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