Indonesia’s top Islamic body says it may forbid followers from drinking the world’s most expensive coffee — extracted from the dung of a civet cat — over concerns it is unclean.
Kopi Luwak is made from hard beans that have been eaten by the nocturnal critters and then fermented in their stomachs before being pooped out and roasted.
It’s highly prized for its smooth flavor and bitterless aftertaste, sometimes fetching well over $200 a pound ($440 per kilogram) online.
Maruf Amien, acting head of the powerful Ulema Council, said a ruling on whether Muslims should be banned from drinking the brew could be made as early as Tuesday.
He said the key issue is whether or not the coffee is clean.
dung, AP via Fox News, July 19, 2010 — Summarized by Religion News Blog
Ma’aruf Amin, chairman of the Indonesian Council of Ulama (MUI), said it would meet with Nahdlatul Ulama, Indonesia’s largest Muslim organization, on Tuesday night to discuss issuing a ban against the flourishing industry.
NU member Arwani Faishal, meanwhile, said it was his opinion that the coffee was najis. Under Islamic law, najis are things or persons regarded as ritually unclean.
“But that is only my personal opinion,” Faishal said.
Contact with najis brings a Muslim into a state of ritual impurity (najasat), which requires undergoing purification before performing religious duties, such as regular prayers.
Indonesian Muslim groups have been criticized for issuing a raft of fatwa covering the spectrum of human behavior though they have no legal standing and are often ignored by most.