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Are Vanilla Extract and Soy Sauce Halal?

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by Darulfiqh.com

Question:

I would like to ask whether Vanilla Extract is halal because I read that the vanilla pods are soaked in alcohol. Also a lot of cakes and biscuits have Natural Vanilla flavour written on the packs these days. Would you say this vanilla flavour is halal or haram?
One more question- what is the ruling on soy sauce used in Chinese dishes? The soya beans are fermented which could contain alcohol- is this true?

Answer:

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. 

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh. 

Vanilla extract is a solution containing the flavour compound vanillin as the primary ingredient. Pure vanilla extract is made by macerating and percolating vanilla beans in a solution of ethyl alcohol and water.[1]

As ethyl alcohol can be produced from different fruits and grains, it is difficult to give a general ruling on vanilla extract until a specific product’s formulation is studied.

If the alcohol used in preparing soy sauce is derived from other than grapes, dates and raisins and it is not at a concentration which intoxicates, such soy sauce will be permissible to use.[2]

And Allah Ta’ālā Knows Best
Mufti Faraz Adam,
www.darulfiqh.com  


[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vanilla_extract (last accessed 11/03/13)

[2]  فَالْأَشْرِبَةُ الْمُتَّخَذَةُ مِنْ الْعِنَبِ (أَحَدُهَا الْخَمْرُ) وَهُوَ اسْمٌ لِلنِّيءِ مِنْ مَاءِ الْعِنَبِ بَعْدَ مَا غَلَى وَاشْتَدَّ وَقَذَفَ بِالزَّبَدِ وَسَكَنَ عَنْ الْغَلَيَانِ عِنْدَ أَبِي حَنِيفَةَ – رَحِمَهُ اللَّهُ تَعَالَى – وَعِنْدَهُمَا إذَا غَلَى وَاشْتَدَّ فَهُوَ خَمْرٌ وَإِنْ لَمْ يَقْذِفْ بِالزَّبَدِ (الهندية ج 5 ص 409 الرشيدية)

  (وَأَمَّا الْخَمْرُ فَلَهَا أَحْكَامٌ سِتَّةٌ:) أَحَدُهَا: أَنَّهُ يَحْرُمُ شُرْبُ قَلِيلِهَا وَكَثِيرِهَا، وَيَحْرُمُ الِانْتِفَاعُ بِهَا لِلتَّدَاوِي وَغَيْرِهِ. وَالثَّانِي: أَنَّهُ يَكْفُرُ جَاحِدُ حُرْمَتِهَا. وَالثَّالِثُ: أَنَّهُ يَحْرُمُ تَمْلِيكُهَا وَتَمَلُّكُهَا بِالْبَيْعِ وَالْهِبَةِ وَغَيْرِهِمَا مِمَّا لِلْعِبَادِ فِيهِ صُنْعٌ. وَالرَّابِعُ: أَنَّهُ قَدْ بَطَلَ تَقَوُّمُهَا حَتَّى لَا يَضْمَنَ مُتْلِفُهَا كَذَا فِي مُحِيطِ السَّرَخْسِيِّ وَاخْتَلَفُوا فِي سُقُوطِ مَالِيَّتِهَا وَالصَّحِيحُ: أَنَّهَا مَالٌ لِجَرَيَانِ الشُّحِّ وَالضِّنَةِ فِيهَا كَذَا فِي الْكَافِي. وَالْخَامِسُ: هِيَ نَجِسَةٌ غَلِيظَةٌ كَالْبَوْلِ وَالدَّمِ. وَالسَّادِسُ: يَجِبُ الْحَدُّ بِشُرْبِهَا قَلِيلِهَا وَكَثِيرِهَا وَيُبَاحُ تَخْلِيلُهَا كَذَا فِي مُحِيطِ السَّرَخْسِيِّ (الهندية ج 5 ص 412 الرشيدية)

 (وَأَمَّا مَا هُوَ حَرَامٌ عِنْدَ عَامَّةِ الْعُلَمَاءِ) فَهُوَ الْبَاذَقُ وَالْمُنَصَّفُ، وَنَقِيعُ الزَّبِيبِ، وَالتَّمْرُ مِنْ غَيْرِ طَبْخٍ وَالسَّكَرُ فَإِنَّهُ يَحْرُمُ شُرْبُ قَلِيلِهَا وَكَثِيرِهَا وَقَالَ أَصْحَابُ الظَّوَاهِرِ: بِأَنَّهُ مُبَاحٌ شُرْبُهُ وَالصَّحِيحُ قَوْلُ الْعَامَّةِ لَكِنَّ حُرْمَةَ هَذِهِ الْأَشْرِبَةِ دُونَ حُرْمَةِ الْخَمْرِ حَتَّى لَا يُحَدَّ شَارِبُهَا مَا لَمْ يَسْكَرْ كَذَا فِي مُحِيطِ السَّرَخْسِيِّ.(الهندية ج 5 ص 412 الرشيدية)

This answer was collected from DarulFiqh.com, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Faraz ibn Adam al-Mahmudi, the student of world renowned Mufti Ebrahim Desai (Hafizahullah).

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