Use of perfumes containing alcohol
Fatwa No: 83627

  • Fatwa Date:25-12-2005 - Thul-Qi'dah 25, 1426
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Question

I have a question to ask about perfumes. All perfumes on the market contain alcohol. While offering Salah (prayers) can males/females use perfume on their body and cloths?

Answer

Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the World; and blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his Family and Companions.

The Muslim scholars differed whether using perfumes containing alcohol is permissible or not. The reason for this difference in opinions is based on two points:
a) Does alcohol that exist in perfumes cause drunkenness or not?
b) Is wine among ritual impurities or not?
According to the preponderant opinion the alcohol that exists in perfumes causes drunkenness and it is the same substance existing in wine, and wine is among the ritual impurities. Allah Says (interpretation of meaning): {O you who believe! Intoxicants (all kinds of alcoholic drinks), gambling, Al­Ansâb, and Al­Azlâm (arrows for seeking luck or decision) are an abomination of Shaitân's (Satan) handiwork. So avoid (strictly all) that (abomination) in order that you may be successful.}[5:90]
Based upon the above reasons the preponderant opinion is to avoid using such perfumes even if other materials are added to them and one can not drink them. The reason for avoiding perfumes is due to the impurity of the alcohol.
This rule of impurity and prohibition to use such perfumes applies when the impure materials do not change during the manufacturing process. If alcohol no longer existed in its original form, but completely changed so as not to cause drunkenness then the resulting perfumes would no longer be considered impure. All the above details concern the use of alcohol itself. Touching, it does not nullify one's ablution, even if one touches a clear impurity it does not null the ablution according to the most preponderant opinion.
However, performing prayers using the material that contains alcohol is not permissible, since the body, the clothes of a praying person and the place where the prayer is performed should be clean for the validity of the prayer.
Allah knows best.

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