Alcohol use in food and drink in Islam is a popular topic to discuss among foodies and Muslims. One of the cornerstones of Islamic Dietary Laws is the fact that Muslims cannot consume alcoholic beverages. These days, alcohol may be prepared from many sources, but it is still considered forbidden as long as it intoxicates people. However, when we say ‘alcohol’ in food and drinks, we’re actually referring to the ingredient ‘ethyl alcohol’.
Ethyl alcohol is an organic compound present in many food and drinks. It is a colorless liquid with a distinctive odor produced by the fermentation of sugar and yeast. It may occur naturally such as in overripe fruits and during the germination of plants. Ethyl alcohol is involved in the production of antiseptics, perfumes, medicine, solvents and in food coloring.
Under the appropriate level, Islam allows the use of ethyl alcohol in food. In Malaysia, a fatwa concerning the use of alcohol in food and drinks in Islam has been discussed before. Halal Buddy aims to illustrate and make this fatwa easier for our readers to understand.
The Fatwa About Alcohol Use in Food and Drinks in Islam
On the 14th to 16th July 2011, Muzakarah Khas Jawatankuasa Fatwa Majlis Kebangsaan Bagi Hal Ehwal Ugama Islam Malaysia (Malaysia Halal Council) discussed the matter concerning alcohol use in food and drinks in Islam (p. 170).
Here’s the summary of the discussion:
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