The mere smell of wine does not lead to intoxication and it is not considered as drinking as it does not cloud one’s mind. But it is preferable for a Muslim to avoid situations where he is surrounded by drunk people.
- The smell of a drunk person;
- The effect of the smell of wine.
It is well known that unbelievers drink heavily on occasions. Muslims using public transport, which is often congested, will inevitably smell the wine as the others breathe. If this takes place for some time it might affect the Muslim passenger who has not taken an intoxicating drink. What is the ruling on this?
If a Muslim can avoid using public transport with unbelievers then this would be preferable. However, if he has to use such transport the smell of their breath does not intoxicate and it is not considered drinking. This is the view of the Permanent Committee for Research and Fatwa in Saudi Arabia.
The mere smell that does not lead to intoxication cannot be considered drinking. The reason for prohibiting drinking is to ensure that one does not cloud one’s mind. If this does not happen, then what is prohibited does not occur. However, when there is no need it is better to avoid such a situation.
- Fatawa by the Permanent Committee for Research and Fatwa.
- Mut’ib al-Qahtani (ed.), Is'af al-Mughtaribin bi Fatawa al-'Ulama’ al-Rabbaniyyin.
- Fatawa, the Permanent Committee for Research and Fatwa, vol. 22, p. 86. Fatwa No. 18,074.