Durian Contains Alcohol, How is the Law?

By: Dr. KH. Maulana Hasanuddin, M.A. (Deputy Chairperson of the Central MUI Fatwa Commission); and Drs.H. Sholahudin Al-Aiyubi, M.Sc. (Deputy Secretary of the Central MUI Fatwa Commission).

As is known, durian fruit is a favorite fruit for most of Indonesia’s population. However, because this fruit contains alcohol, not everyone can enjoy it. Some of them only consumed one or two seeds already drunk, because durian that very old/cooked contains high levels of alcohol. There are also people who can eat durian for several fruits, very hearty, but there is absolutely no physical influence on them.

Durian fruit contains alcohol with a relatively high level so that it can cause people who consume it to get drunk. Therefore, how is it legal to consume high levels of durian fruit containing alcohol, in a review of Islamic law? Here’s the explanation.

First, it can be explained, according to the ulama in the MUI Fatwa Commission, that alcohol is prohibited, and some are not illegal. Furthermore, the khamar is made and processed from grapes, in asholah, as well as from other than wine, such as tuak, a traditional drink in Sumatra; or sake in Japan, explicitly and expressly forbidden in Islam. In the manufacturing process, from the beginning of processing, fermentation to finished products, it is intentionally intended to produce intoxicating drinks or khamar.

In summary and firmly, it is indeed an effort or industry to make khamar. According to Fiqhiyyah rule, khamar is, much or at least, the same law: haram. There is no doubt, there is no bargaining.

Furthermore, some ulama, such as Imam Shafi’i, argue that khamar is haram and unclean, based on the verse: who calls it “Rijsun“, meaning materially unclean. And this is the opinion of the ulama in the MUI Fatwa Commission, for ease in its implementation for the community, it is also easier to control so that it will be totally avoided.

Next, Imam Abu Hanifah also believes that the khamar must contain alcohol and haram; but alcohol is not necessarily khamar. For example, ripe durian fruit contains alcohol, maybe even the level of alcohol content is quite high, so there are people who are not strong then become drunk from eating it. Similarly, fruits that are ripe and made juice, contain alcohol. But there are no ulama who forbid durian fruit or fruit juice.

Whereas in the Fiqhiyyah rule, basically what is called Khamar is a drink from fermented grape juice. And in Ijma’Ulama, the agreement of all the ulama mentioned that the drink was Khamar and haram to drink. But if it’s not from grape juice, the ulama differ. There are many ulama who call it Khamar with the Qiyash rule, but there are also ulama who doesn’t call it Khamar, but Nabidz.

Among these are the opinions of Imam Hanafi. With this opinion, the provision is that drinking Nabidz is not intoxicating, the law is not illegal. But if it causes drunkenness, then the law is haram. Such is the opinion of some ulama in the Hanafi School of Religion. But in addition to the Hanafi Madhab, the ulama agreed to call the law the same as Khamr and forbidden to drink.

Furthermore, in the Al-Qur’an and Al-Hadith, which is called Khamr and strictly forbidden it is a drink. While durian fruit is not a drink. And consume/eat anything, if not drinks, even though they contain alcohol, especially the durian fruit is still natural, not through any processing, it is basically halal.

In truth, all Mazru’at, plant or vegetable products are halal. Unless it contains Khobaits, evil or danger. Pay attention to the verses of the Al-Qur’an: “… and justify for them all that is good and forbid for them all that is bad …” (QS. Al-Araaf [7]: 157).

If there is a case of people eating durian fruit until they are drunk, then it can be understood as excessive action, overreaching. “… and eat and drink, but don’t overdo it. Indeed, Allah does not like those who are exaggerated.“(QS. 7: 31). The point is: do not overdo or exceed the limits needed by the body and do not also exceed the limits in consuming food even though it is halal.

Or indeed the condition of the person is not fit so they must abstain from eating durian, perhaps because of their illness. Such as high blood pressure, heart pressure, etc. So for that person, it is prohibited or forbidden to eat durian, because it will endanger him. “… And do not drop yourself into destruction, and do good, for verily Allah likes those who do good.” (QS. 2: 195).

In Islamic law the rules are very clear; “Laa dhoror walaa dhiror” (may not cause or cause harm to oneself, and may not harm others). Also the rule: “Adh-dhororu yuzal” (the danger must be removed). This rule becomes the main foundation for benefit in life. Broadly speaking, this Fiqhiyyah Rule prohibits all actions that bring Mudharat/Danger.

And the prohibition on eating durian fruit is casuistic, certain for that person only. Not generally applicable. Because, in general, plant or vegetable products that are on halal earth and may be used. Consider the meaning of the verse: “And He (Allah) has subjected to you everything in the heavens and everything on earth, (as mercy) than Him. Verily in that, there are truly signs for the people who think.” (QS. 45: 13).

This kind of verse guidance is repeated several times in the Qur’an. Among them: “He is Allah, who made everything on earth for you all …” (QS. 2: 29).

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