Shafaqna (Shia International News Association) – The Grand Ayatollah Sistani answered some questions regarding Alcohol.According to Shafaqna the questions and answers are as follows:
Question: What is your opinion about the beer (Maa al-Sha’eir) which is sold on the market normally with a label that reads “alcohol free”.
Answer: The drink that is made from barley and called “Fuqa’ in Arabic is definitely forbidden and ritually impure as an obligatory precaution. This drink is not intoxicant normally but it makes one feel tipsy; that is a state of slight drunkenness caused apparently by low percentage of alcohol in the liquid.
Therefore, if a drink is produced alcohol free in the first place and it is not called “Fuqa” (beer), there is no problem, or else, it is forbidden even if alcohol is separated from it. God knows best!
Question: Is Ethanol of the family of alcohol that causes drunkenness? What about using this and other families of alcohol that are synthesized from petroleum and are used in perfume, medicine etc? Are they najis and cannot be used during prayer?
Answer: According to Grand Ayatullah Sistani alcohol is taher (ritually clean) but it is not permissible to drink it. Using perfume and medicines mixed with alcohol is permissible.
Question: Is it permissible to socialize or accept invitations from Muslims that are involved in business like selling alcoholic beverages and pork?
Answer: There is no problem.
Question: Is it permissible to consume alcohol or drugs for medical purposes?
Answer: It is permissible to use them to the extent required for treatment.
Question: What is the fatwa regarding the use of perfumes on which it is “alcoholic”? Are these kinds of perfumes Najis and is it permissible to use them?
Answer: Such perfumes are clean and it is permissible to use them.
Question: What is the ruling concerning the alcohol found in some dental products like mouthwash and others?
Answer: It is clean.
Source: Ayatollah Sistani