What Are the Rulings on Alcohol in Food and Creams, Pork-Derived Soaps, etc.?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat


I’m confused about contemporary issues, and the answers of many of the scholars I read on the internet are confusing. Please clarify the ruling on soaps derived from Pork, alcohol in food, creams, etc.


I pray you are well.

Conflicting Answers

Fiqh has always been complicated due to the nature of the primary texts and the rulings and principles which are derived from it. Answers may differ due to a difference of opinion on what the legal basis of the answer is. Some may answer based on legal reasoning rooted in different schools.

Going from site to site on the internet will not help you. Find a reliable teacher and study properly with him. That is be best way to be saved from confusion. By the grace of Allah, we offer many courses that you can benefit from. Make use of the resource Allah have provided you with.

The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Leave what causes you discomforting for that which doesn’t.” Studying with teachers will remove the confusion. Pick a reliable teacher and do so. That is the best way forward for you.

Soap From Pork

Soap, even if it is derived from Pork, is pure and permissible to use. This is due to the fact that the alteration of a substance into something pure makes it pure – even if the source was impure. [Mahbubi, Sharh al-Wiqaya]

Synthetic Alcohol

Synthetic alcohol is not impure, and it can be used in food and drink products as part of the production process. Using it as part of the cooking process, such as pouring it over a cake and burning it, would resemble the usage of wine, and would not be permissible.

The same ruling of permissibility would apply to its use in creams and lotions, etc. It is not derived from something impure, so it is pure. [Usmani, Takmila Fath al-Mulhim]

I hope that helps.
[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History, he moved to Damascus in 2007, where, for 18 months, he studied with many erudite scholars. In late 2008, he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Quranic recital, and he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Quranic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.