Answered by Shaykh Abul ‘Ataa Ahmad Banaja (may Allah preserve him)
Assalaam Alaikum oh Sheikh, what is the ruling on using of alcoholic room spray or air freshener?
If the alcohol is already mixed with the pure material (which is the perfume), and the percentage of Alcohol in it doesn’t make someone to be intoxicated by consuming it, then its allowed specially if it’s for external use. There is no problem in it and this is the opinion of lots of ‘Ulamaa like Ibn Taimiyyah and others.
If the alcohol percentage is less (normally not more 5%-10%), it is not considered as Khamr (alcohol), be it a medicine or perfume or sanitizer or anything else. But we feel more uncomfortable when it’s for the internal use like in the medicines. Even though, its permissible because of the necessity.
This is the opinion of prominent Scholars, and the proof is the saying of Prophet ﷺ:
“مَا أَسْكَرَ كَثِيرُهُ, فَقَلِيلُهُ حَرَامٌ”
“If a large quantity of any beverage intoxicates, then a small amount of it is prohibited.”
“عَنْ جَابِرٍ وعائشة وأنس وابن عمر - رضى الله عنهم وهو صحيح”
That’s why the International Islamic Fiqh Academy in its 16th sitting (21-26/10/1422هـ), which was held in Makkah, made a big research and the conclusion was:
Medicines containing alcohol is allowed to be used in consuming proportions required by the pharmaceutical industry, when it couldn’t be substituted, and with the condition that, it should be prescribed by a trustworthy doctor. And alcohol may be used as an external disinfectant for wounds, bacteriostatic, and in creams.
So, if large amount of it wouldn’t make a person intoxicated, it is Halal (permissible) because its not classified as Khamr.