Natural & Artificial Flavors in Food

Answered according to Shafi'i Fiqh by


Are food products containing natural and artificial flavors permissible from the Shafi’i madhab’s point of view?


Wa alaykum salam wa rahmatuLlahi wa barakatuHu,

Foods containing natural and/or artificial flavors, with alcohol being used during the flavors’ production, are permissible. Liquid intoxicants are impure. Yet, flavors may be excusable according to the Shafi’i Madhhab’s principles, as it is a case of ‘umum al-balwa [public affliction]. This expressed case was not found in the Madhhab, while comparable cases establish its premise. Today, natural and artificial flavors are found in many products. Lawful items containing them are permissible; the undetectable, trace amount of alcohol contamination that occurred during their production is excusable [ma’fu ‘anhu].


And Allah knows best. Fatwa Dept.


This answer was collected from which was a repository of Islamic answers as per the Shafi’i madhhab. The website no longer functions. At its peak, many ‘ulama were involved with the site including Shaykh Mawlana Taha Karaan, Shaykh Abdul-Fattah ibn Abdullah, and Shaykh AbdurRagman Khan.

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