Is Chocolate Liquor Halal or Haram?


Chocolate
Photo Courtesy: Dick Thomas Johnson

When the words chocolate and liquor come together, the assumption typically made is that the topic is chocolate that consists of alcohol, which is haram. Is that truly the case? Is chocolate liquor haram?

Chocolate liquor is easily confused with chocolate liqueur. Chocolate liquor consists of fermented cocoa beans, it doesn’t contain alcohol, and it is halal. Chocolate liqueur is a beverage that contains alcohol and is haram.

Table of Contents:

1- What is Chocolate Liquor?
2- What is in Chocolate Liquor?
3- Is Chocolate Liquor Halal or Haram?
4- Fatwa on Consuming Chocolate Liquor
5- Is There Any Alcohol in Chocolate Liquor?
6- Is it Haram To Eat Chocolate with Alcohol?

1- What is Chocolate Liquor?

Chocolate liquor (also known as cocoa liquor, cocoa mass, baking chocolate, or cocoa liquor) is a smooth thick chocolate paste that is the base ingredient of all dark chocolate.

The term does not come from liquor which is the alcoholic substance, but rather the old English word liquor, which means “liquid” or “to be fluid” (source).

Because of the name similarities, it is a very understandably made misconception for people to think that chocolate liquor does actually consist of alcohol.

2- What is in Chocolate Liquor?

Chocolate liquor is made of cacao beans, also referred to as cacao nibs. These beans have been fermented and prepared in a certain manner, ultimately separating the cacao beans from their skins.

After melting, it is usually made into a mixture of cocoa solids and cocoa butter in equal proportions (source).

However, this is not always the case, as it also could be made and molded into blocks of raw chocolate through a specific cooling process.

3- Is Chocolate Liquor Halal or Haram?

Under halal dietary laws, the basic principle is that every food is halal unless specifically prohibited by the Qur’an or a Hadith.

The evidence is by Al Hajjawi in the chapter about food consumption, where he said all kinds of food are halal unless they cause harm or are not ritually pure (source).

Since there is no specific mention of chocolate liquor being haram or any signs of the paste being harmful, it is considered halal (lawful) for Muslim consumption. This is the case unless significant evidence is given claiming it is harmful to consume.

But Why Do Some People Still Believe Chocolate Liquor is Haram?

The reason is that these people confuse chocolate liquor for chocolate liqueur. Chocolate liqueur is a beverage made from liquor as a base, such as vodka. Chocolate liqueur does contain alcohol which means it is haram (unlawful) for Muslim consumption.

This is a very common misconception due to the similarity of the names and the common association of liquor and alcohol.

4- Fatwa on Consuming Chocolate Liquor

First Fatwa

On islamweb.net, a user asked about the ruling regarding the consumption of chocolate liquor, to which they got this response:

“There is no harm in consuming this drink unless it contains alcohol or is proven to be harmful to one’s health. The basic principle is that all kinds of food and beverages are lawful unless proven unlawful with sharee’ah evidence, according to the scholarly consensus.

Hence, it is permissible to consume all kinds of food and beverages except for what is detrimental to one’s health or what contains impure ingredients. In his book Az-Zaad, Al-Hajjaawi  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said in the chapter about food, “The basic principle is that all kinds of food are lawful as long as they are ritually pure and do not cause harm.”

IslamWeb (source)

Second Fatwa

Sheikh Assim El Hakeem said chocolate liquor is haram in a youtube video. However, the Sheikh may have confused chocolate liquor with chocolate liqueur, which, as previously mentioned, is a beverage that does contain alcohol and is unlawful for Muslims to consume.

The reason this assumption is made is that the individual asking the question mentioned alcohol as a component of chocolate liquor.

Third Fatwa

According to a fatwa issued by islam-wa-sunnah.com, chocolate liquor is permissible for muslims to consume.

This is because it doesn’t contain any alcohol and is not impure, whereas chocolate liqueur contains alcohol and is, therefore, haram and unlawful for Muslims to consume.  (source)

When asked

“You state that chocolate liquor is an alcoholic beverage and is therefore haram (You do correctly mention that chocolate liqueur is an alcoholic beverage or rather contains some sort of an alcoholic beverage and therefore haraam)

However, chocolate liquor is simply made by grinding cocoa beans into a liquid form and contains no alcohol.” along with evidence.

 (source)

This was the response received:

“If alcohol is derived from grapes or dates, it will be haram and impure. If it is from anything else besides dates and grapes and it does not intoxicate directly or through a mixture, then it is permissible.

Our ruling in chocolate liquor was based on the information we had. If your information on chocolate liquor is correct, then it will not be prohibited.”

(source)

5- Is There Any Alcohol in Chocolate Liquor?

Chocolate chips
Photo Courtesy: Leslie

We previously understood that the term chocolate liquor does not actually consist of an alcoholic substance. But is there any alcoholic substance in it?

The answer is no. Chocolate liquor does not normally contain any alcohol in its preparation.

Despite having the word liquor in it, the method used in making it (which we have previously mentioned) does not involve any alcohol. Chocolate liquor is free of alcohol, but chocolate liqueur isn’t.

6- Is it Haram To Eat Chocolate with Alcohol?

A reasonably common fact is that alcohol is haram for Muslim consumption. 

Drinking alcohol is not under any circumstances permissible for a Muslim. Some of the reasons scholars have mentioned behind it being haram include its comparison to idol worship, Allah calling intoxicants an abomination, describing intoxicants to be among the devil’s handy work, and ordering us to desist from intoxicants.

Allah has also mentioned the harm intoxicants cause, such as enmity, hatred, and preventing individuals from mentioning Allah. Alcohol also has many other drawbacks such as increasing your risk of disease, the possibility of becoming addicted and ruining social relationships, economic problems, etc. (source)

Chocolate alcohol normally consists of alcohol in high amounts that can be tasted and could lead to intoxication. Due to this reason, it is considered haram (forbidden) by most scholars for Muslim consumption.

Because it has the same intoxicating effect that drinking alcohol does, it should not be treated any differently in terms of lawfulness in comparison to the alcohol regularly drunk by individuals (source).

However, some scholars believe that for alcohol to be permissible, the alcohol content must be insignificant enough to prevent intoxication, and the color, the taste, or the smell should not be affected (source).

According to Dar Al Ifta, the legal ruling is based on Istihlak, which means that the percentage of alcohol in a specific substance is negligible enough to not intoxicate in large amounts, and Istihala, which means the chemical changing of a substance from impure to pure.

In summary, the majority of Hanafi and Maliki scholars believe that it is forbidden to consume alcohol that intoxicates in large amounts. This is regardless of whether the individual consumes it in small or large amounts – it is still forbidden.

However, if the alcoholic substance does not intoxicate even if consumed in large amounts, it is permissible (source).

By this logic, if the alcohol content in the chocolate is not enough to intoxicate in large or small amounts, it is permissible. However, this is very rare. Alcohol chocolate is usually high in alcohol content, affecting the taste. 

Evidence is also seen in the YouTube video in which Sheikh Assim says chocolate-containing alcohol is haram we had previously linked. 

The mission of this website is to remain unbiased throughout our articles and provide you with the information needed to make educated decisions – we hope this article helped you do so.

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