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Abu Hanifa And Alcohol


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#1 Ted Cohort

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Posted 09 October 2008 - 11:59 PM

:salam:

Is there any truth to the claim that Abu Hanifa allowed consumption of alcoholic beverages as long as:

The quantity was non intoxicating and it was not made from grapes or dates (eg small sip or two of beer)?

I've heard this claim before, mostly by salafis, and I'm looking for a response from a hanafi that knows the exact nature of this ruling, if it exists.
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#2 al-CIA-da

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Posted 10 October 2008 - 06:35 AM

Sheikh Faraz Rabbani from Sunnipath:

Synthetic Alcohol is Not Najis

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Question:
Synthetic Alcohol is not najis
Answer:
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful


In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful, and all blessings and peace upon our master Muhammad, his Folk, Companions and those who follow their noble way,

Assalamu alaikum,

According to the Indian Hanafi scholars, the fatwa in our times is that synthetic alcohols (and all alcohol not considered 'khamr') is tahir, and permitted to use and consume AS LONG AS:
(a) it is not used as an intoxicant;
(B) it is not used as intoxicants as used (i.e. for alcoholic consumption, even a little);
it is not used in an amount that intoxicates;
(d) it is not used in vain (lahw).

This was Mufti Mahmoud Ashraf Usmani's explanation, and it is supported by many fatwas in the great Indian Hanafi fatwa references of the 20th Century. This is the position of Imam Abu Hanifa himself. Later scholars said that the fatwa was on the position of Imam Muhammad ibn al-Hasan al-Shaybani, Abu Hanifa's student, that all alcohol is najis and haram, even in small quantities, because of widespread fitna. In our times, because of the widespread use of alcohol in all sorts of things, it has become very difficult to avoid. This is why great Hanafis of our times gave the abovementioned fatwa.

Wassalam,
Faraz Rabbani.


http://qa.sunnipath....sp?HD=1&ID=1448
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#3 Ted Cohort

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Posted 10 October 2008 - 07:21 AM

Thats an interesting statement.

In summary, classical scholars like Al Shaybani determined that all alcohol is najis. Now the deobandis conclude that synthetic alcohol is not due to___ motivated by the fact that alcohol is everywhere.

Thats interesting.
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#4 Ghaith

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Posted 10 October 2008 - 07:39 AM

I think it really comes down to an understanding of the meaning of the arabic word 'khamr' and it's connection to alcohol. Khamr itself does not translate to alcohol - at least that is my understanding in any event.
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#5 al-CIA-da

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Posted 10 October 2008 - 08:17 AM

agreed ghaith. My understanding is that linguistically khamr = wine but that it was understood that all intoxicants = khamr - but again, according to my understanding, not all forms of alcohol can cause intoxication so are they khamr? It would seem that the indian hanafi scholars believe not?
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#6 Ghaith

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Posted 10 October 2008 - 08:21 AM

That's the nub of it I think. Alcohol as a chemical substance was not known of. Wine, one form of alcohol, was. There are in fact many different types of alcohol - some of which can not even be consumed as they would kill you.

So you need to understand exactly what 'khamr' is linguistically before any process of analogy can take place.
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#7 al-CIA-da

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Posted 10 October 2008 - 08:29 AM

more from sunnipath

Is Alcohol Filth?

Answered by Shaykh Hamza Karamali, SunniPath Academy Teacher
Question:
Is Alcohol filth?
Answer:
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Before answering any fiqh Question, one must 1) determine what the Question means. Then, one must 2) know the relevant fiqh rulings and then 3) apply them to the Question.

Part 1: What does the Question, �Is Alcohol Filth?� mean?

To answer this Question, we must answer the Question, �What is �alcohol��?

What is alcohol?

As many realize, �alcohol� is a term used for various substances:

alcohol :

1a : ethanol esp. when considered as the intoxicating agent in fermented and distilled liquors

b: drink (as whiskey or beer) containing ethanol

c: a mixture of ethanol and water that is usu. 95 percent ethanol

2 : any of various compounds that are analogous to ethanol in constitution and that are hydroxyl derivatives of hydrocarbons

(Merriam-Webster�s Collegiate Dictionary, 10th ed.)

Part 2: What are the relevant fiqh rulings?

After knowing what �alcohol� is, we must know certain fiqh rulings related to filth and its removal to understand whether or not alcohol is filth.

The Criterion for Filth

Every liquid intoxicant is filth (Reliance of the Traveller, e14.1(7)).

Filth Contacting Liquid

When filth contacts a liquid other than water, the liquid is filthified by mere contact, whether the liquid is little or much, whether it changed or not. And it can never be purified (Safinat as-Salah).

Filth Contacting Solid

If filth touches a solid that is pure in itself, with moisture between them, the filth is transferred and that solid is filthified. A filthified solid is purified by removing the filth�s traces�its body, taste, color, and smell�and then flowing unfilthified, unused water over it (The Immaculate Raiment).

Part 3: How are the rulings applied to the Question?

Applying the Criterion of �Liquid Intoxicant� to Alcohol

Any substance that is both liquid and intoxicating is filth, no matter what its name. There may be alcohols, then, that are not filth, and there may be non-alcoholic substances that are filth, because they are liquid intoxicants.

Substances Containing Alcohol

As for substances that contain an element of alcohol, if the substance is a liquid intoxicant, it is filth. If it is not intoxicating, we ask, �Did a liquid intoxicant contact it?� If so, then it is filthified, and it cannot be purified. As for naturally-occurring alcohol in a substance, if that substance is not intoxicating, then it is not filth. There is a world of difference between a) taking ethyl alcohol, or any liquid intoxicant, and inserting it into another liquid, and B) there existing in a liquid ethyl alcohol, or any other substance, that if extracted would become a liquid intoxicant.

Does Cooking Purify?

As for cooking with alcohol that is a liquid intoxicant, since the alcohol in food evaporates upon cooking, one might imagine that that removes the filth. In reality, even though there may remain no body of the alcohol in the food, the food is filthified upon contact with it and is not purified by the evaporation of the alcohol, but only by being washed.

Reviewing the Meanings of �Alcohol�

1a : �ethanol esp. when considered as the intoxicating agent in fermented and distilled liquors�: Since ethanol is an �intoxicating agent� and is liquid, it is, when on its own, filth. But what if ethanol is one of the compounds that happens to compose another substance? Chemical composition does not concern us. What concerns us is, �Is the substance in Question a liquid intoxicant?� If so, then it is filth. If not, then we then ask the Question, �Did the substance in Question come into contact with filth?� If so, then it is filthified. As for if something (orange juice, for example) happens to contain naturally-occurring ethanol or any substance that if extracted would be intoxicating, it has no bearing as long as that thing itself (the orange juice) is not a liquid intoxicant and has not come into contact with any liquid intoxicant.

b : �drink (as whiskey or beer) containing ethanol�: Though intoxicating beverages like whiskey and beer contain ethanol, the presence of ethanol in them does not necessarily make them filth (the ethanol is not inserted into them), but rather their being liquid intoxicants makes them filth.

c: �a mixture of ethanol and water that is usu. 95 percent ethanol�: Again, this is filth provided it is a liquid intoxicant.

2 : �any of various compounds that are analogous to ethanol in constitution and that are hydroxyl derivatives of hydrocarbons�: As for this definition of alcohol, there is nothing in the definition that determines whether or not such compounds are filth. Being a hydroxyl derivative of a hydrocarbon does not necessitate being a liquid intoxicant nor negate being a liquid intoxicant. So what remains, then, is to determine what substances from this group are liquid intoxicants. Whoever researches this would be doing a great service. If anyone finds anything, please send us the referenced results. Good leads include poison control departments and (I believe) references in organic chemistry. To help, below is a chart of various alcohols and their common usages:


http://qa.sunnipath....=...64&CATE=269


Medication with methyl alcohol, can it be consumed?

Answered by Mufti Yusuf Mullan
Question:
I�ve got some pills and they have methyl included. Can I use them?
Answer:
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Wa alaikum salaam,

Methyl, according to MSN Encarta, is �wood alcohol, methanol�. It is not derived from dates or grapes. Imam Abu Hanifa & Imam Abu Yusuf (Allah have mercy on them both) are of the view that it will be permissible to consume such alcohol for medication purposes or to gain energy (and not for pleasure and enjoyment) as long as it does not intoxicate.

Imam Abu Hanifa and Imam Abu Yusuf�s position may be adopted regarding these pills, especially given the already existing permissibility (under certain conditions) in the Hanafi School to consume medication containing �haram or filthy substances.

Also see below.

And Allah knows best.

Yusuf Mullan


http://qa.sunnipath....sp?HD=1&ID=3124


also:

Question:

Are we permitted to use deodorants and creams containing alcohol?
Answer:
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Walaikum assalam,

Yes it is permitted to use deodorants and creams containing alcohol, as it is invariably synthetic alcohol and not the khamr (wine) that is absolutely impermissible and filthy.

However, it is more religiously precautious not to, because of the difference of opinion about it.
Synthetic Alcohol Is Not Najis

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful, and all blessings and peace upon our master Muhammad, his Folk, Companions and those who follow their noble way,

Assalamu alaikum,

According to the Indian Hanafi scholars, the fatwa in our times is that synthetic alcohols (and all alcohol not considered 'khamr') is tahir, and permitted to use as long as:

(a) it is not used as an intoxicant;

(B) it is not used as intoxicants as used (i.e. for alcoholic consumption, even a little, which takes out all alcoholic beverages);

it is not used in an amount that intoxicates; and

(d) it is not used in vain (lahw).

This was Shaykh Mahmoud Ashraf Usmani's explanation, and it is supported by many fatwas in the great Indian Hanafi fatwa references of the 20th Century. This is the position of Imam Abu Hanifa himself. Later scholars said that the fatwa was on the position of Imam Muhammad ibn al-Hasan al-Shaybani, Abu Hanifa's student, that all alcohol is najis and haram, even in small quantities, because of widespread fitna. In our times, because of the widespread use of alcohol in all sorts of things, it has become very difficult to avoid. This is why great Hanafis of our times gave the abovementioned fatwa.

However, it is more religiously precautionary to avoid, whenever reasonably possible, because of the strong differences of opinion about it.

Wassalam,

Faraz Rabbani.




I think its worthwhile to note though that these are hanafi opinions on the subject not shafi'i. AFAIK, shafi'i opinions are that all acohol is najis and it may not be consumed or used as perfumes etc which would cause issues for salat, requiring the person to remove all the najis and make wudhu etc Wallahu ta3ala a3lam
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#8 Mosty

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Posted 10 October 2008 - 01:47 PM

I think its worthwhile to note though that these are hanafi opinions on the subject not shafi'i. AFAIK, shafi'i opinions are that all acohol is najis and it may not be consumed or used as perfumes etc which would cause issues for salat, requiring the person to remove all the najis and make wudhu etc Wallahu ta3ala a3lam


Do you mean the above links? The one by Sheikh Hamza Karamali is Shafi'i isn't it?

"SunniPath > Answers > Shafi''i Fiqh > Nature of Legal Rulings > Methodology > Is Alcohol Filth? "
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#9 al-CIA-da

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Posted 10 October 2008 - 02:06 PM

The Shafi'i "Reliance of the Traveller" states:

e.14 p. 95

Filth means...

(7) any liquid intoxicant (n: including, for the Shafi'i school, anything containing alcohol such as cologne and other cosmetics, though some major Hanafi scholars of this century, including Muhammad Bakhit al-Muti'i of Egypt and Badr ad-Din al-Hasani of Damascus, have given formal legal opinions that they are pure (tahir) because they are not produced or intended as intoxicants. [End of quoted text from the Reliance.]


wallahu ta3ala a3lam - perhaps it is only najis if you can get intoxicated from it as opposed to other forms. probably relates to ethanol vs synthetic forms.

Its certainly worth clarifying :) thanks mosty jazakallahu khairan
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