It has been mentioned that some soft drinks, like Pepsi, may contain a small percentage of alcohol. Although it is not established, some people have become doubtful about their ruling. The Scholars have ruled that soft drinks are permissible even if it is proven that they may contain a small percentage of alcohol.
Shaikh al-Albani rahimahullah said:
“…So these drinks which have come in the question like Pepsi and the likes of it, if they have something of alcohol in them, then it does not make it an intoxicant and therefore it is not impure. So it is permissible to drink it, however it is not allowed to make it…” [Fatawa a-Juddah no. 20 Side B]
Shaikh Bin Baz rahimahullah said:
“As for Pepsi, juice, and malt drinks, there is no harm in these. There is no alcohol in them…[nothing] that intoxicates. There is no harm in drinking them. Almost ten years has passed, rather more than twenty years approximately and there was a discussion between some of these companies about it. It was written that in Pepsi and it derivatives there is something of alcohol and intoxicants. Then after verifying, nothing of that was affirmed. So it is safe. And the people have not ceased to have it and drink it a lot and no one was affected by that. No intoxication nor any lethargy. So the statement that it is prohibited is a statement without any origin nor any argument for it”
The Permanent Committee has said that Pepsi and Super Cola are permissible here:
Shaikh Bin Baz rahimahullah also said:
“The principle in this is like what the Prophet (ﷺ) said:
ما أسكر كثيره فقليله حرام
If a large amount of anything causes intoxication, a small amount of it is prohibited [Saheeh Sunan Abi Dawood no. 3681]
So if a lot of that intoxicates and changes the intellect, then a small amount is prohibited. As for if the amount is very little, which does not intoxicate in large amounts, then there is no harm in that and it does not harm. This is the Legislated principle, whether that be a drink or food. If a large amount intoxicates, then a small amount is prohibited. If a large amount does not intoxicate, it is not prohibited. Not a large amount nor a small amount, whether it be food or drink“.
Shaikh Yahya ibn Ali al-Hajoori hafidhuhallah said:
“Some of the researchers in this issue, and it is Doctor Muhammad ibn Ali al-Baar in his book titled: Mawqif as-Shar’i wa Tibbi minl-Tadaawi bil-Kuhool wal-Tadaawi bil-Mukhadaraat, mention that some drinks like Pepsi,(cola) as they call it, does not dissolve/liquefy itself except with alcohol. However, it disappears and has no origin in it [the drink] due to the what is placed in it of water and other things. So like this, it is not haram to use it and drink it and the People of Knowledge have not passed the verdict that it is prohibited…”
[Ajwibatul-Radiyyah ‘ala Asilatut-Tibyyah pg. 17-18]
And Allah Knows Best
Faisal Ibn Abdul Qaadir Ibn Hassan