Do coke and Pepsi contain Alcohol? What is the Fatwa?

12th June 2014

Disclaimer: This blog is not to encourage the drinking of Coke/Pepsi. I don’t consume these drinks. I or my family don’t own any stocks in these companies. This blog is not funded by Coke or Pepsi.

Please read the Choclate blog for background. 

Asslamo Allaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh,

A fundamental part of higher education and post graduate research is critiquing a scientific study. The origin, those involved in the research, how the research was funded, how it was designed and ultimately are the conclusion drawn rigorous and match the data gathered during the study.

A good study is thoroughly designed, modelled, executed, concluded and is repeatable. This repeatability (also discussed in the last blog) is an important element of a good scientific research. Furthermore, a good research is usually cautious in its conclusions and doesn’t make wild exaggerated claims. The media on the other hand is wild, exaggerated and sensationalist in its claims.

(Fictitious) Coconut oil example:

For example if a good sound study reports some (limited) progress against skin cancer while using Coconut Oil, the media will report it the next day as:

Coconut cures Skin Cancer, Miraculous cure available at the local supermarket!

Further studies may or may not find coconut oil as effective and efficacious so the media will report after sometime:

Coconut Oil cure: What the drug companies don’t want you to know!

If further studies do find coconut oil effective and efficacious but advise further research the media will report:

Coconut oil cure confirmed!

Media vs. Science:

Sensationalism creates panic and it sells while science is boring and cautious.

Western Media advising Muslims on Halal/Haram (Masha'Allah):

Every now and again media reports break out that Coke and Pepsi contain any variants of:

  1. Cocaine
  2. Human Blood
  3. Porcine Blood
  4. Alcohol

And the Muslim whole world goes into wrist-slitting mode.

Last time it was in July 2012 when a French study reported “Alcohol” in Coke and Pepsi and then the Media around the world reacted with great sympathy with the plight of “Muslims” as to how we will now consume a drink which has Alcohol! All of a sudden we had a (Islam) caring media so concerned about Halal/Haram that this breaking news study was beamed into households around the world. Countries panicked and the shameless Muslim leaders (who very often) don’t pray and drink (hard) alcohol also appeared very perturbed about the situation.

Haqq vs Baatil battle:

Ulama were consulted around the world and two opinions emerged:

  1. Majority of Ulama who ruled that these figures are so (small and) miniscule that these drinks are permissible to consume.

  2. Minority of Ulama who ruled that this is absolutely Haram.

Our (sincere) Brothers and Sisters belonging to the second group immediately started targeting the first group and presented this as a sign of the Last Hour and alcohol being consumed in another name and Ulama have sold out.  You can analyse the severity of these Fatwaas even to this day.

Hold up wait a minute!!!

There are few people who said lets first check if Coke and Pepsi actually do have Alcohol before we start discussing the rulings and drawing lines of “Haqq and Baatil”.  Alhumdolillah the Ummah of Nabi (Sallallaho Alaihe Wassallam) will never be devoid of people who want to bring the believers together and unite the Ummah.

Verify the news:

The first rule of the Qur'aan is to verify the news:

[49:6] O you who believe, if a sinful person brings you a report, verify its correctness, lest you should harm a people out of ignorance, and then become remorseful on what you did.

  1. A quick google search will demonstrate how a “scientific” study got sensationalised as it went around the world.
  2. A quick google search will also reveal that this study has NOT been confirmed by any other rigoursly conducted scientific research

Coke, Pepsi and 7-up testing in USA finds NO Alcohol in Pepsi:

Muslim Consumer Group randomly bought bottles of unopened Coke, Pepsi and 7 UP bottles, sent it to a lab for sophisticated Residual Solvents Identification (USP 35 ) testing and paid $1200. Tests revealed no Alcohol in Pepsi.

Correction: Originally this blog stated that none (i.e. Coke, Pepsi or 7 UP) contained Alcohol which was an error as pointed out in this blog. The correct statement is that Pepsi was detected with “No Alcohol”

UAE finds NO Alcohol:

Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority also conducted tests on random samples of soda drinks and showed their consistency with the UAE standards and regulations.

Independent testing of Coke and Pepsi in Pakistan finds NO Alcohol:

Jang news group sent two randomly selected bottles of Coke and Pepsi to Pakistan Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (PCSIR) and again no Alcohol was found.

Some thoughts:

There are thousands of labs around the world, anyone interested in proving a theory should be able to randomly purchase a can (or bottle) of Coke, empty it in a container and sent it for testing. Don’t even tell the lab what it is and just ask, “Does this contain Alcohol?”. Then send the same sample elsewhere and get it confirmed.


But such a rigours, repeatable, authentic approach will be boring and it’s a lot more fun to send people links to Internet articles exclaiming:

Coke and Pepsi contain Alcohol, what will Muslims do? Millions of Muslims affected!

And then people can approach Ulama for Fatawaa and then believers get into battle mode and fight it out for "Haqq vs Baatil".

And the media has more sensational stuff to report on, do you get the picture?

Addendum (13JUNE2014) : May Allah (SWT) reward our dear, respected and noble brother in his blog for pointing out the (blatant) error (Ameen). I apologise for the oversight and the mistake in stating conclusions (incorrectly). This blog will be re-tweeting and placed on Google+ for correction so the mistake can be rectified.

The original point of the blog was too fold:

  1. Don't go by media reports on the Internet
  2. Rely on conclusive repetable results before fighting the "Haqq vs Baatil" battles

Both points still stand.

Regarding the error pointed out then the issue has a Fatwa on it already.

Tags: islam
posted by Muadh_Khan on 12th June 2014 - 18 comments


Akaabir wrote on 12 Jun 2014
This comment has been flagged.
Blogger's Reply:
Nothing but abuse and conjecture in this so nothing to answer.
akaabir wrote on 12 Jun 2014
Just reply to one question. WHy do you trust the research of enemies of islam like the jang group?

Doesnt this go beyond the scope of the ayat?
Blogger's Reply:
Sure now I will answer your question because you have abandoned abuse for a change! 1) The first study was organized by Muslim Consumer Group who are NOT Faasiq! 2) The second study was organized UAE Government again NOT Faasiq 3) The 3rd study is organized by Jang but actually done by Pakistan Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (PCSIR). Now to my questions *** 1) Prove that these bodies are enemies of Islam with evidence and there is actually conspiracy in testing 2) Please quote studies which are repeatable and verifiable which prove that Pepsi/Coke do contain Alcohol.***REMEMBER*** No Abuse but credible data and evidence. Your irrelevant rants and abuse will be deleted but any comment pertinent to and relevant to the discussion is more then welcome.
zain wrote on 12 Jun 2014
whats the proof that ethanol is halaal?

you stated "Majority of Ulama who ruled that these figures are so (small and) miniscule that these drinks are permissible to consume."

kindly provide proof from fiqh..........
Blogger's Reply:
Irrelevant discussion.
zain wrote on 12 Jun 2014
ethanol is found in the flavourant which makes the coke halaal.

all ulama accept that coke has ethanol.

even coke does not deny it. they simply say that there products are recognised as alcohol-free.

furthermore, the ulama who say haraam ahve not based their reseacrh on scientific tests. a drop of alcohol is haraam. does if science proves that your glss of water does not contain alcohol, but you yourself put a quarter teaspoon alcohol in your glass of water, then it is obviously haraam immaterial of what science says!
Blogger's Reply:
Actually Coke denies it as well (www.coca-cola.co.uk/faq/ingredients/does-coca-cola-contain-alcohol.html ) *** Coca Cola is proud to be the world’s largest non-alcoholic beverage company. In the manufacture of Coca Cola, alcohol is not added as an ingredient and no fermentation takes place.*** Remember that I haven’t presented this as evidence and I am merely correcting your misinformation.
Akaabir wrote on 12 Jun 2014
2) The second study was organized UAE Government again NOT Faasiq 3) The 3rd study is organized by Jang but actually done by Pakistan Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (PCSIR). 


Im at a loss of words at your blunt statement that the UAE government is not faasiq!!! And you consider the jang group and an Institution of the government of pakistan not faasiq?

1) Prove that these bodies are enemies of Islam with evidence and there is actually conspiracy in testing

I do not know about the muslim consumer group so I would abstain from any remarks about them but scrutinise them under the scope of the ayat 'in jaakum faasiqun'

UAE government not an enemy of Islam? Jang group not an enemy of Islaam and open faasiqs?

(إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يُحِبُّونَ أَنْ تَشِيعَ الْفَاحِشَةُ فِي الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَةِ ۚ وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ وَأَنْتُمْ لَا تَعْلَمُونَ) [Surat An-Noor : 19]

Verily, those who love that filth should be propagated among those who believe, they will have a painful torment in this world and in the Hereafter. And Allah knows and you know not.

Can you trust their researches? It clearly goes against the injuction of the ayat you quoted!

Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi rajioon.

In answer to your other questions, have you read the detailed fatwa and the additional research the majlis provides with the fatwa regarding the addition of ethanol in these softdrinks?

I have some questions for you:

Q1) Are you 100% sure that no form of alocohol (synthetic, non synthetic, ethanol) is added to coca cola and other softdrinks?

Q2) If there is ethanol in it and you become a source for creating a lax attitude towards abstinence from mushtabeh, are you ready to carry the sin of all the muslims who drink cocla cola and other such minerals?
Blogger's Reply:
You have raised a number of issues again and most of them don’t make any sort of sense in Islamic Shariah. /n /n

Firstly you have skipped the first evidence entirely so that itself establishes the issue and I don’t have to go any further, but for the sake of argument let’s proceed. /n /n

Secondly, you have termed the entire Government of UAE and Pakistan Faasiq but that doesn’t make every individual Faasiq whose testimony is to be rejected, this is blanket fat’wing. In return you want us to believe on newspaper reports and testimony of Non-Muslims (Government and individuals). /n /n
If we are to go with your analysis (and agree) that these Governments are Faasiq then the opposite of what you are presenting is Non-Muslim media, Non-Muslim Government, Non-Muslim sources and complete conjecture. /n /n

In order for the doubt in Shariah to be valid it has to exist and it can’t simply be a figment of imagination. /n /n
In this case categorical testing has proven that it DOES NOT contain Alcohol. /n /n
The rest of your message is largely irrelevant because the original premise is not established. /n /n
akaabir wrote on 12 Jun 2014
Ill try to make it very simple for you this time before we come to academics.

what is the reason that you accept the research of one side consisting of fussaaq and fujjar and you readily accept the word of the company itself whilst completely rejecting the other research. What is the basis for this? Considering the facts that:

1) Coca cola and other softdrink makers are ruthless multinational companies who are suppying slow poison to the masses and getting billionaires at the expense of the health of humanity.

2) Self testimony is rejected in this case of clear bias.
Blogger's Reply:
I didn't quote Coca cola at all in the blog! Another person quoted it in comments and I made it clear in the response that I am not quoting Coca Cola in this issue at all my response is ***Actually Coke denies it as well (www.coca-cola.co.uk/faq/ingredients/does-coca-cola-contain-alcohol.html ) *** Coca Cola is proud to be the world’s largest non-alcoholic beverage company. In the manufacture of Coca Cola, alcohol is not added as an ingredient and no fermentation takes place.*** Remember that I haven’t presented this as evidence and I am merely correcting your misinformation.*** you are putting words in my mouth which I havnn't uttered!
akaabir wrote on 12 Jun 2014
If you believe the UAE government to be not faasiq then WOULD YOU ACCEPT THEIR MOONSIGHTING FOR RAMADHAN AND EID?
Blogger's Reply:
Another intelligently bankrupt and Islamically deficient argument. I don’t take the moonsighting from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Pakistan, Malaysia, Indonesia etc either so what does that mean? Ridiculous reasoning.
zain wrote on 15 Jun 2014
whats the proof that ethanol is halaal?

you stated "Majority of Ulama who ruled that these figures are so (small and) miniscule that these drinks are permissible to consume."

kindly provide proof from fiqh..........

discussion is not irrelevant

you are jaahil. flavourants of coke have ethanol. it is so obvious that they would deny it.

regarding it as non-alcoholic does not negate that the flavourant contains ethanol.
Blogger's Reply:
Click on the links already given, contact the Ulama who have given the ruling. Jzk
zain wrote on 16 Jun 2014
you a real moron!!!


Coca‑Cola is proud to be the world’s largest non-alcoholic beverage company. In the manufacture of Coca‑Cola, alcohol is not added as an ingredient and no fermentation takes place.

The ingredients and manufacturing processes used in the production of Coca‑Cola are rigorously regulated by government and health authorities in more than 200 countries, all of which have consistently recognised Coca‑Cola as a non-alcoholic product.

being recognised as non-alcoholic does not mean that ethanol is not used in the flavourant.whether fermentation atkes place, or not, does not matter. the fatwa is on imaam muhammeds view that all types of alcohol are haraam.

alcohol is not addded as an ingredient itself , but it is in the flavourant!

you very stupid.was salaam
Blogger's Reply:
Sajid wrote on 22 Jun 2014
I agree with the bloggers comments.
Others are simply showing signs of frustration by their language.
AbuSaleh wrote on 27 Aug 2014
I cant even believe we are falling out over COKE! Perhaps we should just refrain from COKE because its is an immensely unhealthy beverage loaded with sugar, just like most fizzy drinks. Surely we need to recognise our bodies are an amaanat, and we need to treat it justly, by fulfilling its rights - healthy nourishment, exercise, intellectual and spiritual elevation etc.
Methinks our love of COKE is too much - it's reflection of our love of the dunya, in that to even imagine not drinking it (for some people) is too much to bear!!!
Blogger's Reply:
Agreed, its unhealthy but the issue here is Haram Fatwaas. As I said I don't drink Coke but I don't consider it Haram!
AbuSaleh wrote on 28 Aug 2014
Jzk khair for your kind response.
My point is do we really need a fatwaa on coke, surely the ummah have bigger fish to fry..
As its established it is not good for health, we should be educating people in making right lifestyle choices.
Part of the problem (as I see it) is this fatwa mentality...is it halal or haraam....this can removes the onus and responsibility from the individual from making informed choices...
Crisps, biscuits, sweets, fast food etc. arent haraam...but would these be part of the sunnah diet if they were available in the past....
Blogger's Reply:
Craig Sams wrote on 7 Mar 2015
coke is made with flavourings that are extracted using ethanol, which is pure alcohol. There is almost no alcohol as most of the Flavours are completely synthetic and have never been a real plant. The phosphoric acid causes osteoporosis, there is no significant cola nut extract, just petrochemical caffeine. The 'caramel colouring' is just a black petrochemical dye that is allowed to be called 'caramel' solely because it looks like caramel. It is carcinogenic. The sugar level, combined with the caffeine, creates a vicious circle of overstimulation followed by deep fatigue that is the definition of addiction. I'm not Muslim and don't drink alcohol, but seriously, with something that is wrong to put in the body for all these reasons, why is the microscopic amount of alcohol the focus of this discussion? There are so many more good reasos to avoid this junk food
Blogger's Reply:
Craig, Absolutely agreed hence the disclaimer. This blog was merely exploring the theological point of view. From a Health perspective its J**U**N**K!
Imran wrote on 25 Mar 2015
Respected Muftisaab. I'm not trying to be rude with this comment nor am I trying to disregard the fatwaa that you passed. However there is a slight problem. I read a book by a certain moulana in my country.I am 100 percent certain that if anyone (moulana, mufti or layman] had to read this they would agree that coke, pepsi and the majority of so called "soft drinks" are not permissible. Again im not disrespecting your fatwa, but even if there is a tiny tiny percentage of ethanol/alcohol wouldnt that make the drink haraam. Nabi (sallallahualayhiwasallam) explicitly stated something to the effect "what intoxicates in large quantities is haraam in small quantities as well". IF we used the small quantity logic it wouldnt work, because that would mean that we can indulge in small amounts of drinks like vodka, gin and champagne as long as its a small quantity. half a cup of beer certainly wont intoxicate someone, or a sip. does that make that sip permissible? no it doesnt.
Blogger's Reply:
1) Nobody has passed a Fatwa. 2) You haven't understood what is being said 3) Nobody has claimed that a little bit of Vodka is Halal 4) Read: www.central-mosque.com/index.php/General-Fiqh/alcohol-its-kinds-usage-and-rulings.html 5) Read the blog again as to what is being pointed out before commenting 6) Feel free to disagree once you have actually understoood. Jzk
Ricardo Repollet wrote on 17 May 2015
As salamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuhu. ive also read something saying that pepsi contains dead baby embryos.From miscarriages and or abortions my fellow muslim bro and sis just say away from it.I
Blogger's Reply:
W-Salam, You obviously have some issues which need to be resolved. Jzk
Fayal Buckas wrote on 16 May 2016
Alcohol in any percentage is haraam. Safegaurd your imaan. The kuffaar will do anything to poison our imaan and thus no entry to Jannah.
Blogger's Reply:
Thank You Mufti Saheb. I guess I can listen to Imam Abu Haneefa (RA) and his students or you...
Naj wrote on 5 Sep 2016
As salami Alaikum to all sisters and brothers I am amazed at what is being said here I would like to say please don't argue over what you don't understand if anything go and try to understand what is being said here and if still you can't then it's just ignorance stopping you from understanding and you will never understand we all have resource to go and find info on ALL halal and haraam foods and drinks so stop having a go at this blogger coz his only helping you understand
In many ways
Blogger's Reply:
W-Salam, Don't worry nobody is having a go at me.
tahir wrote on 23 Dec 2018
i just want to say that if there is so many doubts abt soft drinks than we should avoid because if they are haram so we r doing sin or if soft drinks are halal so thats ok we can still live widout softdrinks but the main problem now a days that softdrinks are responsible for lack of vitamin d3 and calcium carbonate in the body so better to avoid for further damage...
Blogger's Reply:
Another ridiculous comment with no facts whatsoever. Drinking excess milk causes health problems! The issue here isn’t whether coke and Pepsi are good for health but the issue is specifically about “Alcohol”…Eating cake may not be good for health but it does not make a cake Haram.
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