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It's long been my dream to be a pastry chef. I haven't told my parents yet, but I recently told my older brother. He respected my interests, but he doesn't completely welcome the idea.

He pointed out that pastry includes working with alcohol (certain recipes ask for a dash of wine etc). I am fully aware of this, but of course, I do not intend to use alcoholic substances in any form if ever I decide to pursue a career in pastry and baking.

So my exact question is: is it possible to pursue pastry, even though I will sometimes have to use alcohol while learning in class? (Whenever possible, I will certainly use a substitute ingredient)

  • You asked for a sharia ruling. Sharia is the name given to rules given by Allah as his revelation from Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Since there were no pastry chef's at the time of Prophet (PBUH), you will not get any guidance in Sharia for it. The best you will get are scholar's opinions about it based on related matters. Please use your own judgment to determine which opinion is more logical. – goto Jun 3 '14 at 9:21
  • I apologise for this mistake on my part; I was not sure which tags to use and am fairly new to specific terms – Laila Jun 5 '14 at 13:27
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Verse Surah Al-Baqarah has:

They ask you about wine and gambling. Say, "In them is great sin and [yet, some] benefit for people. But their sin is greater than their benefit." And they ask you what they should spend. Say, "The excess [beyond needs]." Thus Allah makes clear to you the verses [of revelation] that you might give thought.

One should ask what is the sin here, and what is also the benefit; the sin is intoxication where one loses ones faculty for judgement; and addiction where one has lost self-control. The benefits are medicinal - its used in certain medical preparations.

I hadn't known that its used in pastry cooking; but its not used there to make one intoxicated but to help in the making of pastry - it benefits it; and it certainly isn't a danger to you or to anyone else.

Having said all this, I can understand your hesitation & unease because of the symbolic power of alcohol has in Islamic culture; but one must use some thought here; and I expect in the future situations like this will be much more easily understood.

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Alcohol in food has been a very discussed subject. Many scholars prohobit it but personally I don't consider alcohol in food being "Alcohol" because the amount of food you need to eat to get drunk is by far more that what your stomach can support. So if you eat a small amount of that food you won't be drunk, if you eat a lot of it you won't be drunk either. I don't see how this can be considered alcohol anymore. And for your concerns about using or touching alcohol, you use it for healing your wounds when you get cut so...

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