Contemporary issues

Does Islam allow to use hand sanitiser?

What is the verdict of the noble scholars on the following issues?

  1. Currently, because of the coronavirus, there is a government mandate to perform the prayer in the mosques whereby the prayer should be performed whilst necessarily wearing a face mask. In the current situation, is it then Islamic permitted to perform the prayer whilst wearing the face mask? [CLICK HERE TO READ THE ANSWER]
  2. It is a government order to pray in the absence of people in the mosque and that by distance as well. It means that there should be space between two people in one row. So, the question is then asked whether or not it is permitted to pray with such a gap given the aspect of the current situation? [CLICK HERE TO READ THE ANSWER]
  3. One of the precautionary measures to prevent the coronavirus is a liquid sanitiser that has been governmentally ordered to spray in the mosque. Can it then be sprayed in the mosque?

Questioner: Hazrat Mawlana Sayyid Arshad Iqbal Misbahi
Imam and Khatib of Anwar Khalid Shah Masjid, South Africa

(3) Due to the coronavirus, the sanitiser has become common around the world in a matter of months. Wherever you go, prevention has become difficult. It is widely used in hospitals, clinics, offices and so on.
Before stating the verdict, we will say on hand that the sanitiser commonly available on the market and listed at government level contains a mixture of alcohol. And this alcohol has different types. In the general sanitiser, two types of alcohol are mixed with it; ethanol (or ethyl alcohol), methanol (or methyl alcohol). Methanol is also referred to as spirit. And since liquor generally consists of it, it is frightening if someone drinks it, hence it is made as denatured alcohol so that it does not qualify for consumption. Detol and so on which is a sanitiser, are denatured alcohol.
In summary, the general disinfectant consists of alcohol, and based upon the current affairs of this beggar, only ethanol alcohol is generally mixed with it, and that also for 70% (alcohol).
Conclusion: the use of methyl (spirit) sanitiser, both inward and outward, is not allowed at all. This falls under the judgment of impurity such as urine and filthy uncleanness. Imam Ahl al-Sunnah [Ala Hazrat] says, “Spirit is the essence of grapewine [nabidh] and is veraciously liquor. Rather it is the filthiest liquor. This urine-like is therefore haram, impure and filthy uncleanness.”
[al-Fatawa al-Ridawiyyah: vol. 4, p. 542]
Therefore, its use in the mosque is veraciously not allowed. Imam Ahl al-Sunnah [Ala Hazrat] says, “Indeed, in some of the oily English scents, which they name lavender, is mixed to make the bad smell go away. In this aspect it will be allowed, provided there is no spirit in the lavender, no impurity of any kind and so on. Or else, it is not even allowed to burn impure oil in the mosque.”
It is stated in Durr al-Mukhtar,
“It is makruh tahrimi [sinfully disapproved] to enter impurity into the mosque, therefore it is not correct to light there the oil lamp with impure oil.”
[Ibid: vol. 14, p. 374]
He further states,
“Spirit is not only haram but also filthy. As drinking it merely by yourself, everyone today has the freedom to consume whether the impure and haram, but to impurify the basin of the mosque makes the clothes and body of the Muslims impure and their ablution and prayer invalid. This is a clear fact that this person is a serious villain under Islamic law.”
[Ibid: vol. 14, p. 374]
He further states,
“Spirit, no matter what affliction it is, the medicine that has its part, no matter how mixed, it is even haram to consume it, smearing it is also haram, selling and buying is also haram. The doctor who prescribes it; is a trap into sin. This is the very authentic and reliable position of our noble scholars.”
[Ibid: vol. 24, p. 193]
In conclusion, this judgement is in that sanitiser in which methanol alcohol is mixed. And those who do not have methanol but have ethanol, then although the judgment is not so severe, but it is still necessary to abstain from it, as the scholars have also stated that this is haram and filthy.
Based upon the current situation of this beggar there also exists a sanitiser without alcohol in the market, and it is also being used on governmental level, then it becomes necessary to abstain from these impure and filty sanitiser. The mosque should not be soaked with impurity and dirt as far as competence permits. The noble Prophet, upon whom be peace, saw dried up spit, which is lawfully clean, upon the walls of Masjid al-Nabawi. Whilst showcasing his aversion to it he himself cleaned it with his blessed hands, drawing attention to the the honour and respect of the mosque, as narrated by Anas (Allah is pleased with him).
رَأَى نُخَامَةً فِي القِبْلَةِ ، فَشَقَّ ذَلِكَ عَلَيْهِ حَتَّى رُئِيَ فِي وَجْهِهِ ، فَقَامَ فَحَكَّهُ بِيَدِهِ
[Mishkat al-Masabih: vol. 1, p. 132]
When something is pure but, unlike nature, is not allowed to be placed in the mosque, how can then the use of alcohol, which the scholars and researchers say is impure and filthy, be allowed in the mosque?
Nevertheless, looking at the current situation, if there really is a general tribulation and there is a severe harmful aspect and no possible means are available (such as sanitiser without alcohol), then to ward off the harm and for the sake of necessity, only within the limits it should be allowed to use it.

Efforts should be made to spray it in the outer part of the mosque. If there is severe helplessness and there is only government enforcement, and there is really nothing available to prevent it, then whilst spraying within the mosque it should be greatly obstructive. And if it is possible, mix it then abundantly with a permitted sanitiser, or mix it tremendously with water. If there is an opportunity, waste the actual sanitiser whilst filling it with water or with an acceptable sanitiser, to spray it. In conclusion, it should be endeavoured to prevent in every way possible to avoid the alcohol sanitiser in the mosque.

Abstract fatwa:
Sanitisers which has a mix of alcohol in, are not allowed to be used in the mosque. If there is such a real government enforcement in which it is not possible to get rid of the aspect of the current state (although this is not the case), then within the lawful borders it is permitted to use it. It should be endeavoured to only use sanitisers without alcohol in the mosque and so on.
NOTE: The permission in these three aspects is based upon the excuse and necessity that cannot be fended off. If this excuse or necessity can be somehow ended, no aspect of the permission then remains.
It is stated in al-Bahr al-Raiq,

“Necessity is only when repulsion is not possible. If it is possible to repel, then that need does not persist.”

This is what I have, and the knowledge is with Allah Almighty.

Mufti Muhammad Zulfaqar Khan Naimi Kakralwi

Nuri Dar al-Ifta, Madina Masjid Ali Khan Kashipur, Uttarakhand

8-Shawwal-1441 || 31-May-2020

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