Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Alcohol


Muslims don't drink alcohol, and I respect that. I don't drink alcohol myself and most of my friends don't drink or don't drink much either. I think it's the way to go! I want to be clear of mind at all times.

I just think that Muslims often go overboard with the whole idea! The Qur'an says not to get intoxicated, and it's part of Islam to stay away from anything that might cause temptation, so even if one drink will not get you intoxicated, it is haram (or at least approaching haram!) to have that one drink. But seriously... not adding a teaspoon of vanilla to a cake, not using perfume that contains alcohol, etc. That is ridiculous to me. It is not an intoxicant. You do not risk getting intoxicated with these products! Seriously!

Use vanilla freely!

19 Comentários:

Bengali Muslimah said...

Whoa, my family adds the vanilla extract to everything we bake =/

Jamilah said...

Some scholars consider Alcohol to be najis, or impure.

hadah said...

hi there, i think theres nothing wrong with using the vanilla and about the perfume contains alcohol, i am not so sure but i have read some bks about it and it is ok. this is just my humble opinion.

أم ترافيس said...

Actually something I learned is that someone who is an alcoholic, in the AA program, they are advised not to use anything with alcohol either... nothing in food! Even if it is cooked.

Besides that I think Allah is most wise and it is mentioned we should not use "even a drop".

Candice said...

I don't think they'd have any issue with vanilla... But cooking with wine, probably yes. Because even if when the wine is cooked it's not intoxicating, they could just take the bottle and chug it! I don't know why they wouldn't let them eat something at a resto from the menu that is cooked with some wine though, for example...
I don't know any alcoholics though so this is just what I'm figuring.

Amber said...

I know three alcoholics. Two, they 'don't have a problem', but I can tell you, if there's something with alcohol in the house, they will drink it, so if they ever did decide to quit, there couldn't be any cooking wine or sherry in the house.

The third I know is recovering, and she ditched everything in her house. When we go out, she doesn't order anything cooked with alcohol, because she can still get the flavor of the wine, or the Jack Daniels, and she says it makes her start craving it.

What's with the vanilla though? I've never heard of it being an intoxicant before...

rahma said...

There are occasional stories that pop up in the news about kids going to grocery stores and buying up a ton of vanilla extract to get drunk. It's the equivilant of 70 proof hard liqour.

Even beyond the fact that many scholars consider it filth (which is the position of the shafi'is), there is a hadith (in Abu Dawud I believe) that states:

"Whatever of a great quantity intoxicates, a lesser quantity of that substance is also haram."

So if you can get drunk off large amounts of vanilla extract, it's haram even in the smaller quantities.

Candice said...

Rahma: I agree with that Hadith. I was actually under the impression that a person would get sick off the vanilla way before they got drunk off it. I think most would, and I know I would! I will not stay away from vanilla for this reason since it's not tempting me in any sort of way to get drunk... But I understand what you're saying.

Amber: I can understand them not wanting to be tempted from it... Makes sense. I think that food cooked in alcohol should be OK for most since you will never get drunk off it no matter how much of that chicken cooked with a bit of wine you eat. Although the fact that some of the alcohol does not evaporate will make most Muslims stay clear and I understand that. I just see the meal as a whole package and the wine-cooked chicken is not an intoxicant, I think.

Blue said...

There is nothing wrong with vanilla in Islam, and it's sold in grocerry store all over the Islamic world.

The Quran says that alcohol and gambling are the devil's work. So there is no doubt that Islam forbids them. I have no problem with that. They are definitely bad habits. It's obvious that drinking it is wrong, and so is cooking with it, because either way, you're putting alcohol in your system. Perfume is up for debate since it's only applied on the skin and is more likely to evaporate than be absorbed by your skin. You can never get intoxicated by perfume no matter how much you put on, so in my humble opinion it is not in conflict with Islam's teachings.

Anisah said...

My feelings exactly as far as the things that aren't consumed. Muslims who got perfume, shampoo, etc. that didn't have alcohol, to me, were going a bit off the deep end. I did use vanilla, but didn't cook with any kind of alcohol.

rahma said...

I've gotten sick from drinking a glass of wine, long before I got drunk from it. I've also gotten sick from shots of vodka long before I've been drunk from it (in my pre islam days). Using your logic, it would be ok for me to cook with wine and vodka.

I really hate to get into this argument with you while you're still exploring islam, but islam isn't made up of what we think. We rely on the Qur'an, the Sunnah and the consensus of the scholars to figure out what's permissible and what is not. If alcohol is an intoxicant, it's impermissible to consume, no matter how you consume it. You could cook it, bake it, mix it with water, mix it with dirt, but no matter what, it's still impermissible to consume. That's the consensus of the scholars (with a minor difference of opinion over synthetic alcohol).

Blue, vanilla is not allowed in the shafi'i madhab, so there certainly is something wrong with vanilla in islam according to them. Hanafis disagree with the shafi'is, as they do not hold synthetic alcohol to be najas, so to them, vanilla is ok in islam. It's important to not make sweeping statements about something being permissible vs. impermissible, especially when a disagreement exisits.


On a related note, there is non alcoholic vanilla and other flavorings available. I have a list on my blog:

http://rahma.hadithuna.com/vanilla-less-chocolate

Candice said...

Rahma: I find it funny how you see little difference between the permissibility of vanilla extract and the permissibility of a glass of wine.

Vanilla, at least for me personally, could *never* be an intoxicant. Wine, on the other hand, is nothing more than an intoxicant. You might have gotten sick after less than a glass of wine before, but that doesn't mean it could never intoxicate you.

I've been sick after eating chicken before and I've been able to eat much chicken since then. I'm not unable to eat chicken and you're probably not unable to drink enough alcohol to get drunk off of it unless you have a medical problem.

From your first paragraph: "Using your logic, it would be ok for me to cook with wine and vodka.". I actually think it's perfectly fine. I have no idea how to cook with it and me and my husband don't want alcohol lying around (I'm not sure how he feels about eating food cooked in alcohol as it has never come up) but I will never mind ordering something cooked in alcohol.

Anonymous said...

Islam is central to how we think, reasoning is very important, the scholars who interpret Islam do so according to their "thinking". Their education, environment, culture shapes how they interpret Islam. Dont accept things because a scholar has given his opinion on it. Read for yourself and reach your conclusion regarding grey areas.

I have never heard of people not using perfume because it contains alcohol, its crazy.

Candice said...

I love Islam for being a religion that allows and encourages us to think about everything before we accept it. Lots of Muslims do not do it though, and even go as far as to tell people not to think for themselves either but to just seek out any scholar as though their opinions are all right. There is disagreement on a lot of things (small things mostly, I know, but things nonetheless) and I feel there's room for interpretation and opinion. It just has to be based on *something*.

Thanks for your comment, anon. And keep thinking for yourselves everyone.

Jamilah said...

Islam tells us to use our minds, but not to just come up with things on our own... there is a difference there. Its sort of hard to explain. We need to be able to understand and conceptualize the message of Islam, but we are not supposed to change it to meet our needs. Now someone is not going to readily admit to doing that, but in most cases they are.

Islam is simple. The message sent forth from Allah to Muhammad tells us all we need to know. Sometimes we need a scholar to help us out. Unfortunately there are scholars out there who also interpret things to meet their own needs.

rahma said...

Candice - if it has the ability to make one drunk, it's an intoxicant. A rose by any other name who smell as sweet :)

Jamilah - thank you, you stated what I was trying to get at a lot more eloquently then I could.

Candice said...

Rahma: For that, I will stay away from drinking alcohol, but I will not restrain myself from cake with vanilla in it. I will not drink wine, but I will feel free to eat something that has been cooked with it. That's just me. I feel no fear of getting intoxicated from this cake or meal. I do not hold the opinion that alcohol is impure in and of itself. You do and that's perfectly fine.

Ahmed said...

as a muslim and after asking many people: its not haram in the vanilla because it's 100% alochol, it does conatins some but most of it goas away after cooking... so in a cake for example how much do we need to eat be drunk from it ? 300kg ? i would say we will be dead before even reaching this ammount. what makes me more iffy is the gelatin thing cause it has pork in it somehow :P.

S. Mir said...

Salam. I know this post is ancient now lol but I'm just going to post what I have always believed to be true in case there are other lurkers like me out there. Once alcohol is cooked/baked the chemical composition of it is changed so that it is no longer harmful for our system. This seems to make the most sense to me, so I don't see what the problem is with using vanilla extract in our baking.

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