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Offline Reader Questions

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Wines/alcohol in food
« on: March 08, 2012, 04:56:17 PM »
Dear brother Joseph,

Salaam alaikum, InshaAllah all's well with you.

I'm always careful to stay away from using any wines/alcohols in my food or eating such foods containing them when outside/buying. But most chefs/cooks tell me and i know too that when wines are cooked the alcohol is burned off/evaporates.

Anyways, my question is, is this something that's totally haraam or is ok to eat foods cooked/containing wine/alcohol/liquor? my husband doesn't seem to be bothered by this because he says it's no big deal, "we're not eating this to get drunk or it won't make our mind foggy", but i hesitate a lot to the point he dislikes it because i think that it is haraam.

I will be going some place soon and there maximum food is cooked with wine - it's their tradition and halaal food is nearly scarce, so it won't only be wines/alcohol it's halaal meat too. Please help.


Offline Joseph Islam

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Re: Wines/alcohol in food
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2012, 05:03:23 PM »
Dear sister,
Salamun Alaikum.
With regards wine / alcohol used in cooking and may evaporate during it, the question is not always whether something is forbidden or not. We as humans are to make choices - sensible choices, exercise keen judgment as practicing believers given a situation and it is these choices that will be held to account. We are not automatons nor we have we been designed as such.
There are also grey areas, where a believing Muslim errs on the side of caution.  I can only tell you what I would do. You must weigh up the situation for yourself.
Food is a bounty our Lord has granted us for sustenance. God talks about 'good' food, 'wholesome' food.
"So eat of the sustenance which Allah has provided for you, lawful and good; (Halalan tayyiban) and be grateful for the favours of Allah, if it is He Whom ye serve"
In another verse, in the context of the Children of Israel, God says:
"Eat of the good things (Arabic: tayyibati) We have provided for your sustenance, but commit no excess therein, lest My Wrath should justly descend on you: and those on whom descends My Wrath do perish indeed!"
So the Quran does not only demand lawfulness (halal) but also 'tayyib' which is  good, wholesome, clean. So would wine (used for cooking) contravene the Quranic demand of 'tayyib'(wholesome and good)?  In my personal opinion, I think it would. Therefore, I would personally do all that I could to avoid such a situation where my 'rizq' could become compromised and err on the side of caution.
I hope that helps, God willing.
'During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act' 
George Orwell