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

Question & Answer » Alcohol

1 Question: Whats the ruling of the various forms alcohol that causes intoxication?
Answer: All forms of intoxicants are Haram (forbidden), whether they are Tahir (ritually pure ) or Najis.
2 Question: What about using the 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: All kinds of alcohol (whether extracted from wood or other sources) are Tahir (ritually pure), and are not permissible to drink, except for wine which is also Najis, and Beer (Maa al-Sha'eir) which is also Najis (ritually impure) as an obligatory precaution..
So, the medicines and the perfumes containing alcohol are pure and can be used.
It is also permissible to eat such food if the amount of alcohol is very minute, e.g., 2%, except for wine.
3 Question: What is the ruling about using perfume containing alcohol?
Answer: There is no problem in it.
4 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 Najis (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.
5 Question: My question is related to selling and consumption of ice-cream containing less than 0.5% ethanol type of alcohol. I purchased an ice-cream business and now I am finding out that some of the ice-cream syrup contains less than 0.5% ethanol type of alcohol. That syrup is then used to make ice-cream.
My question to you is: Can I (a Muslim) sell or eat this ice-cream made from syrup that contains less than 0.5% of ethanol type of alcohol?
Answer: If it is not intoxicating, there is no objection in it; you can buy, sell and eat it.
6 Question: I am running a store and I have non-Muslim customers who want me to sell them alcoholic drinks. Can a Muslim buy and sell intoxicating alcohol to non-Muslims?
Answer: It is not permissible to buy and sell alcohol.
7 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 in it.
8 Question: Is it permissible to consume medication that contain alcohol for ones treatment?
Answer: It is permissible to consume if the amount is very minute, e.g. 2%
If the amount of alcohol is more than 2%, then one may dilute the medication with water, so that the amount of alcohol becomes very minute, e.g. 2% or less and then consume it.
9 Question: I enter a restaurant with a group of friends, and we notice on our table, there is a sealed bottle of wine, which we did not order, and will not drink, is it permissible for us to continue sitting on that table and eat our meal?
Answer: There is no problem in it.
10 Question: What is the ruling concerning the alcohol found in some dental products like mouthwash and others?
Answer: It is Tahir (ritually clean), and permissible to use.
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