Can I use red wine vinegar in cooking?
I live in London. And I come across meals that have (spirit vinegar, red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar or cider vinegar) among the ingredients. My question is, can I as a Muslim eat those meals or not? And can I use them in cooking?
Vinegar is generally lawful [halal] based on the words of the Prophet (pbuh): "Vinegar is the best sauce" [Recorded by Ahmed and At-Tirmdhi. Acetification is that process in which a liquid transforms from bitterness into acid. Based on this, if wine or any other liquid has transformed into vinegar, whether by itself or manufactured, it is lawful [to consume).
The fact that it contains this negligent amount of alcohol, does not make it unlawful. This is because any drink that has been mixed with a minute amount of an intoxicant, does not lead to intoxication even if one consumes large quantities of the drink. The drink is lawful and does not fall under the prohibition mentioned in the primary texts.