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Sunday 20th of June 2021
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KINDS OF LAW IN ISLAM

Should we track man's daily conduct and his activities and attitudes,

we will find it most difficult to count them. Every man produces

hundreds of quotes and does hundreds of deeds. Within himself

countless thoughts, ideas and feelings flow. For instance, he can eat,

drink, sleep, marry, steal, commit adultery, kill, cheat, tell lies, pray,

worship, monopolize, be kind to the destitute and orphans, laugh, become

desperate, be pessimistic and optimistic, produce medicines, make tools of

torture, believe in Allah, think and discover sciences and

knowledges...etc.

It is a  list of both evil and good deeds. They are not equal in

respect to their benefit and harm to the individual  who does them,

and the society which absorbs their effects.

Islam regards human activities, which are actions, sayings, ideas and

feelings with due attention. Islam puts these activities into a

variety of categories, and so every activity is precisely weighed and

described in respect to its nature and impact on man himself. Islam

does so to show the path before man, and put forward a criterion by

which man evaluates his activities, develops them, and steers himself

clear from evil and crime.

Man is also urged to mobilize his energies in the domain of good and

constructive works and preserve them from being dissipated and lost.

These energies granted to man by his Creator are not to become tools

of destruction and sources of calamities and torture to man. The

ultimate goal, is thus, attaining Allah's pleasure.

On the basis of these considerations and goals, man's deeds fall into

five categories, where every activity is valued according to its

positive or negative effects on man and his varied relationships.

These categories, as stated by the scholars are:-

1- Permitted (Mubah)

2- Recommended (Mustahab)

3- Disapproved but not unlawful (Makruh)

4- Forbidden (Muharam)

5- Obligatory (Wajib)

 

1- THE PERMITTED (MUBAH):

It is an act in which a sane person (mukalaf)2 who has reached his

puberty has full freedom to do it or leave it aside.

Within the circle of the permission, such  a person is never asked

concerning what he does or leaves of the permitted actions.

Examples of permissible acts are countless and innumerable in the

life of a man. For instance, a mukalaf is free to choose the

work that best suits him/her. He is free to do  research and think

on the sciences of nature and life.

He is free to select the suitable system to run the social and

political offices and establishments; to determine the food, clothing

and residence he likes...etc. He is also free to use what suits his

inclinations, circumstances and abilities...on the condition that all

his actions should not exceed  the limits and exceptions

set by Islam.

It is worth mentioning that the sphere of the permitted (Mubah) is the

widest among the daily social human behaviours, for all acts are, as a

rule, permitted according to the most well-known religious judgement.

Everything is permissible except the one forbidden by a Divine law.

2- THE RECOMMENDED (MUSTAHAB):

It is any act that the Muslim is urged to do, whereby he is viewed

a performer of the good and so deserves divine reward and Allah's

pleasure. But no punishment is set for any one who leaves it or

considers it easy, because, if done, its fruits will be to his benefit,

and if left or ignored no harm will result from it.

In the life of the individual  or a group, mustahab acts are

numerous. Greeting others, paying visits to friends and neighbours,

giving alms, being tidy and elegant, and many rites like du`a

(supplication), night prayers, fasting during the holy months

of Rajab and Sha`ban, reciting the Qur'an, are but a few examples of

recommended acts.

The recommended deeds in Islam uplift man to a lofty spiritual

position and make him do the maximum possible acts of good in his

life on earth to obtain  Allah's pleasure in the Hereafter.

The Muslim does the recommended deeds out of a sublime moral motivation,

without the slightest feelings of fear or coercion. He is propelled by

love and longing to walk on the path leading to perfection and

continuous enrichment in this life.

3- THE DISAPPROVED BUT NOT UNLAWFUL (MAKRUH):

Makruh could be defined as an act a Muslim,  is urged to  avoid

although it is not unlawful. It is preferable to avoid such acts in

the interests of self or society. However, Islam does not set a

punishment for the Muslim who does it, because it is not considered

haram. Islam stops short of making it haram, and only urges the Muslim

to avoid it, as it is likely to lead to harm or corruption.

This law is very effective in blocking the ways ending in the

commission of haram acts.

The exhortation to avoid the makruh is the second factor,

following the urging to accomplish  the mustahab, that supports the

key laws of wujub and hurma in uplifting man spiritually to attain

higher, sublime, spiritual stages so that he can ward off harm and

danger in human life. Examples of makruh are: urinating in stagnant

water, sleeping till after sunrise, eating in a state  after

intercourse or sexual discharge without performing  the obligatory

bath, ablutions, and making largeÄscale advertisement to sell

something which is not so worthy...etc.

4-THE FORBIDDEN (MUHARAM)

It is any act that Islam prohibits the religiously  responsible

Muslim, from committing, and sets a punishment for the transgressors,

while praising and rewarding the one who totally abstains from such

acts. It is a procedure Islam takes to check the deviation that man

may be led to  perversion and the wrong and unnatural expression of

motives and desires which are harmful to his body and soul.

It  is a law which checks chaos and corruption and nips dangers and

crimes  in the bud.  Doing the haram distances the human soul from

nearness to Allah and blocks the process of sublimity.

As haram action contains deep psychological, bodily, spiritual,

and social risks, Islam  sets both legal and social punishment for the

transgressor, in addition to the severe  punishment in store for him

in the Hereafter.

Islam does not leave the matter unexplained. The Holy Qur'an makes it

clear that the goal of forbidding certain acts is not disturbing man,

depriving him, or making him deal dispiritedly with life. To the

contrary, Islam aims at something else, as mentioned in the following

verse:

"Say: My Lord has only prohibited indecencies, those of them that

are apparent as well as those that are concealed, and sin and

rebellion without justice, and that you associate with Allah  for

which He has sent down no authority, and that you say against

Allah what you know not".                  Holy Qur'an (7:33:)

"Those who follow the Apostle Ä Prophet, the Ummi,

whom they find written down with them in the Torah

and the Evangel, (who) enjoins them good and forbids them evil, and

makes lawful to them the good things and makes unlawful to them impure

things, and removes from them their burden and the shackles which were

upon them; so (as for) those who believe in him and honour him and

help him, and follow the light which has been sent down with him,

these it is that are the successful".        Holy Qur'an (7:157)

Examples of haram acts are premeditated killing, usury, drinking

wine, taking other people's property by force, disseminating harmful

ideas and distributing morally reprehensible books and publications,

and so on.

5. THE OBLIGATORY (THE WAJIB):

It is any act that Islam makes obligatory on a mukalaf

Muslim in a decisive and final way and which, under no

circumstances, can he/she ignore. Islam sets punishment for whoever leaves

it intentionally, and rewards for whoever performs it perfectly.

Prayer, fasting, zakat (poorÄrate), khums, jihad,

ruling justly, being kind to parents, enjoining good and forbidding

evil, fighting oppression and tyranny, having love and affection for

the Prophet (s.a.w.) and his Household, being truthful, obeying the

orders of the Islamic state that rules by the Qur'an, are among the

unavoidably obligatory duties in Islam.

Such duties and obligations were not ordained except for the

welfare of mankind, preserving life and order, and safeguarding

humankind's security in this world and the Hereafter.

Should we try to examine the laws of the obligations in Islam,

study them analytically, trace their results and practical

consequences in life, we would see that they effectively conduce to

balance life, preserve the order of human nature, and nurture a

systematic relationship between man and his Creator on one hand and

man and society on the other.

The philosophy of the obligations in Islam is based on making the

wajib a quantity in an equation whose other quantity is right and

reward or punishment. What is obligatory is ordained to deepen the feeling

of responsibility on the part of the Muslim, emphasize the relation

between right and duty, narrow the circle of egoism and to foster

human conscience which opens one's eyes to the concepts of justice and

equity. Man realizes, through these duties and obligations, that every

human being has the right to live, and duties to perform without which

social life and the ties with Allah the Glorified, cannot be

balanced.

The secret behind the wajib and divine obligations in Islam, should

we try to know, lies in the fact that man, when performing such

duties, adds to the chain of good, a new link which makes it more

effective as it expands man's best tendencies in his inner, and  bears

good fruit through interaction between the human self

and the surrounding environment. Such results can be regarded as a

criterion by which man's intentions are measured, and be the basis for

his reward or punishment.

If the original law is amended by any accidental cause then the new

law possesses the same legitimacy the original one had. It is an

indivisible religious obligation that the responsible Muslim has to

perform, or be given the choice of performing or leaving it according

to the nature of the law.

If fasting, for instance, is obligatory under normal circumstances,

it is haram for the sick to fast. Then fasting is, in this case,

legitimately haram in a decisive way. If the sick person fasts, his

action is not legitimate but is haram and ensues some consequences set

and explained by Islam.

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