Small Quantity of Intoxicants in Foods

Small Quantity of Intoxicants in Foods

Small Quantity of Intoxicant in Foods – Yasir Qadhi This question is basically about having minute quantity of alcohol in one’s food. The basic rule, our Prophet (ﷺ) said, hadith is in Sunan An-Nasa’i (مَا أَسْكَرَ كَثِيرُهُ، فَقَلِيلُهُ حَرَامٌ) “That which intoxicate in large quantities, is haram in small quantities.” This is a maxim of fiqh, and it is a hadith. By large quantities, we don’t mean if you drink a lake. You will die if you drink a lake. We mean that which reasonable, average person may consume in a short period of time. Five, six, seven, eight, glasses, okay… If something kills you before it intoxicates you, that’s not haram, okay. Water will kill you if you drink gallons and gallons in a very short period, as has happened recently in a number of times. So, if something intoxicates in a reasonably large quantity. A very light beer for example, if you drink 10 glasses you’ll become intoxicated, therefore a drop of that beer is haram. A person can drink 10 glasses in an hour or two. If that will intoxicate, then a drop of that beer if you put it on your tongue, it is haram. (مَا أَسْكَرَ كَثِيرُهُ، فَقَلِيلُهُ حَرَامٌ) However, a number of points, first and foremost: The Islamic prohibition is on khamr not on alcohol. Alcohol is a class of chemical compounds anything that has an -OH radical becomes an alcohol. Not every alcohol is khamr. Methanol is not khamr, it will kill you before it intoxicates you. The primary alcohol in our times that is khamr is ethanol or ethyl alcohol, that is what is found in beer and other products. And there are other types of alcohol that also intoxicate, but not every alcohol intoxicates, and not every intoxicant is an alcohol. Therefore when you pick up a food item, and you read all of the ingredients, and you read something; isopropyl glycol whatever alcohol, don’t just say, “Oh, haram!” You need to do your research. Majority of those alcohol, are chemical alcohols, not khamr. What is clearly intoxicating or potentially intoxicating is ethanol or ethyl alcohol, both the same thing. Not all ethyl alcohol is haram as well, why? Because if the quantity of ethanol is so miniscule, that it will not intoxicate you, then it is not khamr. Even if there’s ethanol in there. And the classic example for this is vanilla. We need to look at what is the purpose of those ethanol as well. Vanilla is a chemical compound that is found in a particular substance, the vanilla fruit or not, it is extracted, that is a taste. And in order to get that extraction, from that extraction to your cake, to your ice cream, there’s must be a mechanism to preserve the vanilla. And that mechanism is ethanol. Ethanol, as every chemist and every person who study chemistry knows, ethanol is innate and it does not interact with the substance. That’s why it’s so useful. You can put another substance in ethanol, and preserve the substance, from the production to your kitchen. So ethanol therefore becomes a solvent, that has no actual role other than to preserve. How can you extract this and then take it to the kitchen? It is via the mechanism of the ethanol. So, vanilla extract has a lot of ethanol, but the purpose of ethanol is what? It is to preserve the flavor of the vanilla. And then how much do you add? You will add half a tea spoon, a few drops. And that will then be to your whole cake, or to your homemade ice cream. So, that amount of vanilla extract that you add, it will never be enough to intoxicate you. You can eat lots of vanilla ice cream, and you will not feel any intoxication. (مَا أَسْكَرَ كَثِيرُهُ، فَقَلِيلُهُ حَرَامٌ) That which intoxicates in large is haram in small. Therefore, that which does not intoxicate in large, is halal in large and small. You can eat vanilla ice cream, you can eat vanilla cake, you will not become intoxicated. Therefore it is halal. As well some natural fermentation might occur. Actually at the molecular level, orange juice, apple juice, might have some fermentations. If you were to do a very detail chemical study, of your orange juice at home, you might find some fermentations, some ethanol produced. Does it make orange juice haram? No. Because you can drink a lot of orange juice, and what will happen? You might get sick, but you won’t become intoxicated. So, small-minuscule-quantities are overlook. Now, you go to a halal steak house, and they add whine. You will say, “Sheikh, you just said, that if it doesn’t intoxicate in large quantities, halal in small quantities.” “I can eat two, three, or four, of these steaks, and I will not become intoxicated, does that make the steak halal?” We say, there is another principle. And this is one of the principle of the sharia. (الأمور بمقاصدها) “ِActions are judged by their intentions.” So, we do not say the ruling of vanilla extract is the same as the rulings of meat in which vodka or rum has been added. Why? Because what is the purpose of the ethanol in the vanilla extract? It is to preserved the flavor of the vanilla, and to make the ethanol irrelevant. What is the purpose of adding whine into the meat? To get the taste of the whine. We do not say the same rulings applies. And so we say, the one is halal, vanilla; and the other is haram. Because the goal there is to taste the vodka, or the rum or the whine, whereas the goal here, actually ethanol is inert, you don’t even taste the ethanol. The point is to taste the what? The vanilla. So, to conclude this, we say, first thing: Is it khamr? And khamr is that which intoxicates the mind. If it’s not khamr, it’s halal. So, we look at the ingredients, not every alcohol is khamr, not every khamr is alcohol, there are certain khamrs that are not alcohol, right? Number 2: Does consuming it in a reasonable quantity intoxicate? If it does, then it is haram. So, if you eat marijuana brownies. If you have these brownies that will make you high, and if you have to eat six or seven brownies to get high, can you eat a piece of brownie? Yes or no? No. Based on what? (مَا أَسْكَرَ كَثِيرُهُ، فَقَلِيلُهُ حَرَامٌ) Okay. Now, vanilla cake. You can eat, and eat, and eat. Will you get high? No, then you can eat cake, okay. That’s the second principle. The third principle: Even if it doesn’t intoxicate you, you then go to the rule number three: why was it added? (مقاصد), what was the goal of adding? If it was added to be a secondary product, to preserve the flavor of the vanilla, we say it’s overlooked, because, (لتابع تابع) (the follower is following), there’s another principle. But if it was added for the taste, we say, “No!” That was the intention, so we then say, it is not allowed.


  1. Question
    I used to smoke 2 packets of cigarettes in a day ,but I feel nothing .. so can I assume cigarettes is not haram ..!

  2. Assalamualaikum, JazakumAllahu hayr,mashaa Allah, I always doubt of these questions,may Allah except your efforts on His way ameen

  3. If you eat a LOT of vanilla cake or a LOT of vanilla ice cream, then you're eating WAY TOO MUCH SUGAR, which will be highly damaging (inflammatory) to your body. So the question now is: is that act of consuming so much sweet, sugary food reasonable for a Muslim?

  4. What abount kombucha tea? it is fermented and has a very small ethanol content (ethanol by volume <0.5%), so is it still halal?

  5. So, there’s a flaw in the end of your video. You assert that cooking with alcohol is done so that one tastes the alcohol (or the intoxicating agent).

    Any chef worth his salt knows that is wrong. You are trying to get the flavors that accompany the alcohol. In case of wine, the fruity/tannic/oaky flavors, in case of rum and other spirits, the ester compounds and acids.

    You actually try to burn off as much of the alcohol as possible, for the simple reason that alcohol, namely ethanol, tastes bad.

    So it is the same intention as the vanilla extract.

  6. Assalamualaikum, so does it mean cow's milk is haram for those is lactose intolerance, drink water with high sugar (soda) can give you diabetic is it haram too and lastly it happen to me and i already stop drink coffee because 2 cups can give me migrant, does it haram for me to drink it? (even let say once a week)

  7. The best explanation, The best animation.
    Really really great videos for youngsters and even adults to watch and fully understand!
    I subscribed liked the video and turned on the post notifications.
    May allah guide you and reward you everytime muslims and non-muslims are listening to these blessed lectures.

  8. We all want to enter Jannah but are we sincerely striving for it? There are multiple ways to attain the pleasure of Allah SWT and enter His Jannah. Allah SWT has made it easy for us to enter His Jannah but some of us forget this due to an ‘attachment’ to this temporary worldly life!

    Following are some hadiths which will show us 25 ways or good deeds to enter the Jannah. Remember, these are not the ‘only’ 25 ways and there should be ‘sincerity’ and ‘consistency’ in these acts to get Jannat-ul-Firdause (the highest level in Jannah) InshaAllah!

    Whoever meets Allah without ascribing anything to Him will enter Jannah. (Sahih al-Bukhari)
    Whoever believes (has Imaan) in Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him), and establishes the prayer and fasts in the month of Ramadan, it is incumbent upon Allah that He enters him in Jannah. (Sahih al-Bukhari)
    Whoever says: “I am pleased with Allah as my Rabb, and with Islam as my Deen, and with Muhammad (peace be upon him) as my Prophet, Jannah would be mandatory for him. (Sunan Abu Dawud)
    رَضِيتُ باللهِ رَبَّاً، وَبِالْإِسْلَامِ دِيناً،

    وَبِمُحَمَّدٍ صَلَى اللهُ عَلِيهِ وَسَلَّمَ نَبِيَّاً
    Whoever asks Allah for Jannah three times, Jannah will say: “O Allah, enter him into Jannah.” (Jami` at-Tirmidhi)
    اللّهُـمَّ إِنِّـي أَسْأَلُـكَ الجَـنَّةَ
    Whoever says “SubhanAllah al-Adthim wa Bihamdihi (Glorified and Exalted is Allah, The Great, and with His Praise), a date-palm tree will planted for him in Jannah. (Jami` at-Tirmidhi)
    سُبْحَانَ اللّهِ وَ بِحَمْدِهِ ، سُبْحَانَ اللّهِ الْعَظِيمِ
    Allah has Ninety Nine Names, one hundred minus one, and whoever believes in their meanings and acts accordingly, will enter Jannah. (Sahih al-Bukhari)
    Visit: 99 Names of Allah
    Indeed, truthfulness leads to righteousness and indeed righteousness leads to Jannah. (Sahih al-Bukhari)
    Whoever builds a Masjid seeking by it the Pleasure of Allah, Allah will build for him a similar place in Jannah. (Sahih al-Bukhari)
    Whoever repeats after the Mu’adthin (the caller to prayer) from his heart (i.e., sincerely) will enter Jannah. (Sunan an-Nasa’i)
    Whoever calls the Adhan for 12 years, Jannah will become mandatory for him. (Sunan Ibn Majah)
    Whoever prays the two cool prayers (Asr and Fajr) will go to Paradise. (Sahih al-Bukhari)
    Allah will prepare for him who goes to the mosque (every) morning and in the afternoon (for the congregational prayer) an honorable place in Paradise with good hospitality for (what he has done) every morning and afternoon goings. (Sahih al-Bukhari)
    Any one performs the ablution perfectly and then offers 2 rak’ahs of prayers concentrating on them with his heart and face, paradise will necessarily fall to his lot. (Sunan Abu Dawud)
    Whoever prays 12 Rak’ah in the day and night, a house in Jannah will be built for him. (Sunan an-Nasa’i)
    2 before Fajr
    4 before Zohar & 2 after Zohar
    2 after Magrib
    2 after Isha
    Whoever takes a path in search of knowledge, Allah will make easy for him the path to Jannah. (Jami` at-Tirmidhi)
    I saw a man going about in Jannah (and enjoying himself) as a reward for cutting from the middle of the road, a tree which was causing inconvenience to the Muslims. (Muslim)
    Whoever can guarantee (the chastity of) what is between his two jaw-bones and what is between his two legs (i.e. his tongue and his private parts), I guarantee Paradise for him. (Sahih al-Bukhari)
    Anyone whose soul leaves his body and he is free of three things, will enter Jannah: Arrogance, stealing from the spoils of war, and debt. (Sunan Ibn Majah)
    Whoever raises two girls then I and he will enter Jannah like these two (Prophet indicated with his two fingers). (Jami` at-Tirmidhi)
    Whoever visits an ailing person or a brother of his to seek the Pleasure of Allah, an announcer (angel) calls out: “May you be happy, may your walking be blessed, and may you be awarded a dignified position in Jannah”. (Jami` at-Tirmidhi)
    Allah guarantees him who strives in His Cause and whose motivation for going out is nothing but Jihad in His Cause and belief in His Word, that He will admit him into Jannah. (Sahih al-Bukhari)
    O people, spread the Salaam (greetings), feed the hungry, and pray while the people are asleep, you will enter Jannah in peace. (Sunan Ibn Majah)
    (The performance of) Umrah is an expiation for the sins committed between it and the previous Umrah; and the reward of Hajj Mabrur (i.e., one accepted) is nothing but Jannah. (Sahih al-Bukhari)
    Whosoever last words are:

    will enter Paradise. (Sunan Abu Dawud)

    Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) said: If somebody recites this invocation (given below) during the day, and if he should die then, he will be from the people of Jannah. And if he recites it in the night, and if he should die on the same day, he will be from the people of Jannah.” (Jami` at-Tirmidhi)
    اللَّهُمَّ أَنْتَ رَبِّي لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ أَنْتَ خَلَقْتَنِي وَأَنَا عَبْدُكَ وَأَنَا عَلَى عَهْدِكَ وَوَعْدِكَ مَا اسْتَطَعْتُ أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ شَرِّ مَا صَنَعْتُ وَأَبُوءُ إِلَيْكَ بِنِعْمَتِكَ عَلَىَّ وَأَعْتَرِفُ بِذُنُوبِي فَاغْفِرْ لِي ذُنُوبِي إِنَّهُ لاَ يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ إِلاَّ أَنْتَ
    Allāhumma anta rabbī lā ilāha illā anta, khalaqtanī wa ana `abduka, wa ana `alā `ahdika wa wa`dika ma-staṭa`tu. A`ūdhu bika min sharri ma ṣana`tu, wa abū’u ilayka bini`matika `alayya wa a`tarifu bidhunūbī faghfirlī dhunūbī innahu lā yaghfirudh-dhunūba illā ant
    O Allah, You are my Lord, none has the right to be worshipped except You, You created me and I am Your servant and I abide to Your covenant and promise as best I can, I take refuge in You from the evil of which I committed. I acknowledge Your favor upon me and I acknowledge my sin, so forgive me, for verily none can forgive sin except You.

    May Allah The Almighty guide is, forgive all our sins, help us to stay firm on the right path and unite all of us with our family and friends in His Jannat-ul-Firdause. Ameen.

  9. How do you get intoxicated from weed? You will only sleep not get intoxicated. Ethanol is more dangers. What if you use it for medicine. Islamic scholars need to study weed and not follow the government taboo.

  10. I'm confused, thought vanilla in ice-cream for example had high alcohol content. So is any vegetarian ice-cream like Walls, Nestle and Magnum Vegan halal?

  11. Well done! But when cooking with wine or beer doesn't the alcohol burn off and disappear from the heat? Asalamualakum!

  12. Assalamualaikum. Brothers and sisters, I just want to make aware that Yasir Qadhi, the speaker, has been refuted several times.
    This video will explain:

    There are many other videos out there as well. May Allah guide us all.

  13. Asalaam alykum thank you for clarifying these point for me as I am a new revert and don't understand all Halal and Haram

  14. Is soya sauce or sushi with alcohol halal? I don’t believe you can taste the alcohol and eating a lot doesn’t intoxicate you.

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