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    1. #1
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      mAd_ScIeNtIsT's Avatar
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      I was doing some research into the alcohol content of certain soy sauces, since I love to eat sushi and sushi is eaten with soy sauce.

      I hadd concluded that since the soy sauces most commonly used at Japanese restaurants are likely to be the alcoholic type (up to 2% alcohol), and that in future I'd have to take my own small bottle of non-alcoholic soy sauce with whenever I went out for sushi.

      However, I then came across the following fatwa that left me scratching my head. Why is it that alcohol from soy beans and wheat are stated as being permissible by him?

      http://www.islam.tc/ask-imam/view.php?q=10687

      Question
      Is soy sauce & wine vinegar halaal? "Kikkoman Soy Sauce is a naturally brewed product. It is made from wheat, soybeans, salt and water. During the fermentation process, the wheat starches are broken down to sugars and part of the sugar is changed into alcohol. So Kikkoman Soy Sauce contains approximately 1.5 to 2% alcohol by volume. The alcohol is naturally occurring and adds to the aroma and overall flavor of our soy sauce." KIKKOMAN INTERNATIONAL INC. Consumer Services "Principally, if the alcohol is extracted from grapes or dates it is not permissible. Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Αlayhi Wasallam) said, 'Khamr (wine) is from these two trees, dates and grapes.' (Mishkγt p. 317). Furthermore, Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Αlayhi Wasallam) said, 'Alcohol itself is prohibited and intoxication in every other beverage.' (Hidaaya vol. 4 p. 497)."

      Answer
      If the alcohol in soy sauce is from wheat and soya beans, then it is permissible. Obviously, the condition of non-intoxication has to be considered.

      and Allah Ta'ala Knows Best

      Mufti Ebrahim Desai
      Muslims are so good at dividing that they can divide the atom. If you see two Muslims, probably they belong to 3 parties.
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    2. #2
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      Pakap's Avatar
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      No fatwas make sense. I dont even know why we have fatwas when we have the Quran. Khamr is anything that intoxicates, if it doesnt, its ok to eat. Chemically, a little alcohol by volume will exist in many foods. Some times alcohol is even producd inside the body, for example, if you eat fruits after a heavy meal, the meal will stay in the stomach for a long time and the fruit will get fermented to ethanol, which makes you drowsy. The muslims of early times could not have known of these chemical reactions, or the slight presence of alcohol in foods. It shouldnt have been haram for them so why should it be haram for us?
      Youth is wasted on the young.

    3. #3
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      mAd_ScIeNtIsT's Avatar
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      I partly agree with you pakap. I've always pointed out that Orange juice contains around 0.03% alcohol but is not haraam.

      Fermented soy sauces, however, contain nearly 2%. When you consider that beer is 5% alcohol, that means soy sauce is nearly half as intoxicating as beer. That's a pretty significant amount. If you were to chug 3-4 cups full of such a soy sauce without throwing up, you would probably get intoxicated. 3-4 cups of Orange jucie on the other hand, would have no effect on you despite its alcohol content.
      Muslims are so good at dividing that they can divide the atom. If you see two Muslims, probably they belong to 3 parties.
      Al-Ghazali

    4. #4
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      Sara516's Avatar
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      Yeah but who the hell would drink 3-4 cups of soy sauce? I think its a given, soy sauce is used as seasoning/flavoring, rather than a drink, so its not as intoxicating as alcohol
      The grass ain't always greener on the other side, it's green where you water it.

    5. #5
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      mAd_ScIeNtIsT's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Sara516
      Yeah but who the hell would drink 3-4 cups of soy sauce? I think its a given, soy sauce is used as seasoning/flavoring, rather than a drink, so its not as intoxicating as alcohol
      Counteracting that is the fact that there is a hadith that Bibi Ayesha (ra) reporthat that the Prophet (pbuh) said "If a bucketful intoxicates, a sip of it is haram."

      No quantity of orange juice has ever been known to intoxicate person despite its alcohol content. On the other hand, at nearly 2% ethanol, a bucketful of soy sauce would certainly be enough to intoxicate a person.


      Which bring me back to the question... why would a scholar who normally published very conservative fatwas permit 2% alcohol soy sauce? I would like to know if there is some knowledge that I'm missing out on.
      Muslims are so good at dividing that they can divide the atom. If you see two Muslims, probably they belong to 3 parties.
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    6. #6
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      Sara516's Avatar
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      Okay fine.. but again, who the hell would drink 4 cups of soysauce?
      The grass ain't always greener on the other side, it's green where you water it.

    7. #7
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      Alcohol as a substance is not mentioned in the Islamic sources, what is forbidden in Islam is that which intoxicates whether it is an alcohol or not.

      Alcohols are a big group of chemicals and not all of them are intoxicating so therefore not all of them are forbidden, only those alcohols that intoxicate are forbidden.

      Ethanol is the alcohol found in liquors, it is intoxicating so it is forbidden.

      There are other alcohols found in food such as glycerin, lauryl, sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol and lactitol but they are not intoxicating so they are not forbidden.

    8. #8
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      mAd_ScIeNtIsT's Avatar
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      Ethanol is also the alcohol found in most fruit juices, in miniscule quantities (less than 0.1%.)
      Muslims are so good at dividing that they can divide the atom. If you see two Muslims, probably they belong to 3 parties.
      Al-Ghazali

    9. #9
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      Mad_Scientist, I think you already stated the hadith, which speaks of the merits that makes something either lawful or unlawful in relation to intoxicants. As it has already been stated, anything that intoxicates you in large quantities consuming it in smaller quantity is also forbidden.

      Here's a repititon to what you've already posted:

      The basic ruling on food and drink is that things are halaal, except for those which are specifically described in sharee’ah as being haraam, such as alcoholic drinks. If the drink includes any intoxicating substance, it is haraam. On this basis it may be said that beer (a drink made from barley), if it is intoxicating when drunk in large amounts, then it is not permissible to drink it. It was reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Every intoxicating substance is haraam.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, al-Ahkaam, 6637) And it was narrated that ‘Aa’ishah said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘Every intoxicating substance is haraam, and whatever intoxicates in large amounts, a handful of it is haraam.’” (Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, al-Ashribah, 1789; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Sunan al-Tirmidhi, 1521). Al-Teebi said: “ ‘a handful of it’ is an expression meaning a small amount.” And Allaah knows best.
      Ref: Ruling on non-alcoholic beer

    10. #10
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      Quote Originally Posted by Faruk Khan
      Alcohol as a substance is not mentioned in the Islamic sources, what is forbidden in Islam is that which intoxicates whether it is an alcohol or not.

      Alcohols are a big group of chemicals and not all of them are intoxicating so therefore not all of them are forbidden, only those alcohols that intoxicate are forbidden.

      Ethanol is the alcohol found in liquors, it is intoxicating so it is forbidden.

      There are other alcohols found in food such as glycerin, lauryl, sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol and lactitol but they are not intoxicating so they are not forbidden.
      excellent post, mashallah.

      WaSalaam
      Last edited by sadiqhassan; May 1st, 2006 at 08:42 PM. Reason: possible incorrect information

    11. #11
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      mAd_ScIeNtIsT's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by sadiqhassan
      excellent post, mashallah.

      Another example: There is alcohol in things such as mouthwash, but this is NOT intoxicating alcohol, and therefore it is not haraam to use and/or drink mouthwash.

      WaSalaam
      Wrong. The alcohol is mouthwash IS intoxicating. It is ethanol, the same alcohol as found in wine, and is in fact known to cause people to fail breathalizer tests administered by the police.

      Most mouthwashes contain an even higher percentage of alcohol than beer does. Just as I would not rinse my mouth out with Budweiser, I would not use an alcohol-containing mouthwash.

      There are a couple of premium, alcohol-free mouthwashes available and which you can use instead. If you live in the USA, one is Crest Pro-Health Rinse. If you live in the UK, another is Retardex.

      I have not been able to find an alcohol-free mouthwash in Canada yet, but I don't care since I bought 6 litres of alcohol-free mouthwash and brought it back with me from the USA
      Muslims are so good at dividing that they can divide the atom. If you see two Muslims, probably they belong to 3 parties.
      Al-Ghazali

    12. #12
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      I'll have to ask the person whose laws I followed, but I was quite sure that he allowed consuming mouthwash. Stay tuned for follow up

      Edited to Add:

      I found out that the mouthwash can be used, but not swallowed. Also, you must wash your mouth out with water after, to become pak.



      WaSalaam
      Last edited by sadiqhassan; May 1st, 2006 at 08:45 PM.

    13. #13
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      I think we need to go beyond "ethanol/methanol" classification just as mentioned by MS above, same ingredient found in Orange Juice doesn't intoxicate while same ingredient found in beers/wines causes intoxication. Either we need to change "classification" or we need to identify ingredients of Orange Juice which "counters" alcohol and makes it useless.

    14. #14
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      ^ It's quite simple actually, anything that intoxicates you in large amounts small amounts of it is also forbidden.

      I don't think OJ or a similar food product has the capacity to intoxicate any of us even if we have it enough to fill our stomachs.

    15. #15
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      mAd_ScIeNtIsT's Avatar
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      ^^

      Exactly. It's the drink itself which is haraam, rather than any single component of it.

      Nonetheless, at 2% ethanol, soy sauce can intoxicate you so I'm left perplexed about the fatwa in the original post.
      Muslims are so good at dividing that they can divide the atom. If you see two Muslims, probably they belong to 3 parties.
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    16. #16
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      Mr Fraudia's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by mAd_ScIeNtIsT
      Wrong. The alcohol is mouthwash IS intoxicating. It is ethanol, the same alcohol as found in wine, and is in fact known to cause people to fail breathalizer tests administered by the police.

      Most mouthwashes contain an even higher percentage of alcohol than beer does. Just as I would not rinse my mouth out with Budweiser, I would not use an alcohol-containing mouthwash.

      There are a couple of premium, alcohol-free mouthwashes available and which you can use instead. If you live in the USA, one is Crest Pro-Health Rinse. If you live in the UK, another is Retardex.

      I have not been able to find an alcohol-free mouthwash in Canada yet, but I don't care since I bought 6 litres of alcohol-free mouthwash and brought it back with me from the USA
      I dont think you can drink enough mouthwash to be drunk and not have something else happen to you. If it is unfit to consume then why would you bother downing a bucketfull (the size of the bucket is also anun unknown here)

      use mouthwash with alcohol in it, just dont sip it to get drunk
      The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he did not exist. And like that... he is gone.

    17. #17
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      Mr Fraudia's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by mAd_ScIeNtIsT
      Counteracting that is the fact that there is a hadith that Bibi Ayesha (ra) reporthat that the Prophet (pbuh) said "If a bucketful intoxicates, a sip of it is haram."

      No quantity of orange juice has ever been known to intoxicate person despite its alcohol content. On the other hand, at nearly 2% ethanol, a bucketful of soy sauce would certainly be enough to intoxicate a person.


      Which bring me back to the question... why would a scholar who normally published very conservative fatwas permit 2% alcohol soy sauce? I would like to know if there is some knowledge that I'm missing out on.
      the buzz you may get by downing a bucketfull of soy sauce is probably not worth the runs and cramps you will have. The scholar making this ruling probably assumed that there will not be too many idiots who would start drinking soy sauce based on his statements. btw the morons who would down a bucketful of soysauce to get a buzz probably are looking for workarounds to get a buzz anyways, intentions are something as well ya know.
      The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he did not exist. And like that... he is gone.

    18. #18
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      2% is only a percentage. Most foods go with, what, one to two tea spoons of soy sauce? At this rate, soy sauce with every meal everyday will never intoxicate you. Neither will a glass of orange juice in every meal.

      The ruling, in my opinion, should be, Any food/drink (not ingredient), which toxicates even in moderation, drunk purposefully for the sake of intoxication, is wrong.
      Youth is wasted on the young.

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