In the Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Ever Compassionate…
It is important to differentiate between “khamr” (intoxicants) and “alcohol”.*
The substance called “alcohol” is of three types:
1) That which is deadly, if you consume it you will die or become seriously ill. This is considered “summ“ (poison) and it is permissible to buy, sell, transport, or use it, but not consume it. You can use it when found in mouthwash, perfume, bug spray, etc., but not in foods or drinks.
2) That which intoxicates when consumed, a little of it or a lot, then it considered Khamr (intoxicant), and it is not permissible to buy, sell, transport, use, or consume. The scholarly verdicts mentioned here and here refer to this category: khamr.
3) That which does not intoxicate no matter how much of it is consumed, then it is not a khamr, rather it is halaal, like the small amounts of alcohol found in many foods and drinks that we eat every day. This type is permissible to buy, sell, transport, use, and consume.
So if the type of alcohol used in your medicine or food is type #3, then you may use it. If it is type #1 or #2, then NO.
And Allaah knows best.
*[I learned this point from Shaykh Muhammad Baazmool, who relays it from al-‘Allaamah Al-Albaanee, may Allaah have Mercy on them both.]
Written by: Moosaa Richardson
ST Archives – Originally Published 03-11-2007