Alcohol (also known as Ethanol or Ethyl Alcohol) is a food but requires no digestion. Like other drugs, it acts on many organs in the body but has no cellular receptors. It is stable in the atmosphere to any chemical change, where as all other foods will undergo some kind of decomposition. It is the only food produced solely by microbial action beside the synthetic alcohol. Alcohol and water mix in every solution, including blood. Once alcohol enters the body, it is easily penetrated into the brain and it will provide a sequential depressant action on the central nervous system. We know this fact from our Holy Book, the Quran, where Allah says: O ye who believe! Draw not near unto prayer when you are in a state of intoxication until you know what you utter (4:43). Use of alcohol in a food product is prohibited.
Ethanol or alcohol has the quality of making a person drunk. If alcohol is distilled out from wine or beer, a flavored solution is left behind. That solution does not have the same quality as alcohol resulting in the sequential depressant action on the central nervous system. Date juice is allowed to drink before it is fermented as reported in Sahee Bukhari. Thus the prohibition of alcoholic beverages in Islam is due to the presence of alcohol in those beverages. Many Muslim scientists wrote about alcohol in many books and magazines. They all agreed that alcohol is Haram without even mentioning the sources.. Alcohol is produced through alcoholic fermentation of material containing sugar or starch. Starch first has to breakdown into sugar and sugar is then fermented by yeast which converts it into ethyl alcohol or ethanol and carbon dioxide (CO2). Molasses from sugar cane, beet sugar, wood sugar (sulphite lye), fruits, berries are the raw material used to produce alcohol. Starchy products such as cereal, rice, corn and potato are also used as a raw material to produce alcohol. Alcohol obtained from fermentation is subject to separation, concentration and distillation. The chemical name of alcohol is ethanol and C2H5OH is the chemical formula. So alcohol obtained from above sources has the same chemical formula and has the same quality of providing a sequential depressant action on the central nervous system. There is no chemical and physical difference between alcohols obtained from grape or corn. So the statement that alcohol is Haram only from grape and dates does not hold up scientifically.