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Do alcoholic perfumes and colognes contain Khamr?

In the Name of Allah---the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.
Do alcoholic perfumes and colognes contain Khamr?

Do alcoholic perfumes and colognes contain Khamr?

Originally, Khamr is a type of beverage that intoxicates in general, even if some people don't feel intoxicated by consuming it. Perfumes and colognes contain either pure methyl alcohol or denatured alcohol. Alcohol denat, or denatured alcohol, is a type of alcohol that has been modified to make it unsuitable for drinking, but still useful for other purposes such as cleaning, disinfecting, or cosmetic formulation. It is made by adding various chemicals, such as methanol or isopropyl alcohol, to pure ethanol, which changes its chemical nature and makes it poisonous or unpalatable. So alcohol denat is a mixture of ethanol and methanol or isopropyl alcohol but a poisonous substance.

In general, denatured alcohol is primarily composed of ethanol (C2H5OH), which is the same type of alcohol found in beer, wine, and other alcoholic beverages. However, denatured alcohol has additional chemicals added to it, which can include methanol, isopropanol, or other substances, to make it toxic or unpalatable.

Therefore, the chemical formula for alcohol denat is not a single, well-defined compound, but rather a mixture of ethanol and other chemicals that are added during the denaturing process.

Ethanol can be separated from denatured alcohol using a physical process known as distillation. Distillation works by heating the denatured alcohol mixture to vaporize the ethanol, which has a lower boiling point than the other chemicals in the mixture, and then condensing the vapor back into a liquid form. This process effectively separates the ethanol from the other denaturants, allowing it to be recovered in a relatively pure form.

It simply means that ethanol retains its properties even in the shape of denatured alcohol. While from Hanbali point of view ethyl alcohol (ethanol) is considered Khamr, regardless of its raw material. The presence of ethanol in denatured alcohol makes it Khamr, even if is not palatable.

The hadith "Every intoxicant is khamr (wine) and every khamr is haram (forbidden)" [Sahih Muslim: H#2003, Musnad Ahmad: H#4830] is a well-known saying of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), which emphasizes the prohibition of consuming intoxicating substances.

Salim bin Abdullah bin Umar narrated from his father who narrated from the Prophet, peace be upon him, that he said: "Wine is made from grapes, wine is made from dates, wine is made from barley, wine is made from raisins, and wine is made from honey". [Musnad Ahmad:H#5992]

Imam Musa bin Ahmad Al-Hijawi al-Hanbali (d. 968 AH) said:

کل شراب اسکر کثیرہ فقلیلہ حرام، من ای شیء کان، و یسمی خمرا 

 “Every drink that intoxicates in high dose, in taking its low dose is forbidden, from whatsoever it is made of, it is called Khamr.”

[Kashaf al-Qina'a:5/99]

According to the official position of Hanbali Madhab, Khamr is Najis that should be avoided. Even intentionally causing Kahmr to convert into vinegar is Haram.


So from this information, we can conclude that perfumes and colognes contain Khamr that is Najis. So using such perfumes and colognes on the body and clothes is not allowed in Hanbali Madhab. However, using alcohol-free perfumes is permissible but recommended.
Allah knows the best.


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Sajid Mahmood Ansari
Research Scholar, Writer, Blogger

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