Energy, Religion

Ramadan is the month during which the Quran was revealed... Those of you who witness this month shall fast therein.

There are two secrets to a successful day of fasting: a full breakfast and a lavish dinner. And for the holy month of Ramadan, Vimto has infiltrated both.

It's refreshing and full of sugar, which is perfect for an energy boost, and though it's meant to be diluted in water, some drink it in concentrated form to ensure a quick recovery from a long day of abstention.

But one ingredient could make this tradition blasphemous. Vimto contains a very small amount of alcohol used as the solvent to extract flavor from the fruits. The popular drink is therefore technically haraam, and prohibited by the laws of the Quran. Even outside of Ramadan, many observant Muslims do not drink any alcohol.

It's a little-known fact, as the packaging of the ruby-colored cordial proudly declares “non-alcoholic,” specifically to cater to Muslim consumers. Legally, a product does not have to declare its alcohol content unless it is greater than 0.5%. This summer, popular sodas like Coca Cola and Pepsi came under scrutiny by Muslim authorities after a study revealed they contained around 0.001% alcohol.

Dr Mohamed Bechari, president of the National Federation of Muslims in France, where the study was released, said he felt “betrayed” by these beverage companies. “They do not correspond to the Muslim ethic, and decisions must be taken so Muslims do not consume these drinks.”

In the words of the prophet Muhammad, Whatever intoxicates in large quantities, then a small quantity of it is forbidden. Still, many imams have OK'd the drinks for consumption, stating the traces of alcohol “do not bear their original qualities.”


Blog courtesy of Pauline Eiferman

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