Question(s):
Is it permissible to consume the ‘Kopparberg Alcohol-free Cider’, that is sold in leading UK Retailers and Supermarkets, given that it contains a minimal amount of Alcohol (less than 0.05%)?

Answer(s):
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

The alcohol in the Kopparberg drink is not from dates and grapes, rather it is formed via the fermentation of apples. In addition, there is a minimal amount of alcohol, that is in a diluted form, such that it won’t intoxicate, even if one has multiple drinks. [1]

In our correspondence with the Kopparberg brand, they stated,
‘In order to be called a cider, the beverage must contain a certain amount of fermented product; hence you get a small amount of alcohol which is less than 0.05% in our non-alcoholic cider… we can assure you that we have routines to ensure that the alcohol content does not exceed 0.05%.’ [2]

They also indicated that the beverage is regarded as a drink and not beer; in line with the official guidance from authorities. It is evident that such a small amount, in a diluted form, that doesn’t intoxicate, has become a widespread reality for various soft drinks that are consumed. [3]

However, despite the contents of this drink seeming fine for consumption, one key factor to consider is that the Kopparberg brand is well-known for its alcoholic drinks and thus, there are various additional issues that can arise such as possible cross-contamination, misunderstandings from fellow Muslims assuming you are drinking alcohol and even simply close resemblance (imitation) of their other predominantly-alcoholic products. Thus, caution dictates that one avoids such drinks. [4]

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best.
[Mufti] Mubasshir Talha
3 Safar 1442 / 20 September 2020

Concurred by: Abdullah Desai | Annas Shah
Approved by: Mufti Tahir Wadee| Mufti Yusuf Ilolvi

Note: This fatwa is only to be viewed with the question asked. In the event of presenting this to a third party, please ensure it is coupled with the original question, as well as the references below for Islamic Scholars.


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[References]
[1]
Refer to: https://kopparberg.co.uk/
Refer to: https://www.tesco.com/groceries/en-GB/products/305973815
and other General supermarkets/providers.

[2]
Correspondence via email: Info@kopparberg.co.uk

[3]
I would like to reassure you that the information provided on the labels of all Kopparberg Cider products adhere to current UK alcohol labelling guidance. Please see below for the labelling requirements as set down under the 1996 Food Labelling Act;
The description “alcohol-free” shall not be applied to any alcoholic drink from which the alcohol has been extracted, unless:
(a) the drink has an alcoholic strength by volume of not more than 0.05 per cent, and
(b) the drink is marked or labelled with an indication of its maximum alcoholic strength (in one of the forms specified in regulation 30(1) immediately preceded by the words “not more than”) or, in an appropriate case, with an indication that it contains no alcohol.
Our labels identify the product as Alcohol-Free in capital letters on the front label, and the label is also outlined in blue to make this stand out further. 
[Kopparberg Support Team, Via email – 14 Sep 2020]

[4]
عن ابن عمر، قال: قال رسول الله ﷺ: من تشبه بقوم فهو منهم
[Sunan Abu Dawud, Hadith: 4031; Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah, 19437]

وقال حسان بن أبي سنان: ما رأيت شيئا أهون من الورع دع ما يريبك إلى ما لا يريبك
[Sahih al-Bukhari, Bab Tafsir al-Mushabbhat]

قال: (من تشبه بقوم) أي من شبه نفسه بالكفار مثلا في اللباس وغيره، أو بالفساق أو الفجار أو بأهل التصوف والصلحاء الأبرار. (فهو منهم): أي في الإثم والخير. قال الطيبي: هذا عام في الخلق والخلق والشعار، ولما كان الشعار أظهر في التشبه ذكر في هذا الباب. قلت: بل الشعار هو المراد بالتشبه لا غير
[Mirqat al-Mafatih, 7/2782, Dar al-Fikr]
[Badhl al-Majhud, 12/59, Dar al-Basha’ir]

ومنه الحديث: (دع ما يريبك إلى ما لا يريبك)… أي: دع ما يشك فيه إلى ما لا يشك
[Sharh Abu Dawud lil Ayni, 2/78, Maktabah al-Rushd]

قال: (دع) أي: اترك (ما يريبك)… والريب الشك (إلى ما لا يريبك): قال التوربشتي: أي: ما اعترض لك الشك فيه منقلبا عنه إلى ما لا شك فيه، يقال: دع ذلك إلى ذلك أي: استبدله به. اه. والمعنى: اترك ما تشك فيه من الأقوال والأعمال…وأعدل إلى ما لا تشك فيه منه، والمقصود أن يبني المكلف أمره على اليقين البحت والتحقيق الصرف، ويكون على بصيرة في دينه
[Mirqat al-Mafatih, 5/1899, Dar al-Fikr]