Very recently I heard on Islam channel (in the UK) by a sheikh that vinegar in NOT permissible as it’s primary source is from alcohol. I struggle to accept that; as a chemist these two ingredients are completely different in structure, taste and overall net effect! I also seem to recall in the past I heard in a circle that prophet Mohamed (PBUH) has asked us to keep honey, dates and vinegar in a Muslim home-I checked the summarized volume of Bhukhari and can’t seem to any reference on vinegar. Please can you help? Is there any substance to the above statement from this sheikh (it’s leading to unnecessary confusion I believe)-where is vinegar mentioned in Hadith (can you provide a reference please)and if so, like honey and dates does vinegar carry a ‘recommended’ food for consumption.
Jazakallahkhair for all your efforts-May Allah reward you for your good work
This may have been a misunderstanding of sorts. The sheikh may have been talking about any sort of vinegar that has been created from alcohol. It seems that alcohol was somehow used to make vinegar. The following hadith makes reference to this:
Anas reported that Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) was asked about the use of Khamr from which vinegar is prepared. He said: No (it is prohibited). – Sahih Muslim Book 023, Number 4891
The opinions regarding this hadith may differ depending on all the variables that are considered. However, in general vinegar is perfectly fine. As a matter of fact it is reported that the Prophet himself enjoyed it for consumption.
‘A’isha reported Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him) as saying: The best of condiments or condiment is vinegar. – Sahih Muslim Book 023, Number 5091
Jabir b. ‘Abdullah reported that Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him) asked his family for condiment. They (the members of his household) said: We have nothing with us but vinegar. He asked for it, he began to eat it, and then said: Vinegar is a good condiment, vinegar is a good condiment. – Sahih Muslim Book 023, Number 5093
From the above one can appreciate that vinegar is allowable. If there are any intoxicating ingredients to it then it should be avoided.
Lastly, it should be known that there are no foods or drinks that are recommended as Islamically religious. Rather, much of that were the tastes and preferences of the Prophet. In some narrations he is quoted as recommending a type of food or drink for an ailment but nothing to the effect that the consumption of them would be religiously sanctioned.
I hope I have clarified the issue.
God knows best.