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Ruling of Vanilla Extract That Contains Trace Amounts of Alcohol

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by DarulIftaBirmingham

Answered by: Maulana Nabil khan


Vanilla extract contains alcohol. Can you please tell us if we can still eat foods that contain it in a very small amount?

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْم

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful


According to the Hanafi Madhhab, alcohols are divided into 2 groups ‘Khamr’ and ‘non-Khamr.’ Khamr refers to alcohol derived from dates and grapes, while non-khamr is alcohol not derived from any of these two.

According to the Hanafi school of Fiqh, the ruling regarding Khamr is that even the smallest amount is haraam, whether it intoxicates or not.

‘Non-khamr’ alcohols are harām if and when:

1. Consumed in a quantity that may intoxicate. (Thus, a small amount insufficient for intoxication is not haram.

2. Used as a recreational drink, such as those consumed by sinful people. (Thus, beer and all other liquors are haram in any quantity, even if less than the amount that intoxicates)

If the non-khamr alcohol is used for other purposes, such as in medicines, certain food products, etc, and not in a quantity or aim to intoxicate, then it is permissible as long as it does not intoxicate.

The point that jurists mentioned: ” if something taken in a large quantity is an intoxicant then it is Haram even in a small quantity” applies, in Hanafi methodology, primarily to Khamr and recreational alcoholic beverages, as well as recreational drugs.

Therefore there is no harm in consuming the alcohol in vanilla extract and there is no amount restriction.


Sharh Ma’ani Al-Athar: Kitab Al-Nabeez

Only Allah knows best

Written by Maulana Nabil khan

Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham

This answer was collected from DarulIftaBirmingham.co.uk, which is run under the supervision of Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah from the United Kingdom.

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