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Al Qawaaid al Fiqhiyyah

Al-Qawaaid al-Fiqhiyyah II

2012 Fall Session (October 28 to December 23 2012)
Class taught by Shaikh Jamaal Zarabozo

Course Outline:
This class will concentrate on all of the various fiqh aspects of the rights of the wife, discussing the mahr (whether it is permissible to delay it), the wife’s maintenance and factors affecting it, etc.

Required or Recommended Reading:

Various articles may be e-mailed throughout the course, Allah willing


Recommended Textbook:

Not much is available in English on this subject.


Basic Outline of the Quarter:

1. Essential Components and Conditions of Qawaaid

2. Independent Qawaaid and Corollaries

3. The Five Major, Universal Qawaaid

3a. Affairs are based on Intention

3b. Certainty is not removed by Doubt

2012-10-28 Class Notes


Bah Hussain on this topic said what the arkaan and shuroot of a qa’idah and as far he knows he is the only one who has discussed these aspects.

The arkaan of a qa’idah are two:
1) The subject of the qa’idah
2) The ruling/judgement

For example, in the Qaedah above we mean Hardship as a class and not some specific example e.g. Abdul Qadir was travelling so his travelling is the hardship (and here we are referring to hardship as a class or set, eg some types of hardship). So the Qaedah cannot be case specific (this is what #1 means above). So what number 2 means that it applies to every member of the set (just like we saw in Usul al Fiqh). So #1 makes sure that it is a whole set and then #2 is making sure that it applies to all the members of the set. In principle one can have tajreed without the Ummum and Ummum without tajreed.  

For example: “hardship begets facility.” The subject is “hardship” and the ruling is “facility”.

The conditions for applying a qa’idah:
1) التجريد -- non specific hardship. It is not specific to a particular case.
2) عموم -- Generality
3) Has to be a shari’ah ruling and not a secular one
4) It must be stated in a definitive fashion without hesitation doubt or question

For example, in Hanafi books some Qawaid have question marks in front of them which means that Hanafi Ulema did not agree upon it.

The first two apply to the subject.

The author e.g. gives the example that water boils at 100 degree Celsius but it has conditions of the sea level, no impurities, etc. So Qaedah is similar, that it has conditions linked to its wordings. For example, back to “hardship begets facility”. So this qaedah has some specific requirements at the back which need to be met.

1) The hardship has to be real (haqiqiyah) and not imaginary.
2) The hardship must be above what a human is usually expected to bear. For example someone can say that 5 daily prayers are a hardship but people are required to take this hardship as it is ordained in Shariah. So 5 daily prayers are what human should be able to bear according to Shariah.  
3) It can not be that the Shariah has a goal in you suffering from that hardship.

Conditions for the application of the Qaedah

1. The prerequisites of the qa’idah must be met e.g.  hardship must be present.

The prerequisites depend on the particular ruling.  Example: the default case is that of permissibility. But this clearly has a prerequisite that the Shari’ah has not made something haram.

2. It does not contradict anything stronger than it

Default ruling for carrion is that it is haram. But clearly carrion from the sea are halal; because of a specific hadith giving permission for the dead of the sea.

3. The specific case does not have a text or ijma’ for it

Slightly different from the above one. The problem is that most of the qawaid are thanni (based on istiqraa or induction) -- so if it is a qa’idah from a definitive text, then you have to look at the two. It’s a case of ta’aarud. Suppose the qa’idah is consistent with the text or ijma’ then there is no harm in quoting that particular text.

So these conditions must be fulfilled before we use the Qa’idah.

When we study Qawaid, we see that there are some independent Qawaid and then there are dependent Qawaid (Corrollaries, Lemmas).

An independent qaedah is one which is not derived from another Qaedah. For example, a qaedah that says “necessity must be confined to what is absolutely necessary”. So it is not an independent qa’idah -- it’s only relevant if you have already applied the qa’idah that “necessity makes permissible the impermissible.”

An example of an independent qa’idah: “affairs are judged by the intentions”. This is an independent qaedah and does not need any other qaedah for it’s use.

التابع تابع -- “al Tabi’ Tabi”: Whatever follows in practice also follows legally. For example, due to gharar one cannot sell the unborn fetus of a camel, however, one can sell the pregnant camel. This way calf is allowed since calf cannot be separated, so it becomes permissible to sell.

Sometimes one qaedah is derived from another qaedah: “Al Yaqeenu La Yazoolu bi Shak”. Apparently it looks an independent qaedah. But apparently it can be taken as a corollary of the principle that “something remains in their original state until it is proven otherwise.” For example, people are unmarried when they are born. The second one doesn’t require yaqeen.  

The Qawaid are also categorized based on how comprehensive they are. In general most scholars put 5 qawaid into this category (we will inshaAllah discuss it next time).

Guess from students
1) Harm is to be removed
2) Al Yaqeenu La Yazoolu bi Shak
3) La Yadurru wa La Dirrar
4) Ina mal Amalu bi Niyyat (Al Umuru bi Maqasidiha).
5) …..............


2012-11-04 Class Notes


We have categorized qawaa'id fiqhiyaah into different types of categorization, the last type of categorization is based on how comprehensive they are.

First level of comprehensiveness: Major Comprehensive Qawaa'id (القواعد الكليّة الكبرى -- al-kulliyya al-kubra)

The first category based on this scheme is the most comprehensive qawaa'id. They are called major comprehensive qawaa'id and they apply to all aspects or areas of fiqh. These qawaa'id are usually considered agreed upon, but there might be some issue with one of them.

Five Qawaa'id that are considered Major Comprehensive Qawaa'id

There are five basic qawaa'id that are considered major comprehensive qawaa'id. We will take a couple of them and discuss them in detail as the class progresses.

Qa'idah #1
الأمور بمقاسدها
Actions are by based upon (or judged by) their intentions
Please take a note of the Arabic words used for this legal maxim and the discussion below about why this maxim uses the word maqaasid and not niyah or some other word.


Qa'idah #2
الضرر يزال
Harm is to be removed
An issue related to divorce, salaat, wudu, you can invoke this qa'idah for these types of issues.


Qa'idah #3
العادة محكمة
Custom is enforced
Does this sound like qawaa'id fiqhiyaah? This could be usooli qaeedah as well as fiqhi qaeedah. Can you invoke urf for prayers? The exemption for prayer when you travel, how you compute what is considered to be travel outside the limits of the city can be decided by urf or custom.
Here we are saying that urf or custom has some authority


Qa'idah #4
المشقّة تجلب التيسير
Hardship begets facility
If you cannot pray standing, you can pray sitting down.


Qa'idah #5
اليقين لا يزول بالشكّ
Certainty is not removed by doubt
Edit: We have discussed this earlier with respect to wudu, in fiqh us sunnah class.


You can imagine how all of these five qawaa'id can apply to every topic of fiqh. We will discuss this in detail later on.

Second level of comprehensiveness: Qawaa'id that are comprehensive but not greatly comprehensive

They are not comprehensive as the first group.

Al-Suyooti’s books in his book الأشباه والنظائر lists qawa’id according to their comprehensiveness, he has forty qawaa'id of this class in this book. He was a Shafiee scholar.

Ibn Nujaim came after him and he called his book the same name, not sure what is the relationship between the two, he was writing from Hanafi perspective, and he presented only 19 in this category.

Among the qawaid placed in this category:

  • An ijtihaad is not negated by another ijtihaad.
  • إذا اجتمع الحلال و الحرام غلب الحرام: If the halal and the haram are joined, then the haram takes precedence. This comes from the hadith of the Prophet prohibiting us before allowing us.
  • التابع تابع: If something is part of something else, then it follows from it rule.
  • If you have a chance to get in the first row, you should not give it up, this is considered makrooh according to this qawaa'id. Similarly another example was if you have an opportunity to make  adhaan than you should do so.
  • You do not attribute a statement to one who is absent or silent
  • لازم المذهب ليس بالمذهب Sometimes you might have a particular opinion, and you take it to the logical conclusions, these might not be whole. You cannot ascribe these consequences to the person who made the opinion. So the qaedah is that the logical conclusions cannot be attributed to the person who made the statement.
  • If someone brings something forth before its time, he is not allowed to benefit from it as a punishment.

These are qawaa'id that are less general than the first category.


Third level of comprehensiveness: Qawaa'id that are applied to just two or three chapters of fiqh

Ibn Al Subki [d. 770] called this category "Al-qawaaid Al-Khass"  and that book is also called as الأشباه والنظائر


The examples that are listed as dhabbit and not qaeedah.  

An example of the qaeedah that falls into this category is, “Every carrion is impure except for locusts and samak (fish)”. This applies only to tahara and is not comprehensive.


Discussion about the wording of the Qa’edah #1: Affairs are used by their intentions

What is the most obvious evidence for this qaeedah? The hadith of ‘Umar. But why then use this wording rather than the one in the hadith? Because there are some people who differentiate between actions and sayings. So you state it in a more general form. There is also a different between maqaasid and niyyah.

The question of intention and what drives actions and why people do specific actions is something emphasized throughout the Qur’an. It applies throughout all the different areas of fiqh; ‘ibaadaat as well as mu’aamalaat. There is also no question that reward & punishment are directly related to the intention and that the soundness of actions are directly related to the intention.

For these reasons this hadith is considered 1/4th of the religion as a whole. And the fuqaha consider it as a component of every legal action. This is not the case only with respect to Islamic Law, but also in Western Law.

Al-umoor means all of the actions including speech. Maqsad means intention and design and purpose, object, goal or aim,

When it comes to ritual acts, scholars talk about Niyyah however, when it comes to social acts scholars talk about Maqsad but when it comes to Penal/Hudood they talk about (عمد) Amd.

They have chosen to use the word maqsad to mean all of the three, ritual acts (niyah), social contract (maqsad), penal/hudood (amd).

From Arabic there is not much difference between maqsad and niyah. The meaning of those words are very close. Niyah can include things that are beyond your ability, you can say if I had such an amount of money I would do such and such. Whereas for maqsad you cannot include things that are beyond your ability.

The word maqsad is more comprehensive and that is the reason why it is used in this qaeedah.


Evidences for Qa’edah #1: Affairs are used by their intentions

The first evidence is the hadith, every action is judged by its intention.

Narrated 'Umar bin Al-Khattab:
I heard Allah's Apostle saying, "The reward of deeds depends upon the intentions and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended. So whoever emigrated for worldly benefits or for a woman to marry, his emigration was for what he emigrated for."

حَدَّثَنَا الْحُمَيْدِيُّ عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ الزُّبَيْرِ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا سُفْيَانُ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا يَحْيَى بْنُ سَعِيدٍ الأَنْصَارِيُّ، قَالَ أَخْبَرَنِي مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ التَّيْمِيُّ، أَنَّهُ سَمِعَ عَلْقَمَةَ بْنَ وَقَّاصٍ اللَّيْثِيَّ، يَقُولُ سَمِعْتُ عُمَرَ بْنَ الْخَطَّابِ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ عَلَى الْمِنْبَرِ قَالَ سَمِعْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَقُولُ ‏ "‏ إِنَّمَا الأَعْمَالُ بِالنِّيَّاتِ، وَإِنَّمَا لِكُلِّ امْرِئٍ مَا نَوَى، فَمَنْ كَانَتْ هِجْرَتُهُ إِلَى دُنْيَا يُصِيبُهَا أَوْ إِلَى امْرَأَةٍ يَنْكِحُهَا فَهِجْرَتُهُ إِلَى مَا هَاجَرَ إِلَيْهِ ‏"‏‏.‏


We are discussing qaedah that are comprehensive. If you made hijrah for the sake of marriage or for Allah swt, then your hijrah will be judged by your intention. But didn’t he make hijrah either way?

Aren’t both of these evidences are related to reward. We are discussing fiqh qaeedah and the evidence that is presented doesn’t it look restrictive? Can this hadith establish this fiqh qa’idah?

The evidence by itself is lacking. Are those related to fiqh or are they related to the rewards that you will get for your actions?

Another evidence that is presented for this qaedah is the following: Narrated Sa'd bin Abi Waqqas:
Allah's Apostle said, "You will be rewarded for whatever you spend for Allah's sake even if it were a morsel which you put in your wife's mouth." (Sahih Bukhari: Book 2, Hadith 49)

حَدَّثَنَا الْحَكَمُ بْنُ نَافِعٍ قَالَ أَخْبَرَنَا شُعَيْبٌ عَنْ الزُّهْرِيِّ قَالَ حَدَّثَنِي عَامِرُ بْنُ سَعْدٍ عَنْ سَعْدِ بْنِ أَبِي وَقَّاصٍ أَنَّهُ أَخْبَرَهُ أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ "إِنَّكَ لَنْ تُنْفِقَ نَفَقَةً تَبْتَغِي بِهَا وَجْهَ اللَّهِ إِلَّا أُجِرْتَ عَلَيْهَا حَتَّى مَا تَجْعَلُ فِي فَمِ امْرَأَتِكَ"


Finally they give evidence, from the shariah point of view, actions of an insane person is not considered valid, actions of a person who makes mistakes, who has forgotten, who is coerced, all of these actions are overlooked.

How about this evidence?



This is much better evidence.

Quran Surah Baqarah: Allah will not hold you to account for ....  

وما كان لمؤمن أن يقتل مؤمنا إلا خطأ ومن قتل مؤمنا خطأ فتحرير رقبة مؤمنة ودية مسلمة إلى أهله إلا أن يصدقوا فإن كان من قوم عدوّ لكم وهو مؤمن فتحرير رقبة مؤمنة وإن كان من قوم بينكم وبينهم ميثاق فدية مسلمة إلى أهله وتحرير رقبة مؤمنة فمن لم يجد فصيام شهرين متتابعين توبة من الله وكان الله عليما حكيما


Sahih International
And never is it for a believer to kill a believer except by mistake. And whoever kills a believer by mistake - then the freeing of a believing slave and a compensation payment presented to the deceased's family [is required] unless they give [up their right as] charity. But if the deceased was from a people at war with you and he was a believer - then [only] the freeing of a believing slave; and if he was from a people with whom you have a treaty - then a compensation payment presented to his family and the freeing of a believing slave. And whoever does not find [one or cannot afford to buy one] - then [instead], a fast for two months consecutively, [seeking] acceptance of repentance from Allah . And Allah is ever Knowing and Wise.

Surah Nisa: Allah swt distinguishes that a believer should not kill another believer except by accident and whoever kills a believer then his punishment.

Here this evidence points out that your intention is taken into consideration.

" ثَلاَثٌ جِدُّهُنَّ جِدٌّ وَهَزْلُهُنَّ جِدٌّ النِّكَاحُ وَالطَّلاَقُ وَالرَّجْعَةُ "


Narrated Abu Hurairah: The Prophet (saws) said: There are three things which, whether undertaken seriously or in jest, are treated as serious: Marriage, divorce and taking back a wife (after a divorce which is not final)" [Abu Dawud]

So that means by mafhoom al mukhaalafah, serious is serious and joking is joking.

Since the above hadith overlooks your intention of joking (you really did not mean to divorce your wife, you were simply joking) and says that your statement will be taken as if you meant it, it also means that all of your actions should have intentions and in these three specific types of utterances your real intention does not matter, even if you utter the words in jest then you are held accountable for it.

So this evidence is even better than other evidences.

The point that Shaikh is trying to make is that moral judgement and reward from Allah swt and the qaeedah that we are discussing how your actions are judged from a fiqh perspective (legal jurisprudence).


2012-11-11 Class Notes

Discussion of Qa’edah #1: Affairs are used by their intentions الأمور بمقاسدها

We began discussion of our Qaeedah #1.

For this Qaedah, law can be divided into three categories: 1) Ritual Law; 2) Business Transactions and 3) Criminal Offenses (Crimes like murder).

When we speak about fiqh we are not discussing secular law. We are speaking about a law which guides us to the action which is bringing pleasure of Allah (swt). So fiqh has both ethical and moral aspects to it apart from the legal aspect. As believers we are supposed to live according to the moral aspects of fiqh as well.

Hereafter aspects of Qa’edah

The difference between Islamic law and secular law, we are submitting to please Allah swt. But if this submission is not in the heart and intention, then the action is useless. So you might not violate any of the laws but if you do not have intention to please Allah swt, then the actions are useless.

Evidences for actions being judged by intentions in the hereafter

There are many proofs for showing the actions are judged by their intentions in the hereafter. There are many evidences.

Hadith: Narrated 'Umar bin Al-Khattab:
I heard Allah's Apostle saying, "The reward of deeds depends upon the intentions and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended. So whoever emigrated for worldly benefits or for a woman to marry, his emigration was for what he emigrated for."

حَدَّثَنَا الْحُمَيْدِيُّ عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ الزُّبَيْرِ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا سُفْيَانُ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا يَحْيَى بْنُ سَعِيدٍ الأَنْصَارِيُّ، قَالَ أَخْبَرَنِي مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ التَّيْمِيُّ، أَنَّهُ سَمِعَ عَلْقَمَةَ بْنَ وَقَّاصٍ اللَّيْثِيَّ، يَقُولُ سَمِعْتُ عُمَرَ بْنَ الْخَطَّابِ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ عَلَى الْمِنْبَرِ قَالَ سَمِعْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَقُولُ ‏ "‏ إِنَّمَا الأَعْمَالُ بِالنِّيَّاتِ، وَإِنَّمَا لِكُلِّ امْرِئٍ مَا نَوَى، فَمَنْ كَانَتْ هِجْرَتُهُ إِلَى دُنْيَا يُصِيبُهَا أَوْ إِلَى امْرَأَةٍ يَنْكِحُهَا فَهِجْرَتُهُ إِلَى مَا هَاجَرَ إِلَيْهِ ‏"‏‏.‏


Narrated 'Umar bin Al-Khattab (May Allah be pleased with him), reported:
Messenger of Allah () said, "The deeds are considered by the intentions, and a person will get the reward according to his intention. So whoever emigrated for Allah and His Messenger, his emigration will be for Allah and His Messenger; and whoever emigrated for worldly benefits or for a woman to marry, his emigration would be for what he emigrated for".

[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
وعن أمير المؤمنين أبي حفص عمر بن الخطاب بن نفيل بن عبد العزى بن رياح بن قرط بن رزاح بن عدى بن لؤى ابن غالب القرشى العدوى‏.‏ رضي الله عنه، قال‏:‏ سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول‏:‏ ‏ "‏ إنما الأعمال بالنيات، وإنما لكل امرىء ما نوى فمن كانت هجرته إلى الله ورسوله فهجرته إلى الله ورسوله، ومن كانت هجرته لدنيا يصيبها، أو امرأة ينكحها فهجرته إلى ما هاجر إليه‏"‏ ‏(‏‏(‏متفق على صحته‏.‏ رواه إماما المحدثين‏:‏ أبو الحسين مسلم بن الحجاج بن مسلم القشيرى النيسابورى رضي الله عنهما في صحيحهما اللذين هما أصح الكتب المصنفة‏)‏‏)‏‏.‏

If someone make hijrah for worldly benefit, we cannot know what is in his heart, but when he meets Allah swt, he will be judged by the intention behind the deed. We are discussing actions that have purposes behind it and the result of the action. So your reward will be according to your intention whether it is to please Allah swt.

There are balagha aspects to the wording of the hadith (a wording of the second hadith), where Allah and His Messenger is repeated.  

Prophet also described that there will be a time when army will invade kaabah. Allah swt will open the earth and it will swallow the army and all of the people who surround it. Ayesha said that there will be some people who will be there because they are in the market, will they be swallowed. Prophet replied all of them will be swallowed but they will be resurrected according to their intention.

Narrated `Aisha: (Similar narration is from Umm Salamah)

Allah's Apostle said, "An army will invade the Ka`ba and when the invaders reach Al-Baida', all the ground will sink and swallow the whole army." I said, "O Allah's Apostle! How will they sink into the ground while amongst them will be their markets (the people who worked in business and not invaders) and the people not belonging to them?" The Prophet replied, "all of those people will sink but they will be resurrected and judged according to their intentions."


حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ الصَّبَّاحِ، حَدَّثَنَا إِسْمَاعِيلُ بْنُ زَكَرِيَّاءَ، عَنْ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ سُوقَةَ، عَنْ نَافِعِ بْنِ جُبَيْرِ بْنِ مُطْعِمٍ، قَالَ حَدَّثَتْنِي عَائِشَةُ ـ رضى الله عنها ـ قَالَتْ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏"‏ يَغْزُو جَيْشٌ الْكَعْبَةَ، فَإِذَا كَانُوا بِبَيْدَاءَ مِنَ الأَرْضِ يُخْسَفُ بِأَوَّلِهِمْ وَآخِرِهِمْ ‏"‏‏.‏ قَالَتْ قُلْتُ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ كَيْفَ يُخْسَفُ بِأَوَّلِهِمْ وَآخِرِهِمْ، وَفِيهِمْ أَسْوَاقُهُمْ وَمَنْ لَيْسَ مِنْهُمْ‏.‏ قَالَ ‏"‏ يُخْسَفُ بِأَوَّلِهِمْ وَآخِرِهِمْ، ثُمَّ يُبْعَثُونَ عَلَى نِيَّاتِهِمْ ‏"‏‏.

Umm Salamah added more to this narration and said .....

Prophet was asked about fighting. A person fights for reputation and someone fights .... and someone fights for booty and someone fights just to be seen. Prophet was asked who is fighting for the sake of Allah swt. Prophet said the one who fights for the word of Allah swt to be supreme is fighting for the sake of Allah swt.

Prophet told us about the ones who would be judged first on the day of judgement. A martyr would be brought and reminded about  the bounties, and he would say I fought for your sake. Allah swt said you are liar, you fought because you wanted people to say that you are brave. And he will placed in hellfire .... similarly for the person with knowledge ..... and the person who spent in charity .....

All scholars agree that place of the niyaah is the heart. If you are sincere towards Allah swt and you are sincere in your desire to do actions, then this sincerity will bring you to a place that you cannot imagine even if the actions fall short.

Hadith: A person desired to be a martyr and went out to fight. He fought but did not die and he died in his bed in Madinah. Prophet said Allah has given his reward according to his intention.

Hadith: Prophet was on an expedition of jihaad and said they are people who are with us in reward because even though they were left behind but they had intentions to be with us.

We don’t have ability to do the actions that we intend to do, such as wealth, knowledge etc. But if we have strong desire to do those actions, these intentions will be rewarded by Allah swt. So niyaah goes well beyond our actions.

Some scholars say that one of the reasons why people of jannah will reside in it forever and why people of hellfire will reside in it forever. They say that if a person who commits shirk or commits kufr and if he was asked then he would say that he wants to be mushrik or kafir forever, and that is the reason for his punishment forever. Similarly for the person in jannah, even if he is given 1000 years or more he intends to worship Allah (swt) alone.

When we meet Allah swt, our intentions are of the utmost importance. So our actions have to be accompanied by pure ikhlaas.

Allah swt says in the Qur’an ... pure monethism ... worship Allah and pray sincerely to him

وَمَا أُمِرُوا إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ مُخْلِصِينَ لَهُ الدِّينَ حُنَفَاءَ وَيُقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَيُؤْتُوا الزَّكَاةَ ۚ وَذَٰلِكَ دِينُ الْقَيِّمَةِ

Sahih International
And they were not commanded except to worship Allah , [being] sincere to Him in religion, inclining to truth, and to establish prayer and to give zakah. And that is the correct religion

Another verse, whoever hopes for the meeting with your lord, worship none other than Allah swt

قُلْ إِنَّمَا أَنَا بَشَرٌ مِّثْلُكُمْ يُوحَىٰ إِلَيَّ أَنَّمَا إِلَٰهُكُمْ إِلَٰهٌ وَاحِدٌ ۖ فَمَن كَانَ يَرْجُو لِقَاءَ رَبِّهِ فَلْيَعْمَلْ عَمَلًا صَالِحًا وَلَا يُشْرِكْ بِعِبَادَةِ رَبِّهِ أَحَدًا

Sahih International
Say, "I am only a man like you, to whom has been revealed that your god is one God. So whoever would hope for the meeting with his Lord - let him do righteous work and not associate in the worship of his Lord anyone."

Hadith Qudsi:
On the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him), who said that the Messenger of Allah () said:
Allah (glorified and exalted be He) said: I am so self-sufficient that I am in no need of having an associate. Thus he who does an action for someone else's sake as well as Mine will have that action renounced by Me to him whom he associated with Me. It was related by Muslim (also by Ibn Majah).

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ، قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ:

" قَالَ اللَّهُ تَبَارَكَ وَتَعَالَى: أَنَا أَغْنَى الشُّرَكَاءِ عَنْ الشِّرْكِ؛ مَنْ عَمِلَ عَمَلًا أَشْرَكَ مَعِي غَيْرِي(1)، تَرَكْتُهُ وَشِرْكَهُ".

رواه مسلم (وكذلك ابن ماجه)


Same actions could be rewarded differently
Qualities of our actions are dependent on the intention. You could fast because your doctor ordered you to fast for tests, you could fast to lose weight, some fast in order to commit suicide. So the same actions will be treated according to their actions. So the same action will be treated differently.

Same action could be considered a sin for some and a reward for some
Some people enter salah to please Allah swt, some in order to be seen, some because of the cultural obligations. So the same action might be considered sin. The very same deed could be act of kuffar or nifaaq.

Two people could stand together in order to pray, they are performing the same action, and one person could get rewards from Allah swt and the other person would be punished for it, because of their intentions. Keep in mind the person we are talking about has hypocrisy in the heart and hence his intention is not correct.

Intentions behind acts of ibaadah
If your goal is to please Allah swt, then you are entering it with proper intentions and Allah swt will reward you. But suppose you believe in the prayer and your whole purpose behind your act is for some reward in this dunya, let us say you are praying to get good grades. We are discussing nafeelah prayers and not the obligatory prayers in this scenario.

Allah swt if you are seeking this dunya we will give some of them what they desire... So they are wasting an opportunity and they are not intending any rewards for the hereafter and they will get no reward for that action in the hereafter.
11:15

مَن كَانَ يُرِيدُ الْحَيَاةَ الدُّنْيَا وَزِينَتَهَا نُوَفِّ إِلَيْهِمْ أَعْمَالَهُمْ فِيهَا وَهُمْ فِيهَا لَا يُبْخَسُونَ

Sahih International
Whoever desires the life of this world and its adornments - We fully repay them for their deeds therein, and they therein will not be deprived.

أُولَٰئِكَ الَّذِينَ لَيْسَ لَهُمْ فِي الْآخِرَةِ إِلَّا النَّارُ ۖ وَحَبِطَ مَا صَنَعُوا فِيهَا وَبَاطِلٌ مَّا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ

Sahih International
Those are the ones for whom there is not in the Hereafter but the Fire. And lost is what they did therein, and worthless is what they used to do.


If his intention is only dunya for his obligatory prayers then he is committing a sin, since he is not seeking anything from Allah (swt) in the hereafter, as it becomes clear in the light of the above verses.

You should make dua for things in this dunya but it should be to please Allah swt.

Multiple intentions for the act of ibaadah
If he is making acts of ibaadah just to be seen then he is committing a sin. But suppose he is going to salah to pray and he is also going to meet someone over there. Is it okay to have multiple intentions for the act of going to pray? What if the other intentions are also good intentions such as to meet other Muslims and learn more about the community?

All of these multiple intentions are good and noble and you will be rewarded for all of them, you are thinking about all of the other rewards by praying in the masjid.

You could have multiple intentions when you go to perform hajj such as business? This is allowed since the verse in the Quran allows this to be the intention with Hajj.

Can you happen other intentions such as capturing booty when you go out to perform jihaad? Is the booty that you receive a reward of this dunya or the hereafter?

Hadith (from Sahih Muslim): If one who fights receives booty then 1/3 of his reward will be received in this dunya and if he receives no booty then he will get his entire reward in the hereafter.
‘Abd Allah bin Amr reported the Apostle of Allaah() as saying “No warlike party will go out to fight in Allaah’s path and gain booty without getting beforehand two-thirds of their rewards in the next world and one-third (of their reward) will remain. And if they do not gain booty, they will get their rewards in full.

حَدَّثَنَا عُبَيْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ عُمَرَ بْنِ مَيْسَرَةَ، حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ يَزِيدَ، حَدَّثَنَا حَيْوَةُ، وَابْنُ، لَهِيعَةَ قَالاَ حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو هَانِئٍ الْخَوْلاَنِيُّ، أَنَّهُ سَمِعَ أَبَا عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ الْحُبُلِيَّ، يَقُولُ سَمِعْتُ عَبْدَ اللَّهِ بْنَ عَمْرٍو، يَقُولُ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ "‏ مَا مِنْ غَازِيَةٍ تَغْزُو فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ فَيُصِيبُونَ غَنِيمَةً إِلاَّ تَعَجَّلُوا ثُلُثَىْ أَجْرِهِمْ مِنَ الآخِرَةِ وَيَبْقَى لَهُمُ الثُّلُثُ فَإِنْ لَمْ يُصِيبُوا غَنِيمَةً تَمَّ لَهُمْ أَجْرُهُمْ ‏"‏ ‏.‏
If you intend to receive booty then you will not receive any reward in the hereafter.

Imam Ahmad said that you will get your reward according to your intentions, even if you have multiple intentions, but your reward will be reduced because of the multiple intentions......

Even permissible deeds their rewards will be lessened because of the multiple intentions.

How did fuqaha define mubaha?
From the point of view of fiqh, the action is considered neutral. But in this qaedah that we are discussing, even mubaha actions can be turned into something that is rewarded by Allah swt. If the person is aware of Allah swt and is doing the action within the limits of what Allah swt prescribed .....

Hadith: You will be rewarded for having sexual relationship with your wife. If you do the same act with somebody other than your spouse then you will be punished, so you will be rewarded for the action that you perform with your wife...

Narrated Sa`d:
The Prophet visited me at Mecca while I was ill. I said (to him), "I have property; May I bequeath all my property in Allah's Cause?" He said, "No." I said, "Half of it?" He said, "No." I said, "One third of it?" He said, "One-third (is alright), yet it is still too much, for you'd better leave your inheritors wealthy than leave them poor, begging of others. Whatever you spend will be considered a Sadaqa for you, even the mouthful of food you put in the mouth of your wife. Anyhow Allah may let you recover, so that some people may benefit by you and others be harmed by you."

حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ كَثِيرٍ، أَخْبَرَنَا سُفْيَانُ، عَنْ سَعْدِ بْنِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ، عَنْ عَامِرِ بْنِ سَعْدٍ، عَنْ سَعْد ٍ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ قَالَ كَانَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَعُودُنِي وَأَنَا مَرِيضٌ بِمَكَّةَ، فَقُلْتُ لِي مَالٌ أُوصِي بِمَالِي كُلِّهِ قَالَ ‏"‏ لاَ ‏"‏‏.‏ قُلْتُ فَالشَّطْرُ قَالَ ‏"‏ لاَ ‏"‏‏.‏ قُلْتُ فَالثُّلُثُ قَالَ ‏"‏ الثُّلُثُ، وَالثُّلُثُ كَثِيرٌ، أَنْ تَدَعَ وَرَثَتَكَ أَغْنِيَاءَ خَيْرٌ مِنْ أَنْ تَدَعَهُمْ عَالَةً، يَتَكَفَّفُونَ النَّاسَ فِي أَيْدِيهِمْ، وَمَهْمَا أَنْفَقْتَ فَهُوَ لَكَ صَدَقَةٌ حَتَّى اللُّقْمَةَ تَرْفَعُهَا فِي فِي امْرَأَتِكَ، وَلَعَلَّ اللَّهَ يَرْفَعُكَ، يَنْتَفِعُ بِكَ نَاسٌ وَيُضَرُّ بِكَ آخَرُونَ ‏"‏‏.

ibn Taymiyyah said when talking about people who try to get close to Allah swt, the mundane deeds of those who are closer to Allah (swt) convert it into an act of ibadah. While the ritual acts (like Salat and Siyam, etc.) become customary for the masses since they do not understand why they are doing it.

Suppose someone intends to do an act for the sake of Allah (swt) and then during the act he intends something else as well (like people watching him). Is his whole deed void? If such a thought comes into the mind (since Shaitan will constantly do this) and the person fights it and rejects it then the deed will be fine. If a person entertains the thought then problem may occur. Tabari thinks, the original intention will be sufficient for deeds which cannot be broken into pieces (like Salat) but will be rewarded only partly for the deeds which can be broken (like reciting Quran).

Suppose someone does a deed for the Sake of Allah (swt) and after the deed he starts to receive praise from the people then is the reward lessened? Prophet (saws) said for a similar situation that this is the part of the glad tidings the believer receives (Sahih Muslim).  

The main thing which destroys the deeds is Shirk al Akbar. What it means here that someone else is added in the intention with Allah (swt).

Definition of Shirk Al Asghar
Many scholars define shirk al asghar by giving examples such as  Riya, belief in charms, etc but that is not the definition. Riya is not by itself Shirk al Asghar.

Definition: The shirk al Asghar is to turn one of the rights of Allah (swt) to someone other than Allah (swt) while not accepting that other one as equal to Allah (swt).  

The above definition is from a PhD thesis.

For example if you say Mashallah wa Ma Shaita  instead you should say Mashallah thummah Ma Shaita. The problem with Shirk al asghar is that it can easily lead to shirk al akbar.

Riya is doing an action to be seen by others. Why is it considered shirk al asghar?
Because when you do something for show, you are not acting for the sake of Allah swt, you are doing the acts of Ibaadah in order to be seen then it is considered shirk al asghar. Since you are doing an action to be
seen by others.

Al Suma is like Riya but here you want to be heard by the people.

2012-11-18 Class Notes

We have been discussing the qaeedah Affairs are used by their intentions الأمور بمقاسدها

Last time we discussed ikhlaas, which is one of the most important lessons we learn from this qaeedah. There is ijmaa that ikhlaas is obligatory, however scholars differ on a particular question related to this qaeedah.

Is ikhlaas related to the soundness of the act (is it a shart or a condition for the soundness of the act) or is it just related to receiving reward from Allah swt?

Are you required to have ikhlaas in order for your act to be sound or your act is sound even without ikhlaas but you won’t be rewarded for your act if you do not have ikhlaas?

Ikhlaas is the niyah you need to have in order to perform salaat, you do this act only for the sake of Allah swt.

There are two opinions on whether or not ikhlaas is shart or is it simply for ajaar (rewards).

Opinion #1: Ikhlaas is shart for the soundness of the act

One view says that Ikhlaas is the shart for the acceptance of the action and for the action to be considered sound. This is the opinion of the majority of the Ulema.

The famous Madinan scholar al Rabia says that “no action is accepted by Allah (swt) unless it has ikhlas”.

Famous statement of Fudhail ibn Ayad, “Allah swt will try to see who is best on deed”. Fudhail says “the best is the one who is purest and best in deed”, he says “if action is done correctly without ikhlaas then it will not be accepted”. He further stated, it should be done solely for the sake of Allah and in accordance with the sunnah of the Prophet.

Abdurahman Al Shaikh said that the soundness of action depends on ikhlas.

Siddique Hassan Khan said that there is no difference of opinion that ikhlas is a condition for acceptance of the action. Footnote: We know that there is one serious opinion that does not agree with this opinion, so there is definitely a difference of opinion on this matter.

Opinion #2: Ikhlaas is only a condition for getting a reward from Allah (swt)

This view is popular among some of  the Hanafis. They quote this Qaedah as “there is no reward if there is no niyyah”. So to them if someone performs an action without ikhlas then that action is sound but he will not get reward for it.

Ibn Abideen says that ikhlas is condition for a reward but not the soundness of action. He said, if you were to tell somebody pray dhuhr and I will pay you dinar, and if he prays dhuhr, then he has fulfilled the obligation of performing deen, he says that there is no riya when it comes to performing obligatory deeds.  They say that obligatory deeds have to be done and there can be no show off in doing the obligatory deeds. So the obligation of the act will be fulfilled even if does not have ikhlaas.

Al Hamawi says that if someone prays to be seen and for reputation then his salat is proper according to its rulings. However he is not deserving for reward since ikhlas is lacking. The person does not have to repeat the salat but no reward from Allah (swt).

Hanafis are not in complete agreement on it. The branch of Samarkand, the leader’s name is Abu Layth al Samarqandi and he says that such actions are not sound if the person does not have ikhlaas, he will not get any rewards in the hereafter and he will go to the hellfire.

Fiqh ramifications of the two opinions of ikhlaas and acts

Is there any difference among the two opinions of ikhlas? Yes there are fiqh ramifications based on the two opinions about ikhlaas.

As an example of the ramification, suppose someone prays and he know that he prayed out of riya, what should he do?

According to the majority of the ulema, you have to go back and repeat your prayers. According to the Hanafi view, you do not have to repeat the action since action was sound but repentance is needed for the reward from Allah (swt). So majority view is that action is to be repeated (keep in mind we are talking only about individual acts and not repentance after a long time of doing deeds out of Riya).

Hanafis have this view that there is no such thing as riya in fard, this is a unique perspective. And this view can be dangerous. Even in the time of the Prophet (pbuh), Allah swt made it clear that the munafiqeen (hypocrites) are coming to the prayer only to be seen. So there can be riya even for obligatory deeds.

The majority base their view on the following evidences.

أَلَا لِلَّهِ الدِّينُ الْخَالِصُ ۚ وَالَّذِينَ اتَّخَذُوا مِن دُونِهِ أَوْلِيَاءَ مَا نَعْبُدُهُمْ إِلَّا لِيُقَرِّبُونَا إِلَى اللَّهِ زُلْفَىٰ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَحْكُمُ بَيْنَهُمْ فِي مَا هُمْ فِيهِ يَخْتَلِفُونَ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَهْدِي مَنْ هُوَ كَاذِبٌ كَفَّارٌ

Sahih International (39:3)
Unquestionably, for Allah is the pure religion. And those who take protectors besides Him [say], "We only worship them that they may bring us nearer to Allah in position." Indeed, Allah will judge between them concerning that over which they differ. Indeed, Allah does not guide he who is a liar and [confirmed] disbeliever

Prophet said innama .... actions are based on intentions. Even this hadith is interpreted by the two sides differently. The Hanafis say that something has been left out of this statement of the Prophet, they say that completeness of the action is based on intentions. THey conclude that only the completeness of the act is based on niyah.

Most of the evidence is related to when you meet Allah swt.

Paraphrased Hadith of Prophet (pbuh): Allah swt does not accept any deed, except for those that are made solely for his sake and desiring His Face.

Majority will say that actions will not be accepted without ikhlaas.

Ibn Abideen, a Hanafi scholar, says that you can distinguish between the niyah and the soundness of the deed. He gives an example, if someone make wudu with impure water, but he doesn’t know that and he prays, would that prayer be acceptable? Let us say that you told him right afterwards that the water is impure, then is it acceptable?

Suppose you made water is najs and before you were to start performing prayers, somebody told you the water is najs, then you would go and do your wudu again.

Ibn Abideen says that the prayer is not valid if a person performs wudu with impure water and then he prays, but he will be rewarded for his intentions. He is using a contrarian argument to make his point about soundness of the act and the intention of the act.

A contrary argument does not always prove the opposite, and that is what ibn Abideen is trying to prove.

In the Hanafi school, you can do wudu without niyaa, suppose you did all of the actions of the wudu without the intention, the wudu is sound, but the act of wudu will not be rewarded. So they have this issue about the action and the intention. This is the context for the Hanafi opinion.

They say you have to fulfill the requirements of the soundness of the act, once you have done all of the requirements, then you have fulfilled the legal obligation for the act. And since niyaa is not a requirement for the act, you have fulfilled the legal obligation and it is accepted as a fulfilled deed even by Allah, but you will not be rewarded for the act by Allah.

Conclusion about the ikhlaas and soundness of acts:
Niyaa (or ikhlas) has to be present and it is requirement not just for the act but also for the proper soundness of the act. For our discussion, niyaa or intention to please Allah swt is same as ikhlaas.


Does niyaa or consciousness have to be present throughout the action, if it does not remain throughout, then do you have to repeat your action?

Footnote in response to a question about changing niyaa while performing an action. There is difference between ghafalah and changing the niyaah.

There are two points of view, one of them is held by ibn al Qayyim, the second opinion listed below.

Opinion #1 about maintaining ikhlaas throughout the action: This is where you become slightly heedless of the act, then that does not affect the action.

If you lose consciousness for a small time then deed is considered acceptable. Ikhlas has two types to these people: One is the ikhlas al haqeeqi which is the ikhlas with which you started the act.

Some of the evidence that is used for this view, is as follows.

Allah swt does not burden a soul beyond what it can bear
.لَا يُكَلِّفُ اللَّهُ نَفْسًا إِلَّا وُسْعَهَا ۚ لَهَا مَا كَسَبَتْ وَعَلَيْهَا مَا اكْتَسَبَتْ

Sahih International (2:286)
Allah does not charge a soul except [with that within] its capacity. It will have [the consequence of] what [good] it has gained, and it will bear [the consequence of] what [evil] it has earned.

Hadith: Prophet said that Allah swt has removed from my ummah four things, forgetfulness, coercion..... any sins that result from it.

Shaytan is not going to leave you alone, and he will come and bother you.

Ibn Abi Izz Abdi-Salam?? said that to have the feeling throughout the entire action is a kind of difficulty, and the qaeedah which says that hardship leads to felicity applies here.

Opinion #2 about maintaining ikhlass throughout the action:

The second opinion is the opinion of Ibn Qayyim, who says that when someone is in the state of not being conscious of their action, then they are losing Ikhlass at that point.  

Allah swt says in the Quran, woe to those who pray and are negligent about their prayers.

فويل للمصلين

So woe to those who pray

الذين هم عن صلاتهم ساهون

[But] who are heedless of their prayer -


ibn Qayyim says being negligent does not mean forgetting to pray, since the word used is musalleen and it would not be used for people who forget to pray. Notice that verse does not say fi Salatihim but says An Salatihim (i.e. regarding their prayers and do not perform them). This opinion is also attributed to Ibn Abbas (ra) but Shaykh does not remember the level of authenticity.  

He says the correct view is that it is inclusive of both of those views ..... students missed the complete argument ??????

Majority of the scholars do not agree with ibn al Qayyim, except with one exception, where you are completely neglectful of the salah. It is not hard to try and have some feeling of consciousness of the salah, it is difficult to have 100% consciousness. And they say by being completely neglectful, you cannot use the excuse, and you have not performed the action. If you know that you have this problem, then you should work on it. If you suffer the waswasa of the shaytan and then continue redoing the act, then only the people with taqwa would have this feeling and they would suffer from it. Recall the hadith which mentions that when someone finishes the salat then what is recorded is one half, one third,.....,one tenth. So here Prophet (pbuh) is not mentioning to repeat the salat, but is telling us that quality should be brought to salat since reward comes with acceptance from Allah (swt).

2012-11-25 Class Notes


We have been discussing the qaeedah Affairs are used by their intentions الأمور بمقاسدها and discussing the importance of intentions behind our acts. The ultimate benefit of this qa’edah is to know and understand ikhlaas.

Sh has noticed that there is not much information about ikhlaas except the negation of ikhlaas such as shirk. There are not that many books about ikhlaas. It is a major obligation, therefore it becomes obligatory to know and understand it and ways to achieve ikhlaas.

Steps to achieve ikhlaas
We will discuss some of the steps to achieve ikhlaas. Some of the authors discuss two aspects to achieve ikhlaas, one category is practical and the other category is .....

Step #1: Dua
Ikhlaas is the act of making your intention pure for Allah swt. And dua is the first step. The act of dua is itself ibaadah. Prophet told us that dua is the essence of ibaadah. When you make dua to Allah swt, the feeling that you have is that only Allah swt can help you, he knows you, he knows what you need, he has the ability to help you. When you recognize that there’s no-one who can help you, then you are well on the way to ikhlaas.

In the hadith where the Prophet (SAWS) warns us of the very obscured shirk which is equivalent to the crawling of the ant, the Prophet (SAWS) taught us this du’a in order to avoid any kind of shirk:

اللهم إنا نعوذ أن نشرك بك شيئا نعلمه و نستغفرك لما لا نعلمه


Oh Allah I seek refuge from making shirk that we are not aware of,

and we seek your forgiveness for that which we are not aware of.


This is a well known hadith quoted in many books. The hadith of this chain has problems. Albaani said that this hadith is sahih.

Step #2: Al Mutadiyah (the following)

Al Mutadiyah means taking the steps to follow the example of the Prophet or any actions described by Allah swt and following the footsteps of the Prophet (SAWS) and then while doing this one must remember that he/she is doing this action out of sincerity and obedience to Allah (SWT).

This relates to those matters where we know that the actions of the Prophet (SAWS) are not of personal nature. In Sunnah we have actions which are binding upon Muslims while certain actions of Prophet (pbuh) do not fall under the category of binding upon Muslims.

Step #3: To have a good understanding of what Ikhlaas is and what it is not

Some of the salaf said the only one who knows what riyaa really is the mukhlis (who knows what Ikhlas is) and the only one who knows ignorance is the aalim (scholar).

Another saying of the salaf is, The servant will be in a good state so long as he knows the things that will destroy his deeds.

There are two extremes that people go to in understanding Ikhlaas. And they do not always understand those extremes.

An example of misunderstanding of ikhlaas: People who make dua to people in the grave, and they say I only believe that this person in the grave has power if Allah wills. However this is wrong! Even if one makes dua with this realization this is going against ikhlas and this particular person is falling into shirk.

This is one of the clearest examples where we have people going against ikhlaas.


Good sign to judge one’s ikhlas is to do voluntary acts of worship in private
Another example that is discussed by our scholars: People should hide acts that are solely for the sake of Allah.

Another sign of ikhlas is hiding those acts of worship from public since these acts can be done without people knowing about it. For such actions reward can only be from Allah (swt) and the people will not even know about it. We have discussed earlier the example of the obligatory prayers and that you could have riyaa even when making those acts, regardless of what the Hanafis say about it. For example, many obligatory acts are done publicly (and have to be done publicly, there is no other way to perform them) and Hajj is done publicly and such actions should be done publicly since they may encourage others to do such good actions, particularly in the case of giving sadaqah. However, Sadaqa is an act may be good in public and private.  

In general you should try to do actions that are non-obligatory as privately as possible. If you keep it hidden, then in sha Allah. And you should try to plan to do good deeds that remain between you and Allah (SWT).

Step #4: Increasing your zuhd in this dunya

What is meant by zuhd is that the relationship with this world is material and not one of the heart. Your source of joy and happiness should not be in these material things, but in your relationship with Allah (swt). You should be more upset if your relationship with Allah is damaged than if you lose your iPhone.

Signs that you are losing ikhlaas
When doing acts publicly with a diseased heart, maybe you want praise, position or authority.  The more you are attached to this dunya, the less your Ikhlaas will be.

Sometimes you might be doing something and your niyyah might be mixed. The more you can cleanse your heart of this dunya, the cleaner your niyyah will be.

Eliminate dependency upon people
You should also try to free yourself from depending on people. If you depend on people, the more you will be doing some actions with some thought about doing things for them.

Many people rely on others even with things that they can do themselves.

The Prophet (SAWS) made a bay’ah with some of the sahabah never to rely on any person for anything (e.g. if they drop their animal sticks while mounted on the animal, they would get down, instead of asking others to pass them the stick).

Step #5: Al-Khalwah (Solitude)

This step is emphasized by a lot of Sufis. Al Khalwah can be physical or metaphorical. It means solitude, i.e. finding time to be by yourself. It is khalwa to the extent that it will not affect the individual’s obligations which require one to go into public life or responsibilities towards others under their care (i.e. spouse, children, etc).

What is the goal of khalwah? When you’re alone, you can just think about you and Allah (SWT). Then when you pray, you really feel it is between you and Allah (SWT).

Footnote: The itikaaf that is practiced in some of the mosques in the US, then Sh would not recommend it at all, because it is not itikaaf at al.  Itikaaf is intended for one to be alone not amongst a large group of people like at a slumber party.

Khalwah could be out in the nature, away from any distractions. It might be good in a distant place. Many scholars have talked about khalwah, contemplation, tadabbur and ..... But we have to be very careful about khalwah because there are not any explicit examples from the Prophet and the sahabah for performing this act. Some point the Hira cave, but we know it occurred before the Revelation happened and we do not have any hadith or examples of khawlah after the revelation.

The concept of concentrating and being in tune with your actions is something beneficial.

Footnote: The definition of itikaaf is to set yourself up to worship Allah alone away from distractions, for example, in a masjid. But surfing the web or playing games or sleeping all day is not part of itikaaf. (Edit: It is sad to hear that this practice is spreading to so many masaajid in the US.)

Footnote: Question about dunya and ikhlaas. You should have ihsaan and itqaan even when you do your work (job).
Keep in mind that we should still do a good job for the dunya deeds (e.g. at work). One should have ihsan and itqaan (to do something in precise and detailed fashion) in every act we do in the dunya. For having ihsan in the work we do is going to get rewarded by Allah (swt).

Question about not being dependent upon others?
There is a difference between using objects and being dependent upon people. And we don’t have animist tendencies among Muslims, so we don't have to worry about somebody having shirk with objects.
In the hadith that is discussed about not asking for others to pick up the crop that was dropped, here the sahabah do indeed benefit from the tools and animals for their daily life. The problem is when you have too much reliance on others, then it might have impact on your ikhlaas. The more you have to ask others then the more is one impacting one’s ikhlas.

There is a statement from Imam Shafi where he said that no one could ever please all of the people with their actions no matter how hard they try so it’s better to focus on doing things to please Allah swt rather than to please others. (paraphrasing)


Signs of Ikhlas according to Scholars

Keep in mind these signs should not be taken as absolute and some are debatable.

#1: Not loving fame and one does not want fame. So not loving fame is a good sign of ikhlas.

#2: Not loving praise
Although as the Prophet (SAWS) told us that if a person is praised for some good action in this world, it’s a bushra of good rewards in the hereafter.

one should also seek refuge with Allah swt from types of praise that are not permissible based on the ahadith we have of the Prophet saas with concerns to people being praised by him or being praised in his presence.

#3: Having patience and not complaining when faced with trials.

#4: Itqaan when in secret
When you are alone, this is when people do their actions better. So judge one’s quality of action by seeing how one does them when only Allah (swt) is watching.

#5: Loving to do actions in private rather than public

Misconceptions concerning Ikhlas

#1: It is impossible to achieve ikhlaas

#2: To believe that ikhlas cannot be achieved unless person removes every irada (desire, wants) from the heart

#3: Sins do not affect the ikhlas

Remember the above list is a list of misconceptions, so it is list of falsities about ikhlaas.


Things that are considered ikhlas but they are not ikhlas.

#1: Not doing an action claiming that the action is riyaa

#2: Having zuhd in this dunya simply through laziness and lack of drive

#3: Falling unconscious while making dhikr or getting into a state of intoxication.

#4: Worshipping Allah swt in a way other than the way of the Prophet (saws).

#5: Showing love for the Prophet saws in a way that was not done by the Sahabah (ie celebrating the Mawlid)

You have to revisit this topic of ikhlaas and study it, you cannot say that you learnt about it 20 years ago and forgot about it. Next week we will move into more fiqh issues about the qaeedah that we are discussing.

2012-12-02 Class Notes


We are discussing niyah and actions. We are now switching back to fiqh issues.

Are there are actions that do not require niyaah, are there any actions of ibaadah without niyaah?

In response to an answer that zakat does not need intention, shaykh said that when you give zakat, there has to be niyaah, when you just give money without niyaah, it is considered to be an act of sadaqah. So zakat does need niyah.

The Hanafis consider that wudu and ghusl do not require niyaah, but according to the Hanafi madhab, the act is considered complete when you make niyaah.

Why do the Hanafis have this opinion that you do not need niyaah for wudu?
The Hanafis differ over whether wudu is a pure act of worship (ibaadah al mahda عبادة محضة). Ibn Rushd says that act of worship with rational meaning (معقولة المعنى) such as washing over major impurities, you understand the goal and purpose behind removing impurities, but other actions are done without a rational understanding -- غير معقولة المعنى(e.g. salaah).

Regarding Wudu hananfis and non-hanafis differ. Ghusl is considered a rational action to remove unclean substances. While Wudu is considered a pure act of worship by scholars. In Bidayal Mujtahid ibn Rushd argues that pure ibadah requires niyyah. For hanafis wudu has kind of rational meaning behind it so it is not act of worship.

Sadaqah also has rational meaning behind it since one is seeing that one is helping the poor so if one was to follow the hanafi logic that one can see it as a rational act as well rather than an act of worship. So Shaykh Jamaal is saying that hanafi argument is not a clear argument. For example, we can raise the question regarding tayammum.

What is the rationale behind tayammum?
How do you explain that if you don’t have water to make wudu and want to pray, go and strike the earth or dirt to make tayammum in order to pray.

Edit: Sh is trying to probe and make us think about the reasons behind the actions.

The bigger question is how do you prove that one of the actions that we are discussing does not need niyah?

Conclusion of Shaykh Jamaal is that their distinction about the categories of ibaadah is not a good reasoning for not needing niyaah. The Hanafis are unique in this point and their argument does not work. Someone can do the wudu without having any feelings that he is making wudu and then retroactively say that I have performed wudu.

There is a whole class of actions that everybody agrees that you do not need niyaah, what are those actions?

The worldly acts that you do you will get rewarded without having any intentions. So the above question is a trick question. The actions of the heart, such as fear of Allah, hope of Allah, and others which can only be done for Allah, do not require any intention. So the class of actions are the acts of the heart.

Where is the place of niyaah? Is it in the brain/mind or the heart?  A lot of students said that it is in the heart. The next question is what is your evidence for it? Where is Aql? Is it in the brain?

Niyaah requires a conscious decision, so should it be placed in the brain instead of the heart. Niyyah comes from the conscious part of the nafs and not the sub-conscious part. Majority of the Fuqaha say that the place of the niyyah is the heart. There is an opinion from Imam Ahmed (also attributed to Abu Hanifa) that the place of the niyyah is in the brain. For vast majority of the scholars the seat of Aql is in the heart. This is the based on different verses of the Quran. As Greek medicine and philosophy reached the Muslim world then the Greek/Christian philosophers saw Aql in the brain and heart seat of desires. Al Qarafi saw the seat of Aql is in heart and brain is somehow connected to it. Majority of the scholars say that niyyah is in the heart. All scholars agree that niyyah is not in the tongue (so it does not need to be said).

How the heart and the consciousness fit together, we do not know.

There is a hadith that there is a part of the body, if that is good, then the entire body is good, and that part is the heart.

The heart is the key to the individual and it is beyond the physical. There is no doubt about it, that there is such a thing as the heart, the nafs, because of the various hadith from the Prophet about it.

The exact relationship between the Qalb that Quran talks about and the physical heart is not yet clear to us. However we do know that Qalb exists and it has some relationship with our physical heart but the details and mechanisms are not known to us humans.

The Muslim philosophers considered heart as the seat of emotions and brain as the seat of the ...., but this is not true. We know that heart is not just for emotions but also for our actions.

Brain is a mystery, the aql is a mystery. Allah swt has kept a lot of information hidden from us and we have to turn to Allah swt.

When you do not care to set an alarm for Fajr, then it says that you do not care about it. But when you do set the alarm, and when it is time to wake up, your heart tells you to remain in the bed. IN order to wake up and pray fajr, your heart should be attached to it.

We also do a lot of actions that we are not conscious about, such as breathing, There are also some actions that the brain reacts quickly but we do not comprehend it, such as catching a ball thrown at you and you instinctively catch it. We rarely ask ourselves why we did an action.

It is possible that you do an action that you did not have a conscious awareness of it, like the time when you hit the snooze button on an alarm clock. Niyaah is a very interesting topic.

Does niyyah need verbalization?

If you do an action without ever stating it out loud, that is satisfactory. But is there any time when one should state to niyyah?

Various opinions about verbalizing the niyyah

There is a book Maqasid al …. by Umar al Ashqar (his Ph.D. thesis) that says that pronouncing the niyyah is neither obligatory nor recommended according to majority of the scholars. So pronouncing it is an innovation. However, the way Al-Ashqar said it is not correct.

There are other scholars who say verbally saying has Ijma. One scholar says that saying the niyyah is not obligatory but it is recommended. One scholar says that hanafis and malikis consider verbalization of niyyah as bidah.

Umar al Ashqar’s opinion does not surprise the Shaykh too much, because he is relying on ibn Taymiyyah who said that verbalizing niyyah is not sanctioned. However ibn Taymiyyah is not right either, because there are various madhab or various opinions of  the madhab that say it is required to verbalize the niyyah.

A Hanafi scholar, ibn abideen in his work puts forth this question, he says that there are various opinions, the hidayah (the Hanafi book) says that verbalizing is sunnah.

In the Shafii school it is also recommended. Imam Nawawi says that it is not required to be stated by the tongue, but he says it is mustahab to pronounce it by the tongue. In another passage he says, if you have it in the heart and say it with your tongue, it is afdhal.

To state the niyyah silently, Imam Ahmad said it not valid. But later .... Hanafis say that it is .....

A Shafi scholar said that doing both togehter, the heart and the tongue is preferred.

No Scholar says that stating niyyah is not sufficient. For example, say it is time for Dhuhr and the person says “i make niyyah for Asr” and without realizing it prays Dhuhr. Majority scholar say that the person fulfilled obligation for Dhuhr and not Asr.

When one enters into Ihram then you mention your niyyah. So why not make analogy between this and salat and siyam? We have clear evidence for Ihram but not other acts and for acts of ibadah we do not make Qiyas. On Ihram, many scholars say that the statement is what begins Hajj or Umrah just like Allah hu Akbar begins the salat.

So the strongest position is that for acts of ibadah we have nothing authentic or non-authentic that Prophet (pbuh) or Sahabah (ra) did not make niyyah before salat or wudu and many other acts of worship. So to say it is Mustahab requires clear evidence from Shariah which is missing. So it looks like bidah to verbalize the niyyah. For Hajj and Umrah we have something from Prophet (pbuh) so that is why we do it.

General Principle about Qiyaas and acts of Ibaadah
You cannot make qiyaas for acts of ibaadah, there has to be strong evidence for any acts of ibaadah.

If this is not a clear act of bidaa’ then we do not know what is a bidaa’ act. There is no evidence from the Quran and Sunnah that you have to make intention with your tongue. And since the acts of ibaadah have so much importance, then the prophet would have clearly provided us guidance on how to do so. It is better to not utter the words by the tongue.

And if you do utter the words of intention and they do not match the intention of the heart, such as you say that you are praying asr but it is time for dhuhr and the intention in your heart is for dhuhr prayers, then the intention of the heart takes precedence over the words.

2012-12-09 Class Notes


We are discussing the issue of niyaat in the ritual acts of ibaadah. The important idea behind niyaat is in order to distinguish actions. Also it is to distinguish one kind of ibadat from the other. For example, someone may fast to lose weight or perform ghusul (or simply washing one’s self, doesn’t have to be ghusl specifically) for worldly purposes rather than for the purposes of ibadat. So the concept of niyah is to distinguish an act of ibadat from what is not ibadat. From within ibadat one act must be distinguished from the other. Say it is Dhuhr time, and you are of madhab which has 4 sunnat before the Dhuhr and the only thing which distinguish these 4 rakat from the Fard 4 rakat is the decision in the mind, i.e. the Tamyeez is done by the intention in the mind. Obviously, there are requirements (shuroot) for what constitutes a sound niyyah. Niyyah regarding ibadat is our focus for now and niyyah regarding muamalat will come later.

First shart is that the person should be a Muslim.
Second shart is that you are a person of sound mind, i.e, you can make that decision.
The third condition is that niyyah cannot be displaced by any incompatible niyyah e.g. if you have niyyah for salat and your thoughts drift off then this doesn’t invalidate the salat. Say you are fasting and then you make the niyyah to break the fast then the fast is broken. With respect to salat some of the scholars also say that if you intend to break off the salat then that intention also invalidates the salat. This is different from the drifting of the mind in the salat.
The fourth condition is that the niyyah must coincide with the beginning of the act. For example, the niyyah  has to be at the same time as the takbeer in salat, according to an opinion in Shafi madhab. It means that at the time of the takbeer all the other thoughts must stop and the thoughts of the salat begin. However, other opinions say that the niyyah must precede slightly before the act and this looks like a stronger opinion. What it means that the thoughts of dunya must stop slightly before one says takbir for salat.   
The fifth condition is that the niyyah must be what is called jaazim (جازم), i.e. it is definitive and beaming with confidence. Do not say “I will pray Dhuhr now if Allah wills”. “If Allah wills...” can be said for seeking Allah’s help (this is allowed), but the InshaAllah which should not be there is one where one says it having not confidence in trying to perform the act.   

But wudu creates a problem -- what is your intention behind wudu. Suppose you want to read the Qur’an and you’re from a madhab that requires physical purity is required for reading the Qur’an. So you make intention to do wudu just for reading the Qur’an. But then you want to pray two rak’ahs nafilah -- so does your state of impurity disappear? So you should make an intention to enter tahaarah.

It was the practice of many scholars (e.g. Imam Malik) to make wudu out of respect of knowledge so they do not teach hadith without wudu. Can one make salat with this wudu? If the act of wudu is to be in state of purity then one can pray with this wudu. The goal of wudu is to be in state of taharah and all the sub-goals are taken care of.

Suppose you have intention of wudu for taharah and to cool down due to high temperatures. Is this allowed? It looks like it is allowed based on a hadith which discusses the performance of ghusul due to janabah on the day of jumah before the jumah salat. The main intention is to be that it is for jumah salat but secondary intentions can be there. The vast majority of scholars are of the view that this is fine, but Ibn Hazm and a minority of the Hanbalis are of the view that you should do wudu twice.

Niyyah and ibaadaat, where the niyyah and action seem to be separated. One has to do with zakaat. Because you give money to someone for multiple purposes. But is it possible to have someone else paying off your zakaat? The person has to make the niyyah that it is the zakat for so and so.

Another example is Hajj -- the person does hajj on behalf of another person who already may be dead. This seems to break the rules. But this is an exception to the rule.

Few final questions related to niyyah:
Does the niyyah of imam and follower has to be same? Imam is praying Asr and the follower Dhuhr. Example is quoted of Maaz ibn Jabal who lead his people as Nafilah in the Isha salat. So he (ra) will pray isha in Prophet’s mosque and then go to his people and lead them in the salat for Isha while reciting the Quran out loud.

Can one change one’s niyyah, during the act? Generally no (e.g. in salaah can not change niyyah). Sheikh’s opinion: you can not change your opinion up or sideways (i.e. fard -> fard not ok, nafilah -> fard not ok, but fard -> nafilah ok).

Can you change your niyyah from being a follower to being an imam? In one case it is clear if imam has to leave the salat (lets say imam lost wudu) then one follower has to stand as imam. Suppose you are praying fard by yourself and someone joins you then it is ok. If you are praying sunnah or nafilah and the person joins you for fard, then can you be an imam? It depends on how a certain hadith is interpreted. A person came to mosque who had to pray and Prophet (pbuh) said who will give sadaqa by praying with him. If one interprets the hadith that the person had already started to pray then it is allowed.

What if someone goes to bed thinking that it is not start of Ramadan tomorrow and after sunrise he finds out that it is Ramadan? If he had not eaten then he may continue and if he had eaten then he has to make it up later after Ramadan.

Combining niyyahs?

Say someone one plans to fast ashura and has to make up for one day of Ramadan. Can one do this? There can be only one fast from Fajr until Maghreb so one cannot combine so he has to make intention for one or the other.


2012-12-16 Class Notes


Issue of intent with respect to contract law

There is a big diference between acts of ibaadat and muamallat or business transactions. When you do an act of ibaadah, the scholars emphasize that your niyaah should be proper. What about muamalaat? The scholars  concentrate that you follow the rules. And the reason why people enter transactions is because of the benefits that they may get. However niyaat still plays an important role.

For halaal transactions, they are mutually beneficial, and you are not forced to enter them.

In order for a contract to be valid, it must be done voluntarily, as a result of his intent or consent.

Allah swt says in Surah 4:29.  

يا أيها الذين آمنوا لا تأكلوا أموالكم بينكم بالباطل إلا أن تكون تجارة عن تراض منكم ولا تقتلوا أنفسكم إن الله كان بكم رحيما


O you who have believed, do not consume one another's wealth unjustly but only [in lawful] business by mutual consent. And do not kill yourselves [or one another]. Indeed, Allah is to you ever Merciful.

Footnote: The illa in the above verse is illa of isthithna.

Mutual consent and intent are internal affairs, you cannot tell outwardly whether somebody did willfully or was coerced into doing something.

For a contract to be valid, the consent and intention must be there. So how can we determine that the person is entering a contract willfully and with his intention.

Contract is a declaration of the person’s intent and his consent. Intention becomes binding only when you mention it to the other party. So if you secretly intend to buy something, then it means nothing, you have to explicitly state that you plan to buy something to the person offering it for sale.

Contract theory has to deal with the following, when is the contract clear and unambiguous.

Footnote: If you could prove coercion, then the according to the Shafi and other madhabs, the contract is not valid (batil). According to the Hanafi madhab the contract is fasid so it can be fixed by removing the conditions of coercion. Hanafis have a very unique position on Will and Intentions.

Discussion of Speech or Offer and Acceptance

Speech can be divided into three categories, clear and unambiguous speech,  vague and ambiguous speech, and no meaning can be derived from it (or does not indicate any intent)

1) الصريح -- clear, unambiguous

2) الكناية -- Al Kinayah (vague)
Example: Someday I will own a car like that. This speech is vague and cannot be considered a contract

3) No meaning whatsoever  → does not indicate intent of contract at all.

(for 1) What constitutes clarity as to offer and acceptance?

1. The way you state the offer in Arabic language implies clarity
The scholars discuss the offer and acceptance wrt the Arabic language. The problem in Arabic Language is that there are only two tenses of the verb: the perfect tense (ماضي) and the imperfect tense (مضارع). The problem is everything from now into the future will be captured in the imperfect tense. So if you want to make a sale in Arabic, you use perfect tense -- you say “I sold this to you” even if you use it for future. Why? Because the imperfect tense could be interpreted to be a future promise rather than the present.

So the scholars say that if you used the perfect tense, those are clear. And if you say something meaningless contractually (e.g. one day I’d like to own that).

2. Other signs that imply intention or clarity - Kinayah with External Evidence (Qareenah)
But the problem is with speech that is vague (category #2). There could be other signs that know your intent.

Example: if you use the imperfect tense but you put a Qareena by using the adverbial of time “Al Ana” (e.g. you say something like “I am selling this to you now” and then the person says “I am buying this from you now” -- this is a qareenah (قرينة) that shows your intent.

3. Other signs that imply intention or clarity - Kinayah with intention
Suppose you use vague speech (kinayah) #2 but without qareenah, is it possible for the contract to take place?

It is said: Al kinyah with niyyah (i.e. the vagueness with intention). Here what is said is not sufficient to establish your intention, so the problem is that what you have stated is not clear in order to make a sale. The other party can walk away. So you need some clarification, either some external evidence or asking the person what do you mean by it.

4. Other signs that imply intention or clarity - Urf

Urf (the custom) is going to play a very crucial and dominant role. Based on Urf something which is kinaya can become Al Sareeh (clear, unambiguous). So according to Urf if I say I am buying it from you can mean a clear offer to buy. So faqih is expected to know the Urf.

Why should somebody know the urf?
In an auction, you might not know what some of the movements imply, but when you enter the auction, it is obligatory for you to learn it.

Footnote: Tourists traps, where the shops are designed to prey upon the customers who do not know the urf. Here in general Tourist places are designed for accommodating the tourists and being careful for them.

Could the imperative constitute a contract?

If I say, “Sell me your watch for $10.” Is this a valid offer?

For the Hanafis, the imperative never implies a contract. They say that technically speaking it is not an offer, because they might be trying to determine that whether you would be willing to sell the watch. And if you say yes, the person who made the offer, can say I want to think about it. For the non Hanafis the imperatives can be a sign of offer and they have some hadith to back it up where a Bedouin offered to buy the camel of Prophet (pbuh).

Footnote: Urf can override. For example if you live in an area, where everybody talks imperatively (like places in NYC), then it might not constitute an offer.

Discussion of Imperfect tense

There is a difference of opinion among the scholars as to what is the meaning of a statement in an imperfect tense. There is a default meaning and the additional meaning.

One linguist says that the default meaning of Mudhara is future tense unless Urf shows that default meaning is present tense. Other linguists say that the mudhara is only for the present tense. While others say you cannot tell whether it can happen now or in the future, and that is the reason they put it in category #2 of the speech.

When you make a promise to buy a car, it is not a contract, but simply a promise.

Discussion of examples in English

1. I have sold this to you for $10. And you said, ok.
Under no circumstances, the above cannot be considered an offer in English. However in Arabic it is in perfect tense so it is a contract.

2. I will sell this to you for $10.
This falls in the vague speech category. Can you make it more explicitly

3. I am selling this to you for $10.
This becomes an explicit and clear offer

4. ????? Missed it ....

5. I offer this to you for $10
This is explicitly under category 1.

6. I am willing to offer this to you for $10
This is explicit under category 1.

7. I have agreed to sell this to you for $10
It is under category 2 since it could mean already a done deal.

8. I want to sell this to you for $10
This is vague. How can you make it explicit?

9. I want to buy this from you for $10
Is there any difference between this statement and the above statement. In Arabic the offer and acceptance do not matter, they are equivalent. However in English, the offer comes from somebody who is selling and acceptance from the person who is buying.

So does urf play a role in offer and acceptance. Yes it does. In the last two statements, there is a difference whether you are Arab or a non Arab.

When the statement is clear and explicit, there is no need for any other additional evidence.

Vague speech requires some additional evidence, that there is niyaah in the contract. And this additional evidence could make it as strong as the clear and explicit statement.

For example when you go to the cash register, you bring the items to pay without making any statement, so this is a clear sign of your intent.

In Shariah, a verbal contract is preferred as opposed to the one where non-verbal indications are allowed.

Urf plays an important role in determining the intention and clarity behind offer and acceptance, it could move it from category #2 to #1 and vice versa.

For example, when you touch an item or throwing a pebble in order to buy an item, these are strictly forbidden, because of the gharar involved in the transaction, basically you are buying something without inspecting it. So even if the urf allows the item, since they are strictly forbidden, you cannot utilize it to determine offer and acceptance.

We have to determine how the niyaah is expressed. For speech that is clear, the niyaah can be determined, and it is considered to be your intent. And for vague speech, if there is external evidence that helps us determine niyaah, then the offer is considered to be your intent.

There is another important topic, that of complex intention. Here the offer is valid and clear, but the reasons why you are entering it are not sound.

Footnote: Fraud (Ghaban or Ghaban al Fahish) is going to make the contract batil.

2012-12-23 Class Notes


Complex Intentions behind Contract Law
We continue discussing with the role of intentions and today we discuss the role of intention in the contract law. Every contract must have the pleasure and intent of the person who is signing the contract law. However, there may be other things going on in his mind and this is called the complex intentions.

The question is how much can the law look into the intentions behind the contract (this is called subjective intent in the commercial transactions).

Can such subjective intentions affect the validity of the contract?
We are discussing the topic of improper intentions when buying or entering into a contract. The item being bought is halal. For example, the issue of gun control in USA. The buying of guns is legal here. Can someone buy the gun with purpose or the intention of killing someone? Is the transaction illegal or the contract illegal, or just the action is illegal.

Separating moral and legal intention of the act
From the classroom discussion, we get the conclusion that we must separate the legal effect from the moral effect. Islamically, if the person has bought the gun from the intention of killing someone then it is illegal contract (or haram contrast). However, it is difficult to tell the intent of the person specially for the seller.

It is difficult to determine the buyer’s subjective intent by the seller
Everyone says that it is a sin to sell to such a person (who intends to use the gun to kill) however among Ulema on this there are two divisions. Here the Shafi and the Hanafis are on one side and Malikis and the Hanbalis are on the other.

Shafi & Hanafi view on Subjective Intent

In a statement in Kitab ul Umm from Imam Shafi which says the following:

“I take validity based on the contract even though I find it reprehensible the intention of the person. If the person makes the intention explicit then I find the transaction invalid. The sale of the sword for the intention of killing someone would make the sale makrooh but not invalid, however if he buys it to keep it but later uses it to kill justly, then the sale is valid.

“Similarly I find sale of grapes makrooh who may seem will make wine from it. However, I do not consider such transaction illegal since the buyer may never make the wine out of it”.

Imam Shafi says if the intention is made explicit and that intention is to do something haraam with the object of the transaction, then it invalidates the contract. But if the intention for doing something haraam cannot be determined, then the contract is valid.

Firstly it is difficult to ascertain somebody’s intent and it is difficult to follow through later and truly determine the person’s intent. For this view as long as the intention stays implicit, then the transaction is valid based on the legality of it.

Hanafi view: If somebody makes it explicit their intention and if we can deduce their intention from the context of the transaction.

Al Kassani, says that hiring of slaves for zina is not permissible since it is hiring for the disobedience on the Islamic law, since Quran forbids it. If someone buys a cock stipulating that it is for fight or it is fighter then such is invalid contract according to Abu Hanifa. Similarly, someone buys a slave girl for singing then such contract is also invalid. If they explicitly mentions their motive and motive is haram then the contract is invalid. The Hanafi school is bit divided on this issue but some hanafi say that if the intention is even secretly known to be haram then sales is invalid. Abu Hanifa disagreed with Shaybani and abu Yusuf on this. For Abu Hanifa if one is selling a musical instrument and the buyer keeps his intention a secret then the contract is valid (since for abu Hanifa music is haram but musical instruments can be sold e.g. monkeys may use the musical instrument for entertainment). For abu Yusuf and Shaybani the normal reasons for buying such objects is an explicit reason for making such contracts of musical instruments invalid. If one is buying it for other halal purposes then the buyer must mention the intent.

An mp3 player is a good example which can be used for Islamic Lectures or music. Say a person who is already “jazzing” and enjoying music and comes to you and wants to buy mp3 player. Should seller sell it to him? al Tahawi (hanafi, ex-shafi) may sell grapes without worrying about what the usage. It is not job of the seller what the buyer does with it as long as item being sold is halal.

A strange opinion from abu Hanifa is that if wine is being transported then transporting of wine is not act of disobedience. Since wine can be transported for medicinal purposes. Imam Shafi considers it morally invalid but legally valid. The two imams maintain one should not seek the intention of the buyer if the sale contract is itself valid. For example, due to this Al Ayana (sell something for some price and then buy back from the seller for the same price by paying overtime)  is wide spread in a country which is predominantly Shafi.

Shafi says that if a man marries a man with secret intention that I will keep her only for short time. Only if this intention comes openly the marriage contract is invalid. Here you remove ulterior motives from legality of the contract and this is the approach of Hanafis and Shafies.  

BTW there is the other side to this coin. What if the seller sells the stuff to go to Las Vegas even though what he is selling is halal. The Hanafi and Shafie opinion is similar for this as for the buyer.

Maliki and Hanbali approach: They approach differently from Hanafi and Shafie regarding the intention.

Imam Ahmed is of the view that the intent of the parties is going to affect the sinfulness and validity of the contract. He is from Ahl el hadith madhab of that time and it stressed the purity and piety of the contract.

footnote: Ibn Aqeel (famous hanbali scholar) says that followers of abu Hanifa and Shafi learn a lot of legal knowledge and become judges and those of Ahmed ibn Hanbal becomes more pious after knowledge.

According to this school the validity or invalidity depends upon the intention of the buyer or seller. If someone buys a weapon to kill a person who wants to kill another Muslim then the sale is invalid. The sale is valid if weapon is being bought for Jihad. This is the opinion from Ibn al Qayyim. This is also opinion of Imam Ahmed.

Ibn Qudama said that if the butcher and a baker knows that what they sell will be used for haram parties then they should not sell. He also forbade selling of silk to men who desires to wear it himself. Similarly the grapes are haram to sell if being bought for wine making. For these scholars even the signs of the haram from the buyer is enough for the seller not to sell. Ibn Qudama says that if intention is Riba then contract is invalid.

In Maliki school, al Khattab says that grapes for wine and silk for men’s clothing are not permissible if intention is known.

If there is an explicit intention which is haram then the contact is null and void and all 4 schools agree on this. It is where the signs are indirectly known. Here the ethics of Islam should differ from the capitalist ethics.

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