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What is the ruling on ‘Non-Alcoholic Beer’?

QUESTION

Salaam, will it be permissible to consume non-alcoholic drinks, like beer, wine etc? They do not intoxicate and contain minute amount if any alcohol at all.

ANSWER

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

Non-alcoholic beer

Non-alcoholic beer starts out as regular alcoholic beer, thereafter the alcohol is removed from the beer.

Although numerous methods of production exist, most non-alcoholic beer is made by removing the alcohol from regular beer. This can be done in two ways:

1.      It is boiled in order to evaporate the alcohol. This is possible because alcohol has a lower boiling point than water, making it easier to boil off.

One method involves heating the beer, but this can significantly alter the flavor. When beer is heated, the alcohol in the beer starts to evaporate. To prevent the taste from changing, some breweries use vacuum distilling. This process uses a vacuum to lower alcohol’s boiling point as much as possible. Instead of heating the beer to a hot temperature, the beer only reaches a fairly warm temperature. This technique helps to keep the flavors intact while reducing the alcohol content.

 

2.      The second process is called reverse osmosis, and is the same method often used to purify drinking water. It doesn’t require any heating. The wine or beer is passed through a filter with pores so small that only alcohol and water (and a few volatile acids) can pass through. The alcohol is distilled out of the alcohol-water mix using conventional distillation methods, and the water and remaining acids are added back into the syrupy mixture of sugars and flavour compounds left on the other side of the filter. [1]

 

However, despite these two processes of removing the alcohol from the beer or wine, no amount of boiling or vacuum will ever completely remove all the alcohol, which is why even non-alcoholic beer will typically contain about 0.5% alcohol. One could attempt to remove the alcohol through distillation, but this would be a long and expensive process.

It should also be known that non-alcoholic beer often contains more alcohol than its label claims.

One study of 45 non-alcoholic beverages revealed that nearly 30% of them harbored more alcohol than stated. This same study found that 6 beers labelled 0.0% ABV (alcohol by volume) did contain alcohol at levels up to 1.8% ABV.[2]

Non-alcoholic beer is specifically marketed towards the Kuffaar and Fussaq who are accustomed to drinking normal beer. It has become a hallmark of the disbelievers and Fussaq. That is why non-alcoholic beer tastes the same as normal beer. This is further understood by the plethora of lite-beers available from all major alcohol manufacturing companies. Accordingly, one should refrain from all such non-alcoholic beers.

Non-alcoholic wine

The process of producing non-alcoholic wine is similar to that of non-alcoholic beer.

It should be noted that intoxication itself is not the reason for the prohibition of wine. Rather it is due to clear prohibition found in the Ahadith:

 

عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ، قَالَ حُرِّمَتِ الْخَمْرُ بِعَيْنِهَا-(سنن النسائى-5684)

Translation: It was narrated that Ibn ‘Abbas said:

“Khamr was forbidden in and of itself-(Sunan Nasa’i-5684)

 

Therefore, wine and beer will remain impure and Haram irrespective of whether the alcohol is removed from it or not.

 

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Mudassir Benish

Student Darul Iftaa
Houston, TX, U.S.A

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

 


[1] https://www.mixerdirect.com/blogs/mixer-direct-blog/how-non-alcoholic-beer-is-made

2 https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/non-alcoholic-beer

 

الهداية شرح البداية – (ج 4 / ص 109)

والثالث أنه عينها حرام غير معلول بالسكر ولا موقوف عليه ومن الناس من أنكر حرمة عينها وقال أن السكر منها حرام لأن به يحصل الفساد وهو الصد عن ذكر الله وهذا كفر لأنه جحود الكتاب فإنه تعالى سماه رجسا والرجس ما هو محرم العين وقد جاءت السنة متواترة أن النبي عليه الصلاة والسلام حرم الخمر وعليه انعقد الإجماع ولأن قليله يدعو إلى كثيره وهذا من خواص

الخمر ولهذا تزداد لشاربه اللذة بالاستكثار منه بخلاف سائر المطعومات ثم هو غير معلول عندنا حتى لا يتعدى حكمه إلى سائر المسكرات

 

الهداية شرح البداية – (ج 4 / ص 111)

قال ونبيذ العسل والتين ونبيذ الحنطة والذرة والشعير حلال وإن لم يطبخ وهذا عند أبي حنيفة وأبي يوسف رحمهما الله إذا كان من غير لهو وطرب لقوله عليه الصلاة والسلام الخمر من هاتين الشجرتين وأشار إلى الكرمة والنخلة خص التحريم بهما والمراد بيان الحكم ثم قيل يشترط الطبخ فيه لإباحته وقيل لا يشترط وهو المذكور في الكتاب ولأن قليله لا يدعو إلى كثيره كيفما كان

وهل يحد في المتخذ من الحبوب إذا سكر منه قيل لا يحد وقد ذكرنا الوجه من قبل

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