of a drink and liquid which makes it lawful or unlawful, not the ingredient. Therefore, every intoxicant is unlawful whatsoever its ingredients are may be. The Prophet of Islam (SAWS) is reported as having said, ¡°Every intoxicant is Khamar¡±. (Muslim 2: 167) And Khamar is prohibited in Islam.

The reply you referred to the above-described comments was given by Mufti Obaidullah Qasmi who recently has moved to Darual Uloom Deoband and is teaching there. He can clarify your doubts in better and convincing manner. Therefore, I forwarded your comments to him. What I have understood from the reply is that the answer refers to the title and name of a drink that it is not the title which makes a drink Halal or Haram. What makes the drink Haram and Halal is the contents. For instance, the bottle which contains wine will not be Halal by giving it the name of any Halal drink. Likewise, the bottle which contains Halal drink will not be Haram because of Haram title.

And Allah knows the best

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