Nike, Nutmeg and food wax

Mar 2, 2022 | Miscellaneous



I had a couple questions and I really hope you can answer them as I tried to ask on other sites but it would not work out.

Firstly, I recently read that wearing clothes that are brand names of kafir people are forbidden and can be kufr. Thus, I have a question about a college I have been thinking of completing a degree in but it is named after a kafir person. Is this permissible as I am not sure if their name will be on the certificates and such. I would like some clarification on this matter so I know how to be safe and also not to be extreme in the matter. Also, adidas is a brand whose name is after the owner who combined both letters of his first and last name into the company name. I believe Nike is not permissible to wear after reading several fatwa on the matter. Again, some clarifications on this topic would be helpful.

Secondly, I have a question about nutmeg. Basically, I learned it is haram by some scholars and also permissible in small amounts by others. I feel like I should be on the safer side, so I avoid nutmeg. My concern is that the halal restaurants serve food with nutmeg as it is a spice in foods like shawarmas, some gyros, kabobs, rice, allspice…. I stopped eating at restaurants not serving zabiha meat but now I do not know if I should avoid eating at halal restaurants for their use of nutmeg in many products. Sometimes, when I reach out – they do not respond if they do or do not. Should I inquire? It’s in a lot of Arab and Pakistani dishes and masalas. So what is a good approach to this? I know the food won’t intoxicate me but I cannot get myself to eat foods with it when some scholars say it is haram.

Thirdly, when I have a question about something like about permissibility of photography, hijab or niqab, nutmeg or no nutmeg, facial hair removal for women and more – there are different positions. How do I approach this? Do I choose the safest side for all of them or do I follow the position that makes most sense to me? For example, I personally agree with the fatwas giving permissibility on photography and I think what someone takes a picture of and what they do with it can be haram but I am scared to take pictures because of the other fatwa and scholars who mention the curse of Allah and the punishment for imagemakers. This is something I would really like an answer to so I know what to do. Sometimes, some fatwa will say a certain action would invalidate salah whilst others say it does not and so, I think I typically follow the safest option. Is this right or should I choose what makes sense to me more?

Finally, in the United States – food wax is applied to vegetables and fruits and other foods. Some of the wax is made with ethanol ( I guess as a solvent – Allahu ‘Alam) and some with lac-resin, maybe even both in some waxes. Some scholars say shellac is haram and some say not. This is widespread and I don’t know if I have to try and find out who produces the food and what wax they use but at the same time, it is kind of challenging as I don’t know. I read on a news site that “all the washing in the world” will not take the wax off. It can even be absorbed into the food even if we peel them. Some foods are difficult to peel like tomatoes before cooking. While, yes, it does not intoxicate – what should I do? I found very few fatwa on this and one said washing thoroughly is okay and another said they need to be peeled. Should I limit how much I use? Does this not render the food with najasah?

JazakAllahu Khair. I really hope you can answer these four questions. May Allah ‘Azzawajal reward and bless each of you abundantly and grant you happiness and success in this dunya and the akhirah. Ameen.


1. Wearing branded clothes of non-Muslims is permissible if the reason for wearing it is the quality or style of the clothing. As this is usually the reason for wearing such clothing, it would not be unlawful nor lead to disbelief. If however the intention was to imitate non-Muslims, or show respect to them or show off by wearing the clothing then one would be sinful for having that intention.
The same would apply to brand names like Nike and Adidas. In society today they are just taken as brand names and people purchase their products due to their quality or style. Hence, it would be permissible to buy clothing from these two brands.
Completing a degree in a college named after a certain person is permissible. You are attending that college to further your education and not to venerate that individual.

In summary you do not need to worry about why a particular institution or brand has been given a particular name as the names are just a means of identification.

2. In the Hanafi school nutmeg is permissible to consume in small, non-intoxicating amounts. For this reason you do not have to worry about avoiding all foods which may contain nutmeg. If you choose to adopt the more cautious view then that is up to you, however, it will come with the challenges which you have mentioned.

3. There are few points to bare in mind in this regard. Firstly, a person can only pick the opinion which they believe to be the most correct if they are qualified to make such a decision. To reach such a status one would have to spend their life studying and master numerous sciences of Islam which is not the capacity of most people. On the other hand, adopting the most cautious position, though maybe praiseworthy, may result for some people, in unnecessary hardship and difficulty and thus will result in one exaggerating in religious matters. There are four schools of Islamic jurisprudence in Islam. The best approach is to consistently follow one school. If there are differences within the scholars of your chosen school, then you should keep in contact with a particular Imam or scholar whom you trust and follow their opinion on the matter.

4. We consider shellac to be permissible. As for the ethanol in the wax, as the content will be extremely low to a point which could never intoxicate a person it would not be rendered unlawful. There is also a level of difficulty in removing the wax from all products.

الدر المختار وحاشية ابن عابدين (رد المحتار) (6/ 361)
ويجعله لبطن كفه في يده اليسرى وقيل اليمنى إلا أنه من شعار الروافض فيجب التحرز عنه قهستاني وغيره. قلت: ولعله كان وبان

قوله ولعله كان وبان) أي كان ذلك من شعارهم في الزمن السابق، ثم انفصل وانقطع في هذه الأزمان، فلا ينهى عنه كيفما كان. وفي غاية البيان قد سوى الفقيه أبو الليث في شرح الجامع الصغير بين اليمين واليسار، وهو الحق؛ لأنه قد اختلفت الروايات عن رسول الله – صلى الله تعالى عليه وسلم – في ذلك وقول بعضهم إنه في اليمين من علامات أهل البغي ليس بشيء، لأن النقل الصحيح عن رسول الله – صلى الله تعالى عليه وسلم – ينفي ذلك اهـ وتمامه فيه

الدر المختار وحاشية ابن عابدين (رد المحتار) (4/ 42)
وبه علم أن المراد الأشربة المائعة، وأن البنج ونحوه من الجامدات إنما يحرم إذا أراد به السكر وهو الكثير منه، دون القليل المراد به التداوي ونحوه كالتطيب بالعنبر وجوزة الطيب، ونظير ذلك ما كان سميا قتالا كالمحمودة وهي السقمونيا ونحوها من الأدوية السمية لأنه حشيش، أما السكر منه فحرام.

Answered by:
Ifta Research Fellow

Checked & Approved by:
Mufti Abdul Rahman Mangera
Mufti Zubair Patel