While kombucha has been around for thousands of years, its popularity has skyrocketed in recent years. Aside from the delightful taste of kombucha, the global rise of the wellness business has led to Muslims asking “Is Kombucha halal or haram in Islam?.
Kombucha has several health benefits due to its high concentration of probiotics and antioxidants. Some people are put off by the alcohol content of kombucha; after all, it is made through a fermentation process that transforms sugar to alcohol.
But how much alcohol is in kombucha, and is it enough to make it an alcoholic and Haram beverage? Read on to find out answers to these questions, and more.
Is Kombucha Halal?
Yes, Kombucha is halal in Islam. This is because the amount of alcohol in kombucha tea drink is a very low amount that does not lead to drunkenness, hence drinking it is halal because of that. Scholars have ruled that it is halal to consume any drink or foods that is intoxicating, either because it is completely free of alcohol or because it contains such a small amount of alcohol that it does not create drunkenness no matter how much is consumed.
Why Kombucha Is Halal In Islam?
Islamqa stated that Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
“Everything that is called water is pure and a means of purification, whether some impurity has fallen into it or not, if it is known that it has dissolved into it and disappeared. As for that in which traces of impurity are apparent, it is haram to use it, because it comes under the heading of using something haram.”Majmu‘ al-Fatawa, 19/236, 237
He also said:
“Allah has forbidden impure things (khabaith), namely blood, dead meat, pork and so on. If any of these things fall into water etc and disappear, so there is no blood, dead meat or pork left at all, similar to the case where alcohol disappears in a liquid, then the one who drinks it is not drinking khamr.”Majmu‘ al-Fatawa, 21/501, 502
Is There Alcohol In Kombucha?
Kombucha, like all fermented foods and drinks, including water kefir, soy sauce, and vinegar, naturally contains alcohol. Kombucha, on the other hand, is not brewed to be intoxicated. This is merely a byproduct of the fermentation process that was used to make the drink.
A SCOBY (a pancake-shaped symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) is mixed with sweetened tea in this process. The sugar is subsequently converted by the bacteria and yeast into ethanol (alcohol) and acetic acid, giving kombucha its distinct sour flavour and probiotic goodness.
How Much Alcohol Is In Kombucha?
The alcohol concentration in kombucha is low, with most commercially available brews containing under 0.5% ABV. This technically makes it non-alcoholic, because a drink is alcoholic if it has more than 1.2% ABV. Many de-alcoholised beers and wines have an ABV of 0.5%, yet a very ripe banana can have an ABV of up to 0.4%.
Having said that, it’s crucial to know that the alcohol concentration of kombucha can vary from brand to brand based on factors such as brewing duration and yeast type. In general, homemade variants will typically have a higher alcohol level.
Can Muslims Drink Kombucha?
Yes, Muslims can drink Kombucha. Since the alcohol is a by-product during the fermentation process, the alcohol levels are too low to cause any intoxication and that is why Kombucha is halal and it is permissible for Muslims to drink.
Is Kombucha Haram?
No, Kombucha is not Haram. It is considered halal by scholars since it is produced as a byproduct of a natural fermentation process. Many scholars consider it safe to consume because it happens naturally and produces such low levels of alcohol that it does not make you intoxicated.
Kombucha is clearly halal, however the alcohol content must be monitored. If the alcohol level is unregulated, as with homemade Kombucha, it may exceed the permissible limit.
When buying Kombucha, choose a reputable brand that is preferably halal certified, and carefully read the whole list of ingredients and any mention of alcohol levels.