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In the Name of God بسم الله

Vanilla Extract

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if it contains any alcohol you can't eat that cake.
the evidence is obvious  alcohols in Shia school are unclean(Najes). and any unclean thing are forbidden .
I think there is different between alcohol in medicine use and industrial use.

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The "cooking away" factor itself does not eliminate the najasah, its the resultant istihala, if it occurs.

And the minor quantity that is in foods, such as juices, for the purposes of flavouring, is a separate and an independent factor, and is regarded as being so minimal that it does not make the food najis. Please see the attached answer from Ayatullah Sistani's office.

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From an old thread on SC

[url=http://www.shiachat.com/forum/topic/234957665-alcohol-in-foods-halal-or-haram/]post-64126-0-91313100-1435696221.jpg

Edited by starlight
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Salaam aleikum

 

For the issue of alcohol, one should ask his marja' as there are various opinions on this.

 

If industrial alcohol, like the ones used in vanilla flavoring or in juices, are not deemed to be najis (but are haram to consume) - like the opinion of sayyed sistani - then a negligible amount is permitted.

If industrial alcohol is deemed to be najis as well as haram to consume - like the opinion of sayyed hakeem and sayyed khamenei - then even a negliglbe amount is not permitted.

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Alcohol itself is not najis, but alcoholic liquor is.  Alcohol occurs naturally in fermentation of many foods such as bread.  Vanilla extract, as I understand, is made using grain or ethyl alcohol which is an industrial alcohol and doesn't fall into the category of liquor (i.e., wine, beer, whiskey, etc).  Foods with industrial alcohol, per the rulings of Ayatullah Seestani, can be consumed if the alcohol content is minute.

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the evidence is obvious  alcohols in Shia school are unclean(Najes). and any unclean thing are forbidden .

 

Wrong based on Sayed Sistani's fatwa! Although it is Haram to drink alcohol obviously, it is not najis based on his opinion. 

Question: Is Ethanol of the family of alcohol that causes drunkenness? What about using this and other families of alcohol that are synthesized from petroleum and are used in perfume, medicine etc? Are they najis and cannot be used during prayer?

Answer: According to Grand Ayatullah Sistani alcohol is taher (ritually clean) but it is not permissible to drink it. Using perfume and medicines mixed with alcohol is permissible.

Alsalamu Aliakum. I have recently purchased a cake that has vanilla extract in it (which contains alcohol ethyl) - does anyone have evidence of sistani opinion on this? Is it ok to eat or not? Jazak'Allah Khair in advance!

I think ,based on following question from Sayed, it is permissible to eat if the amount of alcohol is so minute that is dissolved.

Question: Alcohol is used in the production of many drugs and medications: Is it permissible to take them? Are they considered pure (tãhir)?

Answer: hey are pure; and since the alcohol used in them is so minute that it dissolves in them, it is therefore permissible to take them also.
Edited by mighdad
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I'm pretty sure vinegar is made from alcohol and contains a small amount in it.  Also, it is my understanding that alcohol isn't what's haram, but intoxicants.  Intoxicant referred to in the Qu'ran happens to be alcohol, but we can't limit our definition of intoxicants to just alcohol.  At the same time, an alcohol is a chemical name for most carbon containing compounds with an hydroxyl (OH) group attached.  While they are technically alcohols, they don't intoxicate.

 

So, long story short.  It is my opinion that ethyl alcohol is the intoxicant that should be avoided, as that is the one that is in beer, wine, etc.  Methanol should also be avoided because it will turn you blind.  And there are other things that should be avoided.  I can't remember what is in vanilla extract, but I reasoned it out some time ago and I didn't think it was haram (based off my own understanding of it at the time).  That being said, I use an artifical vanilla flavoring (not extract) that doesn't require the alcohol to act as a solvent.

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Vanilla extract contains something like 60% ethanol (CH2CHOH), which is the "active ingredient" in all alcoholic beverages. But vanilla extract is typically used in such small quantities that it cannot possibly intoxicate you; the amount in the food will be well under 1% even if none evaporated. Also worth noting that alcohol in some quantity will be found in some fruits and drinks just by their very nature. Breads can contain as much as 1%.

 

I don't know how that fits with the laws. With Sistani saying it is not najis, I'm inclined to say that there's no problem, but do not take my word for it - I'm not an expert in religious matters by any means. 

Edited by terra
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Two criteria in evaluating whether a substance is considered an intoxicant.

1. The effect of the substance

2. Its customary usage

So does it intoxicate in reasonably consumable amounts?

And is it normal or typical for people to use it for that purpose?

The second test is the one that clears things like vanilla extract, so long as it's used in the normal way.

Drinking a glass of vanilla extract you can't do.

But you can use the tablespoon called for in the baking recipe.

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Not all intoxicants are najis however they are haram to consume. There is an appendix for ingredients on ayatollah sistani (ha) website in the book for Muslims in the west. Usually it is told not to use vanilla extract. Vanilla flavor is fine as long as dose not cross line to alcoholic rules.

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