Fatwa ID: 01631
Answered by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Is it permissible to consume vinegar that we find in bread and in chips etc that have been made intentionally by converting alcohol in manufacturing companies?
According to Imam Ahmad it is absolutely impermissible to change wine into vinegar. Imam Malik also has a similar opinion, however, the only difference between the Malikis and Hanbalis is that according to the Malikis it is permissible to drink it after changing the wine into vinegar whereas the Hanbalis say that it is impermissible to drink.
Imam Shafi is of the opinion that if the wine turned to vinegar by itself, without any deliberate change then it will be permissible. However, it will not permissible to deliberately change the wine to vinegar.
Imam Abu Hanifa is of the view that if wine changed into vinegar, either by itself or deliberately, it will be permissible to consume. (Durre Mandhuud p.490 v.5)
It is narrated by Saaiduna Anas Bin Malik who said: “The Prophet of Allah was asked whether wine could be changed to be used as vinegar. He said, ‘No.’” (Sahih Muslim p.163 v.2 & Sunan Abu Dawud p.161 v.2)
The Hanafi evidence is once Saaidah Aaisha was asked whether wine could be changed to be used as vinegar. She replied by saying “there is nothing wrong with it as it is food (Idaam).” (Musanaf Ibn Abi Shaibah p.98 v.5)
The Hanafi response to the hadith mentioned above which can be found in Sahih Muslim and also in Sunan Abu Dawud is that initially the Prophet of Allah was very strict and harsh on the prohibition of alcohol even to the extent that he forbade making nabidh (beverages) from containers used for alcohol. Later on when the Prophet of Allah saw the prohibition of alcohol had firmly been engraved in the hearts of the Companions, he t , allowed the making of nabidh from containers used for alcohol and also allowed the making of vinegar from wine. (Dars Muslim p.130 v.2, Illaus Sunan p.40 v.18 & Inayah (Commentary of Hidayah) p.125 v.10)
Only Allah Knows Best
Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham.