Medicine factory using ethanol in the processing of the medicine

Fatwa ID: 01953

Answered by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah

Question:

A medicine factory which uses methanol in production of medicine, but only in processing, the end product has no alcohol, Is it halal to use the final product (orally and other ways?

Answer:

Bismillah

Wherever possible the cure should be done with paak and halal animals. However, sometimes in necessity, the only alternative for a certain illness is through a particular medicine, which have impure and unlawful substances.

There are two possible strands:

  1. To use it without necessity
  2. To use it in necessity.

Regarding the first possible strand, the Prophet of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) has said that Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) has placed no cure for the Muslims in haraam. (Mishkaatul Masaabeeh P.388 V.2)

In another hadith it is stated that the Prophet of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) has prohibited us from impure and filthy medicines. (Mishkaatul Masaabeeh P388 V.2)

However, later day jurists, keeping in mind the modern day impure medicines and the weakness of people against it have given permission in the usage of haraam medicine on the condition that another lawful and pure medicine is not effective or is not available. (Maariful Quran P.437 V.1)

The second possible situation is to use it in necessity. A person whose life is in danger can use such medicines, which are forbidden on him to save his life on the following conditions:

  1. There is extreme necessity that one’s life is in danger.
  2. Another lawful medicine does not work, or is not available.
  3. It should be certain that the disease would be cured through the medicine.
  4. A person should not enjoy the medicine.
  5. Only the amount, which is necessary, should be used.(Maariful Quran- Ibid)

Regarding your question, there is a principle in the Sharia known as Tabdeel-e-Mahiyah. Tabdeel-e-Mahiyah is the total transformation of an item whereby the original components maintains no properties of its former state and differs completely from it in application and qualities and due to this fact the name of the item also changes.

An example of this in the books of jurisprudence is given by Allamah Ibn Aabideen  in regards to grape juice(Aseer) which is pure but when it is fermented and it changes into wine (Khamr) it becomes impure and thereafter it can further change into vinegar [Khal] which is pure again. (Raddul Muhtar p.320 v.5)

The conclusion we can come to is that it will be permissible to use the aforementioned product as there has been a total obliteration of alcohol from its previous state. 

Only Allah Knows Best

Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham.

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