Is Coffee & Caffeine Haram or Halal?

Coffee & Caffeine have been both famous and notorious, loved and hated throughout history and for quite a few reasons. Still, its popularity remains unaffected.

Table of Contents:

1. Is Coffee & Caffeine Haram?
2. Why is Coffee & Caffeine Considered Halal?
3. Is All Coffee Halal?
4. History of Islamic Stance Against Coffee and Caffeine Consumption

Photo Courtesy: WordRidden

Is Coffee & Caffeine Haram?

According to Islamic Scholars, coffee & caffeine is definitely Halal. There is no reference in the Quran about the prohibition of coffee. Muslim scholars had to give Fatwas about the consumption of coffee based on thorough research and science to classify caffeine and coffee as halal.

Allah SWT states:

“And eat of what Allah has provided for you [which is] lawful and good.”

Surah al-Ma’idah (88)

The whole production process of coffee is Halal. Coffee beans are actually just seeds. They are then dried, roasted and grounded. There is no fermentation or alcohol involved in the process of making alcohol (source).

Why is Coffee & Caffeine Considered Halal?

Here’s the short answer. While Coffee & Caffeinated are technically considered intoxicants, they do not cause drunkenness, dizziness or any effect of inebriation (taskir). Rather, it allows us to be more productive which can be used for good (such as focusing on prayers and other Islamic responsibilities).

When asked about the Islamic ruling on caffeine in Islam and whether drinking coffee or tea is haram or halal, a Fatwa was issued stating that drinking coffee, tea, or any drink with caffeine is not haram because caffeinated drinks do not cause drunkenness or dizziness.

It was also argued that coffee makes you more active, which means that you’ll be more productive when doing any kind fo work. So if this productivity can be used towards good practices and work (like praying) then of course it is considered halal.

Here’s the Full Fatwa:

There is no harm in drinking tea or coffee regardless of the substances they contain. Imam Shihab al-Din said: ‘it is lawful to drink because originally all the things are lawful except that which Allah has made unlawful. Allah Says (interpretation of meaning): {Say (O Muhammad SAW): “I find not in that which has been inspired to me anything forbidden …} [6: 145].

So, since coffee does not contain anything that causes drunkenness or any drugs and since it does not harm the body, so it is lawful and cannot be compared to Haram things that cause drunkenness or dizziness.

In fact, coffee makes the body more active. So, the person – after drinking coffee – becomes more able to do some kinds of work. If these works are lawful or if they are forms of worship, then coffee is in this case good as it helps the person do that which is good.

What is said about coffee and tea is true for soft drinks.
On the other hand, you should bear in mind that many of the lawful things can be harmful to the body if over-used.

IslamWeb (source)

Caffeine is A Halal Intoxicant

Another Fatwa issued by Hanafi Shaykh Farza A. Khan addressed the controversy of around coffee being an intoxicant and therefore potentially be considered haram.

He explained that when the word intoxicant is mentioned in the Quran, it is referring to substances such as wine or weed that has the effects of inebriation (taskir). Coffee does not covers or clouds ones intellect, while wine and weed do.

Just because Coffee is an intoxicant, it does not mean it is haram. Context matters.

Here’s the full fatwa

What is prohibited is khamr (wine) or anything with its effects of inebriation (taskir).

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Every intoxicant is unlawful.” [Bukhari, Muslim]

He (peace and blessings be upon him) also once explained the basis of why khamr is unlawful when he said, “Khamr is that which covers [or clouds] the intellect.” [Bukhari, Muslim]

So what is meant by intoxicant in this context is that which “covers the intellect,” i.e., causes inebriation or drunkenness like beer, or euphoria such as cocaine or amphetamines. These are all unlawful.

Caffeine is not an intoxicant in that sense, but rather only a mild stimulant and hence permissible.

Hanafi Shaykh Faraz A. Khan (source)

A Fatwa by Dar al-Iftaa Al Missriyyah further supported caffeine and coffee being a halal intoxicant by addressing the argument that if “if the huge consumption of anything leads to drunkenness, then little quantities of it is forbidden“.

They issued a fatwa stating that since coffee does not lead to the absence of the mind, it is therefore considered halal. Furthermore, the excessive consumption of any lawful substance is not encouraged in Islam and by that logic, coffee and caffeine is therefore considered halal.

Here’s the issued Fatwa:

The religious scholars stated that the reason behind the prohibition of alcohol consumption is because it leads to drunkenness which in turn leads to the absence of mind. The mind in Islam is deemed essential because the legal capacity of a Muslim is determined by the sanity and the consciousness of the mind.

Therefore, intentional jeopardy of the sanity and the consciousness of the mind; be it with the consumption of alcohol or with drugs or any other substance that would lead to the intentional absence of the mind- other than for medical purposes- would be deemed prohibited.

The reason for the prohibition of alcohol or drugs is for the intentional absence of the mind and not for addiction. Excessive use of many lawful food and drinks could lead to addiction or could lead to harming the body which is wrong but there is a difference between excessive use of a substance that is originally lawful to use and between the use of a substance that is prohibited to use in the first place regardless of its used amount.

Dar al-Iftaa Al-Missriyyah (source)

So almost all scholars agree on coffee being Halal. Issues like that should always have a solid basis and scientific evidence to support the theory.

If its fermentation process is somewhat similar to wine does not mean it will also cause intoxication, this is the case with drinks such as kombucha tea. That is why imposing a ban without proof did not last long, and people kept drinking it without fearing the severe punishments. 

Is All Coffee Halal?

All coffees are considered Halal, even the Luwak Coffee is permissible to consume. Its coffee beans are collected from the droppings of a Civet (animal that eats berries). They are thoroughly washed and processed to make coffee (source)

But even then, one should be careful regarding the manufacturing process of coffee.

The point is, Muslims should be vigilant with whatever they are consuming as a whole. They must know that these things are form the permissible sources. Because even the Halal product could be prohibited to use if it’s not processed accordance to Halal guidelines.

Therefore, it is recommended that yoou choose the Halal certified brands if ever in doubt (source).

History of Islamic Stance Against Coffee and Caffeine Consumption

In 1511 CE, there was a ban on coffee in Mecca by Governor Khair Beg. Soon after that, Cairo (1532) and Constantinople banned its consumption. Şeyhülislam Ebussuud was an authorized religious scholar of the Ottoman Empire. He issued a fatwa against drinking coffee (source).

The reason all along was the same. Purist Muslims and governors thought of it as an innovation. A stimulant, you may say, has the same intoxicating effects on the human mind as that of alcoholic drinks.

Radical thinking was also on the rise because of the gathering of people in coffee houses. People from different sects and classes were sitting and enjoying themselves. The number of people increased day by day.

There was a threat of riot as people may be planning against the government. So the ban. They also threatened people with the death penalty if they did not follow the command. The bases were presumptions and fears of government downfall. But the ban did not last long because of the obsession and love people had for coffee.

Finally, the ban got lifted in 1524. The Ottoman Empire Sultan Selim I, together with Grand Mufti Mehmet Ebussuud el-İmadi, issued a fatwa making coffee permissible again (source).


I am a Muslim that has been living in North America for more than a decade. I am keen on knowing which foods, lifestyle choices, and financial decisions that are halal or not. I enjoy sharing this information with my readers and do the research myself so that readers don't have to.

Recent Posts