Halal & Haram

What Is The Islamic Ruling On Being Unsure Of Extracts Containing Alcohol Or Not?

Question: What is the verdict of the Islamic scholars on this matter that most of the extracts that Westerners sell in medicine stores and that conserves, appetites, strengthen, and fattens the body, but we have no knowledge of the state of its production, and there is also no absolute intoxication, nor is there any ecstasy or other condition. But it is referred to the liqueur name and it is sold dearly without value, but there is no absolute intoxication whether one drinks a few glasses. Then what is the judgment in allowing this extract?
 
Sender: Sayyid Abd al-Wahid Mathravi
 
Answer:
 
The maxim is that the basis of a thing is pure. Until there is no knowledge of impurity or disallowance, the judgment is allowance.
 
فی ردالمحتار ھذا الدودۃ ان کانت غیر مائیۃ المولد وکان لھا دم سائل فھی نجسۃ والافطاھرۃ فلایحکم بنجاستھا قبل العلم بحقیقتہا ۱؎ اھ و فیہ عن التتارخانیۃ من شک فی انائہ اوثوبہ اوبدنہ اصابتہ نجاسۃ اولافھو طاہر مالم یستیقن وکذا مایتخذہ اھل الشرک کالسمن و الخبزوالاطعمۃ والثیاب ۲؎ اھ ملخصا۔
 
It is in Radd al-Muhtar:
 
If an insect is not made in water and its blood is flowing, it is then impure. In other aspects it is pure, therefore the judgment of impurity cannot be imposed upon it until its reality is unknown.[1] And in this there is the reference to al-Tatar Khaniyyah that if the person doubts the purity of his body, clothing and utensils, it will only be considered pure until his doubt does not turn into certainty. Likewise, the things prepared by idolaters, such as consumables, drinks and clothing and so on, as well as other kinds such as ghee, sweets, food, clothing, and so on, will be pure at that time and will be considered worth using it until no assurance is reached that there is any impurity on it or mixed with it.[2]
 
But it causes great doubts if the extracts are famous under the name of liqueur. And this is justified by the fact that Christians are inexhaustibly absorbed in liqueur. Small liquid goods of theirs are free from impurity and some are not, but most certainly containing methylated spirits. Nothing is free from the tincture. And such receptions cause it to become haram and impure, even if it does not cause intoxication. If the drink contains no filth, what is the reason for giving it the name of liqueur, and until its condition has not been investigated, is salvation then only in refraining. It says in the hadith:
 
ایاک ومایسؤ الاذن
Refrain from what your ears do not accept.[3]
 
Just as how the Islamic law commands us to refrain from misdeeds, also called towards refraining from bad names. People asked Sayyiduna Imam Malik (Allah be pleased with him) about the judgement of the Red River. He said, “It is haram.” They said, “But it is no red.” He said, “You interpreted it with that name.” And Allah Almighty knows best.
 
al-Imam Ahmad Raza Khan al-Qadiri al-Barelvi
20-Dhu al-Qida-1317 || ≈ 22-Mar-1900
al-‘Ataya al-Nabawiyyah fi’l-Fatawa al-Ridawiyyah: vol. 21, p. 632, #212

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[1] Radd al-Muhtar: 1/220 – کتاب الطہارۃ
[2] Radd a-Muhtar: 1/102 – باب الانجاس
[3] Musnad Ahmad b. Hanbal: 4/76 – بقیہ حدیث ابی الغادیۃ
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