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Even though the products contain low alcohol
content (less than 0.5%) and/or have zero alcohol content and/or have its alcohol
removed, the process of manufacturing the products is similar to the manufacturing
of alcohol (khamr1). Thus,
it is Haram even though the small amount of alcohol in the products does not
individual to be intoxicated.
products are being marketed in a manner that is similar to alcoholic beverages.
Islam forbids an event that has resemblance or events that can lead to Haram
activities, even though, in its’ natural state, is permissible. This is aligned
with a principle in the Sharia’ known as sad
Thus, products that
meet the first or second criteria or meet both criteria are considered
non-halal for Muslims consumption.
1 kahmr – An intoxicating drink containing ethanol &
other components such as methanol, acetaldehyde and ethyl acetate which is
produced by fermentation of carbohydrates or drinks containing ethanol and/or
methanol as ingredient.
2 Sadd al-dhara’i‘means,
literally, "blocking the means", i.e. to undesirable ends, in other
words, forbidding what is likely to lead to the haram. The basis of this
principle is contained in the Qur'an where Allah says: "Do not swear at
those who call on other gods than Allah, so that they will then swear at Allah
in enmity, without any knowledge. …." (Q.6:108). Allah has thus made it haram to swear at the gods of others, to
avoid them cursing back at Allah. Another example usually highlighted by our
past scholars like Imam An-Nawawi, is the issue of accepting and giving gifts
for officials. Even though the act of giving a gift itself in essence is
virtuous, hence permissible, scholars clearly discouraged those holding on to
official posts to accept gifts from the public, as it could be perceived as a
bribe. Please refer to: al-Asyqar,Sulayman ‘Abdullah, al-Wadih fi Usul
al-Fiqh, (Amman: Dar al-Salam, 2001) 159.