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['Aalim Network QR] Vanilla Essence/Orange Liqueur

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Salaamun alaykum,

	The reply to the following question was kindly provided by Shaykh 
Mustafa Jaffer.


Mustafa Rawji
Moderator, 'Aalim Network



    I have a question which is somewhat similar to the question previously 
asked about cooking with alcohol...  below is part of the answer to that 
particular question.  My question is pertaining to use of essence or 
flavorings used in cooking, e.g. "vanilla essence" or "orange liqueur".  
Both of these have some percentages of alcohol in them. As far as I know, 
vanilla essence is quite extensively used in baking. Is this allowed or 
not?  Any one of the 'Aalims can reply to this question.

>On Thu, 27 Jun 1996 02:37:45 +0100, 
>    Mulla Asghar wrote:
>>However, if you mean that one can use alcohol because it burns away; even if
>>that may be the case, which is by no means certain, it is still haram. The
>>reason is that, in the moment of contact with the alcohol, the food would
>>become Najis and therefore haram to eat. This is the same if any Najasat, eg
>>a drop of blood from a cut, enters the food.
>>Asgharali M M Jaffer


What needs to be done at this stage is to find out more information about
exactly what is contained in the flavourings and what kind of processes do
these undergo.

Encyclopaedia Brittanica mentions about True Fruit Flavouring - "The
alcoholic content of the finished product is usually between 18 and 22
percent to prevent fermentation" (Vol4 Pg824 under flavourings).

Hence, the question is : If no fermentation occurs, is the alcohol
intoxicating? Remember that the only alcohol that is Najis and haraam to
consume is that which has been fermented.....

I must also point out that it is at this stage that scholars have allowed us
to use the principle of "Benefit of doubt". We do NOT have to dig deeper.  

However, if we do choose to investigate further, then if we were to discover
that these things were in actual fact haraam, it is NOT wajib to
inconvenience the lives of others by informing them. Yes, it does become
wajib on us to act according to whatever our investigations revealed, but it
is not wajib to tell others, even if we know that they are using it extensively.

[The rule about it not being necessary to inform others is common to the 

144. If a person or drinks something Najis, or offers prayers with Najis
dress it is not necessary for another person to inform him (about his food
or dress being Najis) - al Khui, Articles of Islamic Acts.

144. If a person see someone eat or drink something Najis, or pray with a
Najis dress, it is not necessary to admonish him - al Seestani, Islamic 

Wallaahu A'alam

Mustafa Jaffer

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