Saudi Scholar Warns Alcohol in Bio Fuel is a Sin

News article, posted 03.24.2010, from United Arab Emirates, in:
Source:
Al-Arabiyah

A prominent Saudi scholar warned youths studying abroad of using ethanol or other fuel that contains alcohol in their cars since they could be committing a sin, local press reported Thursday.



Sheikh Mohamed Al-Najimi, member of the Saudi Islamic Jurisprudence Academy, based his statement on a saying by the prophet that prohibited all kinds of dealings with alcohol including buying, selling, carrying, serving, drinking, and manufacturing, the Saudi newspaper Shams reported Thursday.



Saudi and Muslim youth studying abroad would violate the prohibition if they used bio fuel, he said, since it “is basically made up of alcohol.” Majimi stressed that his statement should not be considered an official fatwa, but is rather a personal opinion. He noted that this is an important issue that needs to be studied by the relevant religious bodies.



Mohamed al-Najimi said since ethanol is alcohol is it prohibited for Muslims to use in their cars. Bio fuel is becoming increasingly popular in the West for its relatively low price and as an environmentally-friendly source of energy.



In the past few years, millions of organic-fuel cars have been manufactured in Europe, the United States, Brazil, China, and India. Bio fuel is derived from recently dead biological material. Bio fuel is manufactured by growing plants that are high in sugar, like sugar cane or sugar beet, or high in starch, like maize. The sugar or starch is then converted into cellular energy by using yeast fermentation to produce ethyl alcohol, or ethanol, which is also found in alcoholic beverages.