Inhaling ethanol due to work reasons

Fatwa ID: 02585

Answered by: Maulana Jamal Ahmed

Question

I work in pharmacy manufacturing where I make injections and medication for sick patients. As the unit, I work in has to be clean, we use various types of alcohol to sterilise the medication and workplace (including ethanol and other types of alcohol). As I have to constantly spray alcohol I also inhale some unintentionally. Is it permissible for me to work here?

Answer

The principle in usage of alcohol is that, if it is made from Grapes and dates then it is haram and impure irrespective of its quantity.  However, if it is made from other plants and chemicals then if it is less than the amount which will intoxicate, (which is the case with most medicines) then it is permissible to be used as a medicine.  (Jadeed fiqhi masaail aur unka hal, (Mufti Taqi Usmani) pg. 42, Fareed Book Depot)

Other than medicine, if it has become so common that it is difficult to avoid it or to find alternatives, for example it is used in items of everyday use like dying clothes and the making of ink etc. then in such cases the fuqaha have allowed the usage of such products.

Similarly, if alcohol is processed in such a manner that there remains no traces of it in the final stage of the product, then the usage of this product is absolutely permissible, whether the alcohol was extracted from grapes and dates or other substances.  Jadeed fiqhi masaail, (Molana Khalid Saifullah) pg. 73, vol. 1, Zamzam publishers.

Sprays which have alcohol in them will be considered as light impurity, thus if it is sprayed on the body and it is less than a quarter of that limb then it is permissible to pray salah with it. Jadeed fiqhi masaail, (Molana Khalid Saifullah) pg. 73, vol. 1, Zamzam publishers.

As far as inhaling the spray, because it is difficult to avoid it, if it is less than the intoxicating amount then it will be permissible, as long as the alcohol is not made from grapes and dates. 

Only Allah knows best.

Written by Maulana Jamal Ahmed

Checked and Approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham

Comments are closed.