Category Archives: Principles of Fiqh

Traditionalists’ vs Traditionalism

[By Samir Hussain]

بسم الله الرحمان الرحيم

This is a very important piece that I should have written a long time ago, but in the end Allah’s will is supreme.

Traditionalism as understood in this article is the collective amalgamate of Sunni theological, legal and spiritual traditions. In theology, the Ash’ari, Maturidi and Athari traditions in theology, the Hanafi, Maliki, Shafii and Hanbali traditions in fiqh, and mystical and non-mystical understandings of tasawwuf either via a tariqah or independently of them.

Traditionalists as understood in this article are those who claim either be in support of, part of or participating in tradition and traditionalism as outlined above.

As the name of this article suggests, I want to discuss a sentiment that is increasingly common among many Muslims today, which is the de-legitimization of tradition and traditionalism as a valid and useful means of understanding Islam and defining Islamic orthodoxy and normative understandings. As I have come to observe, much of this is done for two reasons: either due to a harmful attachment to modernism and liberalism inspired by Western/Eurocentric cultural and political hegemony, or a disillusionment with the varied and increasingly public gaffes of many traditionalists.

As such, I want to explain two things in this article:

  • That traditionalism is not just a useful means of understanding Islam, but rather that it is THE authoritative means by which to understand Islam.
  • That the mistakes of many traditionalists in either understanding of applying tradition is not indicative of the weakness of tradition and traditionalism in and of itself.

So why is traditionalism the ideal candidate by which to understand Islam?

Firstly, Sunni intellectual tradition serves as a direct or indirect commentary to the sacred texts of Islam – the Qur’an and the Sunnah. The primacy of the Qur’an and the Prophetic Sunnah in understanding Islam and forming an authentic and normative Islamic ontology should be an a priori understanding for every Sunni Muslim. Any attempt to understand Islam without giving primacy to the Qur’an and Sunnah is not an attempt to understand Islam as a religion, rather it is something else.

So, for example, understanding Islamic history or Islamic political theory to be a primary paradigm by which to understand Islam itself is not approaching the question from a theological or religious studies perspective, it is rather a historical or political one. Yes, Islamic history or political theory are useful secondary extractions from the Qur’an and Sunnah by which we can add to our understanding of the sacred texts themselves, but they are not the primary ontologies by which we begin to understand Islam. The Qur’an makes this clear on numerous occasions, giving primacy to obeying the Creator and his Prophet as a characterizing feature of being a believer:

O believers! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority among you. Should you disagree on anything, then refer it to Allah and His Messenger, if you ˹truly˺ believe in Allah and the Last Day. This is the best and fairest understanding. [4:59]

Therefore, Sunni intellectual tradition, since its claim to the normative is based on being true – in varying degrees – to this ontological premise, acts as a sort of intellectual means to understand the Quran and Sunnah. If the Sunnah is to be understood as Prophetic commentary on the Quran – as per Shafii parlance, then Sunni intellectual tradition is a resulting meta-commentary on both.

So, this is establishing the utility of tradition and traditionalism purely from an epistemological perspective. And it is in my view, an inescapable truth. Not only does the verse of the Qur’an quoted above in its mention of authority – widely understood to be referring to intellectual authority – implicitly state this, but one observes that even those who attempt to deconstruct tradition such as those of anti-madhhab Salafis/Ahul-Hadithpersuasion, or progressive Muslims attempting to challenge the authority of tradition find no means to do so except by referring to the tradition itself.

Indeed the fact that it comes across as ridiculously unscientific, unsophisticated, arrogant and disingenuous to claim a normative understanding of Islam that is not based in any way on any previous understanding is enough of a proof in itself, as that would indicate that 1400+ years of Muslim understanding of the sacred texts was incorrect. Most Sunni Muslims with enough understanding foundational themes of the Qur’an would instantly rebuke such an attempt, unless it was veiled and hidden away effectively enough – which would amount to deception.

The second argument to be made in favor of traditionalism is its pedagogical utility. An effective pedagogy to learn an intellectual construct must by necessity be based on the ontology that the same construct is based on. For example, if we suggest that the better means by which to understand the natural sciences is a more empirical approach grounded in some sort of scientific method, a scientific education that did not comprise of some participating in laboratory experiments and methodological practicums would be an undoubtedly poor scientific education.

In a similar vein, traditionalism must form a substantial part of any effective pedagogy for studying and learning Sunni Islam. And by simply analyzing the different fields of study that make up the Sunni intellectual tradition, one can easily understand why it is so effective. Take the emphasis in most traditional curricula on the Arabic language i.e. the sciences of Arabic literature, syntax, morphology and rhetoric is a highly logical approach to understanding sacred text presented in the Arabic language, and that purports itself to be miraculously worded, and ontologically comprehensive. Or the emphasis on usul-ul-fiqh and mustalah al-hadith, the very sciences designed to filter out accurate understandings of sacred text from inaccurate ones. Lastly of course is the emphasis on direct study of the resulting extraction of fiqh that the above is based on, as well as direct study of tafsir and hadith themselves.

In this way, no pedagogical approach is able to overcome subjects of traditional study in their utility of understanding Islam, unless it incorporates traditional study itself because these subjects by their very nature are founded on a direct interaction with the sacred texts themselves.

The third argument to be made in favor of traditionalism is its decolonial utility. A commonly understood problem in Islamic academia whether salafi, traditional or contemporary is the obstacle of colonial or post-colonial influence on Islamic understandings. These are often considered foreign, malignant and insidious intrusions into Islamic thought whose main concern was to undermine authentic Islamic understandings, deconstruct Islamic intellectual culture, and dismantle Islamic civilization from within to render it politically impotent and thus unable to ideologically withstand the onslaught of European imperialism.

Intellectual tradition, therefore, a preserved continuation of the Islamic intellectual legacy, has immense utility in delineating where an Islamicate understanding of Islam ends, and when a foreign imposed or unwittingly abstracted-in understanding of Islam begins. Otherwise there is no other way to isolate colonial and post-colonial influence, as ill-intentioned Orientalist or Islamophobe understandings of Islam also utilize sacred text with which to mount their assault against Islam and Muslims. Most contemporary academics in Islamic Studies – Muslim or non-Muslim – have understood this, and it’s only a rare few who persist in trying to put forward an anti-traditional narrative which ends up contributing little to nothing substantial in our understanding of Islam.

In conclusion, Sunni intellectual tradition is critical to understanding Islam (i.e. Sunni Islam for the majority of Muslims who consider Sunni Islam to be the authentic understanding of Islam in opposition to Shi’i Islam). It is why to this day, those who do not have a sufficient academic background in the traditional Islamic disciplines will always fail to accurately, academically and intelligently delineate what exactly Islam is and what it isn’t, rendering any applicative effort on their part to understand an extra-Islamic idea, philosophy or ideology to be weak and quite often wrong.

Any Muslim who wishes to pursue research in anything ‘Islamic’ whether it be for the purpose of activism, academia or polemics, must be proficient at some level in the Islamic tradition for their work to be efficient, productive and contributive to the Islamic tradition and Muslims as a whole. Otherwise, when the definition of Islam is itself of low resolution and ill-defined, there is a high risk of denying that which can be correctly defined as ‘Islamic’ or approving of that which can be correctly defined as ‘unIslamic’ in whatever pursuit they are engaged in.

In my humble opinion, it is worse to be purposefully weak in the Islamic tradition and engage in such work, rather than to serve Islam intellectually while being deficient in the understanding of the tradition. I use the word ‘purposefully’ here for a reason: to demonstrate that these individuals always have the option for acquiring a traditional Islamic Studies background via the many local and online educational services available today. Learning Islam has never been easier, and it’s a disservice to themselves and to the community for them to speak about Islam without sufficient knowledge of it, not to mention a grave sin as understood by almost all traditional scholars of Islam.

The problem with traditionalists

Just like how Muslims do not necessarily indicate a causatively linked problem within Islam, neither do the mistakes of traditionalists necessarily indicate a causatively linked problem with traditionalism. Unfortunately, many Muslims seem to have done just that, which is to not understand tradition and traditionalism before debating the problems with traditionalists. This has resulted in many Muslims believing traditionalism to be outdated, problematic or unnecessary. Let us discuss some of these mistakes and understand why this conclusion is untrue:

1) Poor political acumen – Ever since the Arab Spring – for our generation at least – traditionalists have been under intense scrutiny by both ‘religious’ and ‘secular’ Muslims for their betrayal of the public in correcting the course of Muslim states headed by corrupt, despotic and oppressive leaders and their respective bureaucracies. Many a traditional scholar has been rightfully ‘exposed’ often in self-incriminating rhetoric or guilt by association in their support, aid or cooperation with rulers who have otherwise caused much grief to either their own constituents or others in Muslims lands.

But the truth – as most students of traditional knowledge know from experience with their teachers – is that this is not true of all traditional scholars. Many are the scholars who have left positions with the government or avoided joining them to prevent themselves from being taken to account by the Creator. Still too are the many scholars such as in Malaysia, India, Turkey or Qatar who do have a voice and use it quite effectively.

One should also not forget how many scholars either sit behind bars or are afraid to voice their political views out of fear of being thrown in jail or worse. Others have chosen the ‘wiser’ approach, engaging in rectification of Muslim minds or giving subtle reminders to rulers, realizing that a drastic public engagement with these tyrants is often unproductive or even destructive. It is unwise and foolish to judge an entire scholastic community with the examples of just a handful of outwardly problematic figures.

The poor political choices made by some do not demonstrate any problem with traditionalism, rather they demonstrate a poor grasp of politics and dealing with politicians in general, or a general naivete in dealing with practical problems that the ummahfaces. Also, academically minded people in general don’t always have a good sense for the viciousness of politics. This leads us into our next point.

2) Intellectual ossification and traditionalist culture – One of the core problems of traditionalists is their fear of change in the tradition. Brought about by a century and a half’s worth of unhealthy exposure to the rhetoric and antagonism of foreign colonial powers and Muslim liberals, secularists, modernists, progressives and salafis, many traditionalists have retreated into their own bubbles and isolationist ideologies, fearing rebellious and drastic measures by some to either drastically revise or effectively neuter tradition.

But a contemporary understanding of Islam that is effective in demonstrating the sophistication, applicability, utility and relevance of Islamic tradition – as well as granting it philosophical and civilizational strength, power and transformative capability – must by necessity incorporate elements of the contemporary world.

Tradition MUST continue to evolve, and traditionalists MUST be a part of that process. In fact such an understanding is clearly demonstrated in the early half of Islamic history. Otherwise the people who will be most involved are the same people lacking a traditional background that are intruding into Islamic understandings in the first place.

An absence of this understanding has contributed to a traditionalist ‘culture’ in many places. Although now it is starting to change alhamdulillah, for the most part most traditionalist scholars and institutions display a strong disregard and dismissal of the need for traditional knowledge to be combined with contemporary fields of study. The most effective example of this is the Islamic seminary. Although seminaries – especially the larger ones – should be applauded for their excellent traditional curricula. But the graduates emerge with an intellectual chasm obstructing them from the mind and life of the contemporary Muslim. Not only have they been locked away in a seminary for years, they will often enter the world of religious work – being an Imam or otherwise that will continue to isolate them from real people and real-world experience. This leads us into our next point.

3) A poor grasp of the contemporary world – Most traditionalist students and scholars unfortunately do not end up learning much about the contemporary world. Although they do acquire systematic knowledge and understanding of traditional Islamic knowledge, very few will do so for the natural or social sciences. Few are those also who will study tradition but continue to live and exist in the real world.

This creates an understanding of tradition that is irrelevant and disconnected to Muslims, thus cutting them off from tradition and rendering them vulnerable to ideologies such as salafism, liberalism and progressivism.

Traditional curricula must be merged together with contemporary ones. The mutakallim who hasn’t studied contemporary epistemology and philosophy of logic and language, the faqih who lacks a systematic understanding of contemporary law and ethics, and the muhaddith who falls short in contemporary historical method and critique will all be somewhat capable in their own fields, but will be unable to deliver much to the average educated Muslim who is in desperate need of relevancy and applicability in their Islam.

Ignoring this problem may be intellectually convenient for many, but it will result in a failure to bring back a globally significant Islamic civilization and renders any hope for a future Islamic state or polity useless and fantastical. It is also without precedent – Muslim Imams and scholars were known not just for their mastery of traditional Islamic disciplines, but also of their polymathic abilities across different fields, whether they be philosophy, Greek metaphysics, medicine, mathematics or even the social sciences in rare examples like Ibn Khaldun.

4) Traditionalists without tradition –Another problem common in many traditionalists is a poor understanding of traditionalism, leaving them traditionalists in name only rather than substance. If you read this article, you will see an example where traditionalists are not following the example of Imams that they themselves champion and portray as legendary intellectual figures.

There are many other examples of this. Students of fiqh who don’t understand how fiqh evolved over time or who over-utilize شذوذ from the madhhabs, students of kalam and usul who can’t think logically, understand the effects of their philosophical environments and make irrevocably ridiculous claims, students of hadith who deny the authenticity of Bukhari or students of the Arabic language who can’t understand the difference between linguistic and legal analysis.

Seminaries themselves are often at fault for this. Attempting to squeeze traditional curricula into a crowd-pleasing space of 4 or 5 years is a disaster in the making. I personally have met students who have completed a study of the Hanafi fiqhmanual al-Hidayah, as well as attended readings of the six famous hadith texts, yet have barely studied a text or so in usul-ul-fiqh, Arabic syntax, rhetoric or literature. Students who emerge from such poorly designed and destructive curricula are effectively drones, not muftis or scholars as they are often celebrated to be. For intellectually sophisticated madhhabs such as the Hanafi and Maturidi schools, this is a neutered education where the graduate bears little resemblance to the traditional legacy he or she claims to have studied and become a part of.

This is of course, not even mentioning the many Muslims who characterize themselves as ‘traditionalists’ but have little to show in terms of traditional study, understanding or character.

5) Ego – Lastly, and probably the most unfortunate characteristic common in some traditionalists, is the ego and poor adab that naturally accompanies all the previous problems listed. As traditionalists are forced to defend their contracted understanding of tradition, they often develop ego problems out of their constant defense and debate for the sake of what they rightly perceive is the best way to study and understand Islam.

I have seen it all unfortunately – whether it be a takfirist attitude towards Imam ibn Taymiyyah and salafis in general, an exclusionary attitude towards Atharis and Hanbalis, a fondness for overly conservative and ‘hard’ positions on social issues, a resistance to being corrected on the aforementioned, or a condescending perspective towards the common public or those who find it difficult to understand the importance of traditionalism.

And this is in stark contrast to many of traditionalist legends in tasawwuf and character. Those how demonstrated a softness towards the average Muslim and a resentment to judging others too harshly. It’s problematic nature could also be compared to our jadal tradition and openness to critique that many of the early Imams possessed.

In conclusion, these problems show not a problem with traditionalism, but that many traditionalists are not good examples of how traditionalism should look like in a scholar. There are numerous historical, political and social reasons for these problems, and they do not indicate that traditionalism in itself is necessarily a problem. If anything, they indicate that traditionalism manifested in its true form among traditionalists is what is really needed and missing.

And Allah is more knowing.

Betrayal of the Inheritance – Contemporary Muslim Scholars and the Jurisprudence of Capitulation

Numerous well known scholars have become interlocutors for the current regimes across the Middle East and Muslim countries, forsaking leadership of the oppressed in the name of a wisdom they claim monopoly over, promoting a perversion of normative Islamic thought under the guise of a traditional Islam that they have ceased to represent, if they ever did.

“The scholars are the inheritors of the Prophets”

Much has been written, by scholars and others, regarding the prohibition in Islamic jurisprudence of intentionally killing civilians. This has generally been considered an abuse of differences within the Islamic tradition regarding the rules and conduct of armed conflict (jihad). Consequently, those groups and individuals who carry out and subsequently try to justify such actions with reference to that tradition are cast as perversions completely outside of the bounds of legitimate Islamic rulings (ijtihad). This is unsurprising, as generally the underlying cause for such acts are emotional reactions to the circumstances rather than religious, meaning that the attempt at justification was secondary.

There is a separate strand of thought that belongs within a discursive tradition of support for the current regimes and governments across Muslim countries, which is also detrimental, destructive and divorced from the Islamic tradition. Just as those who justify killing civilians dress their acts in the robes of jihad, there are those who justify submission to and promotion of the current regimes across the Middle East and other Muslim countries using the dressing of what they would claim is the Islamic tradition regarding rebellion. Through their misrepresentation of this tradition, they contribute to helping the current regimes maintain their grip over the society while removing the space or any avenue for dissent. While they may claim to be upholding a Prophetic tradition, by forsaking leadership of the oppressed and instead becoming promoters of the status quo they thereby perpetuate oppression. They bear some responsibility for the bloodshed which can occur when others within society, who feel the brunt of that oppression and have lost trust in the scholars claim to Islamic authority,  consequently resort to indiscriminate violence in the perceived absence of practical alternatives.

This jurisprudence (fiqh) of perpetuating the contemporary status quo, what can be referred to as the jurisprudence of capitulation and submission (fiqh al-istislam), attempts to derive its legitimacy from a strand of opinion held by some Muslim scholars throughout history that favoured unity and stability over rebellion against a tyrannical ruler. What began as a minority view consolidated over time under the justification that maintaining overall unity of the Muslim polity (khilafaimama) was more important than the suitability of the leader of that polity. This strand became the mainstream position in later periods, but neither was it the sole position nor the simplistic caricature of submission to authority that it is being misrepresented as.

“And do not dispute (fight) with those in authority over power, unless you see a clear proof of sin/ of disbelief”

The differences over when rebellion against the ruler was justified centre around

a) what constituted a legitimate ruler in the first place,

b) at what point it was permitted to rebel against a legitimate ruler,

c) a form of cost-benefit analysis of rebelling against that ruler.

Auxiliary to this were the questions of

d) what was the view regarding those who decided to rebel when others adopted patience, and

e) what was the attitude towards the rulers taken by those who adopted patience rather than rebellion

Traditional normative Islam considered that the ruler was delegated by the society to rule them according to Islamic rules and norms. This delegation was to be carried out via the pledge of allegiance (bay`a), which was a contract between the ruler and the ruled that so long as the ruler abided by and implemented those Islamic rules and norms, they were to be followed and there was no justification for rebellion. This contract was to be entered into willingly by both sides.

If such a ruler had taken this bay`a by force, or was in origin an un-just person before taking the bay`a, there is a difference among scholars whether they could be considered legitimate thereafter. Those who did not recognise them as legitimate considered it obligatory to remove them, by force if necessary, and establish a just authority which had the consent of the people.

There is a divergence of opinion regarding when rebellion against a legitimate ruler is mandated – in other words, to rebel against someone who was originally just and appointed by the society via the mechanism of a consensual bay`a. Justification considered legitimate ranges from personal corruption such as drunkenness or other behaviour contrary to personal Islamic laws, to not enforcing Islamic rules and norms in public, to implementing rules contrary to Islam. While there were differences upon what justified rebellion if the ruler’s actions remained short of open disbelief in Islam, all agreed that when the ruler did an action that took them out of Islam, or contradicted fundamental Islamic beliefs openly, that rebellion was mandated.

The earlier generations were much more permissive as to when rebellion against the legitimate ruler was justified, with some companions fighting against the fourth caliph and son-in-law of the Prophet, Ali, due to their demands that he investigate and punish the killers of the third caliph, Uthman. It is clear that the cost-benefit analysis of rebellion was much more weighted towards what they considered were the benefits, namely the establishment of a more just rule. Within a generation, Ali’s grandson Husain refused to accept the authority of Yazid, resulting in another war among Muslims and ultimately led to the events of Karbala. Further similar wars followed, such as the rebellion of Zayd bin Ali which was supported by the Imam Abu Hanifa.

Ibn Hazm writes in al-muhalla that the opinion that it was obligatory to physically remove a corrupted ruler by force was held by the mother of the believers Aisha, as well as by Talha, al-Zubair, Husain bin Ali, Abdullah bin al-Zubair among several other companions and the subsequent generation.

Abu Bakr al-Jassas mentions in his Quranic exegeses “and (Abu Hanifa’s) school of thought was well known to support fighting against oppression of despotic rulers

Abu Hanifa was not alone among the founders of the main four schools of thought within Sunni Islam to support rebellion against an oppressive ruler; it being the opinion which has been attributed to all four. In his history book, al-Tabari writes about how Imam Malik supported the rebellion of Muhammad bin Abdullah bin al-Hasan against the caliph al-Mansur – explicitly stating to those who came to him seeking advice about joining the rebellion given that they had already pledged themselves to al-Mansur – “You did so under duress, and there is no (validity for the) oath taken by anyone under duress”, giving a direct permission to join the rebellion.

With respect to the remaining two heads of the major schools of thought, al-Taftazani wrote “And according to al-Shafi`i, may Allah have Mercy upon him, the ruler is removed due to sinfulness and despotism”, while Qadi Abu al-Hasan related from Imam Ahmad that “Do not answer to or show respect towards those from among them (leaders) who calls to innovation, and you should remove them if you are able to”.

After the first four to five centuries of Islam, the majority position became more restrictive. The main justification was the belief that maintaining Islamic unity under a corrupted or oppressive legitimate Muslim ruler outweighed the strife and bloodshed (fitna)that may result from any rebellion in an attempt to replace them. It was in this way that the cost-benefit analysis of rebellion became more heavily weighted towards the costs of the rebellion as opposed to the gain of a better ruler.

This did not mean that such a rebellion would necessarily be illegitimate, but that unless a rebellion was sure to succeed with minimal upheaval and bloodshed, patience would be the wiser counsel until such a time that any rebellion was more capable to succeed.

The above can be summarised from ibn Hajr al-Asqalani’s commentary upon Sahih al-Bukhari where he mentions “and ibn al-tin relayed from al-Dawudi who said: The scholars view upon despotic rulers is that if it was possible to remove them without fitna or oppression, then it is obligatory to do so, otherwise patience is mandated. Some of them considered that it was not permitted to pledge allegiance to someone who was sinful (a fasiq) in the first place. If it is the case that they became despotic after being just, there is a difference over whether it was permitted to rebel against them, and the correct opinion is that it wasn’t permitted unless they committed an act of disbelief, in which case it became obligatory to rebel”

In his book based upon doctoral research carried out under the supervision of Professor Wahbah al-Zuhayli, Dr. Haikal concludes a section by narrating the opinions of classical scholars regarding their views around armed rebellion under three categories:

“1. The view that armed revolt is obligatory against every deviation of the ruler, whether it was an act of disbelief or less than that.

2. The view that the obligation to rebel is limited to the appearance of clear disbelief, while remaining obedient if there are deviation less than that, in which case rebellion would be forbidden.

3. And the view that it is permitted to rebel for reasons other than disbelief, based upon the argument that some of the companions did not participate in rebellion against oppression, while at the same time not criticising those who did.”

Given the divergence of opinions about when it was permissible to rebel against an oppressive ruler, from a legislative perspective on the one hand, and a consideration of capability on the other, it is not surprising that while one group engaged in armed rebellion others would refrain from joining. While each group would give counsel to and exhort the other, within mainstream opinion neither side would cast the other out of Islam nor consider that their view was illegitimate. Rather, the sympathies of those who preferred patience were with those who rebelled, and they would not openly support the oppressive ruler. The approach was to either speak out against the ruler if they were capable, or remain silent if not.

This is explicit in the views of the scholars that while it was obligatory to support a just ruler if they faced a rebellion, it was similarly obligatory to support a just leader of a rebellion against an unjust ruler, and otherwise to leave both sides without supporting either. In his Quranic exegesis, ibn Al-Arabi al-Maliki wrote “According to the transmission of Sahnun our scholars have said: Only fight alongside the just leader, irrespective if they were the original ruler or the one who rebelled against him. If neither are just, then withhold yourself unless you need to protect yourself, your wealth or the general Muslim population from oppression”.

“Whosoever comes to the gate of the Sultan will face fitna (by being corrupted), and whenever a slave of Allah seeks closeness to the ruler, he finds himself further from Allah

In contrast, while questions of the legitimacy of the ruler in normative Islam revolved around the question of suitability of the candidate to govern by Islam and the consent of the people, fiqh al-istislam considers the various assortment of (largely British created) monarchies and military junta that currently lead the post-Sykes-Picot nation-state Middle East as Islamically legitimate rulers in origin. Consequently they promote that the narrations, opinions and rules that apply to a legitimate caliph also apply to the current regimes, which is a totally untenable position.

While most conservative traditional views would view the revolutions in Syria, Egypt and Libya, among others such as the struggle in Palestine as legitimate expressions of resistance, fiqh al-istislamis the fiqh of a defeated mindset which delegitimises resistance to oppression and the continuing struggle against colonial and post-colonial regimes, denigrating those who resist them and advising them to do nothing except to submit, be patient and rectify oneself in a vacuum.

While most conservative traditional views would commemorate Husain bin Ali and his followers as martyrs for their stand, fiqh al-istislam claims that those seeking to remove current regimes are akin to the khawarij sect, or alternatively have been humiliated by Allah.

While most conservative traditional views would either speak against oppressive rulers such as Yazid or Hisham bin Abdul Malik, or at a minimum stay silent, fiqh al-istislam openly supports contemporary oppressive governments that have no Islamic legitimacy in origin.

While most conservative traditional views would encourage the people to enjoin the good and forbid the evil, while stopping short of open rebellion if success was not guaranteed, fiqh al-istislam enjoins submission, quietism and a culture of being apolitical upon the general population, at the same time as its scholarly adherents are being openly political in their public (supposedly apolitical) support for whichever regime they are seeking patronage from.

While the most conservative traditional views would counsel patience in the face of potential fitna to maintain the status quo of stability and unity of the Islamic people under their ruler, fiqh al-istislam perpetuates the disunity and chaos by upholding the system of nation states and their interlocutors, ensuring the maintenance of the secular post-colonial system in region.

You must enjoin the good, and you must forbid the evil, or Allah will make the worst of you sovereign over you, who will afflict you with the worst of punishments, until even the best of you raise their hands in prayer and it will not be answered”

The contemporary quietism promoted by such people is a uniquely modern phenomenon, and the call to remain silent and submissive or even support the rulers in this context has no precedent. If they considered that rebellion was not appropriate due to lack of capability, then they should at least speak out against the rulers and their wrongdoing wherever that may be. If they were unable to do that, then they should hate it in their hearts. Instead what is commonly seen is support for these rulers dressed in the robe of traditional Islam, while calling the people to focus upon themselves and spiritual enlightenment rather than taking any practical actions or speaking out.

Though proponents of fiqh al-istislam are not a monolith, for example ranging from those who almost gleefully support a regime crushing peaceful protesters to those who profess sadness at the loss of life, but they still nonetheless share the same underlying mentality of defeatism which they spread among the general population. If we are to accept that we are in a position of weakness, and incapable of removing and replacing these current rulers and the colonial states they maintain – and that we need to follow the example of the Prophet, peace be upon him, when the Muslims were in a position of weakness while in Mecca – then remember that neither the Prophet, nor the companions ever supported the Quraish or neglected to struggle for justice and call against their despotism and disbelief.

What we must not do is accept those who come to the Muslims dressed in the garb of scholars, with the eloquence of poets, and yet are promoting only defeatism. To return to the authentic Prophetic narration mentioned at the beginning of this article, Islamic scholarship is an inheritance from the Messengers. Whether for personal gain, or a misjudged appreciation of the circumstances, the creation and promotion of fiqh al-istislam is a betrayal of that inheritance, a modern innovation without precedent in Islamic tradition which is being exposed for the empty and corrupt ideology it is.

“The master of the martyrs is Hamza ibn Abdul Mattalib, and a man who stands (in front of) an oppressive ruler and enjoins the good and forbids the evil and so is killed for it”

A Brief Discussion on How the Classical Fuqaha based their Opinions

A good summary of how the classical scholars built their opinions – it is how we should think about Islam too:

“For imam Abū Ḥanīfah Islamic law is like an edifce. Before removing or replacing any of the bricks or making changes to the structure, imam Abū Ḥanīfah will always ask what would this change will have on the structure as a whole. If by removing a single brick the whole building is in jeopardy, imam Abū Ḥanīfah will leave the brick in place keeping in mind the interests of the whole edifice. It was due to his deep understanding of the workings of the shari’ah that the ḥadīth scholar Sulaymān ibn Mahrān al-A’mash (d. 148/765) said to imam Abū Ḥanīfah ‘you (the faqīhs) are the physicians of ḥadīth and we (the muḥaddith) are only pharmacists.’

At the heart of the matter is an attempt to accurately follow the sunna through means which will yield epistemic certainty (yaqīn) as opposed to probable knowledge (ẓann). For imam Abū Ḥanīfah, the principles induced (istiqrā) through a wide range of reading of the Qur’ān and ḥadīth is certain knowledge, whilst the narration of a lone narrator (khabr wāhid), even though it may be ṣaḥīḥ, does not hold the same surety and certainty. Hence in the case of a conflict between the two, the certain is given preference over the probable. Or to put it in another way, the sunna (spirit of the prophetic teaching) is given preference over the ḥadīth (the literal words of the Prophet).

Imam Abū Ḥanīfah rejects the ḥadīth, ‘A Muslim will not be killed in retribution for the murder of a non-Muslim,’ on the basis that it goes against a higher authority with stronger epistemic value i.e. the Qur’ān. His rejection of this otherwise perfectly sound ḥadīth is on the basis that it holds no sanctity for human life which is in contrary to the teachings of the Qurʾān and the established sunna, as Allah, says in the Qur’ān ‘You who believe! Fair retribution is proscribed for you in the case of murder,’ and ‘We prescribed for them in it: a life for a life.’

Imam Abū Ḥanīfah also rejects lone ḥadīth if it goes against an established practice. This established practice is not only connected to the practice of the people of Medina as imam Mālik would want us to believe. On the contrary, every major city had its own established practice. In his response to imam Mālik’s, above mentioned letter, al-Layth ibn Sa’d writes:

When something that the Companions of the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) [residing] in Egypt, the Levant and Iraq practiced during the reign of Abū Bakr, ‘Umar andʿ’Uthmān, and they [the Companions] i.e. (this world whilst still practicing this point, they [the caliphs] did not order [the people] to act on the contrary. We do not see it permissible for the Muslim mass to innovate an act upon which their predecessors from the Companions of the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) and the Successors did not practice although the Companions of the Prophet differed greatly whilst issuing religious verdicts.

Concerning combining two prayers in one time during heavy rain (which imam Mālik’s teacher Ibn Shihāb az-Zuhrī deemed to be correct), he further writes: The rain in the Levant is much more than the rain in Medina, the extent of which only Allah, knows. However not a single imam from them [i.e. the imams of the Levant] have combined [the prayers] on a rainy night although amongst them were Abū ʿUbayda ibn al-Jarrāḥ, Khālid ibn Walīd, Yazīd ibn Abī Sufyān, ʿAmr ibn al-Āṣ and Muʿādh ibn Jabal. It has reached us that the Prophet said, ‘The most knowledgeable amongst you regarding the lawful and unlawful is Muʿādh ibn Jabal. . . [Also amongst them were] Sharahbīl ibn Ḥasana, Abū’d-Dardāʾ and Bilāl ibn Rabāḥ. In Egypt there were Abū Dharr, Zubayr ibn al-Awwām and Saʿd ibn Abī Waqqāṣ. In Ḥimṣ there were seventy Companions [who fought in the battle of Badr]. In Iraq there were ʿAbd Allah ibn Mas’ūd, Ḥudhayfa ibn al-Yamān and ʿImrān ibn Ḥusayn. The leader of the believers ‘Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib, with whom there were other companions of the Prophet also took up residence there. None ever combined the Maghrib and ʿIshāʾ prayer ever [during heavy rain].

If theʿamal of the people of Medina holds the same level of epistemic value as the mutawātir ḥadīth for imam Mālik, then for imam Abū Ḥanīfah, an action that involve the life of the whole community (umūm balwā) holds similar value. Hence if an action that affects the whole community is only being reported by lone ḥadīths, this ḥadīth immediately comes under suspicion. The reason for this being, if the action being discussed was so prevalent in the community, why is only one person reporting it? An example of this is the ḥadīth concerning rafʿ al-yadayn (the raising of the hands in prayer other than at the beginning) which are all āḥād reports.

Not understanding imam Abū Ḥanīfah’s overall methodology has led some, who have a very superficial knowledge of the inner workings of Islamic law, to maintain that he either did not know any ḥadīth or gives more preference to analogy (qiyās) over ḥadīth. Nothing can be further from the truth.”

[Inhāʾ as-Sakan ilā man Yuṭāliʿ I’lāʾ as-Sunan, Ẓafar Aḥmad ‘Uthmānī Thānawī’]

Clearing a Confusion about Ittifaaq/ijmaa’ (Consensus) of the Majority

QUESTION:

I am confused regarding the ittifaaq/ijmaa’ of the majority of Ulama. The Ulama are saying that since the majority is of the view that stunning animals is permissible, this will be the official ruling of the Shariah. There are other similar issues of difference as well. They say that since the majority is of the view that digital pictures are permissible, therefore, this will be the fatwa of the Shariah. They compare their ittifaaq with the Ijmaa’ of the Fuqaha of former times. Please read the Fatwa of Darul Uloom Karachi. Please explain the issue of the ittifaaq (consensus) of the majority which I believe is being misinterpreted by the Ulama of the day.

ANSWER (By Mujlisul Ulama):

1) The consensus (ittifaaq) of the majority of molvis on baatil, is the ittifaaq of the shayaateenul ins. It is absolutely ridiculous to compare the consensus of today’s ulama-e-soo’ with the Ittifaaq of the Jamhoor of the Mutaqaddimeen era.

Ittifaaq of the majority on an issue which is explicitly in conflict with the Nass of the Shariah, is ittifaaq on shaitaaniyat and baatil.

In the absence of a directive of the Shariah – in other words, if there is no Nass of the Mutaqaddimeen on an issue which is a recent development, then the issue will simply be referred to the principles of the Shariah. If it is found to be in conflict with these principles, the fatwa of impermissibility will be issued. If there is no conflict, then obviously it will be permissible.

On a new expediency of this nature, e.g., performing Salaat in a plane, so-called suicide bombing as a tactic of Jihad, printing the Qur’aan Majeed with machinery in which the ink used has alcohol, and no other ink is available, kangaroo meat, etc., etc., there is no Nass from the Fuqaha-e-Mutaqaddimeen. The Ulama will study such issues in the light of similar mansoos juziyaat and the usool of the Shariah, and issue their Fatwa.

In matters of this kind, there is bound to be ikhtilaaf-e-raai’ (difference of opinion). It is not permissible to be bigoted and dogmatic and to claim that only ‘my’ view is the Haqq and the view of the others is baatil. But on issues on which there exists explicit rulings of the Shariah which have been transmitted from the era of Khairul Quroon, the slightest divergence will be intolerable and unacceptable. Opinion and the consensus of the majority of donkey-molvis and sheikhs are the effluvium of the nafs and the stunt of Iblees.

Furthermore, the majority view in cases of this nature, i.e. new expediencies, being consensus of the jamhoor Ulama-e-Haqq of the time, will be acceptable while at the same time, this ittifaaq of the Jamhoor of the current era will not be binding on the dissenting Ulama. However, on issues where there exists Nass of the Shariah, any view which is in conflict, be it the opinion of the so-called jamhoor of the time, will be mardood and mal-oon, and those who follow such baatil ittifaaq will come within the scope of the Qur’aanic castigation: “They take their ahbaar and ruhbaan as gods besides Allah and also (they take as god) Maseeh, the son of Maryam.”

This type of baatil ittifaaq is on an issue such as stunning animals prior to Thabah. Thabah is Mansoos Alayh. The full tareeqah of Thabah, from beginning to end, is Mansoos. Changing any mas’alah in this system without valid Shar’i cause is baatil and haraam. It will be Tahreef-e-Shariah (interpolating and mutilating the Shariah). In terms of the Nass of the Shariah, inflicting injury on an animal prior to Thabah is haraam. The infliction of injury is of genus significance. It covers all forms of injury. Even the act of sharpening the knife in front of the animal which is to be slaughtered is prohibited. When such an indirect act which is not a physical act of injury is also prohibited, then to a far greater degree will the brutality of stunning be prohibited.

Now, since infliction of injury is haraam by the Nass of the Shariah, the ittifaaq of a whole world of moron molvis will be baatil, and it will be haraam for even the awaam (the masses) to submit and follow. They will come within the criticism stated in the aforementioned Qur’aanic aayat.

Ittifaaq of Jamhoor never means validity of an ittifaaq which is in conflict with any Nass of the Shariah or which abrogates a Shar’i hukm. Any ittifaaq of the jamhoor molvis of this era which gives precedence to a method or concept of the kuffaar over and above the method ordained by the Shariah, is kufr. Precisely for this reason has Hadhrat Thanvi (Rahmatullah alayh) said that approval of stunning is tantamount to kufr.

2) We have as yet not read the fatwa of Darul Uloom Karachi. However, we must say that the fatwas issued by this institution are not necessarily reliable. They condone sareeh (explicit) haraam practices, and they are adept in the art of ta’weel baatil. We have criticized Mufti Taqi on several issues.

The episodes which had transpired on the demise of Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) had spawned a sharp difference among the Sahaabah. Some tribes refused to pay Zakaat. The Khalifah, Hadhrat Abu Bakr Siddique (Radhiyallahu anhu) resolved to wage war against them. In fact he declared kaafir those who differentiated between Salaat and Zakaat. Due to the extremely delicate situation and the fact that attacks on Madinah appeared to be imminent, there was Ittifaaq of all the Sahaabah including Hadhrat Umar (Radhiyallahu anhu) and Hadhrat Ali (Radhiyallahu anhu) on accepting the terms of deniers of Zakaat, and that jihad should not be waged against them.

Opposing this solid Ittifaaq of all the Sahaabah, was the solitary dissenting voice of Hadhrat Abu Bakr (Radhiyallahu anhu) who declared with an unseen and an unheard of vehemence and determination that he, alone would wage jihad against the deniers of Zakaat if the Sahaabah did not concur with him. Observing this wonderful state of determination, all the Sahaabah, abandoned their Ittifaaq and wholeheartedly accepted the view of the Khalifah.

The second episode pertains to the army of Hadhrat Usaamah Bin Zaid (Radhiyallahu anhu). During his maradhul maut (last illness), Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) had ordered the army under Hadhrat Usaamah (Radhiyallahu anhu) to wage jihad against the Romans. Whilst the army was on the outskirts of Madinah, the news of Rasulullah’s demise arrived. Thus, the army halted.

Hadhrat Umar (Radhiyallahu anhu) and all the elite Sahaabah of the Ansaar and Muhaajireen unanimously advised against this expedition. They said that with the departure of the army, Madinah surrounded by hostile, rebellious, murtaddeen tribes, would be exposed and defenceless. Again, Hadhrat Abu Bakr (Radhiyallahu anhu) rejected this Ittifaaq of the Sahaabah and ordered the army to march against the Romans. He declared with the greatest of confidence and vigour that under no circumstances whatsoever would he cancel the expedition.

These two episodes confirm that Ittifaaq of the Jamhoor is not in the same category as the Nass of the Qur’aan. When rejection of such a powerful Ittifaaq was valid, what does the intelligence and Imaan of the Mu’min dictate regarding the ittifaaq of a world full of moron mercenary molvis, sheikhs, cranks and quacks who betray Islam, Allah Ta’ala, Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and the Ummah? The ittifaaq of such a stercoraceous ‘jamhoor’ is baatil effluvium manufactured for scuttling the Shariah. Allah Ta’ala has granted the Ulama-e-Haqq sound and nooraani intelligence, and such baseerat which enable them to understand and differentiate between Haqq and baatil. An ittifaaq of a jamhoor of morons will be rejected. It simply has no validity in the Shariah.

 

A CORRUPT FATWA ON FLAGS, T-SHIRTS AND PICTURES

QUESTION

Please comment on the following Fatwa:

After issuing their relevant fatwa they quote a few Ibaarats (texts) which state that the Asl is ibaahah.

QUESTIONS

Selling T-Shirts with country flags; Advertising products with videos of people

Question 1. 

I want to sell T shirts with different country flags on them for the upcoming Soccer World Cup. Some of these countries are not majority Muslim countries (e.g. Portugal, Spain, France etc.). Will it be permissible to sell these t shirts?

2. What is the ruling on advertising products with videos of people using them? Sometimes products need a video demonstration, or a photo to show how to properly use them. What is a permissible way to do this?

The answers to your queries are as follows:

1. It is permissible to sell t-shirts with flags of the various countries imprinted on them, irrespective of the religious predominance in the respective country. However, one should avoid t-shirts with flags that have animate objects, religious depictions- like the Saudi flags, etc.

2. There are academic differences of opinions amongst contemporary ‘Ulamaa and Muftis regarding digital photography. The Darul Iftaa advises to adopt taqwaa and avoid all forms of digital pictures and videos. You may revert to us with details of the product(s) you wish to advertise and we will try to assist you with suitable alternatives.

Is this fatwa correct according to the Shariah?

ANSWER (Mujlisul Ulama):

The fatwa is seriously flawed with incongruities. It is not valid in terms of the Shariah.

The Mufti did not apply his mind. It is clear that the Muftis of this age are egregiously ignorant of the fact that the objective of Ifta is to bring people closer to Allah Ta’ala. On the contrary, these muftis are entrenching the fisq and fujoor of people by resorting to technicalities. The Aakhirat is the furthest from their minds. Hence, whatever technical loophole they can dig out from the kutub, they will utilize to issue such lamentable fatwas which only give further impetus to the fisq and fujoor of people, thus further stunting their Imaan and increasing the chasm between Allah Ta’ala and His servants.

FLAGS AND T-SHIRTS
The flags of kuffaar countries are generally symbols of kufr. It is not permissible for Muslims to sell such flags and T-shirts with such flags even if the flags are without animate objects. Furthermore, such T-shirts are Tashabbuh bil kuffaar. It is haraam for Muslims to wear such garb.

The chap who asked the question clearly mentioned that he desires to sell such T-shirts “for the upcoming Soccer World Cup.” It beggars Imaani credulity that a mufti fails to understand the colossal fisq and fujoor accompanying these haraam kuffaar games. A host of major sins are attached to these shaitaani games. To sell T-shirts associated in any way with these haraam activities is to aid and abet in sin and transgression. It is I’aanat alal ma’siyat. It is haraam by the explicit Nass of the Qur’aan Majeed.

By what stretch of aql did the mufti cite the principle of Al-Asl fil Ashyaa’ Al-Ibaahat (the principle regulating things is permissibility), defies understanding. This principle has absolutely no relevance to the issue of selling flags and T-shirts.
If it be accepted that this Ibaahat principle is valid and applicable today, then too, the principle is conditioned with daleel which negates Ibaahat (permissibility). There are valid arguments which negate the applicability of the principle to the T-shirts and kuffaar flags. The Fuqaha clearly stipulate for the validity of the operation of this principle that the issue in terms of the Shariah is Maskoot anhu, i.e. the Shariah is silent on the matter. 

Furthermore, if the Shariah is silent on a specific issue, however, there is Shar’i daleel for hurmat (prohibition/impermissibility), then obviously the question of Ibaahat recedes into oblivion. In Al-Kaafi Sharh Al-Bazudi, it is mentioned: “We do not say that Ibaahat is a principle established inceptionally by the Shariah and that there is no hurmat inceptionally in all things because human beings since the time of Aadam (Alayhis salaam) to the present time have not been left in vain (to wander about aimlessly like the holy bulls and cows of Hindu India) at any time whatsoever. Allah Ta’ala says (in the Qur’aan): ‘There has not been an Ummah, but there was a Warner (a Nabi) among them. In the imposition (of the Shariah on people) there is prohibition of things and permissibility of things. Should we say that Ibaahat is the Asl in things as an inceptional Shar’i principle, it will lead to the abrogation of Takleef (i.e. the imposition of Shar’i ahkaam), and this is incorrect.”

Ibn Ameer Haaj (Ibn Al-Muwaqqa Al-Hanafi) states in At-Taqreer Wat Tahreer: “Sadrul Islam said: ‘After the incidence of the Shariah, wealth will be (regulated by the principle of) Ibaahat by Ijmaa’ as long as the cause of hurmat (prohibition/impermissibility) has not appeared.”

It should be understood that Ibaahat is not a principle to be employed loosely for just anything for according it permissibility as do the deviates of our age. If there is Shar’i daleel, this principle cannot be invoked, for it will mean abrogation of the Shariah. In Kashful Asraar Sharah Al-Bazdawi, it appears: “In terms of the view of those who say permissibility and impermissibility are known only on the basis of the Shariah, it will be said that the exception from prohibition is Ibaahat. Thus it is as if it is said: These things are haraam in the state of ikhtiyaar (volition, and permissible in the state of idhtiraar (dire straits). Therefore, Ibaahat in the state of dire need is also established by Nass (explicit command of the Shariah).”

Further negating the careless employment of this principle, it is mentioned in Ghamz Uyoonil Basaair: “Therefore, Tahreem (decreeing haraam) is more preferable to us. Verily, it is more preferable to us because in it is the abandonment of mubaah (a permissibility) for the sake of abstention from haraam, and this is better than its contrary.

…..The Asl in things is Ibaahat until there appears the daleel for negation of Ibaahat. This is according to the Math-hab of those Fuqaha who say that the Asl is Ibaahat. Similarly according to those who say that the Asl is Tahreem. It will be Tahreem until such time that there appears the daleel for negation of Tahreem.”

Furthermore, this extremely contentious principle is weak of nature. It is not a holy writ. In Sharhul Manaar is mentioned: “Verily, Ibaahat being the Asl is not a Shar’i hukm……….  There are two objections against the principle: ‘Al-asl fil ashyaa’ Al-Ibaahat’. (1) The apparent impression conveyed is that this is a unanimous principle. We have mentioned earlier that it is the view of some Hanafiyyah. (2) Verily, Al-Ibaahatul Asliyyah is not a Shar’i hukm……..

This principle is according to some Hanafiyyah among whom is Al-Karkhi. Some of the Ashaabul Hadith said that the Asl is prohibition, and some of our Ashaab said that the Asl is Tawaqquf (non-committal).”

It is also stated in Ghamzul Uyoon: “Know that verily, that in which there is harm for a person or for others is beyond the pale of difference (i.e. there is unanimity in its prohibition).” Thus, it may not be argued that tobacco, for example, is halaal on the basis of the principle of Ibaahat because there is extreme dharar (harm) for human beings in this substance. This principle cannot be invoked to legalize dagga, claiming that it is only a plant, hence on the basis of this principle it is halaal. There is Shar’i daleel to negate the Ibaahat. 

Another interpretation of this principle is: “Exemption from punishment on the basis of commission or omission.” However, in negation of this view, Fakhrul Islam said: “This applies only to the era of Fatrah which was between Nabi Isaa (Alayhis salaam) and Muhammad (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam). …………”

In Raddul Muhtaar it is mentioned: “According to Ibnul Humaam, Al-Ibaahat is (the view) of the Jamhoor Hanafiyyah and Shaafi’iyyah. It is stated in Sharh Usoolil Bazdawiy: ‘The majority of our Ashaab and the Ashaab of Shaafi’said: ‘That things are on the (principle of Ibaahat) prior to the applicability of the Shariah’s ruling of permissibility and prohibition. That is the Asl in such things, hence it is permissible for a person to whom the Shariah has not reached to consume whatever he desires………….. Consumption of carrion and drinking of wine are prohibited only by (Shar’i) proscription, hence Ibaahat (permissibility) has been decreed the Asl and Hurmat (prohibition) is the Aaridh (an external regulating factor).”

Al-Baidhaawi said: “The intention of those who say that the Asl in things is Ibaahat, is in such things in which there is benefit. However, regarding harmful things, the Asl is Tahreem (prohibition).”

There is copious discussion and interpretation of this principle which the Mufti Sahib has used, not only loosely, but baselessly. It has absolutely no relevance to T-shirts. It is moronic to say that on the basis of the Ibaahat principle it is permissible for women to unveil themselves in public since inceptionally, the face of woman is not aurah. Only a maajin mufti who is fit to be whipped and stopped from issuing fatwa will proffer such a corrupt and stupid ‘fatwa’. There is valid Shar’i daleel for the Wujoob of veiling the face. Similarly, there is Shar’i daleel for the kuffaar T-shirts being impermissible, and this impermissibility has greater emphasis regarding such T-shirts which are associated with kuffaar sport which are accompanied by a host of Kabeerah sins.

Tashabbuh bil kuffaar, I’aanat alal ma’siyat and kufr symbols are factors which prohibit trading with such T-shirts and flags. The kuffaar sport connotation by itself is adequate for prohibition. But, in reality, this principle has no relevance with T-shirts and flags.

The Ibaahat principle will operate in issues on which the Shariah is silent and for which there are no apparent elements of prohibition. For example, kangaroo meat or any other animal for which there is no mention/ruling in the Shariah. Is it halaal or haraam? As long as there is no daleel to prove prohibition, it will be said that the meat is halaal.

If one visits a Muttaqi Muslim who exercises considerable caution regarding his food, one will not doubt the food he serves. The principle will be applicable here. But, in our age, when it is confirmed that 99% of the populace and 99% of even the molvis and sheikhs devour carrion, and that 99.9% of Muslim butcheries trade in haraam meat and chicken, then the principle of Ibaahat will not apply. Only a moron and a maajin mufti will   apply this principle in a scenario where the vast majority of people devour excreta, and advise that as long as the najaasat is served in a Muslim’s home, it will be halaal on the basis of Al-Asl fil Ashyaa’ Al-Ibaahat.

The universally prevailing condition of the people – their wholesale devouring of haraam and their wholesale indulgence in fisq and fujoor, and their flagrant disregard for the Shariah in all spheres of life, negate the principle of Ibaahat in our time. Today the principle of Hurmat applies. All things will be regarded haraam unless proven to be halaal. The kuffaar manufacturers are fully aware of the halaal requisite, hence they will not reveal the true ingredients of their products. Compounding the evil is the mass halaaization of carrion by the cartel of ‘halaal’ certificate vendors such as SANHA, MJC, NIHT and the myriad of other agents of Iblees. Thus, there is no scope for the operation of the Ibaahat principle in today’s scenario. Hadhrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (Rahmatullah alayh) has also confirmed this fact, namely, that the Asl today is Hurmat.

Furthermore the mufti has cited this principle as if it is the final world. It is mentioned in Al Ashbaah Wan Nazaair that according to ‘some Hanafiyyah’ the principle is Ibaahat. According to some Muhadditheen, the principle is Al-Hazr (Prohibition). Other of our Fuqaha say that the principle is Tawaqquf (neither permissibility nor prohibition). A Shar’i daleel is essential for a ruling.

Technically, there are three views: Ibaahat, Tahreem and Tawaqquf. However, in reality, the consequences of all three are the same. For example: An unknown wild fruit is found growing in the bush/jungle. Is this fruit halaal or haraam? In terms of the Ibaahat view it is halaal. In terms of the second view, it is Haraam, and in terms of the third view the issue is indeterminate. However, if it is confirmed that the fruit is poisonous, then unanimously it will be haraam. In the same way, if it is confirmed that the fruit is not poisonous nor harmful, it will be unanimously halaal.

All three views are conditioned by daleel. If there is daleel to indicate prohibition, e.g. the fruit is poisonous, then both the Ibaahat and Tawaqquf fall away, and hurmat is confirmed. Similarly, if Shar’i daleel confirms that something is halaal, then the Tahreem and Tawaqquf view fall away.

Is giraffe halaal or haraam? According to the Ibaahat view it is halaal because there is no Shar’i daleel to negate its permissibility. On the other hand, rhino is haraam despite the fact that both the rhino and giraffe are herbivorous animals. Despite Ibaahat being the principle according to the Jamhoor Ahnaaf, our Math-hab rules that rhino and elephant are haraam. The Shar’i daleel of khubth (vile/evil/noxious) mentioned as a factor of prohibition in the Qur’aan, constitutes the condition for the cancellation of Ibaahat of rhino and elephant meat.

The principle may not be applied loosely and stupidly without taking into account the prevailing circumstances and the elements of Hurmat. It may not be argued that since apples are halaal, liquor made with apples will also be halaal in view of the Shariah being silent on the issue of apple liquor or strawberry liquor or pineapple liquor. The principle of Ibaahat cannot be utilized to halaalize such liquors. There is a Shar’i daleel to override this principle in this regard, and that is the prohibition of all intoxicants.

Similarly, when it is known that carrion is consumed by the vast majority of Muslims, it will be stupidity and perfidy to claim that on the basis of the principle of Ibaahat it is permissible to devour the food of all Muslims. Only a moron will conclude permissibility when there exists a Shar’i daleel to negate it. In this case, ghalbah zann (overwhelming probability bordering on certitude), overrides the principle of Ibaahat.

It is indeed moronic and totally unexpected of a mufti to apply the principle of Ibaahat to something such as a T-shirt with a logo of kufr or shirk or which is a garb of the kuffaar or which is worn to celebrate haraam kuffaar sport such as the World Soccer Cup with its accompaniment of a plethora of major sins. In the same way, it is stupid and haraam to claim that gold for males is halaal on the basis of the Ibaahat principle because there exists Shar’i daleel negating the principle on this issue. 

In view of the universal preponderance of haraam and mushtabah in this age, and the concealment of ingredients by manufacturers with E-numbers and chemical designations, and the mass halaalization of carrion and haraam for monetary purposes, the only option for practical implementation is the principle of Tahreem. In other words, all things will be regarded as haraam unless confirmed as halaal by valid Shar’i daleel.

PICTURES
The claim by the mufti that “there are academic differences of opinion amongst contemporary Ulama and Muftis regarding digital photography”, is not worthy of intelligent consideration. In the more than fourteen century history of Islam there has always been Ijmaa’ (Consensus) of the Ummah on the hurmat of pictures of animate objects regardless of the method of production. All authorities of all Math-habs have ruled that such pictures are haraam.

Contemporary ‘ulama’ who claim that the production by the digital process of haraam pictures renders such pictures halaal, are like the carrion halaalizers. Their view is putrid and so silly that even children will mock and jeer at the ghutha they stupidly blabber. A haraam picture – a picture of an animate object – remains haraam regardless of the method of production. The method is not haraam. The picture produced is haraam. It is ludicrous for a genuine mufti to cite the views of such moron molvis and sheikhs in a subtle attempt to minimize the 14th century prohibition substantiated by Nusoos of the highest calibre of authenticity. In a nutshell, there is no difference whatsoever regarding the prohibition of pictures of animate objects. The utterly baseless ta’weel (interpretation) expectorated to halaalize haraam pictures render these molvis zanaadaqah.

The contention of digital images not being haraam pictures is absolutely stupid and it is ridiculous to aver that such a silly view is within the confines of ‘academic’ difference of opinion. Moron, zindeeq sheiks and molvis of our age hold the view that it is permissible to shave the beard, khamr (grape liquor) is halaal as long as one does not become drunk, that it is permissible for women to appear without Niqaab in front of ghair mahaareem, that it is permissible for women to undertake journeys without their mahrams, etc., etc. Such haraam differences may not be elevated to the category of academic difference of opinion simply because such rot and rijs are excreted by molvis and sheikhs who are actually agents of Iblees. Similarly, those molvis and sheikhs who claim that digital pictography of animate objects is halaal, are agents of Iblees. The devil manipulates them to undermine and demolish the Shariah.

Observing the prohibition is not a matter of Taqwa as the mufti seeks to convey. It is Fardh to abstain from pictures of animate objects.

The averment that a picture made with a camera or the digital process is not a picture, is ineffably preposterous. It is an insult to intelligence. Regardless of the method of producing a picture, the end product is a picture which is haraam if it is of an animate object. It is compound jahaalat to say that this stupid view is within the confines of academic difference of opinion. The ludicrousness of this weird view comes within the purview of the Qur’aanic Aayat:

“Thus does Allah casts rijs (filth) on those who are bereft of aql (intelligence).”

The brains of these molvis who have fabricated this satanic idea have been disfigured as mentioned in this Qur’aanic Aayat. That is why they are capable of expectorating shamelessly such trash which leaves even children gaping aghast. A picture is not a picture simply because a modern method has been selected for making it!!!!! The degree of stupidity underlying this convolution boggles the minds of even intelligent kuffaar who react with scornful mirth on hearing such absolute trash and rubbish.

There is absolutely no academic difference of opinion on the hurmat of pictures of animate objects regardless of the method of producing such images. The contemporary so-called ulama who have hallucinated and disgorged this effluvium of the permissibility of digital pictures, are morons who have exchanged the Deen for the miserable gains of this dunya. They search for just any type of ghutha for legalizing the prohibitions of the Shariah. Then they utilize their molvi status and inapplicable Fiqhi technicalities to bamboozle and mislead the ignorant masses. Every haraam fatwa is passed off as an effect of ‘academic difference of opinion’ whilst in reality it is the inspiration of Iblees.

The fatwa of the mufti on the issues of T-shirts, flags and pictures is baseless. It is devoid of Shar’i substance.

THE PRINCIPLE OF PROHIBITION

In the Shariah there is a principle which states: “Al-Asl fil ashyaa al-Ibaahah.”, which means permissibility of things unless proven to be haraam. Things are initially permissible. However, a Shar’i daleel (proof of the Shariah) will render it unlawful. If there is no such proof, the original rule of permissibility will remain.

Although there is a contrary view, the aforementioned principle is the popular version. However, in view of the changed circumstances which have resulted in total disregard for the Shariah, and flagrant indulgence in fisq, fujoor and haraam, the opposite principle will apply to our times.

According to the contrary principle, all things will be haraam unless proven to be halaal. Commenting on the current situation, Hakimul Ummat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thaanvi (rahmatullah alayh) said: “For permissibility the earlier fatwa was that things are initially permissible until hurmat (prohibition) has not been proved. However, today the situation warrants saying: ‘The Asl (principle) regarding things is hurmat (prohibition) until permissibility has not been prove. Only if this fatwa is issued, will people be saved from indulgence in haraam. Tremendous chaos prevails nowadays.”

In this era, we observe the materialization of the Hadith which predicted that a time will dawn when people will be totally unconcerned from whence they obtain wealth. As long as they can lay their hands on wealth they are not concerned whether it is halaal or haraam. The insane craving is only for the acquisition of material items of ‘pleasure’ regardless of the manner in which the wealth is obtained.

This situation prevails in all spheres of life. Muslims have become so accustomed to consuming, buying and selling haraam food, etc. that it is no longer possible to eat the food of relatives and friends without circumspection and fear. Like animals Muslims are devouring haraam and mushtabah without the slightest tinge of conscience.

The preponderance of haraam in earnings, food, living conditions and in almost every aspect of life has smothered whatever vestige of inhibition to haraam the Muslim’s heart should naturally have. Haraam earnings and haraam food corrupt and stunt the intellect. All celestial Noor is extinguished, hence the hearts of Muslims have become impervious and unreceptive to the Haqq (Truth) in the same way as the disfigured and spiritually deadened hearts of the kuffaar.

MORE DISCUSSION ON THE IBAAHAH PRINCIPLE

The following is an extract from our book, Haraam Bank Riba-Loans and The Haraam View of a Sciolist Jaahil ‘Shaykh’.

In his attempt to legalize riba, the deviate resorts to ludicrous mental gymnastics, juggling with the concept of Wikaalat (Agency) and other principles which have no bearing whatsoever on the issue of bank loans. Thus, he says:

“The initial status of all kinds of transactions is that they are permissible. One of the well-known principles of the Hanafi School is that everything beside these three is permissible by default: 1. Bloodshed 2. Sexual acts 3. Rituals of worship……….Based on this, we say, everything is permissible unless it is proven to not permissible.”

Regarding the bank loan issue, the introduction of the aforementioned principle is indeed moronic.

(1) There is no relationship between a bank loan encumbered with interest and this principle. The fundamental constituents of borrowing, lending and paying interest, determine the Shariah’s ruling. A clear-cut ruling of prohibition of interest cannot be submitted to the contentious principle formulated by opinion.

The introduction of this principle, totally unrelated to the issue of bank interest loans, is a silly exercise in futility with which the deviate modernist attempts to obfuscate the conspicuous clarity of the prohibition of bank interest.

The introduction of this principle, totally unrelated to the issue of bank interest loans, is a silly exercise in futility with which the deviate modernist attempts to obfuscate the conspicuous clarity of the prohibition of bank interest.

However, since he has moronically touched on this principle, it will be appropriate to discuss and refute its applicability to the issue under discussion.

Atabek has abortively attempted to convey the idea that the principle: “The initial (hukm) regarding things is ibaahah (permissibility).”, is the standard and accepted rule of the Hanafi Math-hab. This postulation is incorrect.

This is the principle of the Jamhur Shaafi’ Fuqaha, not of the Hanafi Fuqaha. The following elucidation is presented in Al-Ashbaah wan Nathaair ala Mathhabi Abi Hanifah:

“Is the Asl (the initial hukm) regarding things Ibaahah  (permissibility) until such time that there is a daleel (evidence) to indicate the negation of ibaahah – and this is the Math-hab of Ash-Shaafi’ (rahmatullah alayh) – or is it (i.e. the Asl) Tahreem (Prohibition) until there is daleel for Ibaahah? The Shaafi’iyyah attribute this (i.e. the Asl is Tahreem) to Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullah alayh).

In Sharhul Minaar it appears: Things are initially on Ibaahah according to some Hanafiyyah. Among them is Al-Karkhi. Some of the As-haab of Hadith say: The Asl in this is Al-Hazr (prohibition).

Our As-haab (the Hanafi Fuqaha) say: The Asl in it is Tawaqquf (Non-Committal), meaning that a hukm (of the Shariah) is necessary for it, but we are not aware of it by means of intelligence.

In Hidaayah appears: The Asl is Ibaahah.”

In Al-Ash-Baah wan Nathaair (Shaafi’), the Shaafi’ position is stated as follows:

“The Asl in things is Ibaahah until there is daleel to indicate Tahreem (Prohibition). This is our (i.e. Shaafi) Math-hab. According to Abu Hanifah the Asl is Tahreem (Prohibition) until there is a daleel to establish Ibaahah (Permissibility).”

In this sphere there are three principles: Ibaahah (Permissibility), Tahreem (Prohibition) and Tawaqquf (Non-Committal). Regarding these principles formulated on the basis of opinion, there is considerable difference of opinion. These principles are not cast in rock. They are not Mansoos on the basis of Wahi nor in terms of the Hadith.

Fuqaha of the same Math-hab subscribe to differing opinions. Among the Hanafis are those who hold the opinion of Ibaahah while others of the Hanafi Math-hab subscribe to the Tahreem view, and similar is the difference in the other Math-habs.

Furthermore, these principles are overridden by Shar’i Daleel. They will operate only in rare cases of absolute absence of Shar’i daleel. There is also no strict adherence to these principles among the Fuqaha. Consider an animal such as the giraffe (zaraafah). The Qur’aan and Ahaadith are silent regarding the permissibility or prohibition of giraffe. Those who subscribe to the Ibaahah principle opine that its meat is halaal while those holding the view of Tahreem say that it is haraam. Since there is no Shar’i basis for proclaiming giraffe haraam, the holders of the Ibaahah view say that it is halaal. On the other hand, Imaam Nawawi and Shiraazi who are Shaafi’ authorities, proclaim giraffe haraam despite the Shaafi’ principle of Ibaahah.

The Hanafis again, despite their principle of Tahreem, proclaim giraffe to be halaal since there is no Shar’i daleel for saying that it is haraam. From this, it is clear that the actual determinant is Shar’i daleel. If there is daleel for Ibaahah, the ruling will be permissibility. On the contrary, if there is daleel for Tahreem, the fatwa will be on hurmat. Also according to Imaam Ahmad Bin Hambal (Rahmatullah alayh), giraffe is haraam despite the Asl of Ibaahah.

Although the principle of the Shaafi’ Math-hab is Ibaahah, the majority of the Shaafi’ Fuqaha have refrained from issuing a ruling regarding the giraffe. Neither do they say that it is halaal nor haraam despite their Ibaahah principle. (Al-Ashbaah wan Nathaair – Shaafi’). In Al-Ashbaah wan Nathaair of Imaam Jalaaluddin Suyuti, it is mentioned:

“The majority of the As-haab (Shaafi’ Fuqaha) have not entertained this issue (of the giraffe) at all whatsoever, neither permissibility nor prohibition. Fataawa Qaadhi Husain and Imaam Ghazaali have explicitly said that it is halaal……………

Taqiyuddin As-Subki (Shaafi’) mentions in his Kitaab, Qadhaail Arab fi As-ilati Halab: “Shaikh Abu Is-haaq has categorically stated in At- Tanbeeh that the giraffe is haraam……..In Sharhul Muhazzab, Nawawi has narrated Ittifaaq (Consensus) on the giraffe’s prohibition.”

In the Kitaab, Asnal Mataalib fi Sharhi Raudhit Taalib it appears as follows:

“He says in Al-Majmoo’ that verily, the giraffe is haraam without any difference of opinion.” This is despite the Ibaahah principle on the basis of which other Shaafi’ Fuqaha proclaim it to be halaal.

There exists considerable difference and argument and conflicting dalaa-il in the Shaafi’ Math-hab regarding the permissibility or prohibition of the giraffe despite the Jamhur’s principle of Ibaahah. On the other hand, despite the Tahreem principle of the Ahnaaf, the Hanafi Fuqaha say that giraffe is halaal. It should be quite evident that the determinant is Shar’i daleel.

Consider the example of the whale. In terms of the Shaafi’ principle, Ibaahah applies, and not only to the whale, but to all sea animals. However, according to the Ahnaaf, whale and all sea animals are haraam despite a semblance of Shar’i daleel. Although a Hadith leads to the possible conclusion of the sea animal being a whale, the Hanafi Fuqaha do not accept that the sea animal described in the Hadith was a whale, hence they maintain its prohibition.

They have their own Shar’i dalaa-il for the hurmat of the whale and all sea animals. Thus, the emphasis is on Tahreem by the Ahnaaf. What is clear from the considerable difference, conflict and ambiguity in these principles is that the determinant is Shar’i Daleel which restricts and overrides the principles.

(2) The claim that this principle applies to trade transactions is erroneous. It applies to existing aspects of creation on which the Shariah is silent, e.g. animals, plants, a water channel whose ownership is unknown, i.e. whether it is private property or not, and any existent for which there is no ruling provided by the Qur’aan or Hadith.

It is stupid and baatil to apply the principle of Ibaahah to a transaction or even a tangible substance merely because their names cannot be found in the Nusoos. It may not be said that vodka and whisky are halaal on the basis of the principle of Ibaahah. It may not be said that pudding is halaal on the basis of this principle of permissibility simply because the name, ‘pudding’ does not exist in the Qur’aan or Hadith. The imperative need will be to examine and establish what exactly are the ingredients and constituents of these substances. If the ingredients are haraam or the effect of the halaal ingredients is haraam such as intoxication, then the Shar’i daleel for Tahreem is confirmed.

Similarly, mortgages cannot be said to be halaal on the basis of the Ibaahah principle simply because this term is new and cannot be located in the Nusoos. The incumbent need is to examine and establish what mortgages are all about. The introduction of the Ibaahah principle in this regard demonstrates the jahaalat of Atabek. The simple issue in this regard is that a bank loan is encumbered with interest/riba, hence it is Haraam. There is absolutely no need for the invocation of any one of the three principles to determine the Shariah’s verdict on bank-interest. It is glaringly Riba. Only brains welded by stupidity and aggravated by western liberalism and a bootlicking attitude, understand otherwise.

The mudhaarabah transaction of the so-called Islamic banks cannot be proclaimed halaal on the basis of the Ibaahah principle, and simply because it has an Islamic designation. The need is to examine the constituents of the contract to establish the Shar’i ruling. A plant, the properties of which are unknown – whether beneficial or poisonous – shall not be proclaimed halaal or haraam simply on the basis of the principles of Ibaahah and Tahreem. The demand is for establishing the ruling on the basis of Shar’i daleel. If examination confirms that the plant is poisonous, then obviously the verdict will be Tahreem. If it is not harmful or poisonous, the ruling will be Ibaahah.

It will indeed be a rarity for the total absence of Shar’I daleel to act as the determinant. In such rare cases, Tawaqquf will apply, thus rendering the issue to the Mushtabah realm. As far as bank loans are concerned, there is absolutely no ambiguity in their nature. A bank loan is pronounced haraam by the categorical Nusoos of the Qur’aan and Hadith. Only a stupid deviate having no affinity with the Shariah will muster the stupid audacity to invoke the principle of Ibaahah for the determination of a ruling for a bank loan which is encumbered with riba. The principle may not be used in conflict with a mansoos alayh law. The unnecessary and stupid introduction of the Ibaahah principle which is totally unrelated to bank interest/riba, has constrained this digression.

THE MEANING OF MAKROOH TAHREEMI

By Molvi Muhammad Huzaifah Ibn Aadam

An unfortunate state of affairs today is that most of those carrying around the title of `Ulamaa are in fact either Juhalaa (ignoramuses) or Shayaateen prowling about in human form. They fall into two categories:

(1) Those who spread baatil because they are too stupid to know what is the Haqq. This is the type of Molvi who slept during classes and graduated from whatever Darul Uloom despite not being able to correctly read and understand even a single paragraph of Arabic. As a result, they spread baatil beliefs without even realising their folly. 

(2) Those who have in fact acquired some “book knowledge”. They know very well what the Haqq is, but because they are in fact Shayaateen (be it Shayaateen-ul-Ins or Shayaateen-ul-Jinn), they intentionally conceal the Haqq from people and propagate baatil to mislead them from the Path of Allaah Ta`aalaa.

Stating this fact will cause many people to become upset and offended, but the truth remains the truth regardless of who likes or dislikes it.

This brief article deals with an issue regarding which the Ulamaa-e-Soo (or Juhalaa-e-Soo) are blatantly dishonest. It is the issue of Makrooh Tahreemi (Prohibited Abomination) and its meaning in the Hanafi Madh-hab.

In order to certify khinzeer, khamr, ribaa and a host of other Haraam acts and substances, the Morons of Soo’ employ a number of different “Fiqhi Terms” and Arabic terminology to dupe the ignorant masses. Terms such as “Umoom-e-Balwaa”, “Mudhaarabah”, “Mushaarakah”, etc., are bandied about to impress the masses who have no idea of the meanings of these terms. They are impressed by Arabic-sounding terms and assume that whatever the Molvi is saying has to be true.

When asked for the ruling on things that are not permissible in Islaam, they deceptively employ the term “Makrooh” in their defective fatwas, translating it as “disliked” without giving the questioner any explanation of the Shar`i meaning of Makrooh Tahreemi. In fact, they do not specify even if the Makrooh is Tahreemi or Tanzeehi. The term is presented as if there is scope for permissibility.

What the layman understands from the word “disliked”, is that the Makrooh action is permissible, and it is fine to act accordingly although it is better if one abstains, but there is no sin incurred. With this idea these molvis corrupt the juhala, open the door of fitnah for the addiction of sin.

The idea which they are conveying and with which the people are deceived, is not the meaning of Makrooh Tahreemi. On account of the grave misconception spawned by the corrupt definition of Makrooh, people, even so-called ‘aalims’ say: “It is only Makrooh, not Haraam.” This idea peddled by the juhala molvis is tantamount to kufr. It is Istikhfaaf (regarding something to be insignificant) with the laws of the Shariah.

In reality, there is no difference between Haraam and Makrooh Tahreemi. For all practical purposes both are the same. Both mean that the action is prohibited, and that the one who perpetrates it is sinful. The punishment for committing Haraam or Makrooh Tahreemi is the Fire of Jahannam. It is essential to resort to Tawbah.

Many molvis, muftis and shaykhs who are in fact Jaahils lauded with titles, read the explanation of Makrooh Tahreemi given in the Kutub, but fail to understand its meaning. The Kutub of Fiqh mention that something prohibited by a daleel qat`iyy (evidence of absolute certitude) is termed Haraam, and something prohibited by a daleel zanni is termed Makrooh.

These molvis fail to understand what is meant by the difference between the two categories of prohibition. The literal meaning of the word “zanni” is “speculative”. Thus, in their jahaalat (ignorance), they adopt the literal meaning thereby believing that Makrooh is something that has no solid evidence to prohibit it. This notion is corrupt, baseless. It is simply based on conjecture.

Despite having studied the Kutub of the Madh-hab, their failure to understand the terminology of the Madh-hab is mind-boggling.

When the Hanafi Madh-hab uses the term “zanni”, guesswork and opinion are not implied. The proof for the rule/teaching is of a category slightly less than the daleel qat`iyy category of evidences. The category known as daleel qat’iyy consist of Aayaat of the Qur’aan and Ahaadith-e-Mutawaatarah. This is the highest and most authentic class of Ahaadith. On this type of Hadith is based the fardhiyat (compulsion) of the Fardh raka’ts of the daily Salaat, for example.

The term daleel zanni applies to such Ahaadeeth which are not of the qat’iyy category. But never does it mean that laws based on daleel zanni are products of opinion for which there is no reliable Qur’aanic or Hadith evidence. Such a notion is absolutely corrupt. 

Thus, if something is prohibited, and its prohibition is based on daleel qat’iyy, then the Hanafi Fuqahaa classify it as Haraam. If the prohibition is the effect of daleel zanni it is described as Makrooh Tahreemi. But for practical purposes, both mean strictly prohibited, and both are punishable offences. The difference is only academic, not practical. 

Thus, when the Ahnaaf use the term Zanni, they do not refer to guesswork and speculation. They refer to Ahaadeeth. Something prohibited by Rasoolullaah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) is described by the Ahnaaf with the term “Makrooh Tahreemi”. Imaam Ibn Aabideen (Rahmatullah alayh) writes in Raddul Muhtaar alad-Durril Mukhtaar:

“According to Imaam Muhammad, every Makrooh is Haraam.”

In Al-Kawaashiful Jaliyyah an Mustalahaatil Hanafiyyah, a Kitaab written on the explanation of the terminologies of the Hanafi Madh-hab, it is mentioned:

“Both (the perpetrator of haraam and makrooh tahreemi) are equal in deserving punishment and criticism.”

The Shaykh-ul-Hadeeth of Darul Uloom Deoband, Mufti Saeed Ahmad Palanpuri wrote in his refutation of Maulana Taha Karaan in “Tresses of Jannat: The Female Hair Issue”:

“There are many Usool (Principles) for (competency in) Fatwa. It is obligatory on a Mufti to take into consideration such principles (of Ifta). Awareness of such principles is the first obligation of a Mufti. For example in his writings he differentiates between Haraam and Makrooh whereas these terms are technical terminology. If the prohibition of things is substantiated on the basis of the Qur’aan, the Ulama describe it with the term, Haraam, and if the prohibition is substantiated on the basis of Ahaadith, the term Karaahat (being Makrooh) is used. But in Urf this differentiation is not made. The word Haraam is used for Makrooh Tahrimi as well.”

Thus, the meaning of Makrooh Tahreemi according to the Hanafi Madh-hab is as clear as daylight. As far as the practical adoption of the Rulings of the Shariah goes, there is absolutely no difference between Makrooh Tahreemi and Haraam. If a person commits a Haraam act, he has committed a sin, and if he perpetrates a Makrooh Tahreemi act, he has committed a sin. In both cases, he has to make Tawbah or he may be subjected to punishment in the Aakhirah if Allaah Ta`aalaa has not forgiven him.

However, the Ulamaa-e-Soo do not explain this reality to the people when issuing a fatwaa. The questioner gains the understanding that Makrooh Tahreemi refers to something that is permissible but that it’s just better to abstain.

A very simple, straight-forward question: “If a person commits a Haraam act, he is sinful and may suffer Athaab, and if a person commits a ‘Makrooh Tahreemi’ act, he is sinful and may undergo Athaab, so what is the difference?” Both must be equally avoided.

Allah Ta’aalaa knows best

COMMENT BY MUJLISUL ULAMA OF S.A.

Allaamah Abdul Wahhaab Sha’raani, the renowned Shaafi authority of the Shariah, proferring advice to the Ulama, says in his Kitaab, Tambeehul Mughtarreen:

“O my friend! Examine yourself in the light of the demand of Amr Bil Ma’roof, Nahy Anil Munkar to ascertain whether you do regard evil to be evil or not, and to ascertain whether you are among  those people who are beloved to Allah Ta’ala.

Examine yourself to ascertain if you have aided the Shariat of Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) or are you among those who have abandoned the Shariat. However, you labour under the notion that you are the Representative of Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) because you are calling people towards the Deen.

Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) has appointed the Ulama of the Ummah to be the Trustees of his Shariat after him. However, nowadays (i.e. during the 10th Islamic century) the majority has abandoned the Shariat, leaving it without helpers by means of their words and deeds and by means of silence in the face of evil.

Wa La houla wala quwwata illaa billaahil azeem.” 

The Ulama-e-Soo’ in this age and in all ages have always abstained from fulfilling the obligation of Amr Bil Ma’roof Nahy Anil Munkar. A vile tendency acquired by them is the notion of an act of the Shariah being “only Sunnah’ or “only Makrooh”. This ‘only’ attitude is termed Istikhfaaf in the Shariah. Istikhfaaf means to regard something insignificant or unimportant. Adopting the attitude of Istikhfaaf for any act of the Shariah even if it is a Mustahab, is kufr.

There is nothing in the Deen which is unimportant or insignificant regardless of the category of its classification. These miscreant molvis and sheikhs have instilled in the ignoramuses the idea of the legitimacy of perpetrating a Makrooh act. With this attitude they have rendered a huge disservice to the Ummah. They invite the Wrath of Allah Ta’ala upon themselves and on those who follow in their satanic footsteps.

There are two kinds of Makrooh: Tanzihi and Tahreemi. While Tanzihi refers to such actions which although not sinful if committed occasionally, they are transformed into Makrooh Tahreemi and sins by means of Israar, i.e. constant commission.

The miscreant molvis due to their extremely defective knowledge and even greater deficiency of understanding the smattering of their defective knowledge are equating Makrooh Tahreemi with Makrooh Tanzihi. Therefore, they believe and teach the permissibility of the wholesale    commission of haraam actions.

For example, all sea animals besides fish, are haraam for followers of the Hanafi Math-hab. This haraam is technically described as Makrooh Tahreemi. In order to gratify their lust for consuming crayfish, shrimps and the like, they stupidly and dangerously claim that it is ‘only makrooh’. Yet, they fail to understand that there is Consensus (Ijmaa’) of the Ahnaaf on the consequences of both Haraam and Makrooh Tahreemi being the Fire of Jahannam.

An act being technically designated Makrooh is not a licence for commission or to feel snug in its perpetration and to believe that it is not sinful.

The kutub of the Ahnaaf are replete with thousands of masaa-il referring to Makrooh acts with the term ‘Haraam’. Only moron molvis are ignorant of this fact. In Shaami is mentioned:

“Every Makrooh Tahreemi is Haraam, i.e. like haraam in the consequence being the Fire according to Imaam Muhammad (Rahmatullah alayh).”

“Imaam Muhammad has explicitly said that every Makrooh is Haraam.”

There are innumerable masaa-il which are described by the Fuqaha as haraam despite the fact that the proofs on which they are based are not of the Qat’i class of dalaa-il. For example, in Bahrur Raa-iq is mentioned that for a woman in haidh the recitation of even less than one Aayat is haraam despite there being no Qat’i daleel for this. While the kutub describe Qur’aanic recitation by such a woman to be Makrooh, numerous kutub say that it is haraam. This is merely one example out of the thousands of masaa-il in which Makrooh is the same as haraam.

Discussing the practice of mesmerism in Imdaadul Fataawa, Hadhrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (Rahmatullah alayh) says:

“Regardless of its (initial) permissibility it is in the category of Qabeeh li ghairihi (evil due to other factors), hence prohibited and haraam. This principle is not hidden from the expert of Usool-e-Fiqh.” (Imdaadul Fataawa, Vol.4, page 74)

It is quite understandable that these Usool are hidden and incomprehensible to moron molvis and maajin muftis.

An act may be initially permissible, hence not prohibited by either the Qur’aan or Hadith. Thus it is Mubah (permissible). Despite its permissibility, the accretion of evil elements renders the permissible act prohibited, and this prohibition is described as haraam by the Fuqaha. Only maajin muftis are ignorant of this principle and the methodology of the Fuqaha.

The disease of assigning insignificance to sin was predicted by Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam): “Soon will you obey Shaitaan in the sins which you regard as insignificant.” Today this predicted act is materializing in the corrupt fatwas by the molvis who make tahqeer (regard as insignificant) of sins with their convoluted conception of Makrooh.

It is also said in the Hadith: “Beware of trivializing sin.” The tool for justifying this satanic attitude of tahqeer-e-zunoob (regarding sins being insignificant) is the misconception pertaining to the meaning of Makrooh. 

On the basis of this misconception sins are justified and regarded to be insignificant. This is Istikhfaaf which is kufr.

The profession of Ifta’ is not secular. The Mufti should not operate like a lawyer whose objective is this dunya. The Mufti is supposed to guide the servants of Allah and to show them the way to Jannat. He has to strive to close the avenues of sin and strengthen the bond of the Muslim with Allah Ta’ala. But the methods of the muftis of the current age only increases the chasm between people and their Khaaliq.

It is of imperative importance that the Mufti imbues in his fatwa the spirit of Islam to encourage practical implementation of the Sunnah. It is a moron ‘mufti’, who issues fatwas on the basis of dry technicalities when these open the door of fitnah. The purpose of Fiqhi technicalities is not to distance the questioner from Allah Ta’ala. It is not to encourage in him laxitude and disdain for the Sunnah methods of A’maal.

Nowadays, the muftis appear to be propagating the permissibility of cultivating a lackadaisical attitude towards the Deen whereas the fatwa of the Mufti should serve to bring the questioner closer to the Deen. The Fiqhi technicalities of latitude should be resorted to only after the commission of the deed. It should never be promoted to open avenues for weakening Imaan by diverting the questioner from taqwa.

The attitude of the muftis of today is to embed in the minds and hearts of Muslims indulgence in technical permissibilities regardless of the long term harms to both Imaan and physical health.

Consider for example, the fatwa of alcohol. The muftis who have a loose association with the Deen, their gaze being deflected from the Path of Taqwa and the spirit which pervades the Qur’aan and the Ahaadith, go to great   uncalled for lengths to promote the ‘fadhaa-il’ of ethanol, and the motive for this type of obduracy and convoluted thinking is plain nafsaaniyat. It is calculated to counter those who issue the fatwa of prohibition based on the view of the Jamhoor of our Math-hab and the Ijma’ of the other three Math-habs. The nafsaani idea is to show us a point, hence they intransigently peddle the idea of their being ‘nothing wrong’ with ethanol. They wade through the kutub with the intention of discovering some weird view or an error of a Faqeeh for justifying their convolution.

While the Ummah is grovelling in deluges of fisq and fujoor, and while the Ummah is ablaze with bid’ah and kufr, these muftis with their fossilized brains are lost in technicalities which only adds fuel to the conflagration of fisq, fujoor, bid’ah and kufr in which the Ummah is perishing.

Despite the proven destruction to the health by tobacco, the maajin muftis go out of their way to find, by hook or crook, some justification for legalizing this stinking poison as if it is a staple food contaminated by najaasat, hence the ‘imperative’ need to halaalize the smoking practice of the devil. They will, for example, present as daleel the hookah practice of some Buzrug or doggedly cling to a text of a Faqeeh despite the conspicuous and decisive evidences debunking that view which was centuries ago based on lack of information of the harms of tobacco. 

Cancer, as a confirmed consequence of tobacco, is tolerable and acceptable for the Ummah to these muftis, but the Shariah’s principle of dharar (substances causing harm) as an element of prohibition is unknown to them, yet they proclaim themselves ‘muftis’! In fact, they are like the moron ‘mufti’ who is described as ‘haatibul lail’  – a moron who searches for firewood in the bush on an intensely dark night not knowing on what his hands fall, whether on a snake or on faeces.

Rarities and technicalities are not to be promoted for mass consumption. A fatwa based on a technicality is to be restricted to the peculiar circumstances of only the questioner. It may not be peddled for public consumption, for in so doing, wide avenues are opened for fitnah and fasaad. 

Consider the example of I’aanat alal Ma’siyat (Aiding sin). The Qur’aan categorically forbids aiding in sin and transgression. But, muftis lacking in vision and wisdom, suffering from fossilization of the Aql, not only issue the fatwa of the permissibility of building a church/temple, but even promote it by presenting the Arabic texts from the kutub to convince the moron questioner who understands neither head nor tail of the quoted ibaaraat (texts from the kutub of Fiqh).

They cite, for example from Fataawa Hindiyyah, where it is mentioned that aiding in building a church is ‘permissible’. On the basis of this statement, they go crazy with delight to promote all the haraam contracts which Muslim builders enter into with the kuffaar. On this basis they will justify the building of Hindu temples of shirk in Dubai and elsewhere wherein even the ruler of the state and his wife worshipped in accordance of  Hindu rituals of shirk.

Whilst they stupidly cling to the aforementioned text like a dog   clinging to a bone, they are either stupidly unaware or conveniently overlook that in the very same kitaab it is mentioned that if a non-Muslim asks the way to the church/temple, then to show him the direction is kufr. Just view the great disparity between ‘permissibility’ of building a church / temple, and the mere act of pointing in the direction of the church / temple being kufr.

The objective of this brief discussion is not to explain the application of the conflicting masaa-il. This is not the occasion for it. We are merely drawing attention to the jahaalat and incompetence of the muftis who are either real juhala, or mudhilleen (those who misguide). They follow in the footsteps of the Ulama of Bani Israaeel whose trademark was rendering haraam into halaal, and vice versa as it served the interests of the donors or the nafs. 

The former class consists of morons who have been issued with Ifta certificates despite grossly lacking in even the rudiments of Ifta. The second class of mudhilleen are those who have chosen the dunya despite having academic expertise. They are the likes of Mufti Taqi who has fallen into the trap of western liberalism, hence his association with the rulers, capitalist bankers and the like. Such association has rendered him persona non grata from the Shar’i perspective. Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

“The Ulama are the Trustees of the Rusul (the Messengers of Allah) as long as they do not mingle with the sultan (the rulers), and as long as they do not plunge into the dunya.”

The Mas’alah of the Determination of Tashabbuh bil Kuffar (emulating the Kuffaar)

Question: 

Is there any encompassing rule to determine whether something is Tashabbuh bil Kuffaar (emulating the kuffaar wal fussaaq) or not, especially with regards to clothes, eating, etc.?

Answer (by Mujlisul Ulama):

There is no comprehensive principle regarding Tashabbuh Bil Kuffaar. The times and norms play a prominent role. Also, the wijdaan and baseerat of the Aalim of Haqq is important for determining this issue.

To correctly understand the mas’alah of Tashabbuh, there are three essentials: Ilm, Ikhlaas and Baseerat. Baseerat is the effect of Taqwa. Minus Taqwa, one’s ikhlaas will be contaminated. This contamination will eliminate Baseerat. The importance of Baseerat could be understood from Imaam Abu Hanifah’s fatwa on the impurity of Maa-e-Musta’mal (used water). With his Baseerat he observed the spiritual filth in maa-e-musta’mal, hence his view is the strongest on this issue.

Without Ikhlaas and Baseerat, the view on an issue will be the emotion of the mufti maajin (a moron ‘mufti’ whose ‘fatwas’ are the products of his bestial nafs). Consider the example of western clothes. To which extent does Tashabbuh apply? The mufti maajin who himself may be wearing western fashionable dress styles will argue that the dress has become universal (aam) and there is no longer any religious connotation attached to it, e.g. the tie, hence it is permissible to wear shirt, pants, jeans, skippers, ties and all the miserable artefacts of shaitaan and his western progeny. Just imagine the level of jahaalat and mental convolution of even Ulama who argue that the satanic bermuda pants monstrosity is permissible simply because it is below the knees.

The baatini corrosion has blighted the intellectual perception so thoroughly that the mufti maajin fails to realize that a dress such as the bermuda pants is a pure western kuffaar fashionable dress item just recently introduced. Even prior to it assuming the decrepit and apodalic attribute of being aam, the maajin character proclaims it permissible simply on just one count, namely, the covering of the knees. Well, your wife’s ijaar and her burqah offer greater concealment of satr than the bermuda pants, and at the same time it is Tashabbuh bil Muslimah (emulation of a Muslim female), which rationally is better than Tashabbuh bil Kuffaar. Notwithstanding this fact, Tashabbuh bil Muslimah is also mal-oon (accursed). Thus, to a greater degree will a male who adopts kuffaar dress be mal-oon because of Tashabbuh bil Kuffaar.

However, the Mufti who focuses on the Aakhirat and who understands the maqsood (objective) of life on earth, ruminates with his Baatini (Spiritual) Heart and asks: Why does a Muslim want to wear shirt, pants, jacket, jeans, T-shirts and ties and strut about with a bared head, when Islamic dress is available, and when millions of Muslims are wearing such dress by which one can recognize from a mile away that the person is a Muslim? Careful reflection will convince one that there is the thief, shaitaan lurking in his nafs or it is the deception of his nafs which constrains him to proffer the ‘aam’ argument.

Since his nafs craves to don kuffaar garments because it is stylish and appealing to the desire, and it blends suitably with the kuffaar environment in which we live, he presents spurious arguments to justify such kuffaar dress. Little does he realize that in so doing he is according preference to kuffaar dress over and above Islamic dress which is easily available to him. This attitude thus confirms the element of Tashabbuh in kuffaar dress.

Someone may raise the argument that items such as jerseys, socks, shoes, raincoats and other necessary items of dress which all of us wear, are also of western origin. Does Tashabbuh apply here too? The response to this ishkaal (conundrum) is as follows:

Yes and no! At times it will be Tashabbuh and at times it will not be. In our environment and the circumstances in which Muslims work and live, these items are necessary. There is no suitable Islamic substitute for these items of dress. The idea of Tashabbuh is furthest from the mind. In this scenario the argument of the dress being universal is valid. Nevertheless, this still precludes such of these items which have entered society as the latest fashions. It also precludes footwear on which appears logos and the like.

But, in a different setting such as India, Pakistan and Afghanistan, they are perfectly at home with a chaadar (shawl) thrown around the shoulders. They are comfortable in it and it does not interfere with their activities. Thus, for Muslims in those lands the element of Tashabbuh will be even in jerseys, and to a degree even in the type of shoes which we wear in the western world. The type of jooties worn in India and Pakistan suit them well although it is unsuitable for us here due to the flimsiness of the shoes and due to the feminine appearance.

A daleel for us is the amal of Imaam Abu Yusuf (rahmatullah alayh). After he became the Qaadhi and he had to do considerable walking, he changed his style of shoes and adopted the style of the Ajam. When someone objected, he explained that because of the toughness of these shoes he has adopted them.

In conclusion: In our environment, shirts, suits, ties, jeans, T-shirts and the like are Tashabbuh bil Kuffaar without the least doubt, and furthermore it borders on kufr because it is preferred over Islamic dress which is readily available. Preferring a kuffaar style over an Islamic style is a major sin of kufr proportions.

Regarding the practice of eating from tables and eating with knives and forks, the element of Tashabbuh is too glaring for the need to cudgel brains for the determination of the Shar’i Hukm. The argument of its ‘permissibility’ on the basis of this practice having become universal is contemptuously baatil. Abandonment of the Sunnah is haraam whether it is abandoned by a few or by the entire population. After fourteen centuries of the Ummah eating on the floor, suddenly the table and chair practice becomes ‘halaal’ on the decrepit and deceptive basis of ‘universality’. If this has to be accepted as a standard ‘principle’ for abrogation of Shar’i and Sunnah practices, the same fate which has destroyed the Shariats of Nabi Musaa (alayhis salaam) and Nabi Isaa (alayhis salaam) will mangle and mutilate the Sunnah which this Ummah of Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) has followed since the inception of Islam.

Those who have adopted tables and chairs for eating, after abandoning their original Sunnah practice, are hovering on the brink of kufr for having preferred a kuffaar practice over and above the Sunnah practice. Those who have been eating in western style since birth, whilst not perpetrating haraam as the former group, nevertheless, are under Waajib obligation to abandon the kuffaar style and to adopt the Sunnah style. If, after having been made aware of this essentiality, they refuse, then they will be guilty of the haraam practice of Tashabbuh bil Kuffaar. And, Allah knows best.