Is Glycerine Allowed in Shampoos and Lotions?

CategoriesMedical & Health [51]

Fatwa ID: 04816

Answered by: Maulana Syed Johir Miah




There seem to be different opinions on glycerine. Some fatawa state Istihalah, others state if it is from an animal source then not allowed, and others say not allowed but an exception can be made for shampoos etc. due to Umoomul Balwa. Does anyone have more info on this?



In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful




Glycerol is a simple polyol compound. It is a colourless, odourless, viscous liquid that is sweet-tasting and non-toxic. The glycerol backbone is found in those lipids known as glycerides.


This medication is used as a moisturizer to treat or prevent dry, rough, scaly, itchy skin and minor skin irritations (e.g., diaper rash, skin burns from radiation therapy). Emollients are substances that soften and moisturize the skin and decrease itching and flaking. 1


If the Glycerine has been derived from any animal sources, it would be deemed impermissible. Therefore, the hairstyling wax which is made from an animal source is not permissible. However, if the Glycerine is from plant sources is acceptable as anything produced from solely plants are halal.


It is not permissible to use deodorants that contain alcohol from grapes or dates extracts. Such perfumes are impure and Salaat with it is invalid.


Sayyiduna Abu Huraira ( رضى الله عنه )reported Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) as saying:

الْخَمْرُ مِنْ هَاتَيْنِ الشَّجَرَتَيْنِ الْكَرْمَةِ وَالنَّخْلَةِ ‏‏ ‏‏ وَفِي رِوَايَةِ أَبِي كُرَيْبٍ الْكَرْمِ وَالنَّخْلِ ‏

“Wine comes from vine and date-palms”. 2


However, if the alcohol is synthetic, it is pure and permissible to use. Salaat without washing off such perfumes will be valid since it is synthetic. At times, it becomes difficult to differentiate between genuine and synthetic alcohol. In those cases, one should rather prefer using deodorants and perfumes that are labelled as ‘alcohol-free’, especially when such perfumes are easily available.


It is not permissible to use products with glycerine from an animal source unless it can be established that the animal fat used in the process of making glycerine undergoes complete metamorphosis (istihaala)


In the case of hair gel, which is just labelled ‘alcohol’ it is best to find out the source of it writing to the manufacturers, whether it is synthetic or other. 


If it is synthetic, then it would be permissible and if it is from date-palm or grapes it will not be permissible.


Istihalah is 

[الاستحالة]: استحال الشيءُ: إذا تغيّر عن حاله.

Assumption of a thing: if it changes its state. 3


الاستحالة: كالخمر تطهر إذا تخللت والميتة إذا صارت ملحا والروث إذا صار رمادا والزيت إذا تنجس فصنع صابونا طهر . وبالاستحالة يصبح المسك طاهرا طيبا وهو في الأصل دم الغزال يستحيل طيبا فيصبح طاهرا عن أبي سعيد الخدري رضي الله عنه قال : قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم : ( أطيب الطيب المسك ). كما يطهر العنبر والزباد وهو وسخ يجتمع تحت ذنب السنور ) بالاستحالة أيضا .

Istihalah: Like wine, it is purified if it is permeated, dead if it becomes salt, dung if it becomes ashes, and oil if it becomes impure, then making soap is purified. By Istihalah, the musk becomes pure and fine, and it is originally the blood of the deer. It is impossible to be good, so it becomes pure. Abu Saeed Al-Khudri ( رضى الله عنه ), said: The Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) of Allah (عز و جل), said: “The best of good is Musk”. 4 As it also purifies amber and civet, which is dirt that meets under the guilt of a snail by Istihalah as well.


Umoomul Balwa (public predicament) is

قَوْلُهُ: (لِلْمَشَقَّةِ) وأشارَ بِذَلِكَ إلى أنَّ ذَلِكَ هُوَ المُرادُ بِالعُمُومِ فِي قَوْلِ بَعْضِهِمْ شَرْطُ العَفْوِ عُمُومُ البَلْوى بِهِ، فَقَدْ قالَ م ر فِي فَتاوِيهِ: المُرادُ بِعُمُومِ البَلْوى كَثْرَتُهُ فِي ذَلِكَ المَحَلِّ المَقْصُودِ عادَةً بِحَيْثُ لَوْ كَلَّفْناهُ العُدُولَ عَنْهُ إلى غَيْرِهِ لَأدّى إلى الحَرَجِ اهـ اج


“What is meant by Umoomul Balwa: it is consistently rampant in that given place, whereas if we made refraining from it necessarily, that would entail difficulty”. 5


This, therefore, comprises a widespread affliction (Umoomul Balwa).


It is generally difficult to abstain from soaps and shampoos having animal glycerine. 


As regards medicine containing animal glycerine, it will be permissible only if there is no adequate alternative based on the juristic principles;


الضرورات تبيح المَحْظُورات Necessities permits prohibitions. 6




Only Allah knows best

Written by Maulana Syed Johir Miah

Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham






2 Sahih Muslim, Hadith 1985, 1573/3, Dar Ihyath Turath Al-Arabi, Beirut, Lebanon.


3 Shamsul Uloom Wa Dawaa Kalamil Arab, 1637/3, Al-Humayri, Darul Fikr, Beirut, Lebanon, 1420 H.


4 Musnad Abu Dawud Tayyalsee, Hadith 11643, 201/8, Jamia’tud Dirasaat, Karachi, Pakistan, 1412 H.


5 Hashiyah Bujairi Alal Khatib, 441/1, Darul Fikr, 1415 H.


6 Al-Qawaidul Fiqhiyyah, Abdullah Bin Juday, Page 43, Al-Manthoor Fil Qawaidil Fiqhiyyah, Imam Zarakshi,  89/1, Wizaratul Awqaf, Kuwait, 1405 H, Al-Ashbaah Wan-Nazair, 73/1, Darul Kutub Al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, Lebanon, 1419 H.


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