Ruling on vinegar made from wine

Fatwa ID: 01615

Answered by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah

Question:

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?

Answer:

Bismillah

In the name of Allah, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful.

According to Imam Ahmad raḥimahullāh (may Allāh have mercy upon him) it is absolutely impermissible to change wine into vinegar. Imam Malik raḥimahullāh (may Allāh have mercy upon him) 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 raḥimahullāh (may Allāh have mercy upon him) 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 raḥimahullāh (may Allāh have mercy upon him) 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 raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) who said: “The Prophet of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) 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 raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) 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 ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) 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 ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) saw the prohibition of alcohol had firmly been engraved in the hearts of the Companions, he t ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him), 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.

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