Can a person wear perfume or aftershave that contains alcohol?

Can a person wear perfume/aftershave that contains alcohol? If so can they pray with that on?

Answer by Shaykh Salim Ghiza

In the name of Allah the Most Beneficent and Merciful.

Alcohol as a form of intoxicant is not only Haram to drink but is also impure (Najis). This means that when it contacts something pure then the pure item will absorb the impurity and all will become impure. However, the question remains as to whether the alcohol that is used in perfumes is the same alcohol that is used in liquor.

The simple answer after research is that the alcohol used in perfumes and deodorants is namely Phenylethyl (Benzyl) and is manufactured by synthesis from benzene and ethylene oxide and therefore it is not the product which is used in liquids so it would be permissible to use and the clothing or body would not become impure so it could be worn whilst praying Salaah.

The alcohol used in intoxicants is generally Ethanol based and is fermented in the process. The Prophet of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) forbade any form of alcohol fermented using grapes, wheat, barley or dates so if the perfume contained ethanol or fermented alcohol using the above sources then it would be impure and would also make the clothing and body impure. However, in general terms the alcohol used in Benzyl is a by-product not gone through the fermented process and is therefore clean and allowed to be used.

To clarify, the chemical structure of ethanol is C2 H5-OH. The entire alcohol family have one or more Hydroxyl OH group. Benzyl alcohol despite being part of this group is used as a preservative in baby products and can never be used to ferment liquors. There is a clear distinction between ethanol and other types of chemical alcohol, hence it would be permissible to use deodorants, perfumes and shampoos containing alcohol except ethanol and the alcohol derived from grapes or dates, which is in itself Najis (impure) making the body as well as clothing impure!

Therefore based on the above information it is permissible to use aftershaves, perfumes, body sprays etc that contain benzyl alcohol as this is not the same alcohol used in liquors. However, the scholars do state that as far as piety and Taqwa are concerned then one should avoid it unless sure of the contents.

Of course Allah knows best.


wat about alcohol denat

...and what about ethanol manufactured industrially, i.e. not through fermentation?

alcohol denate is different - it has been denatures to take away its properties that get people drunk.

If the alcohol can intoxicate, then it is not allowed to be drunk.

As for uses other than consumption, can I query the correctness of the above answer?

The famous Sahabi Khalid ibn Walid (ra), during his stay at Emesa had a special bath with a certain substance prepared with alcoholic mixture.The caliph, Umar (ra) was informed of this and he asked Khalid ibn Walid (ra) to explain himself. It was argued that the rules relating to alcohol dealt only with the drinking of Alcohol not its external applications, and the Caliph Umar (ra) was satisfied by this answer.

"For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens 'as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone'" - David Cameron, UK Prime Minister. 13 May 2015.

Slam Sheikh i have read the article when you was talking about if aftershaves and fragrance etc are haram. I am planing to start my own business and i will be selling fregrances like huge boss, One million, gucci etc. 
so the question is i do not  know what kind of alcohol they use to make these products. so advice me please. Thank you its very important for me 

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