The Official Website of the Office of His Eminence Al-Sayyid Ali Al-Husseini Al-Sistani

Question & Answer » Alcohol

1 Question: Is ethanol of the family of alcohol that causes drunkenness? What about using this and other families of alcohol that are synthesized from petroleum and are used in perfume, medicine etc? Are they najis and cannot be used during prayer?
Answer: According to Grand Ayatullah Sistani alcohol is tahir (ritually clean) but it is not permissible to drink it. Using perfume and medicines mixed with alcohol is permissible .
2 Question: Is it permissible to socialize or accept invitations from Muslims that are involved in business like selling alcoholic beverages and pork?
Answer: There is no problem.
3 Question: Is it permissible to consume alcohol or drugs for medical purposes?
Answer: It is permissible to use them to the extent required for treatment.
4 Question: What is the fatwa regarding the use of perfumes which contain alcohol? Are these kinds of perfumes najis (impure) and is it permissible to use them?
Answer: Such perfumes are clean and it is permissible to use them.
5 Question: What is the ruling concerning the alcohol found in some dental products like mouthwash and others?
Answer: It is clean.
6 Question: What is your opinion on Muslims eating in non-Muslim or even Muslim owned and operated restaurants which serve halal food however also serve alcoholic drinks? If the alcohol is not being consumed at our table, does this change the ruling?
Answer: If alcohol is not consumed at your table, there would be no objection and you can eat halal food in that restaurant. Yes, if going to such a restaurant is considered bad for the reputation of a Muslim, it is not permissible to eat in there.
7 Question: What is the ruling on a Muslim working in a restaurant in which he must serve alcohol to patrons of the restaurant?
Answer: It is not permissible to do anything in connection with alcohol or wine.
8 Question: Alcohol is used in the production of many drugs and medications: Is it permissible to take them? Are they considered pure (tãhir)?
Answer: They are pure; and since the alcohol used in them is so minute that it dissolves in them, it is therefore permissible to take them also.
9 Question: A Muslim enters a café and sits down at a table to drink tea, then a stranger comes at the same table to drink wine. Is it obligatory upon the Muslim to stop drinking tea and leave?
Answer: Yes, it is obligatory to move away from that table.
10 Question: What is your opinion about the beer (Maa al-Sha'eir) which is sold on the market normally with a label that reads "alcohol free".
Answer: The drink that is made from barley and called "Fuqa' in Arabic is definitely forbidden and ritually impure as an obligatory precaution. This drink is not intoxicant normally but it makes one feel tipsy; that is a state of slight drunkenness caused apparently by low percentage of alcohol in the liquid.
Therefore, if a drink is produced alcohol free in the first place and it is not called "Fuqa" (beer), there is no problem, or else, it is forbidden even if alcohol is separated from it. God knows best!
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