Is it permissible to eat vinegar?

Details of the Question
Is it permissible to eat vinegar?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

It is mentioned in many hadiths that vinegar is halal. For instance, according to what is reported from Jabir, three pieces of bread were put in front of the Prophet (pbuh). The Prophet took one piece, gave one piece to Jabir and divided the other piece into two and shared it. Then, he said,

“Is there anything to eat with bread?” They said,

"No, but there is some vinegar."

The Prophet said, “Bring it; vinegar is a very nice condiment.” (Muslim, Ashriba, 164-169; Abu Dawud, At’ima 40; Tirmidhi, At’ima 35; Nasai, Ayman 21)

The Prophet (pbuh) states the following in another hadith:

“What a blessed condiment vinegar is. O Allah, bless vinegar, for it was the condiment of the Prophets before me, and no house will ever be poor in which there is vinegar.” (Ibn Majah, At’ima 33,  no: 3318)

According to Khattabi, when the Prophet (pbuh) praised vinegar as a condiment, he actually praised thriftiness about food, avoiding waste and gluttony and keeping away from eating a lot. He says prefer vinegar and cheap and available condiments to others. Do not get used to eating expensive food. For, substantial, heavy food increases lust; lust is harmful to the religion and the body.  

After quoting this interpretation of Khattabi’s, Nawawi makes the following explanation: “What is right is to accept that statement in its literal sense. The hadith praises vinegar. As for being thrifty about food and avoiding indulging in the desires of the soul, they are understood from other narrations.” (see Nawawi, Sharhu Muslim, the explanation of the relevant hadith)

Sindi writes the following in summary about the sentence of the hadith praising vinegar: The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) stated that vinegar could be used as a condiment and that it was a nice condiment. However, his purpose is not to say that vinegar is better than and superior to condiments like milk, meat, honey and soup. The reason for that statement is to state that the vinegar presented to him was suitable for being a condiment. (see Sünen-i İbni Mâce Tercemesi ve Şerhi, Kahraman Yayınları, 9/71-72)

The sentence at the end of the hadith "no house will ever be poor in which there is vinegar " can be interpreted as a prayer and wish. That is, it is a prayer meaning "May the people of such a house never get poor!" Besides, it is possible to interpret it as follows: The people of a house where there is vinegar will not have problems in terms of condiment because vinegar can be used as a condiment. (see Sünen-i Ebu Davud Terceme ve Şerhi, Şamil Yayınevi: 13/453)

Vinegar is among the condiments liked and praised by the Prophet (pbuh). For, it is easy to find and it is economical. It is a condiment eaten by contented people.

To sum up, all of the properties explained by scholars and found through scientific methods today may have been meant by the hadiths.

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