Ruling on mixing drugs with intoxicating alcohol

Question:

It is evident that drugs are indispensable and available for people through many means; they may have it for free from the public hospitals, or the medical units of schools, or buy it from the pharmacies. Drugs are mainly prepared abroad, thus many of them, pills for example, include sedative-hypnotics that make the patient, when its proportion is high, unable to stand up, go out, or drive, or make him, when a small proportion is used, feel lazy and sleepy. It is impossible for any doctor to administer sedative free medications. Moreover, many liquid drugs contain varied amounts of alcohol. Doctors assert that alcohol, even if a small percentage is used, is important for the medicine to remain effective. It is noteworthy that the cough medicine taken by children contains a high percentage of alcohol. The adults and the helpless children take these medicines. There is no way out for the patient. He is to take the dosage with sedative, alcohol, or both. These widespread drugs have become a source of worry for many patients who can not dispense with them. They fear being sinful when they take these substances.

I would like to report this concern to you wishing that you would constitute a committee to discuss the issue after examining drug ingredients that may contain harmful substances promoted by the enemies of Islam to destroy Muslims. Among the bad consequences of these drugs is man’s tendency to depend on them even if he is healthy. Therefore, I hope you will issue a Fatwa to explain this issue and that an action should be taken to ensure that drugs are free from the forbidden substances that may lead to sins.

Answer:

It is impermissible to mix drugs with intoxicating alcohol. However, if it is mixed with alcohol in small proportion that has no effect on color, taste, and smell of drug, it will be permissible to take it. Otherwise, it is prohibited to take the medicine mixed with it.

May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.

  • Date: Muharram 15, 1442 AH
  • Source: Fatawa Al-Lajnah Ad-Da'imah no. 3717
  • Muftis: Shaykh Abdul-Aziz ibn Baz , Shaykh Abdul-Razzaq al-Afify , Shaykh Abdullah ibn Ghudayyan , Shaykh Abdullah ibn Qa'ud