Ruling on medicine which contain a small percentage of Alcohol


بســـم اللــه الرحــمــن الـرحـــيــم

▪️Ruling on medicine which contain a small percentage of Alcohol▪️

Our Shaykh, Muhammad ibn Hizaam -may Allaah preserve him- was asked the following question:

📩 Question:

Is it permissible to take medicine if they contain a very small percentage of alcohol?

📝 Answer:

The Prophet ﷺ said:
((دع ما يريبك إلى ما لا يريبك))
“Give up what is doubtful to you for that which is not doubtful”
[Reported by Tirmithi and others from the Hadeeth of Al-Hassan ibn Ali, may Allah be pleased with him]

Also, the Prophet ﷺ said:
((فَمَنِ اتَّقَى الشُّبُهَاتِ اسْتَبْرَأَ عِرْضَهُ وَدِينَهُ وَمَنْ وَقَعَ فِي الشُّبُهَاتِ وَقَعَ فِي الْحَرَامِ))
“He who guards against doubtful things keeps his religion and his honor blameless, but he who falls into doubtful things falls into Haraam.”
[Reported by Bukhari and Muslim from the Hadeeth of An-Nu’man ibn Bashir, may Allah be pleased with him]

So if you’re unsure whether this medicine intoxicates or not, then you must stay away; because this is a doubtful matter.

And if the percentage of alcohol in this medicine is strong enough to cause intoxication, then it is Haraam; due to the saying of the Prophet ﷺ:
((مَا أَسْكَرَ كَثِيرُهُ فَقَلِيلُهُ حَرَامٌ))
“If a large quantity of anything causes intoxication, a small amount of it is prohibited.”
[Reported by Bukhari and Muslim from the Hadeeth of Jabir ibn Abdillah, may Allah be pleased with him]

Similarly, the Prophet ﷺ said:
((ما أَسْكَرَ مِنْهُ الْفَرْقُ فَمِلْءُ الْكَفِّ مِنْهُ حَرَامٌ))
“If a faraq (a small sip) of anything causes intoxication, a handful of it is forbidden.”
[Narrated by Ahmad and Abu Dawood from the Hadeeth of Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her]

So if it turns out that taking much of this medicine leads to intoxication, then taking even a small amount is Haraam. But if the matter is unclear, one must stray away from it; as it is a doubtful matter, and you should ask the doctor for an alcohol free alternative.

But if it’s certain that the percentage of alcohol in this medicine is so insignicant that once added into the solution, it looses its properties – in that the effect of intoxication is completely eliminated; so no matter how much is taken, it won’t lead to intoxication, then in this case it is permissible; because consideration is given to whether or not it intoxicates.

For example, if a drop of alcohol falls into a bucket of water and mixes in with the water until the intoxicating effect is completely eliminated, this water is still permissible (to use) and it’s not deemed impermissible.

In the same way, if the percentage of alcohol in this solution is so insignicant that there’s no doubt whatsoever that the intoxicating effect has been eliminated, then it’s okay; however much a person consumes; a little or a lot.


Translated by:
Abu Ishaq Muhammad Ibn Ahmad Ba Alawi

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Original Fatwa:
https://t.me/ibnhezam/372