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Is it Permissible to Eat Beer-Battered Fish?

“…as the substance of alcohol is consumed by fire; the bread remains impure.”

Source : Shafiifiqh.com / 24 Aug 2013

Question:

As Salaamu Alaikum,

Firstly Baraka Allahu Fikum, this service is invaluable and I am grateful to Allahu Ta’Alaa that He has allowed it to be available.

My question is related to food once again. Recently I went to a fast food restaurant and was excited because they don’t use any pork products (including lard). They serve fish tacos and I wanted to try them. However their fish is “beer battered”. So I refrained. But I was told by a student that it would be Halal because it was impossible to get intoxicated from it, but he is in a Hanafi institution studying. Can you explain our School’s position?

Answer:

wa alaykum salam wa rahmatuLlahi wa barakatuHu,

In Mughni al-Muhtaj v. 5, p. 517, Khatib Shirbini mentioned a comparable situation, and stated,

لأن عين الخمر أكلتها النار وبقي الخبز نجسا

“…as the substance of alcohol is consumed by fire; the bread remains impure.”

Fire/cooking does not remove impurity, and the Shafi’i School considers alcohol, like beer, impure. Therefore, even when cooking removes all the alcohol, contamination with the impurity makes eating it problematic.

And Allah knows best.

Note: Hanafi muftis allow the consumption of products containing alcohol from sources other than grapes or dates so long as: 1) it does not intoxicate and 2) it is not used in vain. Also, the amount of alcohol must not exceed 0.5%. Thus, if the amount of beer used is disproportional to the extent of more than 0.5%, then such a product would not be permitted. If the amount of alcohol is 0.5% or less, then they would allow it.

Details on the Hanafi position were provided by Mufti Nayef Patel and Mufti Abdullah Nana. May Allah reward them for their service.

 

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