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Can Muslims Use Hand Sanitizers Containing Alcohol?

19 June, 2020
Q What is the ruling on using hand-sanitizers which contain a high percentage of alcohol?

Answer

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

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.


In this fatwa:

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1- It is permitted to use alcohol as an external sterilizer for wounds, anti-bacterial agent, and an ingredient in creams and oils for external uses.

2- It is also permissible to use hand sanitizers which contain alcohol based on need due to the lack of explicit evidence which prohibits it.


Answering your question, the Resident Fatwa Committee (RFC) of AMJA (Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America) states:

The scholars have already reviewed the issue of using alcohol which is not suitable for drinking but is designed for medical purposes such as sterilization and cleaning or used in the production of perfumes.

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The Islamic Fiqh Council, during its 16th conference held in Makkah, has declared that:

“Muslims can use pharmaceuticals which contain alcohol, in amounts essential to the production process that have no alternative, so long as it has been prescribed by a trustworthy doctor.

It is also permissible for Muslims to use alcohol as an external sterilizer for wounds, anti-bacterial agent. It can be used also as an ingredient in creams and oils for external uses.

Therefore, it is correct as a concession to use hand sanitizer which contains alcohol. This should be based on need due to the lack of explicit evidence which prohibits it.”

In his collection of fatwas (vol. 24, page 270), Imam Ibn Taymiyyah declared that:

“Consuming swine lipids for medical purposes is not permissible. As for medicating with that which has been smeared/stained with them and then washed is permitted if necessary. This is based on the permissibility of handling impurities outside of prayer, though permissible according to what is valid. Whatever is permissible due to need is also permissible to use for medicinal purposes.”

In his collection of fatwas (Al-Manar, p. 1631), Sheikh Muhammad Rashid Rida declared that:’

“In summary, alcohol is a pure cleaning agent. Is is an essential element in pharmaceuticals, medical treatments, numerous products, and used in countless medications. Declaring it impermissible for Muslims to use is an impediment to their mastery of the sciences and numerous pursuits. It is one of the greatest catalysts of the foreign countries’ superiority over them in areas such as chemistry, pharmacy, medicine and medical treatment, and production. Declaring it impermissible to use in this case could be the case of prolonged sickness, pain, or death for many of the ill and injured.”

Almighty Allah knows best.

Source: www.amjaonline.net