What is the ruling of ethanol alcohol in sandwiches?
بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْم
In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful
In Shariah alcohol can be divided into two groups. The first being Khamr and the second being 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 a 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 p.323 v.5)
If such products have alcohol which has been derived from grapes or dates, then it will not be permissible to use. However, if the alcohol has been derived from any other source other than the ones mentioned above it will be permissible to use. (Fatwa Haqqaniyyah p.199 v.5)
Alcohol derived by fermentation of sugar cane molasses is called agricultural ethanol, and as they do not intoxicate, it is permissible to use.
Only Allah knows best
Written by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham