Question(s):
1) Are soya beans halal? Apparently, there is alcohol used?
2) Is sushi halal? Apparently, alcohol is used to stick the rice together?

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

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

1) Soya beans are plants grown naturally. We are not aware of any alcohol used in the production of the actual beans. Thus, there is no harm in consuming soya beans. Nonetheless, it must be noted that it is impermissible to consume Soya Sauce made from wine/alcohol. [1]

2) Sushi is made in various different ways. However, generally, it is made from fish [2] and can contain Rice Vinegar. In principle, Rice Vinegar is permissible to consume. [3]

Accordingly, if the sushi consisting of fish and Rice Vinegar contains no other unlawful contents like alcohol, then it may be consumed. [1]

Finally, it must be noted that sushi is often served with Rice Wine, which consists of varieties such as: Sake (Japanese drinking wine), Huangjiu (Chinese rice wine) and mirin (Japanese cooking wine) etc; all of which are used as alcoholic beverages. Thus, the Rice Vinegar of a permissible nature (outlined above) must not be confused with the Rice Wine that would be deemed impermissible to consume.

Note: The guidelines outlined above with regards to Soya Sauce and Sushi are merely indicative principles. Nonetheless, it is difficult to issue a blanket ruling on such products with many varieties. Hence, we advise that one contacts the specific brand or supplier of such products and thereafter, one should refer to reliable scholars for guidance. 

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best.
Mufti Mubasshir Talha Ahmed
26 Jumādā al-Thāniyah 1442 / 8 February 2021

Concurred by:
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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[Notes/Details]
For further information on each of the foods/ingredients discussed in this Fatwa, refer to the following links:
Soya Beans: https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/glossary/soya-beans-glossary
Soya Sauce: https://www.thespruceeats.com/what-is-soy-sauce-1328450
“Soy sauce is a brown, salty, liquid used as a condiment or seasoning in many Asian cuisines. Soy sauce is made from fermented soybeans, salt, water and sometimes roasted grains.”
Sushi: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sushi
Rice Vinegar: https://bit.ly/2LpOjo0 [Health Line Site]
Rice Vinegar vs Rice Wine: https://www.thespruceeats.com/rice-wine-vs-rice-vinegar-695017
Rice Wine: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rice_wine

[References]
[1]
يسألونك عن الخمر والميسر قل فيهما إثم كبير ومنافع للناس وإثمهما أكبر من نفعهما
[Surah al-Baqarah, ‘Ayah 219]

يا أيها الذين آمنوا إنما الخمر والميسر والأنصاب والأزلام رجس من عمل الشيطان فاجتنبوه لعلكم تفلحون
[Surah al-Ma’idah, ‘Ayah 90]

وهذا الشراب الذي يشربونه قد خالطه الخمر
[Al-Asl, 2/245, Dar Ibn Hazm]

الخمر حرام قليلها وكثيرها
[Al-Jami’ al-Saghīr, 485, Dar Ibn Hazm]

[2]
قلت: أفتكره كل شيء في البحر أو في الماء سوى السمك؟ قال: نعم، أكره أكله
[Al-Asl, 5/372, Dar Ibn Hazm]

وقد قامت الدلالة على حظر أكل ما عدا السمك ممايعيش في الماء
[Sharh Mukhtasar al-Ṭaḥāwī, 1/274, Dar al-Siraj]

ولا يؤكل من حيوان الماء إلا السمك – لأنه ميتة فيحرم بالنص، وإنما حل السمك بما روينا من الحديث وأنه يشمل جميع أنواعه الجريث والمارماهي وغيرهم
[Al-Ikhtiyār, 1-5/734, Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah]

ولا يؤكل من حيوان الماء إلا السمك بأنواعه
[Majma’ al-Anhur, 2/514, Dar Ihya al-Turath]

[3]
 ولا بأس بخل الخمر [بخل] السكر
[Al-Asl, 2/410, Dar Ibn Hazm]

وعن إبراهيم قال: لا بأس إذا كان للمسلم خمر أن يجعلها خلا، وبه أخذ علمائنا، وقالوا: تخليل الخمر جائز
[Al-Mabsūt, 9/24, DKI]

وأصل المسئلة أن تخليل الخمر بالعلاج جائز عندنا، ويحل تناول الخل بعد الخل
[Al-Mabsūt, 24/27, DKI]