Fatwa ID: 87742
Title: Using Alcoholic Drinks as Disinfectants
Category: Purity, Food
Scholar: AMJA Resident Fatwa Committee
Date: 03/30/2020

Question

Is it allowed to use wine or alcoholic drinks as disinfectants when there are shortages of disinfectants in markets and a strong need for them?


Answer

In the name of Allah the Most-Merciful, the Most-Beneficent.

All praise belongs to Allah and may prayers and peace be upon Allah’s Messenger, his family, his Companions, and those that followed.

The use of wine or other alcoholic drinks as disinfectants is not allowed except in the case of dire necessity, due to the presence of permissible alternatives. These alternatives include various types of soaps, alcohol-based hand sanitizers, and other chemical cleaning agents (such as bleach) which are known to kill viruses and bacteria.

Thus, it is not permissible to sell or purchase alcohol for this purpose. The impermissibility of buying and selling alcoholic drinks has been determined in Islamic law based on an authentic hadith collected by Abu Dawood from the report of Ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with them), in which the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “Allah has cursed alcohol, the one who drinks it, serves it, buys it, or sells it, the one who presses it, the one who has it pressed, the one who delivers it, the one who has it delivered, and the one who profits from it.”