Assalamu Alaykum Sayidi,
I pray that you and the family are in the best of health and imaan -ameen.
My question is in regards to the recent articles in the papers about coca cola. I work as a sales rep for coca cola and during the start of my career I questioned our office and got a formal reply that no alcohol was in the soft drinks range which I deal with on a day to day basis.
Now there has been recent hype and articles in the paper suggesting that a Paris lab has found 0.001% of alcohol in the drinks. Coca cola state that they do not add alcohol into the ingredients and that traces can occur naturally….
I have been told that other soft drinks and juices contain this and I am being criticized by the locals for working for the company.
1) What is the ruling of consumption for these drinks in the Hanafi madhab if alcohol occurs naturally and as a result contains traces and any fatwas or prominent scholars who have commented on this before?
2) I have asked the company directly in 2008 and the reply was that the soft drinks contain no alcohol does this change above ruling (if the above ruling is against the consumption of such drinks)?Anything further you can add would be very helpful.
I’m being attacked even by the Sufis here who know me here even though I solely deal with the flavored soft drinks range for coca cola.
Finally coca cola says:
Coca‑Cola is recognized as a non-alcoholic beverage and we do not add alcohol as an ingredient.Trace levels of alcohol can occur naturally in many foods and beverages. Governments and religious organizations have recognized that such minute levels are considered acceptable in non-alcoholic foods and beverages.
Point zero zero one is like zero. Orange juice probably contains the same or more. Qur’an and Sunna warn us very strongly that whoever keeps asking more questions or tries to be overly strict will be judged more severely. The critics you mentioned are an old story. Imam Ghazali mentions them at the beginning of the book of halal and haram in the Ihya and calls their stance “the scrupulosity of the victims of satanic whispering (wara’ al-muwaswasin).”
On a separate note respected US nutritionists have declared Coca-Cola, Pepsi and related sugared drinks poison, and the chief contributors to the rise of diabetes and obesity in the world. So we should not be filtering the mosquito only to let the camel pass.
Hajj Gibril Haddad