Permissible & Prohibited UNDER Shariah LAW

In order to build a structure, the edifice is built upon a foundation and the is foundation based on the Shariah Law. Like conventional law, Shariah law also has its do’s and don’ts.

In my previous article, I explained that Shariah is derived directly from the Quran, the holy book and the Sunnah, the teachings and practices of the holy prophet, Mohammad PBUH and that together these two cover all aspects of human life.

In Arabic, Shariah literally means “the clear, well-trodden path to water”.

It aims to help Muslims understand how they should lead every aspect of their lives according to Allah’s wishes.

Shariah can inform every aspect of daily life for a Muslim. For example, a Muslim wondering what to do if their colleagues invite them to the pub after work may turn to a Shariah scholar for advice to ensure they act within the legal framework of their religion. Other areas of daily life where Muslims may turn to Sharia for guidance include family law, finance, and business.

Islamic Jurisprudence (FIQH):

The study of Shariah law is called FIQH ( Islamic jurisprudence). In other words, FIQH can be described as the human understanding of Shariah. Fiqh, the term for Islamic jurisprudence, is a process by means of which jurists derive sets of guidelines, rules, and regulations from the rulings laid down in the Holy Quran and the teachings and living example of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), the Sunnah. Over the centuries, these have been formulated and elaborated upon by successive generations of learned jurists, through interpretation, analogy, consensus, and disciplined research.

FATWA :

Like any legal system, Shariah is complex and its practice is entirely reliant on the quality and training of experts. Islamic jurists issue guidance and rulings. The guidance that is considered a formal legal ruling is called a fatwa.

Fatwa is a religious edict or a decree on matters that do not have clear answers from the Quran.

There are five different schools of Islamic law. There are four Sunni schools: Hanbali, Maliki, Shafi’i, and Hanafi, and one Shia school, Jaafari.

The five schools differ in how literally they interpret the texts from which Shariah law is derived. Interpretation of Islamic law is also nuanced according to local culture and customs, which means Sharia may look quite different in different places.

Permissible & Prohibited Under Shariah Law:

Just as conventional law encompasses and binds human actions, so does Shariah law. At this point, it is beneficial to understand how Shariah categorizes human actions. The ‘amaal (or actions) of human beings can either be Halal (permissible) or Haram (prohibited). On a descending scale, these are very clearly categorized as

  • Fard/Wajib (obligatory)
    - Mandub (recommended)
    - Mubah (permissible)
    - Makruh (reprehensible)
    - Haram (forbidden)

“O you who have believed, eat from the good things which We have provided for you and be grateful to Allah if it is [indeed] Him that you worship. He has only forbidden to you dead animals, blood, the flesh of swine, and that which has been dedicated to other than Allah. But whoever is forced [by necessity], neither desiring [it] nor transgressing [its limit], there is no sin upon him. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful”. (Quran, 2:172–173)

The above verses state the foods which are forbidden to Muslims. Since the exceptions are always present in almost every matter, therefore Quran also leaves the gap for those who are dying from hunger, and thus they are allowed to eat whatever they find available to feed their hunger. Other than edible things, Quran has also mentioned the non-edible things which are haram. Allah says in Surah Al-Araf, verses 32 & 33:

“Say: ‘Who has forbidden the adornment of Allâh which He has brought forth for His servants, and the good things of His providing? Say: ‘They are, on the Day of Resurrection, exclusively for those who believed during the life of this world. Thus do we explain the signs for those who know?‘ Say: ‘What my Rabb has indeed prohibited are shameful deeds, whether open or secret, and sin and rebellion without just cause, and that you associate with Allâh that for which He has sent down no authority, and that you say concerning Allâh that about which you do not know.’” (The Holy Quran 7:32–33)

The Holy Prophet Muhammad PBUH said:

“Halal is clear and the Haram (unlawful) is clear. Between the two there are doubtful matters concerning which people do not know. One who avoids them in order to safeguard his deen (religion) and his honor are safe, while if someone indulges in it, he may be indulging in the unlawful ” (Bukhari)

Prophet Mohammad (P.B.U.H) has divided the matters into three categories:

1. Permissible (Halal) :

Halal is an Arabic word meaning lawful or permitted in Islam. In Islamic principles, the term Halal takes a specific, well-defined meaning.

2. Prohibition (Haram):

In Islam, everything considered harmful either to the body, mind, soul, or society is prohibited (haram), while whatever is beneficial is permissible (halal).

3. Mashbooh ( Doubtful):

And in between halal and haram, there are doubtful matters. Prophet Mohammad (P.B.U.H) advised the Muslims to not fall into doubtful matters, he said: “So whoever abstains from the doubtful matters has saved his religion and his honor”.

As Prophet Mohammad (P.B.U.H) specified the things into three categories, therefore we must follow the things as per the guidance of the messenger of Allah.

The lawful (halal) and the prohibited (Haram) in Islamic shariah law is not a simple matter. İt is not for any human to decide what is lawful and what is prohibited, not even the Holy Prophet Muhammad PBUH through his own personal judgments that depend on no Divine source. Nobody has the authority to declare anything like food, dress action, etc lawful or prohibited. Moreover, it is one of the striking features of Islam that all human beings, whatever the class or rank they enjoy are equal before halal and haram injunctions. There is no double standard in the shariah.

İt is my observation that

Most contemporary people on Islam fall under one of two groups.

İf the truth had been in accord with their desires. The heaven and the earth and all therein would have been in corruption.
Holy Quran 23 :71

The other group is frozen in its fixed opinions concerning questions about halal and haram, following a statement in a text which they assume to be Islam. They do not budge a hair’s breadth from their position, nor do they try to weigh their opinion against the argument of others, and to arrive at the truth after a comparison Abe critical evaluation of opinions. İf one of them were to be asked his opinion concerning music, marriage, women’s education, and other similar matters, the most likely answer would be Haram. This group has forgotten the caution exercises by our righteous forebears in such matters, who never applied the word Haram to anything unless they knew it to be definitely prohibited.

The word of any person other than the prophet Muhammad pbuh is sometime acceptable and sometimes objectionable. İmam Mâlik

The concept of the lawful and prohibited has been Known to everyone since ancient times. However, people have different in defining the scope, variety, and causes of prohibitions, most of which were a product of their primitive beliefs, superstitions, and myths. Then came the divinely revealed religions, with their laws and injunctions concerning the halal and haram, uplifting mankind from the level of superstition, myth, and tribalism to the level of dignity which believes a human existence.

This day I have perfected your religion for you and have completed My favor upon you, and have chosen Islam for you as religion. ( The Holy Quran 5:3)

İslam’s view of the halal and the haram is very simple and clear. İt is a part of the great trust which Allah offered to the heavens, the earth, and the mountains, which they declined but which man accepted. This trust requires man to carry and to assume accountability concerning them. This responsibility is the basis on which the human individual will be judged by Allah and given his reward or punishment. Because of this trust, Allah gave man intellect, willpower, and freedom of choice, because of this. He sent his messengers and revealed His books. İt is not for man to question. Why is there halal and haram? Why am I not left free to do as I please? For this is precisely the test of his freedom of choice and action. Moreover, man is neither a purely spiritual being like the angels nor simply a creature of instinct like the animals. Rather he occupies a position between the two, he can attain or even surpass the spiritual heights of the angels or he can sink to the level of the beasts, or even lower.

Book Recommendation :

Many Islamic scholars explained “ The Lawful and Prohibited in Islam” in their books and different places. today I’ll share with you one of my favorite books on this topic.

The Lawful and the Prohibited in Islam (Al-Halal Wal Haram Fil Islam):

by Yusuf Al-Qaradawi

Final Thoughts:

İn view of the fact that halal and haram constitute such an important subject, i hope this article helps you to understand the basic concepts and beliefs in İslam about halal and haram.

At first glance, the subject of Permissible and Prohibited may seem easy to write about, but in fact, it is extremely difficult.After all diffculties, i have cleared my heart of all desires except that of pleasing Allah and to seek the truth.

verily good deeds do away with evil deeds.

And that is a reminder for those who remember.

Be patient with yourself. And Keep learning!!

I will be calmer, I will spread love as long as I can, I will live a spiritual life, I would do what I please no matter what and I would prove my theories.

Always start your day by renewing your intention that everything you do for yourself and your community, whether it be your acts of worship or daily chores. It all has to be merely for the sake of Allah (SWT) and Also, I ask Allah (SWT) to make my work dedicated only to him and forgiveness from Allah (SWT), if I have got anything wrong. It is He who is the Hearing, the knowing.

Finally, İ pray Allah to benefit those who read this article and others, grant me truthfulness in what I say and do, preserve my thoughts and my pen from deviation and guide me in all my affairs.

And all praise and thanks are due to Allah, without Whose help and guidance nothing can be accomplished.

Yeah, don’t forget to follow me for more amazing content. Happy Reading!!!

If you enjoyed reading, learned anything interesting, or know anyone who should read this, please feel free to recommend or write a response. I’m always excited to hear from others and learn.

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Raja Muhammad Mustansar Javaid

Raja Muhammad Mustansar Javaid

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Writer | network engineer | Traveler | Biker | Polyglot. I’m so deep even the ocean gets jealous