Subhanallah! The predictions of Rasulullah are becoming true right before our very eyes. This article was moved to the Coca cola thread, but the following excerpts from that article are very relevant to this thread:
It is also alleged that since non-khamr alcohol is used in soft-drink manufacturer soft drinks should not be branded unlawful on account of the fact that according to Imaam Abu Hanifah (rahmatullah alayh) and Imaam Abu Yusuf (rahmatullah alayh) non-khamr alcohol is taahir and if taken in non-intoxicating quantities remains halaal. This argument is not acceptable for several reasons.
(1)It is accepted that the alcohol (ethanol) used in soft drink manufacture is not khamr. However, since the past 14 centuries the Fatwa of the Hanafi Math-hab has been on the view of Imaam Muhammad (rahmatullah alayh), viz. all alcohol, be it non-khamr, is haraam and najis. The Hanafi Fuqaha have for the past 14 centuries issued the Fatwa on this view of prohibition. Today there exists no pressing need to reverse this Muftabihi view of the Hanafi Math-hab. There is no valid reason for the desire to cancel the official and standing Fatwa of the Hanafi Math-hab in regard to alcohol and issue a new Fatwa in so far as minerals are concerned. Yes, it is conceded that there is such a need in regard to medicines since it is almost impossible to find any alcohol-free medicine. On account of the real need in regard to medicine, the Fatwa of permissibility based on the viewpoint of Shaikhain (rahmatullah alayh), issued by our senior Ulama is understandable and acceptable. But, there is no such need in regard to minerals. (And all the other junk food in which alcohol is ADDED to act as a solvent, carrier, boost the taste, flavouring and so on)
(2)By declaring soft drinks made from alcoholic concentrates halaal, a door to future fitnah is being opened up. In fact the stage is being prepared for future legalization of liquor as has been predicted by Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).
(3)The Ruling (Fatwa) of the Hanafi Math-hab being on the view of Imaam Muhammad (rahmatullah alayh) is based on the principle of blocking the avenue for future fitnah. Ignoring this ruling and principle in regard to the unnecessary luxury of Coke, (and all the other junk food in which alcohol is ADDED to act as a solvent, carrier, boost the taste, flavouring and so on) etc., the door for fitnah is being opened in that other drinks which are generally regarded as unlawful by all our Ulama, will also come within the scope of permissibility which has been accorded to soft drinks. Barbican Beer and similar other supposedly alcohol-free beers too contain the non-khamr ethanol. Although Barbican Beer, etc., are advertised ‘alcohol-free’ they do contain ethanol-alcohol in small quantities. In view of the alcohol in very small quantities, the authorities permit such beverages to be advertised ‘alcohol free’. See annexure D. To the best of our knowledge none of our Ulama has ventured to proclaim these ‘alcohol-free’ beers halaal. Yet, these beers contain ethanol in the same quantities as do the soft drinks. In fact, Barbican Beer contains a lesser quantity of alcohol than some soft drinks. Annexure ‘D’ states that Barbican Beer contains .03% alcohol. According to Annexure ‘C’ Sparletta Lemonade contain .04% alcohol; Raspberry contains .033%; Pineapple contains .04% and Cream Soda 05%. Thus, all these flavours have more alcohol than some of the beers which our Ulama regard to be haraam. Therefore, those who claim that Coke, etc., are halaal, have no logic and no reason for maintaining that Barbican Beer and other similar beers are haraam since the soft drinks (some or most of them) contain a greater quantity of the non-khamr ethanol-alcohol than these haraam beers. Hence, in proclaiming soft drinks halaal, the door has already been opened for declaring Barbican, etc. halaal.
(4) Let us take this argument a step further. Laager and Castle Beer are unanimously regarded as haraam by our Ulama. However these beers too contain the non-khamr ethanol. While Laager beer contains about 3.6% ethanol, soft drinks contain .058 ethanol. The difference is only in quantity. But, both contain the non-khamr ethanol. Laager and Castle beer taken on the basis of the principle employed by the legalizers of soft drinks, can also be declared ‘halaal’. Thus, the avenue for fitnah has been expanded to bring Laager, Castle and similar beers within the scope of the permissibility which has been applied to soft drinks.
(5) Let us progress further with this argument. Gin and Whiskey are unanimously proclaimed haraam by our Ulama. No Aalim so far has said that a small quantity of Gin and Whiskey is halaal. Yet, these liquors contain the self-same non-khamr ethanol which soft drinks contain. Gin and Whiskey taken in small quantities do not intoxicate. On the basis of the principle employed by the legalizers of soft drinks, Gin and Whiskey too should be ‘halaal’. Thus, the door for fitnah has been opened even wider to accommodate even Gin and Whiskey. The same argument will extend to Vodka and many other liquors which contain non-khamr ethanol and which do not intoxicate if taken in small quantities.
6) It should be understood that Rasulullah’s (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) prediction about the ‘legalizing of liquor’ will not take place overnight. It will be a gradual process – a process which has already been initiated by those who regard soft drinks to be halaal. The modernists and the ulama-e-soo’ will sooner or later set into motion the technicalities of Fiqhi principles to legalize all liquor on the basis of the non-khamr alcohol content and on the principle of small quantities which do not intoxicate. It is only short-sighted persons and those who are not concerned much with the morals of the Ummah who will venture to be so careless and proclaim soft drinks permissible without even having properly investigated the matter and without thinking of the future and of Rasulullah’s (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) prediction. Of importance regarding this issue is the fact that the view of even the Shaafi, Maliki and Hambali Math-habs conforms with the verdict of the Hanafi Math-hab, namely, all types of alcohol are najis and haraam.
Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: "Whatever intoxicates in a large quantity, even its little quantity is forbidden." "Every intoxicant is haraam."
It does not behove the Ulama to issue such verdicts which are of neither worldly nor spiritual benefit to the Ummah and serve only the purpose of boosting the monetary interests of the kuffaar.