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Is it Permissible to Use Topical Fluoride Which Contains Ethanol

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by DarulIftaBirmingham

Answered by:Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah


My child’s dentist has recommended an application of Topical Fluoride. This is a preventative treatment to help reduce the risk of tooth decay. The Topical Fluoride application contains a trace of alcohol (Ethanol). The fluoride is painted onto the teeth and is easily removed using a toothbrush. Is the above-mentioned dental treatment permissible?

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


It will be permissible to use topical fluoride which contains ethanol for your child. It comes under the ruling of using medication that has unlawful substances inside them.

Wherever possible the cure should be done with paak and halal medicine. However, sometimes in necessity, the only alternative for a certain illness is through a particular medicine, which has impure and unlawful substances.

There are two possible strands:

  1. To use it without the necessity
  2. To use it in necessity.

Regarding the first possible strand, the Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam has said that Allah (SWA) has placed no cure for the Muslims in haraam. (Mishkaatul Masaabeeh P.388 V.2)

In another hadith, it is stated that the Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam has prohibited us from impure and filthy medicines. (Mishkaatul Masaabeeh P388 V.2)

However, later day jurists, keeping in mind the modern-day impure medicines and the weakness of people against it have given permission in the usage of haraam medicine on the condition that another lawful and pure medicine is not effective or is not available. (Maariful Quran P.437 V.1)

The second possible situation is to use it in necessity. A person whose life is in danger can use such medicines, which are forbidden on him to save his life on the following conditions:  

  1. There is an extreme necessity that one’s life is in danger.
  2. Another lawful medicine does not work or is not available.
  3. It should be certain that the disease would be cured through medicine.
  4. A person should not enjoy medicine.
  5. Only the amount, which is necessary, should be used. (Maariful Quran- Ibid)

In the aforementioned situation as your illness worsened, it was permissible for you to take the gelatine capsules.

Only Allah Knows Best

Written 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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