Coronavirus: Dear Muslims, there is nothing called ‘Halal hand sanitizer’
Since face masks and hand sanitizers are highly recommended as preventive measures against the spread of novel Coronavirus, Muslims are looking for something that is permissible in Islam. However, let’s inspect what Islam says about the use of alcohol.Updated: Mar 18, 2020 02:04 IST
For Muslims, Haram means prohibited and Halal stands for permissible. For instance, pork and alcohol consumption are Haram and hence considered forbidden for a Muslim. Now, it has emerged that even preventive measure for Coronavirus menace is not free of religious segregation.
Since face masks and hand sanitizers are highly recommended as preventive measures against coronavirus, people have stepped out in search for non-alcohol-based hand sanitizers. Locals are selling the so-called ‘Halal hand sanitizers’ in Malaysia, as Muslims choose these over the alcohol-based ones under the impression that usage of only these would be permissible in Islam. Now, let’s inspect what Islam says about the use of alcohol.
Facts vs Myth
In Islam, only alcohol consumption is prohibited, not its use as medicine. So any hand sanitizer that provides protection against viruses and germs should be welcomed.
Prophet Mohammaed (PBUH) once said, “Cleanliness is half the faith (Emaan).” Hadith reference : Sahih Muslim.
Fundamentally, the alcohol-based hand sanitizer is a good deterrent against potent coronavirus, so it is not Haram or prohibited. Alcohol destroys the protein envelope that surrounds coronavirus, and destruction of protein envelope effectively kills the virus. But there must be at least 60% of alcohol content in hand sanitizers for them to be effective against the virus. Hence, alcohol-based hand sanitizers are a necessity, not luxury.
Also, these are industrial alcohol, not meant to be consumed as beverages, so its usage as medicine is totally permitted.
In our daily life, we, the Muslims, even consume alcohol as medicine in a fixed quantity. It is required for treatment of ailments. For instance, almost all Homeopathy formulations have some amount of alcohol and same is the case with some other biochemic formulations.
Using the so-called Halal hand sanitizer can be detrimental to you and your family.
In a perilous time like this, please do not get swayed by myth, make good use of alcohol-based sanitizers to save yourself and humanity from devastation.
(The views expressed are personal)