Soda/Pop & How Intoxicants are Haraam


O­n the question of soft drinks containing alcohol, some Ulama are of the view that alcohol which is not grape extract is permissible. The Ulama who hold this view contend that:

• If the alcohol is neither from dates nor grapes it is permissible.

• Imaam Muhammad's view of prohibition does not apply to soft drinks because the factors found in intoxicants are not in soft drinks.

The claim that non-grape and non-date alcohols are permissible has come as a great surprise to many who have read the fatwa issued by the Ulama who hold that soft drinks are permissible. The categoric fatwa proclaiming non-grape and non-date alcohol permissible has far reaching consequences and repercussions which I as a layman can foresee. Whiskey, vodka, champagne, all beers and most varieties of wines and liquors contain ethanol or non-grape and non-date alcohol. o­n the basis of the fatwa of permissibility of ethanol, it follows that all forms of wines if taken in small quantities which do not intoxicate will be permissible. Please comment and clarify the confusion caused by this fatwa of permissibility of ethanol.


RASULULLAH (SALLALLAHU ALAYHI WASALLAM) said that as Qiyaamah draws near, liquor will be made lawful by dubbing it with fancy names. The initial stage for such legalization of liquor has already commenced. And this process, sad to say, has been initiated by the Ulama of this time. Whereas in former times Ulama closed the slightest avenue from which haraam and corruption could enter, in these times in proximity to Qiyaamah, some Ulama have adopted a diametrically opposite stand. Instead of closing avenues of haraam and corruption, they not o­nly open such avenues, but actively foster and defend such processes which constitute the introductory steps to haraam.

Every Muslim with a little intelligence will understand the purport of the following Hadith: "Every intoxicant is haraam." And, every clear-thinking Muslim who has no vested interest or axe to grind or who has no allegience to an organisation other that the Shariah or who is unbiased will readily understand the meaning of the following Hadith: "Whatever of a great quantity intoxicates, a lesser quantity of that substance is (also) haraam."

Ethanol (the non-grape and non-date alcohol) is the intoxicating agent in all liquors which contain this substance. Take away the alcohol, and the whiskey, champagne, etc. will cease to be liquor. All contain ethanol. All these drinks have been converted into wine/liquor by ethanol. o­n the basis of the 'fatwa' of permissibility it will follow that a few drops of whisky added to a glass of water or any other lawful drink will not render that drink haraam because the whisky contains ethanol, not grape alcohol and not date alcohol.

Some beers contain the same minute percentage of ethanol alcohol as soft drinks, yet thus far none of those who say ethanol is permissible has ventured to say that beer is halaal although that time is not far off when beer and wines will be openly declared 'halaal' based o­n the ethanol permissibility fatwa. If a few drops of beer or vodka or whisky will render water or any syrup or drink haraam, there is no logical reason for claiming that any drink besides known beers, which contain ethyl alcohol is halaal. By the same token if a soft drink with a small quantity of ethyl alcohol can be halaal then a beer with a small quantity of ethyl alcohol will also be halaal. The issue is not whether soft drinks intoxicate or not. Beer like Barbican and others do not intoxicate and cannot intoxicate o­n account of the minute quantity of ethanol it contains. Regardless of the quantity, intoxicants are haraam. Whether the intoxicant is in beer or soft drinks (Barbican too is a soft drink) it is haraam and will render the drink haraam.

The claim regarding Imaam Muhammad (rahmatullah alayh) is very misleading. The illustrious Hanafi Fuqahaa of the past 13 centuries were all aware of all the arguments of Imaam Abu Hanifa, Imaam Abu Yusuf and Imaam Muhammad (rahmatullah alayhim). Inspite of their thorough knowledge of the arguments of these Fuqahaa, the fatwa of the Hanafi Math-hab for the past 13 hundred years has been o­n the ruling of Imaam Muhammad (rahmatullah alayh). Why do these Ulama in this belated age seek to override the Fatwa or the 13 century old Fatwa of the Hanafi Math-hab for the sake of Coke? And, in the process of trying to abrogate this Fatwa they are opening a wide door of fitnah and corruption by providing 'proofs' for the permissibility of alcohol – liquor and beer.

The Fatwa of the Hanafi Math-hab remains valid and in full force even today and so it will remain until the end of earthly time. No o­ne has the authority to override this 13 hundred year old Fatwa by attempting to water it down with the assertion that it is Imaam Muhammad's ruling/view in conflict with the view of Imaam Abu Hanifah. People of Ilm should understand the operation of the principles of the Math-hab. They should not attempt to detract from the gravity and importance of the Fatwa of the hurmat (prohibition) of all types of alcohol by simply attributing the prohibition to Imaam Muhammad (rahmatullah alayh). In so doing they are rendering a great disservice to the Deen and are unconsciously constituting the category of men who come within the scope of the Hadith which predicts the legalization of liquor.

It should be noted that the scope for the permissibility of using non-grape and non-date alcohol applies to medicines and non-edibles. In view of the difference of opinion among the Fuqahaa regarding the types of alcohol, the latitude in its use is restricted to essentials. The permissibility cannot be extended to non-essential consumables which in fact are harmful for the health. There is thus no scope whatever for proclaiming soft drinks permissible o­n the basis of the ikhtilaaf (difference) of opinion. It is indeed the height of folly, to say the least, to upset the Fatwa of the Hanafi Math-hab, viz. Imaam Muhammand's view for a physically ruinous substance such as coke. It is extremely irresponsible to reject the 13 century Fatwa of the Hanafi Math-hab and open a wide doorway for future 'legalization' of liquor purely for the sake of consuming a drinks which wrecks the physical health. o­ne small bottle of soft drink contains 12 teaspoons of sugar. Wisdom and responsibility demand that in so far as coke and soft drinks in general are concerned, o­nly the view of Imaam Muhammad be entertained.

[The Majlisul Haqq]


12 Responses

  1. So far the above argument is based on Hadith and Fatwa. I have one concern on my mind which needs little bit clarification. When we talk about Hadith, margin of doubt is there. As it has been followed and protected by Humans (I am not saying that its 100% incorrect). Where the only authenticated reference is Quran and God himself has taken the responsibility of protection.

    Please give, the references from Quran, where liquor or use of alcohol is prohibited.

  2. Is it true, according to the koran that a person that comsumes alcohol is haram for forty days, and is forbidden from worship.

  3. “So far the above argument is based on Hadith and Fatwa. I have one concern on my mind which needs little bit clarification. When we talk about Hadith, margin of doubt is there. As it has been followed and protected by Humans (I am not saying that its 100% incorrect). Where the only authenticated reference is Quran and God himself has taken the responsibility of protection.

    Please give, the references from Quran, where liquor or use of alcohol is prohibited.”

    (—For more correspondence on this and other Quran Only kind of arguments, contact me at obajaber @ gmail . com —)

    The Hadith explains the Quran. In fact, the majority of Islamic practices come from Hadith. Without hadith, you will not be able to know how to pray, where to face, what is aura(nudity), whether u can pray naked, how much zakat u shud pay, and many many more things. The hadith of the prophet have been narrated to us by hundreds of people, and our scholars have dedicated their lives to determine authenticity of the hadith. The same trustworthy people who transmitted the Quran happened to transmit the hadith. Why did you decide to trust them when transmitting the Quran, but deny their hadith? If you say Allah has said he will protect the Quran, then who can prove that this same people who gave fake hadith did not insert the verse which claims that? Think twice brother.

    As for the prohibition of alcohol based on Quran, it is clearly stated in the verse when Allah says,

    [005:090] “O ye who believe! Strong drink and games of chance and idols and divining arrows are only an infamy of Satan’s handiwork. Leave it aside in order that ye may succeed.”

    Now, let’s use our common sense here and stop arguing for the sake of our selfish interests. Allah is ORDERING us here. He is telling us to stay away from these. He is not saying, “I would recommend you to stay away..”. He gave an ORDER. As Muslims, we are bound by the Quran to OBEY all of Allah’s orders. Even if, for argument’s sake, we leave the hadith out of this, we cannot disobey Allah by even going CLOSE (e.g trading in it etc) to alcohol, let alone drinking it! Unless of course, you are a Muslim who believes that disobeying an order from Allah is perfectly normal.

    Finally, to those who do not understand the Quran, Allah does not say “A is Haram, B is Halal etc” in the Quran. He forbids things by telling us to stay away from them, pay penalties for them etc. Very few things are explicitly forbidden in the Quran. For instance, are you going to say Zinaa is not forbidden because Allah only ordered us to stay away from it?

    Below are verses showing that Allah’s orders must be obeyed.

    [33:36] “It is not for a believing man nor a believing women, when Allah and His Messenger have decreed a matter, to have the choice in their affair; and whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger has surely gone astray in manifest error.”

    [8:24] “O ye who believe! give your response to Allah and His Messenger, when He calleth you to that which will give you life.”

    And there are many more verses, but I would like to end with this,

    [24:47-51] “They say, We believe in Allah and in the apostle, and we obey; but even after that, some of them turn away; they are not (really) Believers. When they are summoned to Allah and His apostle, in order that He may judge between them, behold some of them decline (to come)….The answer of the Believers, when summoned to Allah and His Messenger, in order that He may judge between them, is no other than this: they say, “We hear and we obey”; it is such as these that will attain felicity.”

  4. Some scholars say smoking tobacco is “haram”. What is their evidence ?

    Thank you.

  5. […] Dig deeper into the topic here […]

  6. not thats not true ….. its stated that ur dua is not accepted by 40 days !!!!

    • assalam alaikum rokia and nadir jaan i implore you to look into the quran further before making statements inshallah

  7. AOA,

    I just want to know whether the srick BARBICAN, Premium malt beverage which is manufactured in UAE, Dubai by Aujan industries is HALAL or not.
    I recently started drinking it when some1 told me that it is Halal.
    Waiting for your response.


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