Ruling on taking medicine that contains alcohol
Fatwa No: 263212

Question

Assalamu aleikom wa rahmatuAllahi wa barakatuh! Please help me subhanAllah i had a sever cough that didnt let me sleep at all and it became so painful i had to cry. My husband went to buy syrup for my coughing because no other medicine worked (took antibiotics, anti-inflammatory injections, codeine tablets, and paracetamol) i felt asphyxiation . He is on the salaful salih manhaj in sha Allah but makes some mistakes sometimes. He bought me syrup that contained a lot of alcohol. He and his father who is hafiz of quran and doctors both said its ok i can take it. Did i make taqleed and shirk by taking the medicine? I felt so bad afterwards for trusting and i ran after to look the fatwa up and found that its haram to take such medicine. I dont know why i thought its ok. But i did think subhanaAllah maybe its haram maybe i read somewhere it is haram. I was afraid before taking it i intended and asked Allah that i take it cause i felt i had no better solution tho Allahu Alem. Maybe this is shirk too. And now it isRamadan!! I made tawba and threw it all out quickly. Will my prayers still be accepted??? I really hate myself right now i have so transgressed and wronged myself . Ya allah! Tell me sheikh what will happen with me??will my ramadan be void? Will my prayers not be accepted for 40 days?? Jazak Allahu khairan

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and messenger.

Dear Sister, you should take it easy and not let the whispers of the devil find a way to your heart. You did not commit an act of disbelief by taking that medicine, and your acts of worship were not invalidated by taking it. Moreover, taking that medicine does not affect the acceptance of your prayers. All your thoughts are nothing but whispers of the devil, so you should pay no attention to them.

You should note that you are not sinful by drinking this drug which contains much alcohol if you did not know its nature or its ruling. In principle, all things are pure and free from impurity.

However, if there is a medicine that is most likely believed to have alcohol among its ingredients, then avoiding it is better as a way of abandoning doubtful matters. The Fatwa of the Permanent Committee on taking medication that contains alcohol or suspecting that it contains it reads: "In principle, all things are pure and lawful, so one should not neglect this ruling except if it is certainly known or predominantly known that there is something (unlawful) in the medicine which makes it necessary to leave it and seek another alternative.” [End of quote]

It should be taken into consideration that if you did not find an alcohol-free medicine that suits your illness while you were suffering such a harmful condition as you described, then it would be permissible for you to use the drug which contains alcohol.

For more information on the prohibition of using medicine that contains alcohol except in case of necessity when there is no available alternatives, please refer to Fataawa 81580 and 85583.

You may also refer to Fatwa 87607 which explains that if alcohol was transformed into another substance before adding it to the medication, the use of the medication is not forbidden.

Allaah Knows best.

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