Are you allowed to use toothpaste which contains anise alcohol? ________________________________________________________________
In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful.
In Shariah alcohol can be divided into two groups. The first Khamr and the second non Khamr. Khamr is that alcohol which is derived from dates and grapes while the non-khamr type of alcohol is that which is derived from sources apart from the above two.
There is difference of opinion amongst the hanafi scholars in regards to the usage of the second type. Imam Ibn Abidin states:
“…Fatwa is given on the view of Imam Muhammad and this is also the position held by the other three Imams, due to the saying of the Prophet (sallal lahu alayhi wa sallam) “Every intoxicant is Khamr and every intoxicant is unlawful” (narrated by Imam Muslim), and also: “Whatever intoxicates in large quantities, then a small quantity of it is also forbidden” (narrated by Ahmad, Ibn Majah & al-Darqutni and he classed it as authentic.) (Raddul Muhtar, Vol 5, P323)
Therefore in conclusion as anise alcohol (commonly derived from aniseed) is not of the first type, then due to the initial difference of opinion of Imam Abu Hanifa and Imam Abu Yusuf that alcohol from this type is not forbidden if consumed for gaining strength (and not for pleasure and enjoyment) as long as it does not intoxicate. The contemporary scholars are of the opinion that this type of alcohol may be used for external use only i.e. in perfumes, creams etc but not for consumption. Therefore in toothpaste as long as it is not swallowed it may be used, however as there is a risk it is better to avoid.
Another point of interest is that generally the alcohols used in products are chemically manufactured (synthetic alcohol) and not derived from grapes, dates and barley. However if it is clear that these are derived from grapes etc. then these will be unlawful for use.
Only Allah knows best.
Darul Ifta, Birmingham.