Is Using Rum/Beer in Cakes Permissible If It Does Not Intoxicate?
Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch
Is rum regarded as Nabidh? Someone recently told me that the Prophet permitted Nabidh consumption and that the Sahaba drank non-Khamr alcoholic beverages. It was also stated that early Hanafis allowed the consumption of non-khamr alcoholic beverages. As a result, they believe that rum in tiramisu is permitted to consume because it does not intoxicate.
Marghinani states that it is not permissible for lahw.
I have told this person that it would be impossible to gauge when one would be intoxicated. They said that I was converting something halal into haram.
In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate.
Although wine is categorically impermissible, even if it is a single drop. Non-wine alcohol (explained below) is permissible for consumption and external use under certain conditions. Rum and beer are non-wine alcoholic beverages that do not meet the conditions listed below and are thus strictly prohibited (haram) to consume.
Furthermore, nabidh (a fermented drink) can linguistically be applied to wine, non-wine alcohol, or non-alcoholic fermented drinks. The narrations regarding the Prophetic use or permission for “nabidh” is unanimously understood as non-alcoholic fermented drinks.
Please take a look below for a more detailed answer.
Due to explicit prohibitions in the Quran, wine is categorically prohibited. Wine is defined as an alcoholic beverage derived from dates, grapes, and raisins.
Other types of alcohol are also strictly prohibited unless they meet the following five criteria:
- Not drunk with the intention of intoxication;
- Not drunk to the extent that would intoxicate;
- Not drunk in the manner which alcohol is drunk;
- Its presence must not be in vain (lahw);
- It’s not the direct point of pleasure. [Nahlawi, al-Durar al-Mubaha]
Tiramisu, which contains rum (non-wine alcohol), is permissible if the above conditions are met. If, however, the rum makes up the flavor – it is prohibited. Any food that is alcohol flavored is also prohibited due to the 4th condition above.
Items like soy sauce, kombucha, and kefir are permissible despite the presence of non-wine alcohol because they meet the above conditions.
However, items like beer-battered fish or rum-flavored cake are prohibited because the non-wine alcohol is not crucial to the making of the product, and it is, in both cases, the point of pleasure (i.e., the flavor), as opposed to a strawberry donut that requires non-wine alcohol to make.
Nabidh, which in modern Arabic is often used for wine, applies to a drink made from fruits soaked in water regardless of whether it reaches the point of intoxication or not. [Zabidi, Taj al-Arus]
The type of nabidh drunk by the Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace) wasn’t soaked long enough to become intoxicating.
Imam Muslim (Allah have mercy on him) mentions the following narration under the heading “The Permission to Drink Nabidh that hasn’t become strong and does not intoxicate”:
Thumama narrates, saying, “I asked (our mother) ‘Aisha about nabidh, so she called her Abyssinian servant saying, ‘Ask her. She used to make nabidh for the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace).’ So the Abyssinian servant girl said, ‘I used to make nabidh for him in a waterskin at night and tie it up. In the morning, he would drink from it.’” [Muslim]
Our mother ‘Aisha (Allah be pleased with her), narrates saying, “We used to make nabidh for the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace) in a waterskin, the top of which would be tied, and it had a small drinking hole in its bottom. We would make it during the day, and he would drink from it at night. Or we would make it at night, and he would drink it in the morning.” [Muslim]
Many Days to Become Intoxicating
From these narrations, it is clear that the nabidh that the Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace) drank did not reach the point of intoxication. Depending on the weather and other conditions, even leaving fruits to soak for several days would not reach a level of intoxicating.
Ibn ‘Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) narrates saying, “A drink made from raisins would be made for the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace), and he would drink it that day, the next day, and up till the night of the third day. At that point, he would call for it to be given as a drink or to be dumped out.” [Muslim]
It is absolutely clear and confirmed that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace) never drank any intoxicating beverage, whether wine or other alcoholic beverages. Any claim that the Companions or the righteous scholars who followed them drank any intoxicating beverage is a lie against them that those who profess it should repent from.
There are some infrequent narrations that certain Companions fell into the sin of drinking alcohol and were punished for doing so. However, no narration says that any Companion justified the drinking of any intoxicating drink.
Hope this helps
Allah knows best
[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Shaykh Yusuf Weltch teaches Arabic, Islamic law, and spirituality. After accepting Islam in 2008, he completed four years at the Darul Uloom seminary in New York, where he studied Arabic and the traditional sciences.
He then traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he studied for three years in Dar al-Mustafa under some of the most outstanding scholars of our time, including Habib Umar Bin Hafiz, Habib Kadhim al-Saqqaf, and Shaykh Umar al-Khatib.
In Tarim, Shaykh Yusuf completed the memorization of the Quran and studied beliefs, legal methodology, hadith methodology, Quranic exegesis, Islamic history, and several texts on spirituality. He joined the SeekersGuidance faculty in the summer of 2019.