Working in Ice-Cream Shop Where Ice-Cream Flavors Have Alcohol in Them
Fatwa No: 441295

Question

SalamI work at an ice-cream shop where two ice cream flavours have alcohol in them. I was wondering if the money I get from this shop is halal or haram considering these items have alcohol in them.

Answer

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

First of all, we say that not all that is called alcohol according to alchemists is intoxicating just because it is included under the group of intoxicants. Similarly, what is intoxicating but was treated before being added to foods until it became transformed into another substance, then it is ruled to be pure and the foods to which it is added is pure as well.

One has to refer to the specialists for knowing whether alcohol is intoxicating or not, and whether it has been transformed into another substance or not.

Therefore, if the alcohol that is used in the manufacture of these ice creams is of the intoxicating type, but it was added to it after it had been transformed, then there is nothing wrong with eating and selling those ice creams. However, if it was added to it before it had been transformed into another substance, then it has become impure and it is not permissible to eat it or to sell it, unless its percentage is very small.

Moreover, one of the recommendations of the eighth seminar of the Islamic Organization for Medical Science (IOMS), based in Kuwait, under the title ‘Some medical issues: an Islamic perspective’ incorporating the issues highlighted above, with the participation of Al-Azhar and the Fiqh Academy in Jeddah, reads:

It is permissible to take foods where a slight amount of alcohol is used for the purpose of dissolving materials that are insoluble in water, such as coloring agents, preservatives and so on. The principle on which this permission is based is the concept of 'Umoom al-Balwa (i.e. permissibility due to unavoidable necessity; when a matter becomes widespread/general and is difficult to avoid). Apart from that, it is also a factor that most of the alcohol added actually gets evaporated in the production process.” [Al-Fiqh al-Islami wa Adillatihi]

For more benefit on the existence of a small percentage of alcohol in food or other substances, please refer to Fataawa 382309, 327754, 299059, 301753, 258754, 96550, 88496 and 81423.

Allah knows best.

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