Can We Drink or Sell Products with a Label of 0% Alcohol?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Salman Younas

Question

In the rise of non-alcoholic beverages (beer, wine, etc.), I would like to know if it is permissible to drink or sell products with a label of zero percent alcohol.

Is it permissible to drink and sell products labeled with equal to or less than 0.5% alcohol, the amount that we can find in grape juice (according to the 2016 study in the Journal of Analytical Toxicology on German food products)?

Is there a consensus about this topic between the madhhab? Or are there different opinions?

Answer

Yes, this would be permitted.

It would be permitted to consume drinks that have incidental traces of non-wine alcohol as long as:

  • It is not being used to intoxicate,
  • Not being used as intoxicants are used,
  • Not being used in an amount that intoxicates, and
  • Not being used for vain purposes.

This is based on the position of Abu Hanifa and has been adopted by leading scholars of our time due to the widespread use of non-wine alcohol in both food items and external products (such as soaps or lotions).

As for wine, namely alcohol derived from the fermentation of grapes and dates, it is impermissible to consume in any amount as established by explicit primary texts.

Wassalam

[Ustadh] Salman Younas
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Born and raised in New York, Ustadh Salman Younas graduated from Stony Brook University with a degree in Political Science and Religious Studies. After studying the Islamic sciences online and with local scholars in New York, Ustadh Salman moved to Amman. There he studied Islamic law, legal methodology, belief, hadith methodology, logic, Arabic, and tafsir. He is now in his final year of his PhD at Oxford University, looking at the early evolution of the Hanafi madhab.
His teachers include: Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, Shaykh Salah Abu’l Hajj, Shaykh Ashraf Muneeb, Shaykh Ahmad Hasanat, Shaykh Hamza Karamali, Shaykh Ahmad Snobar, Shaykh Ali Hani, Shaykh Hamza Bakri, Ustadh Rajab Harun and others.
Ustadh Salman’s personal interests include research into the fields of law/legal methodology, hadith, theology, as well as political theory, government, media, and ethics. He is also an avid traveler and book collector. He currently resides in the UK with his wife.