Is Nutmeg Allowed?
Shaykh Abdullāh Al-Bukhārī
Categorized under: Allowed vs. Not Allowed, Fatāwá and Rulings
The shaikh, Dr. ʿAbdullāh Al-Bukhārī, may Allāh protect him, said:
This [person] is asking: What’s the [Islāmic] ruling on using the substance “nutmeg” in foods because I’ve heard some saying it’s not allowed [in Islam] because it has something of intoxicants in it.
The default [ruling] concerning this substance: It’s from the foods, that is to say, the things, [that] are used by herbalists and apothecaries, and the default [ruling on it] is [that it’s] permissible, not [that it’s] prohibited.
And [the fact that] some people might be using it as an intoxicant or using it for some [similar] kind of evil does not mean that it’s not allowed in essence. The prohibition applies only to that which is along the lines of that act, i.e., using it in things that it’s added to that then turn it into, what? An intoxicating substance.
The issue with regard to it [is then] like [that of] grapes, raisins, or other than that. The default ruling for [those] is what? Permissibility. The default ruling for this is what? Permissibility.
A single nutmeg, were you to eat it, you wouldn’t become intoxicated, or were you to drink it, if it were [in the form of something] to be drunk. Clear? This is it, [then]. May Allāh bless you.
It’s only the evil usage of it that has made some responsible authorities, at some time or another [in the past], [make] it illegal here [in Saudi Arabia], not to be sold by apothecaries or herbalist. It was not to be sold. Because some people would use it for things that are not allowed—for things that are not … allowed. May Allāh bless you.