Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Question: Assalam alaykum
Is vanilla essence impermissible when it contains alcohol?
Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,
No, vanilla essence is permitted to use in food and the like, even if there is some incidental remnant of the carrier alcohol.
But it would be religiously superior, where reasonably possible, to avoid the varieties containing such alcohol in order to respect the difference of opinion on the matter.
Note that the dispensation with respect to alcohols applies to those that are non-wine, namely, not extracted from grapes, nor from dates or raisins.
[Maydani, al-Lubab fi Sharh al-Kitab (581); Usmani, Takmilat Fath al-Mulhim (3.342)]
And Allah Most High alone knows best.
[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadh Tabraze Azam was born and raised in Ipswich, England, a quiet town close to the east coast of England. His journey for seeking sacred knowledge began when he privately memorized the entire Qur’an in his hometown at the age of 16. He also had his first experience in leading the tarawih (nightly-Ramadan) prayers at his local mosque. Year after year he would continue this unique return to reciting the entire Quran in one blessed month both in his homeland, the UK, and also in the blessed lands of Shaam, where he now lives, studies and teaches.
Photo: Bill Holsinger-Robinson