[Q 221] Permissibility of Vinegar and it’s types


What do the Respected scholars, say about the issue that different types of vinegar (sirka) are available in the market, for example:

(1) Spirit vinegar

(2) Red wine vinegar

(3) Brandy vinegar

(4) White wine vinegar

Besides these, some other types of vinegar are also available. Is it permissible to use such kinds of vinegar? The names of wines are also written along with the name of vinegar.

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

الجواب بعون الملك الوهاب اللهم هداية الحق والصواب


It is permissible according to Islamic law to use vinegar even if it is made from wine. The details are that vinegar is made through different methods, and it is commonly made from wine. It is the nature of wine that sometimes wine turns into vinegar on its own when left for days, and sometimes salt or something is added into it to convert it into vinegar. Our Islamic law states that no matter how wine turns into vinegar, when that transformation occurs, it becomes pure and permissible to use, because now it is not wine anymore; rather its reality has changed and it has become vinegar.

When wine turns into vinegar, its harmful qualities of wine cease to exist and beneficial qualities emerge. The words like vinegar, etc. written along with Brandy, White wine, Red wine, are written just to indicate the source and origin, i.e. the vinegar that is made from Red wine is called Red wine vinegar and the one made from White wine is called White wine vinegar.

The following details are given about Spirit Vinegar on Wikipedia:

“To be called “Spirit Vinegar”, the product must come from an agricultural source and must be made by “double fermentation”. The first fermentation is sugar to alcohol and the second alcohol to acetic acid…….Sherry vinegar is linked to the production of sherry wines of Jerez……. Wine vinegar is made from red or white wine……. More expensive wine vinegars aremade from individual varieties of wine, such as champagne, sherry, or pinot gris.”


The following details about Vinegar are given on a health and wellness website:

“Vinegars are made by fermenting a carbohydrate source into alcohol Acetobacter bacteria then convert the alcohol into acetic acid, which gives vinegars their strong aromas. Red wine vinegar is made by fermenting red wine, then straining and bottling it.”


The science of vinegar is also explained on the food website below:


In the references mentioned above, it is stated that two processes are used to make vinegar – first the fruit juices etc. are converted into wine, and then the wine is converted into vinegar. Wine vinegar refers to the one that is made from wine, for example, the vinegar made from Red wine will be called Red wine vinegar. Similarly, vinegars are also made from various other kinds of wines like champagne, sherry, pinot gris etc.

Therefore, just the name will not make the usage of vinegar impermissible, because even vinegar made from wine becomes permissible as explained earlier. Ahadith establish that the Holy Prophet ﷺ himself consumed vinegar and also praised it.

Therefore it is narrated in Sahih Muslim from Hazrat Jabir رضی ﷲ تعالیٰ عنہ:

“أن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم سأل أهله الأدم، فقالوا : ما عندنا إلاخل، فدعابه، فجعل يأكل به، ويقول: «نعم الأدم الخل، نعم الأدم الخل”


The Prophet ﷺ asked his family for curry. They replied that there was nothing with them except vinegar. So he asked for that vinegar and started consuming it and said: “How good is vinegar as a curry!”

(Sahih Muslim, Book of Drinks, Vol. 3, Page 1621, Dar Ihya al-Turath al-Arabi, Beirut)

Prominent Scholar Allamah Ayni رحمة الله عليه has quoted some more narrations in this regard, including one from Imam Baihaqi that the Prophet ﷺ said:

“خیر خلکم خل خمر كم”


“The best of your vinegar is the vinegar made from your wine.”

(Binaayah, Vol. 12, Page 394, Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut)

The famous Hanafi books of jurisprudence like Hidaya, Mabsoot and Bada’i etc. state:

“وإذا تخللت الخمر حلت سواء صارت خلا بنفسها أو بشيء يطرح فيها”


“When wine turns into vinegar, its usage becomes permissible, whether it turns into vinegar on its own or something is added into it to make it vinegar.”

(Hidaya, Book of Drinks, Vol. 4, Page 398, Dar Ihya al-Turath al-Arabi, Beirut)

The great scholar Imam Zaili رحمة الله عليه writes:

حل خل الخمر ولا فرق في ذلك بين أن تكون تخللت هي أو خللت ……. ولنا قوله عليه الصلاة والسلام «نعم الإدام الخل مطلقا فيتناول جميع صورها، ولأن بالتخليل إزالة الوصف المفسد وإثبات صفة الصلاح فيه …. فإذا صارت هي خلا طهرت بالاستحالة


“Wine vinegar is permissible for usage and there is no difference in this ruling whether the wine turned into vinegar on its own or was converted into vinegar intentionally… Our evidence is the saying of the Prophet ﷺ that ‘Vinegar is a good curry’, which is absolute in meaning and includes all forms and types. Also, when wine is converted into vinegar, its corrupting description is removed and the description of usefulness emerges. So when it becomes vinegar, it also becomes pure due to the change in reality.”

(Tabyeen al-Haqaiq, Book of Drinks, Vol. 6, Page 48, Al-Matba’ah al-Kubra, Bulaq)

The great Scholar of the Ahl-e-Sunnat, Imam Ahmad Raza Khan رحمة الله عليه, writes:

“The scholars have considered adding salt into wine a cause of making it permissible, because when it becomes vinegar, its reality changes and it is no longer wine.”

(Fatawa Razawiyyah Vol. 23, Page 505)

Answered By: Mufti Sajid Attari

Translated By: Shaheer Attari

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