Islamic Classes‎ > ‎2013 Winter‎ > ‎

Usool al Fiqh

Usool al Fiqh Islamic Legal Theory: The Imperative and Prohibition

2013 Winter Session (January 14 to March 18 2013)

Class taught by Shaikh Jamaal Zarabozo


Required or Recommended Reading:

al-Amr and al-Nahi (Command and Prohibition), Kamali Chapter Six (pp 139-148 of 2nd edition or pp 187-201 of 3rd edition of the recommended textbook)


Recommended Textbook:

Mohammad Hashim Kamali, Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence

http://www.bandung2.co.uk/books/Files/Law/Principles%20of%20Islamic%20Jurisprudence%20-%20Hashim%20Kamali.pdf


Basic Outline of the Quarter:

al-Amr and al-Nahi (Command and Prohibition), Kamali Chapter Six (pp 139-148 of 2nd edition or pp 187-201 of 3rd edition of the recommended textbook)

Other aspects of Arabic Language (Time permitting)


2013-01-14 Class Notes


How would you describe the topic of Usool al Fiqh to somebody new to this topic?


Usul al Fiqh is the science of derivation of laws from the Quran and Sunnah. Another way to say is that it is the principles or tools to derive laws from Quran and Sunnah. It also includes the science of identification of what is the source of the law in Islam. Another way to define Usul al fiqh is that it is science which also tries to find out what evidence can be used in formulation of the law.


Quran and Sunnah are speech and most of usool al fiqh delves into how to understand speech. Sometimes speech is not clear and we have to understand unclear speech. Sometimes speech goes beyond what is the apparent meaning, it indicates or points to something. We spent some time understanding the indicators.


Quran is much more than a book of law - its purpose is to touch and move the hearts of the reader


One of the ways the text indicates the law is commands and prohibitions. One thing is clear about Quran that it is not a book of law or a book of fiqh. Quran is first and foremost trying to touch the hearts of the individuals and make them have taqwa. Once the taqwa is there then following the rules becomes much easier. If one gave the Arabs the list of do’s and don’ts then the Arabs (to whom language was extremely important) would not have moved to follow commands and they would not have believed in the Islam in the first place.


Exact same words can have different implications -- depending on the context


If I say: “Come to my house for dinner tonight.” What do you understand from this speech?

You could say this is an invitation and you are free to accept it or reject it.


If you are at airport and a TSA officer says come here and stand behind this line? Would you follow and comply?  Yes because of the authority of the person making the statement. You have no choice but to follow even though the words used were the same in the above invitation and the command from a TSA officer.


It could also depend upon the way the speech was made. So the exact same words could be understood differently and it depends upon the context.


Basic Definitions and discussion of Amr and Nahi


Al Amr = Command (the plural of Al Awamir and the Al Amr (which is translated as command))

Amr could mean command or affairs, when you look at its plural then you know what is meant, either commands or affairs. For the Amr of affairs the plural is Al Umur.


Al Nahi = Prohibition


In Shariah we have five basic ahkaam (rulings of actions) They are: Obligatory, Recommended, Permissibility, Disapproved or Disliked and Forbidden.


If I ask you something that is a recommendation, would that fall under the ahkaam of a command?


If I ask you to avoid something, would that fall under a prohibition?


In Usool al Fiqh when we speak about Amr, we include both of the categories of Amr and Nahi. There could also be strong Amr and weak Amr. So the terms do not directly translate as we understand in the English language. It depends on what we are discussing.


Footnote: Command is the result of speech. Some of the extreme groups such as the Mutazillah do not believe in the attribute of speech by Allah swt (they reject all human attributes), so they say that it is a form of word that is given to the Angels and then sent down to us. So they think it is a creation of Allah swt that is sent down to us. This discussion does not belong in this class but in the Aqeedah class. So we will discuss speech of Allah in that class.


Definition of Amr by Al Ghazali


Al Ghazali was Shafiee. He defined it as:

Words that require the obedience of the commanded (Amr) person to perform the commanded (Amr) action.


The problem is that he is using the same word in the definition, which he is trying to define. So the statement is cyclical in some sense and is not successful in defining the Amr properly. Al Razi has also critiqued the definition of Al Ghazali.


Definition of Amr by Ibn Qudamah


He defined Al Amr as:

Demand for action by speech (Kawl) from a position of superiority.


He avoids the circular definition by using the word speech.


Definition of Amr by An Nasafi


An Nasafi defines it as an order to act. Talab ul fail


This definition is much more general that ibn Qudamah’s definition. However he fails to include the qualification of superiority and authority.


Is this attribute of authority important to include in the definition?  Yes we saw it in the above example of the speech of the TSA officer.


Context might play a role in speech, it could highlight an alternate meaning that is not the default meaning. If you receive a letter from IRS to appear before them, you do not take into account anything other than the default meaning.


Order if it comes from a position of authority, then it is understood to be an order and you can understand alternate meaning only if there are some indicators, otherwise you have to comply with it.


How do we recognize that something is a command?


In English something is considered a command if after the use of verb one drops the personal pronoun. So if someone says that “sit”, “come here” etc, then these are the clear sign of commands in English. So these are clear form of commands and in Arabic they are called Sareeh.


Form of the verb indicates al Amr - Seghata al Amr or Imperative Verbs


Among the clear signs of a command in the Arabic language is the form of the verb. In the Arabic there is a form of verb which is called Seghata al Amr (imperative mood). In general in English the imperative is in the second person. This is the case of the direct command, since it cannot be given to the 3rd person who is not present. In English we do not have 3rd person imperative however in Arabic there is 3rd person indirect imperative and 1st person plural imperative.


In English imperative is used for ordering or requesting or advising the listener to do something.


Do you ever use the imperative in English to make a request? Yes, for example, “give me some money” or “pass the salt”.


Could you give advice to somebody using imperative in English? Yes, such as “Take Hwy 5”, Install this app, Delete this file, etc.


Negation of the imperative in English is pretty easy, we just say “do not” which makes it Nahi. In the Quran and Sunnah, is there a clear way to say that this is Amr. In Arabic it is by seeing the imperative form of the verb.


Steps to form an imperative form of the verb in Arabic


In English we just drop the personal pronoun. In Arabic one start with the indicative form of the verb, for example, let’s take the verb “to teach”. So in Arabic for 3rd person masculine plural:


Step 1:  it is Tudarrisu (with dhamma in the end)

Step 2: it is Tudarris_ (lose dhamma to a sukoon so this form is Jussive)

Step 3: it is __darris_ (drop the subject marker Tu). If the end result in step 3 is pronounceable in the Arabic language then we have an imperative (which for this example means “teach!”). If step 3 is not pronounceable then we have to take more steps to make it imperative.



Step 1: Taktubu (with dhamma at the end)

Step 2: Taktub_ (lose dhamma and get a sukoon to make it Jussive)

Step 3: __ktub_ (drop the subject marker Ta) and we have something not pronounceable in Arabic language.

Step 4: Uktub (where U denotes Alif with dhamma on it). This is now pronounceable in Arabic language. In general the Alif has Kasra but due to dhamma on the ta in __ktub_ the Alif gets dhamma.


So the imperative of “to teach” in Arabic is “Uktub”


Words with Was or Yaa in the them are problematic


Sh Jamaal’s favorite example of problematic imperative word in Arabic language. If the triliteral root has Waw or Yaa as letters then the imperative can become problematic. The root of T R Y has sukoon and in Jussive it only has fatha on the first two letters T and R (TaRa) and when one removes the subject marker the it just becomes Ra.


Identifying the imperative is not a problem at all. However not all Amr’s are formulated using the imperative speech, this is the bigger problem to identify.


Arabs when they discuss verbal forms, they use the most basic general form. “if3l” or “if’al” is the form of the most general Arabic form of the imperative.


2013-01-21 Class Notes

Summary of last week


This class is on Usul al Fiqh (Islamic legal theory) and Quran and Sunnah are the first two sources of Shariah. The bulk of Quran and Sunnah is Speech (Khatab). So bulk of Usul al fiqh is to understand speech as it comes from Allah (swt) and Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم). So we need to figure out principles to understand the speech of Quran and Sunnah and derive the rules of Shariah from them. The topic of this quarter is the Amr (imperative) and the Nahi (prohibition).


For example in English “Stay in line” by the TSA officer at the airport. What makes it Amr is the reason the


1) TSA officer has the position of authority

2) Form of the speech (in the above example the personal pronoun is dropped)

3) Demand to do some act


These component are what constitute Amr (imperative or command). The statement “come to my house for dinner” is missing #1 above. The statement “today is Friday” is just statement of fact. The opposite of Amr is Nahi (prohibition).


If king says “come to my house for dinner” then it cannot be necessarily Amr since it may be taken as invitation only from the context.


Imperative mood in the Arabic language


Handout sent by Sh Jamaal Zarabozo about “The Imperative Mood in Arabic”.


We have clear (Sareeh) expressions of Amr and not clear (Ghayr Sareeh) expressions of Amr. Sh Jamaal emphasized that he did not use the word unclear to describe the second category.


The first category under Sareeh is


1) the imperative mood (Seeghat ul Amr -------> iFaal) and it has to do with how the verb is going to look. The steps are in the Handout. For example, Tuslimoon (You (pl.) are submitting) and this is the indicative mood and this is the default case of mood in Arabic. Then as the next step we change it to Jussive (Tuslimoo). As next step we drop the prefix subject marker “ta” and we get _slimoo_. The end result _slimoo_ is not pronounceable. If it was pronounceable (like Darrisu in the Handout) then we would have left it like this. However, _slimoo_ is not pronounceable so we need to add a hamza with a kasra or fatha. Here we add hamza with fatha then the word in imperative is Aslimoo. The take home point is that in Arabic language there is an easy to identify form of imperative. The examples can be seen in the handout.


وَاصْبِرْ نَفْسَكَ مَعَ الَّذِينَ يَدْعُونَ رَبَّهُم بِالْغَدَاةِ وَالْعَشِيِّ يُرِيدُونَ وَجْهَهُ


See other examples in the handout. The first task is to identify Amr in the text of Quran and Hadith.


2) Indirect command is the third person command. It also involves the jussive mood. Here at the beginning of the verb one adds letter Lam with a kasra on the 3rd person Jussive. For example Li-yadrusu Aksar (“so make them study more”). Such examples are in the Quran, e.g. (65:7).


لِيُنفِقْ ذُو سَعَةٍ مِّن سَعَتِهِ ۖ وَمَن قُدِرَ عَلَيْهِ رِزْقُهُ فَلْيُنفِقْ مِمَّا آتَاهُ اللَّهُ ۚ لَا يُكَلِّفُ اللَّهُ نَفْسًا إِلَّا مَا آتَاهَا ۚ سَيَجْعَلُ اللَّهُ بَعْدَ عُسْرٍ يُسْرًا

Sahih International

Let a man of wealth spend from his wealth, and he whose provision is restricted - let him spend from what Allah has given him. Allah does not charge a soul except [according to] what He has given it. Allah will bring about, after hardship, ease.


So Li-yunfiq is a form of Amr (“A man of wealth should spend.....”). If this Li is preceded either by Fa or Waw then the Lam will take sukoon. An example is in 4:74


فَلْيُقَاتِلْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ الَّذِينَ يَشْرُونَ الْحَيَاةَ الدُّنْيَا بِالْآخِرَةِ ۚ وَمَن يُقَاتِلْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ فَيُقْتَلْ أَوْ يَغْلِبْ فَسَوْفَ نُؤْتِيهِ أَجْرًا عَظِيمًا

Sahih International

So let those fight in the cause of Allah who sell the life of this world for the Hereafter. And he who fights in the cause of Allah and is killed or achieves victory - We will bestow upon him a great reward.


The following example is very interesting where there is indirect command in 1st person plural.


وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا لِلَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّبِعُوا سَبِيلَنَا وَلْنَحْمِلْ خَطَايَاكُمْ وَمَا هُم بِحَامِلِينَ مِنْ خَطَايَاهُم مِّن شَيْءٍ ۖ إِنَّهُمْ لَكَاذِبُونَ

Sahih International (29:12)

And those who disbelieve say to those who believe, "Follow our way, and we will carry your sins." But they will not carry anything of their sins. Indeed, they are liars.


Going back to 65:7, if one was to read only the translation then he will not get the feeling that it is obligation to spend on the family. However, in Arabic the imperative makes it clear what is being demanded of the man.


3) Verbal imperative nouns (Ism Fiil al Amr) are a set of words which act like imperatives. For example, Alaykum in the verse in Surah al Maida, which says Alaykum Anfusakum which means (worry about yourselves and those who do not follow the truth will not harm you). This is clearly a command to be concerned about one’s self.


يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا عَلَيْكُمْ أَنفُسَكُمْ ۖ لَا يَضُرُّكُم مَّن ضَلَّ إِذَا اهْتَدَيْتُمْ ۚ إِلَى اللَّهِ مَرْجِعُكُمْ جَمِيعًا فَيُنَبِّئُكُم بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ

Sahih International (5:105)

O you who have believed, upon you is [responsibility for] yourselves. Those who have gone astray will not harm you when you have been guided. To Allah is you return all together; then He will inform you of what you used to do.


4) Verbal noun used in the place of the imperative. So here the last fatha on the Darb is sign of verbal noun as an imperative.


فَإِذَا لَقِيتُمُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا فَضَرْبَ الرِّقَابِ حَتَّىٰ إِذَا أَثْخَنتُمُوهُمْ فَشُدُّوا الْوَثَاقَ فَإِمَّا مَنًّا بَعْدُ وَإِمَّا فِدَاءً حَتَّىٰ تَضَعَ الْحَرْبُ أَوْزَارَهَا ۚ ذَٰلِكَ وَلَوْ يَشَاءُ اللَّهُ لَانتَصَرَ مِنْهُمْ وَلَٰكِن لِّيَبْلُوَ بَعْضَكُم بِبَعْضٍ ۗ وَالَّذِينَ قُتِلُوا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ فَلَن يُضِلَّ أَعْمَالَهُمْ

Sahih International (47:4)

So when you meet those who disbelieve [in battle], strike [their] necks until, when you have inflicted slaughter upon them, then secure their bonds, and either [confer] favor afterwards or ransom [them] until the war lays down its burdens. That [is the command]. And if Allah had willed, He could have taken vengeance upon them [Himself], but [He ordered armed struggle] to test some of you by means of others. And those who are killed in the cause of Allah - never will He waste their deeds.


Another example is Ihsanan is verbal noun in (17:23) and it is not preceded by any verb which can put it in the accusative. So it is mansub (accusative) since verbal noun replacing the Amr.


وَقَضَىٰ رَبُّكَ أَلَّا تَعْبُدُوا إِلَّا إِيَّاهُ وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا ۚ إِمَّا يَبْلُغَنَّ عِندَكَ الْكِبَرَ أَحَدُهُمَا أَوْ كِلَاهُمَا فَلَا تَقُل لَّهُمَا أُفٍّ وَلَا تَنْهَرْهُمَا وَقُل لَّهُمَا قَوْلًا كَرِيمًا

Sahih International (17:23)

And your Lord has decreed that you not worship except Him, and to parents, good treatment. Whether one or both of them reach old age [while] with you, say not to them [so much as], "uff," and do not repel them but speak to them a noble word.


So going to the Quran and Hadith one can identify the Amr if one identifies one of these situations of Amr. However the bigger question is how to understand the Amr rather than the identification of Amr.


Consider the following ayah:



شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ الَّذِي أُنزِلَ فِيهِ الْقُرْآنُ هُدًى لِّلنَّاسِ وَبَيِّنَاتٍ مِّنَ الْهُدَىٰ وَالْفُرْقَانِ ۚ فَمَن شَهِدَ مِنكُمُ الشَّهْرَ فَلْيَصُمْهُ ۖ وَمَن كَانَ مَرِيضًا أَوْ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍ فَعِدَّةٌ مِّنْ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ ۗ يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ بِكُمُ الْيُسْرَ وَلَا يُرِيدُ بِكُمُ الْعُسْرَ وَلِتُكْمِلُوا الْعِدَّةَ وَلِتُكَبِّرُوا اللَّهَ عَلَىٰ مَا هَدَاكُمْ وَلَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ

Sahih International

The month of Ramadhan [is that] in which was revealed the Qur'an, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion. So whoever sights [the new moon of] the month, let him fast it; and whoever is ill or on a journey - then an equal number of other days. Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship and [wants] for you to complete the period and to glorify Allah for that [to] which He has guided you; and perhaps you will be grateful.


The Fal-yasumhu is an indirect command. However later the ayah has a Li in front of tukmilu and then in front of tukabiru. The translator of Saheeh International is taking it as “for the purpose of” however it can be for the meaning of Amr here although scholars differ about it.  


2013-01-28 Class Notes


There are some forms of speech in Arabic that are very clear and are easy to recognize, this is the imperative mood, Seeghat ul Amr ...


When the command of Allah swt comes in the imperative mood, the command is called Amr Sareeh or the explicit form of Amr.  The other type of Amr is called Ghayr Sareeh or non-explicit. Here the command is definitive, but from the linguistic point of view, the speech does not directly represent a command or amr, but it is more impactful due to its stylistic form.


In the Arabic language we have two types of sentences, khabr or statement of fact and insha which is a kind of speech that demands an action on somebody’s part. Insha expects a response on somebody’s part.


When I say the sky is blue, there is no expectation of response. This is khabr or statement of fact or enunciated statement, which is either true or false, which will be important shortly.


Examples from the Quran that are commands but not in the form of Amr


In Surah Nisa verse 58, Allah swt says


إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَأْمُرُكُمْ أَن تُؤَدُّوا الْأَمَانَاتِ إِلَىٰ أَهْلِهَا وَإِذَا حَكَمْتُم بَيْنَ النَّاسِ أَن تَحْكُمُوا بِالْعَدْلِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ نِعِمَّا يَعِظُكُم بِهِ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ سَمِيعًا بَصِيرًا


Sahih International

Indeed, Allah commands you to render trusts to whom they are due and when you judge between people to judge with justice. Excellent is that which Allah instructs you. Indeed, Allah is ever Hearing and Seeing.


If you look at this verse, there is nothing in the imperative mood. There is no Seeghat ul Amr in this verse.

It is a statement of fact and Allah orders you to trust those who are judging with justice.


Some scholars say this is even stronger than Seeghat ul Amr, because there is no denying or interpreting the fact. This is very strong statement.


If Allah swt were to say, Oh you believe render trusts to whom they are due ...... Is this a stronger sentence than the one where Allah commands you to render trust? Answer is yes, since here the clause is stronger since it uses the name of Allah stressing that it is Allah who is ordering these matters.


If every verse of the Quran was of the form that “Allah commands you to do this and do that...”, then the Quran would not be powerful to the human being or intellect.


There is a field in Arabic language called “Balagha” and Balagha has elements of style plus rhetoric. Scholars who are familiar with it and analyze what is the differences between how statements are expressed.


Statement of fact implies continuity, in general you do not expect it to be abrogated or abridged.


In Surah Al Baqarah verse 183, Allah swt says


يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ


Sahih International

O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous -


The verse is addressed to the believers but there is no Amr, instead it is a statement of fact, and it is in the passive voice. So do you understand this as an obligation?


Kutiba means something has been written. Sahih International translates it as decreed. So how do you understand it to be an obligation.


Kutiba Alaikum gives us an idea of Amr. Kutiba also means something is ordered for you or prescribed for you.


What about Surah Al Baqarah verse 178


يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الْقِصَاصُ فِي الْقَتْلَى ۖ الْحُرُّ بِالْحُرِّ وَالْعَبْدُ بِالْعَبْدِ وَالْأُنثَىٰ بِالْأُنثَىٰ ۚ فَمَنْ عُفِيَ لَهُ مِنْ أَخِيهِ شَيْءٌ فَاتِّبَاعٌ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَأَدَاءٌ إِلَيْهِ بِإِحْسَانٍ ۗ ذَٰلِكَ تَخْفِيفٌ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ وَرَحْمَةٌ ۗ فَمَنِ اعْتَدَىٰ بَعْدَ ذَٰلِكَ فَلَهُ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ


Sahih International

O you who have believed, prescribed for you is legal retribution for those murdered - the free for the free, the slave for the slave, and the female for the female. But whoever overlooks from his brother anything, then there should be a suitable follow-up and payment to him with good conduct. This is an alleviation from your Lord and a mercy. But whoever transgresses after that will have a painful punishment.


It is the same Kutiba alaikum, so is Qisas obligatory or not?


In the previous case, since you knew fasting was obligatory, you had no problems understanding it as obligatory. So in this case also, Qisaas is obligatory.


Similarly the hadith of the Prophet which are in the form Kutiba alaikum?


Inna Allah kataba ihsana ala kulli Shai (Allah has written “ihsan” on everything).


So this gives us a strong indication that it is an Amr that has been made obligatory.


What about haqqan, where Allah swt says haqqan ala muttakeen or haqqan ala muhsineen? What does it mean?


Haq means right, Sahih International translates it as a duty upon the believers.


Surah Al Baqarah verse 236


لَّا جُنَاحَ عَلَيْكُمْ إِن طَلَّقْتُمُ النِّسَاءَ مَا لَمْ تَمَسُّوهُنَّ أَوْ تَفْرِضُوا لَهُنَّ فَرِيضَةً ۚ وَمَتِّعُوهُنَّ عَلَى الْمُوسِعِ قَدَرُهُ وَعَلَى الْمُقْتِرِ قَدَرُهُ مَتَاعًا بِالْمَعْرُوفِ ۖ حَقًّا عَلَى الْمُحْسِنِينَ


Sahih International

There is no blame upon you if you divorce women you have not touched nor specified for them an obligation. But give them [a gift of] compensation - the wealthy according to his capability and the poor according to his capability - a provision according to what is acceptable, a duty upon the doers of good.


This is considered by Usooliyeen that this is a sign of obligation. Can somebody claim that he is not from the muttaqeen and I don’t have to do this? From the law point of view, every Muslim and every believer is supposed to muhsineen or muttaqeen, it is expected from you, so you cannot use your level of Iman as an excuse for not fulfilling the obligations ordered by these verses.


Surah Al Baqarah verse 228


وَالْمُطَلَّقَاتُ يَتَرَبَّصْنَ بِأَنفُسِهِنَّ ثَلَاثَةَ قُرُوءٍ ۚ وَلَا يَحِلُّ لَهُنَّ أَن يَكْتُمْنَ مَا خَلَقَ اللَّهُ فِي أَرْحَامِهِنَّ إِن كُنَّ يُؤْمِنَّ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ ۚ وَبُعُولَتُهُنَّ أَحَقُّ بِرَدِّهِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ إِنْ أَرَادُوا إِصْلَاحًا ۚ وَلَهُنَّ مِثْلُ الَّذِي عَلَيْهِنَّ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ ۚ وَلِلرِّجَالِ عَلَيْهِنَّ دَرَجَةٌ ۗ وَاللَّهُ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ


Sahih International

Divorced women remain in waiting for three periods, and it is not lawful for them to conceal what Allah has created in their wombs if they believe in Allah and the Last Day. And their husbands have more right to take them back in this [period] if they want reconciliation. And due to the wives is similar to what is expected of them, according to what is reasonable. But the men have a degree over them [in responsibility and authority]. And Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise.


Beginning of the verse says, divorced women remain in waiting for three periods. When you analyze the Arabic, is it in the imperative mood?


It is not in the imperative mood. Is this verse an Amr, a command that says that iddah for divorced women is three periods? How do you understand it to be an Amr?


If this mudhareh, how can you translate it? If it is imperfect tense, then is there any Amr there? Muhsin Khan translates it as women shall wait, where does he get the shall in the translated verse?


This is a statement of fact and it can be either true or false. Do all divorced women wait for three periods before getting married? So if they do not wait, then is this statement of fact, false? Suppose a divorced women, sinfully did not wait and gets married, is she disproving this verse?


In Arabic language, a statement of fact can imply Amr, so divorced woman must wait for three periods before getting married. And it implies the imperative. Since it is a khabr implying imperative and it is implying a fixed or constant rule. In Arabic it is usual that Khabar can be used as Amr.


Surah Al Maeda verse 89


لَا يُؤَاخِذُكُمُ اللَّهُ بِاللَّغْوِ فِي أَيْمَانِكُمْ وَلَٰكِن يُؤَاخِذُكُم بِمَا عَقَّدتُّمُ الْأَيْمَانَ ۖ فَكَفَّارَتُهُ إِطْعَامُ عَشَرَةِ مَسَاكِينَ مِنْ أَوْسَطِ مَا تُطْعِمُونَ أَهْلِيكُمْ أَوْ كِسْوَتُهُمْ أَوْ تَحْرِيرُ رَقَبَةٍ ۖ فَمَن لَّمْ يَجِدْ فَصِيَامُ ثَلَاثَةِ أَيَّامٍ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ كَفَّارَةُ أَيْمَانِكُمْ إِذَا حَلَفْتُمْ ۚ وَاحْفَظُوا أَيْمَانَكُمْ ۚ كَذَٰلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ آيَاتِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ


Sahih International

Allah will not impose blame upon you for what is meaningless in your oaths, but He will impose blame upon you for [breaking] what you intended of oaths. So its expiation is the feeding of ten needy people from the average of that which you feed your [own] families or clothing them or the freeing of a slave. But whoever cannot find [or afford it] - then a fast of three days [is required]. That is the expiation for oaths when you have sworn. But guard your oaths. Thus does Allah make clear to you His verses that you may be grateful.


Here Allah swt is speaking about when you break an oath intentionally. The statement “its expiation” فَكَفَّارَتُهُ إِطْعَامُ   is not stated as an Amr or in the imperative mood.


This is a statement of fact and it is clearly an Amr.


Surah Nisa verse 75


وَمَا لَكُمْ لَا تُقَاتِلُونَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ وَالْمُسْتَضْعَفِينَ مِنَ الرِّجَالِ وَالنِّسَاءِ وَالْوِلْدَانِ الَّذِينَ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا أَخْرِجْنَا مِنْ هَٰذِهِ الْقَرْيَةِ الظَّالِمِ أَهْلُهَا وَاجْعَل لَّنَا مِن لَّدُنكَ وَلِيًّا وَاجْعَل لَّنَا مِن لَّدُنكَ نَصِيرًا


Sahih International

And what is [the matter] with you that you fight not in the cause of Allah and [for] the oppressed among men, women, and children who say, "Our Lord, take us out of this city of oppressive people and appoint for us from Yourself a protector and appoint for us from Yourself a helper?"


Is this an obligation or not? What is the matter that you do not fight for the oppressed people?  This is a question and not in the form of an imperative. Can a question be considered a command?


Can you derive a command from a question?


By expressing the command in this way, by stating it in the form of the question, you make the individual understand, he asks what is the matter with you, why don’t you do something,  there is no excuse, so it is not just an amr, it is an amr that resonates with the mind and heart of the individual.


So there is no question that this (4:75) is indeed an Amr.


So we can definitely have Amr in the form of question, scholars of Balagaha say it is the most deepest form of Amr and it will have the most impact on the listener.


Surah Al Maida verse 91


إِنَّمَا يُرِيدُ الشَّيْطَانُ أَن يُوقِعَ بَيْنَكُمُ الْعَدَاوَةَ وَالْبَغْضَاءَ فِي الْخَمْرِ وَالْمَيْسِرِ وَيَصُدَّكُمْ عَن ذِكْرِ اللَّهِ وَعَنِ الصَّلَاةِ ۖ فَهَلْ أَنتُم مُّنتَهُونَ


Sahih International

Satan only wants to cause between you animosity and hatred through intoxicants and gambling and to avert you from the remembrance of Allah and from prayer. So will you not desist?


What about the last part, is this Amr?


Could rhetorical questions, have any other answer? There will be no other answer to the rhetorical question, you have to desist. Umar ibn al Khattab said when this verse was revealed that “we have stopped O our Lord”.


It is not in the form of imperative, but it is very clear that there is an obligation behind it.


Inn Kuntum


When Allah swt is speaking to jews and christians, Allah swt says in Surah Al Anbiyah verse 108


قُلْ إِنَّمَا يُوحَىٰ إِلَيَّ أَنَّمَا إِلَٰهُكُمْ إِلَٰهٌ وَاحِدٌ ۖ فَهَلْ أَنتُم مُّسْلِمُونَ


Sahih International

Say, "It is only revealed to me that your god is but one God; so will you be Muslims [in submission to Him]?"


When Allah swt says will you be Muslim, is there a choice for the individual? It is a clear command from Allah swt, you do not have any choice but to be a Muslim.


أَلَا تُقَاتِلُونَ قَوْمًا نَّكَثُوا أَيْمَانَهُمْ وَهَمُّوا بِإِخْرَاجِ الرَّسُولِ وَهُم بَدَءُوكُمْ أَوَّلَ مَرَّةٍ ۚ أَتَخْشَوْنَهُمْ ۚ فَاللَّهُ أَحَقُّ أَن تَخْشَوْهُ إِن كُنتُم مُّؤْمِنِينَ


Sahih International (9:13)

Would you not fight a people who broke their oaths and determined to expel the Messenger, and they had begun [the attack upon] you the first time? Do you fear them? But Allah has more right that you should fear Him, if you are [truly] believers.


When Allah swt asks the individual in this way, it makes the resolve of the individual much stronger.


When Allah swt states in this way, if you get the student to formulate the answer to the question, it is much stronger than just feeding the answers to them over and over again. This is how the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) taught the sahabah, he asked questions to the Sahabah and made them answer it.


The response we must have to this verse is very clear, it is an obligation and we really have no other choice but to fulfill it.


So these examples we have studied today are non-explicit forms, and yet are stronger than the Seeghat ul Amr .


Out of the three that we have done as examples of non-explicit, which one of them was the strongest?


Why is the form of the question the strongest?


The effect of it is strong, but is the rank of giving a command which is stronger, kutiba or the question? Both of them are strong. It does not have to be in the form of the imperative. None of our scholars have said that the verse has to be in imperative mood to be an amr, but nowadays some are questioning it.If something is put in the form of a rhetorical question then it is indeed a form of command (Amr).


What about if Allah (swt) praises the doer of an action, or praises an action or speaks about great reward for an action. Is it obligation to do such an act?


تِلْكَ حُدُودُ اللَّهِ ۚ وَمَن يُطِعِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ يُدْخِلْهُ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا ۚ وَذَٰلِكَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِيمُ


Sahih International (4:13)

These are the limits [set by] Allah , and whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger will be admitted by Him to gardens [in Paradise] under which rivers flow, abiding eternally therein; and that is the great attainment.


الَّذِينَ يُنفِقُونَ فِي السَّرَّاءِ وَالضَّرَّاءِ وَالْكَاظِمِينَ الْغَيْظَ وَالْعَافِينَ عَنِ النَّاسِ ۗ وَاللَّهُ يُحِبُّ الْمُحْسِنِينَ


Sahih International

Who spend [in the cause of Allah ] during ease and hardship and who restrain anger and who pardon the people - and Allah loves the doers of good


This is mentioned by Shatibi in Al Muwafaqat as indirect way of implying the Amr.


In the English language what are the different ways in which we use an imperative. In English, use of imperative in not necessarily means a command. For example, “come to my house” can be just an invitation.


Identifying the Amr is one thing and treating the Amr is another thing. For example, “bring me some food” can be a request. Can we use imperative to imply permission? Yes, e.g. “come in” or “enter”.


How to understand Amr in Arabic. There are (according to one author) 32 different meaning for Amr. In the Quran, we see that sometimes Amr is used and it does not mean obligation. The most obvious way Amr is used in Quran is for obligation.  


Sometimes a slave could set a price with his master for his emancipation and then pay the master overtime.


وَلْيَسْتَعْفِفِ الَّذِينَ لَا يَجِدُونَ نِكَاحًا حَتَّىٰ يُغْنِيَهُمُ اللَّهُ مِن فَضْلِهِ ۗ وَالَّذِينَ يَبْتَغُونَ الْكِتَابَ مِمَّا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُكُمْ فَكَاتِبُوهُمْ إِنْ عَلِمْتُمْ فِيهِمْ خَيْرًا ۖ وَآتُوهُم مِّن مَّالِ اللَّهِ الَّذِي آتَاكُمْ ۚ وَلَا تُكْرِهُوا فَتَيَاتِكُمْ عَلَى الْبِغَاءِ إِنْ أَرَدْنَ تَحَصُّنًا لِّتَبْتَغُوا عَرَضَ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا ۚ وَمَن يُكْرِههُّنَّ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ مِن بَعْدِ إِكْرَاهِهِنَّ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ


Sahih International (24:33)

But let them who find not [the means for] marriage abstain [from sexual relations] until Allah enriches them from His bounty. And those who seek a contract [for eventual emancipation] from among whom your right hands possess - then make a contract with them if you know there is within them goodness and give them from the wealth of Allah which He has given you. And do not compel your slave girls to prostitution, if they desire chastity, to seek [thereby] the temporary interests of worldly life. And if someone should compel them, then indeed, Allah is [to them], after their compulsion, Forgiving and Merciful.


Is this a command? Does this Fakatibuhum mean obligation? The scholars say that this is a recommendation and not an obligation. We will inshaAllah see the reason for this next week.


Between today and next week, when you read the verses of the Quran, pay attention to the imperative mood and if you can determine it, try to find its different meanings?


2013-02-04 Class Notes


Link to the handout sent by Sh Jamaal Zarabozo about the usages of the imperative in the Quran and Sunnah and an earlier handout about the Imperative mood in Arabic.


Recall that last week we were trying to find the Amr in the Qur’an and Sunnah in different forms. We were saying that Amr does not always mean that it is a command from Allah (swt). We were discussing the Qur’an Surah 24:33 that a slave can seek a contract to earn his freedom. The Ulema conclude about this that it is a recommendation (Al Nadb or mandoob) even though imperative Fakatibuhum is used.


Possible Implications for the imperative in the Quran and Sunnah

We have discussed the following so far:

#1 Obligation (al Wujub)

#2 Recommendation (Al Nadb or Mandoob)


What should be done for Amr when we see it in the Quran or Hadith. We have to identify what exactly does the Amr mean in these cases. Reference to the Usages of the Imperative mood in the Quran and Sunnah handout.


#3 Amr as a Threat or Al Tahdeed

Discussion of example #1 from the handout


إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يُلْحِدُونَ فِي آيَاتِنَا لَا يَخْفَوْنَ عَلَيْنَا ۗ أَفَمَن يُلْقَىٰ فِي النَّارِ خَيْرٌ أَم مَّن يَأْتِي آمِنًا يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ ۚ اعْمَلُوا مَا شِئْتُمْ ۖ إِنَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ بَصِيرٌ


Sahih International (41:40)

Indeed, those who inject deviation into Our verses are not concealed from Us. So, is he who is cast into the Fire better or he who comes secure on the Day of Resurrection? Do whatever you will; indeed, He is Seeing of what you do.


So this is Amr. Is this a command to do something as obligation or recommendation?


Footnote: When Clint Eastwood says “Go ahead make my day”, what did he mean, it was a threat or a challenge to the speaker.


Amr can be a threat (Al tahdeed) since in this case it is a threat that do whatever what you want to do, you will not succeed in your plans against Allah (swt).


#4 Amr as a Dua

Discussion of example #2 from the handout



وَمِنْهُم مَّن يَقُولُ رَبَّنَا آتِنَا فِي الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَفِي الْآخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً وَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ

Sahih International

But among them is he who says, "Our Lord, give us in this world [that which is] good and in the Hereafter [that which is] good and protect us from the punishment of the Fire."


This is an example of a dua, it is not an obligation or a command to Allah swt.


It shows that all the dua in Quran and Sunnah is in the form of Amr, however we have no authority over Allah (swt). So it is taken as request.


Any time a Amr is made from a person with lesser authority to a higher authority, it is a dua or a request.


#5 Amr as a Bestowal of Honor (Al Ikram)

Discussion of example #3 from the handout


ادْخُلُوهَا بِسَلَامٍ آمِنِينَ

Sahih International

[Having been told], "Enter it in peace, safe [and secure]."


It is in the imperative. Is Allah swt ordering them to enter in peace?


There is agreement among the scholars in the examples that we have discussed so far. This is an example of bestowing honor upon them, it is framed as an Amr, but it is to show honor.


It is not an order and if you do not fulfill it you are sinful, here the imperative is used to indicate honor.


#6 Amr as a Guidance or Al Irshad

Discussion of example #4 from the handout


يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِذَا تَدَايَنتُم بِدَيْنٍ إِلَىٰ أَجَلٍ مُّسَمًّى فَاكْتُبُوهُ ۚ وَلْيَكْتُب بَّيْنَكُمْ كَاتِبٌ بِالْعَدْلِ ۚ وَلَا يَأْبَ كَاتِبٌ أَن يَكْتُبَ كَمَا عَلَّمَهُ اللَّهُ ۚ فَلْيَكْتُبْ وَلْيُمْلِلِ الَّذِي عَلَيْهِ الْحَقُّ وَلْيَتَّقِ اللَّهَ رَبَّهُ وَلَا يَبْخَسْ مِنْهُ شَيْئًا ۚ فَإِن كَانَ الَّذِي عَلَيْهِ الْحَقُّ سَفِيهًا أَوْ ضَعِيفًا أَوْ لَا يَسْتَطِيعُ أَن يُمِلَّ هُوَ فَلْيُمْلِلْ وَلِيُّهُ بِالْعَدْلِ ۚ وَاسْتَشْهِدُوا شَهِيدَيْنِ مِن رِّجَالِكُمْ ۖ


Sahih International (2:282)

O you who have believed, when you contract a debt for a specified term, write it down. And let a scribe write [it] between you in justice. Let no scribe refuse to write as Allah has taught him. So let him write and let the one who has the obligation dictate. And let him fear Allah , his Lord, and not leave anything out of it. But if the one who has the obligation is of limited understanding or weak or unable to dictate himself, then let his guardian dictate in justice. And bring to witness two witnesses from among your men.


The scholars consider it as a form of recommendation which has a special name of “Al Irshad” (Guidance), i.e. it is for their benefit for the dunya perspective, while the category 2 (which is recommendation) above is for the benefit in the hereafter. The Dhahiris (like ibn Hazm) say that it is obligatory, they take it as a command. Everybody else takes it as a recommendation. We don’t have a sign that the sahaba always recorded every debt.


#7 Amr as an Admonition or Warning Al Andhar

Discussion of example #5 from the handout



وَجَعَلُوا لِلَّهِ أَندَادًا لِّيُضِلُّوا عَن سَبِيلِهِ ۗ قُلْ تَمَتَّعُوا فَإِنَّ مَصِيرَكُمْ إِلَى النَّارِ


Sahih International

And they have attributed to Allah equals to mislead [people] from His way. Say, "Enjoy yourselves, for indeed, your destination is the Fire."


This looks like threat as in #3 above, however the scholars call it Al Andhar (warning), however Sh Jamaal thinks that it is better called subset of #3 which is a threat. However, scholars consider it a different category due to slight difference in the shade of the warning.


#8 Amr as Bestowing a Reward

Discussion of example #6 from the handout


كُلُوا وَاشْرَبُوا هَنِيئًا بِمَا أَسْلَفْتُمْ فِي الْأَيَّامِ الْخَالِيَةِ

Sahih International

[They will be told], "Eat and drink in satisfaction for what you put forth in the days past."


This is very close to the category #5 above, however it is explicitly shows giving of reward in return of good deeds. So it is close to 5 but it has enough difference in the shade of it’s reward to merit a different category.


#9 Amr as a Tahdeeb (Giving good manners)

Discussion of example #7 from the handout

Narrated `Umar bin Abi Salama:

I was a boy under the care of Allah's Messenger () and my hand used to go around the dish while I was eating. So Allah's Messenger () said to me, 'O boy! Mention the Name of Allah and eat with your right hand, and eat of the dish what is nearer to you." Since then I have applied those instructions when eating.


حَدَّثَنَا عَلِيُّ بْنُ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ، أَخْبَرَنَا سُفْيَانُ، قَالَ الْوَلِيدُ بْنُ كَثِيرٍ أَخْبَرَنِي أَنَّهُ، سَمِعَ وَهْبَ بْنَ كَيْسَانَ، أَنَّهُ سَمِعَ عُمَرَ بْنَ أَبِي سَلَمَةَ، يَقُولُ كُنْتُ غُلاَمًا فِي حَجْرِ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم وَكَانَتْ يَدِي تَطِيشُ فِي الصَّحْفَةِ فَقَالَ لِي رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ "‏ يَا غُلاَمُ سَمِّ اللَّهَ، وَكُلْ بِيَمِينِكَ وَكُلْ مِمَّا يَلِيكَ ‏"‏‏.‏ فَمَا زَالَتْ تِلْكَ طِعْمَتِي بَعْدُ‏.‏


(Sahih Bukhari: 5376)


Footnote: When you review the examples, you can see one of the reasons why there are differences in opinions in Fiqh on various rulings due to how you understand the meaning of Amr in the text.


Why is the command to eat with your right hand not an obligation in the above example?


The usooliyeen when they discuss this example, they say it is related to #2, but put it in its own category called Taa’deeb or giving good manners.


Here the important point is that this example is not an obligation or recommendation, but rather it is simply good manners and not an obligation or recommendation. And later we will discuss when there are multiple commands or Amr in a verse, then we have to understand the priority or ranking of each command in the list.


#9 Amr as an Al Imtinaan or making you reflect upon the favor

Discussion of example #8 from the handout


فَكُلُوا مِمَّا رَزَقَكُمُ اللَّهُ حَلَالًا طَيِّبًا وَاشْكُرُوا نِعْمَتَ اللَّهِ إِن كُنتُمْ إِيَّاهُ تَعْبُدُونَ


Sahih International

Then eat of what Allah has provided for you [which is] lawful and good. And be grateful for the favor of Allah, if it is [indeed] Him that you worship.


Here it is not a command to eat but it is making us think of something else, what is it?


This is Al Imtinaan or bestowal of favor upon you, here you have to reflect upon the bounties that are given to you, and as a consequence, you have to give thanks to Allah swt.


If Allah swt is bestowing something upon you, then you need to be grateful.


#10 Amr as Al Ilhana or to degrate or humiliate

Discussion of example #9 from the handout



خُذُوهُ فَاعْتِلُوهُ إِلَىٰ سَوَاءِ الْجَحِيمِ


Sahih International

[It will be commanded], "Seize him and drag him into the midst of the Hellfire,


ثُمَّ صُبُّوا فَوْقَ رَأْسِهِ مِنْ عَذَابِ الْحَمِيمِ


Sahih International

Then pour over his head from the torment of scalding water."


ذُقْ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ الْعَزِيزُ الْكَرِيمُ

Sahih International

[It will be said], "Taste! Indeed, you are the honored, the noble!


This is AL-ILHANA or to degrade or humiliate.



#11 Amr as a Ibaha (permission)

Discussion of example #10 from the handout


فَإِذَا قُضِيَتِ الصَّلَاةُ فَانتَشِرُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ وَابْتَغُوا مِن فَضْلِ اللَّهِ وَاذْكُرُوا اللَّهَ كَثِيرًا لَّعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ

Sahih International

And when the prayer has been concluded, disperse within the land and seek from the bounty of Allah , and remember Allah often that you may succeed.


Al Irshaad was a worldly recommendation. So is this Amr a permission or a recommendation?


There is something clear over here, when you are called for Salah, you have to leave your business transaction and after the prayers are over, you are free to conduct business. So there was a prohibition and now you are freed from the prohibition. It does not mean that you have to conduct business, but you are free to do so.


This is a special case of Amr that comes after an obligation which we will have to discuss later, there are some important ramifications of these type of Amr that come after a prohibition.


#12 Amr as a challenge or belittling (al ihtiqaar)

Discussion of example #11 from the handout

فَلَمَّا جَاءَ السَّحَرَةُ قَالَ لَهُم مُّوسَىٰ أَلْقُوا مَا أَنتُم مُّلْقُونَ


Sahih International

So when the magicians came, Moses said to them, "Throw down whatever you will throw."


This is a challenge.


Most of the scholars agree that this is an example of il ihtiqaar or belittling the disbelievers. Go ahead and do what you may, I do not care.


#13 Amr as a Tajeez (to show someone one’s inability)

Discussion of example #12 from the handout



وَقَالُوا أَإِذَا كُنَّا عِظَامًا وَرُفَاتًا أَإِنَّا لَمَبْعُوثُونَ خَلْقًا جَدِيدًا


Sahih International

And they say, "When we are bones and crumbled particles, will we [truly] be resurrected as a new creation?"


قُلْ كُونُوا حِجَارَةً أَوْ حَدِيدًا

Sahih International

Say, "Be you stones or iron



أَوْ خَلْقًا مِّمَّا يَكْبُرُ فِي صُدُورِكُمْ ۚ فَسَيَقُولُونَ مَن يُعِيدُنَا ۖ قُلِ الَّذِي فَطَرَكُمْ أَوَّلَ مَرَّةٍ ۚ فَسَيُنْغِضُونَ إِلَيْكَ رُءُوسَهُمْ وَيَقُولُونَ مَتَىٰ هُوَ ۖ قُلْ عَسَىٰ أَن يَكُونَ قَرِيبًا


Sahih International

Or [any] creation of that which is great within your breasts." And they will say, "Who will restore us?" Say, "He who brought you forth the first time." Then they will nod their heads toward you and say, "When is that?" Say, "Perhaps it will be soon -


When you tell somebody “be” what does it mean. It means that you cannot be a stone or iron even if you try to be.


This is ordering somebody to do something in order to show their inability.



#14 Amr as a show of indifference (al taswiya or al tasfiya??)

Discussion of another example



اصْلَوْهَا فَاصْبِرُوا أَوْ لَا تَصْبِرُوا سَوَاءٌ عَلَيْكُمْ ۖ إِنَّمَا تُجْزَوْنَ مَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ


Sahih International (52:16)

[Enter to] burn therein; then be patient or impatient - it is all the same for you. You are only being recompensed [for] what you used to do."


You are giving them options that are mutually discordant, to show that you do not care what they do. This is showing indifference, it does not matter what you do.


Conclusion about Amr


If you see an Amr it does not mean that it is obligatory. That is not the case as we can see from these examples, sometimes it is a recommendation, a warning, or a sign of belittling, etc. You will not get confused between dua and amr, bestowal of honor and amr. The only one that might be problematic or tricky are ibaha, wujub and mandoob. Only in those three cases there might be room for confusion.


So we see that there must be a default case which is the basic meaning of amr and then to go from this default case to some other case needs evidence. The burden of proof will be on the one who deviates from the default case, so if they say that it is a recommendation, then they have to show why it is a recommendation and not an obligation which was the default case for the amr.


There are many figurative uses of Amr, as a warning or threat. It happens in English and other languages too. If you say that Amr is an obligation, you still have to prove that claim for the default case. It does not matter which of the fifteen implications of the Amr, you still have to prove why it is the default case. And then later on if somebody deviates from the default case, they have to prove it too.


2013-02-11 Class Notes


Primary Signification of Imperative


Last week we discussed the different usages of the Amr in Arabic language and the Quran. Our goal is to figure out what we can call the primary signification of the Amr (imperative) also knows as Mani al Haqiqi. We went over about more than a dozen different uses of Amr and some of them we can call is figurative meaning, for this is not how amr is used in general. So our goal is the understand the indication and signification of the Amr today. For example, amr as threat we know is not the primary meaning of imperative. Another example is amr as duaa or amr as humiliation. These we can say are figurative meaning from the context of what we know regarding the ayat.


Primary signification of amr is (this is the amr which is Amr al Mutlaq where we are not depending on context for finding the Amr):

1) Amr is an obligation

2) Amr is a recommendation


Unless we have evidence otherwise the Amr is either an obligation or recommendation. When we say look at ayah of duaa we go from primary meaning to secondary meaning based on evidence (and this process is called Taweel). In Usul al fiqh Taweel is a huge topic where based on sound evidence one goes from primary to secondary meaning.


In Amr one is expecting or requiring someone to do something, so we know if the Amr is firm request  then it is obligation and if it is soft request then it is recommendation. Among the Ulema on this question of primary signification, one Ph.D. thesis divides it into 6 however Sh. Jamaal does not find it strong opinion. He thinks it divides into six categories.


Footnote: In Hadith or Quran many times one can imperative and yet the scholar calls it recommendation and it goes back to the opinion of the scholar regarding the default ruling. So they find only a single hadith on certain topic with an imperative then they will call it recommendation if that scholar thinks that default is recommendation.  


Q&A: If you have only a verse of the Quran that is Amr and that is the only source of ruling, then the default case is that it is ....



Six Major Opinions from Scholars about Amr’s primary signification


Opinion #1: The Amr or Imperative is a homonym or mushtaraq (meaning obligation/recommendation).


The word homonym means a word which has more than one meaning to it. This view is held by Shia and interestingly is attributed to Al Shafiee.


This sounds confusing, how are you going to possibly or practically apply it. A Shia scholar said that originally it had multiple meanings and they are lost, and you only have one meaning left. They have this in their Usool al Fiqh texts but Shaykh does not know how they really apply the Amr while they hold this confusing opinion.


Opinion #2: The Amr is literally a call to do an act, which can mean obligatory or recommended.


So it is essentially the same thing as #1 on the surface, however it has uniqueness to it.  


This opinion is the view of the Hanafis from the Samarkand school. In the Hanafi madhab during the earlier years, they had two schools within them, so did all of the other madhabs. The Hanafis had the Iraqi school and the Samarkand school also known as the Maturidis. Also some of the Mutazilah also had this opinion. And this opinion is also attributed to Imam Shafiee, and you will see that this is a recurring for all of the other opinions being attributed to Imam Shafiee.


For the case of the Hanafis, when in doubt it becomes obligation. The default case is that of obligation. The Samarkand school of the Hanafis emphasized it more than others. Hanafis distinguish between Fard and Wajib. Fard is for what the evidence is definitive but for Wajib the evidence is not definitive so Wajib is little bit less than Fard. So you lean towards Wajib as Fard but do not quite treat it as Fard. All of the Hanafis have this distinction between Fard and Wajib.


Some of the Mutazilah hold this opinion, however don’t say it is obligatory but still they say you must do an act.


Opinion #3: The default case is that Amr implies obligation.


Without a doubt this is the opinion of the majority of Fuqaha, it is also the opinion of the Iraqi school of Hanafi, and it is definitely an opinion of Imam Shafiee, it is also attributed to Imam Malik, Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, majority of the usooli, muttaqalimoon, in particular the dhahiris (the literalists) including ibn Hazm.


Ibn Hazm is strictly of this opinion. When you make taweel, that is go from the default ruling to a secondary ruling, what is the evidence that you will use? Ibn Hazm says that the only way to from from primary meaning to secondary meaning is when you have another text or ijmaa among the scholars, otherwise he does not budge from the opinion that Amr implies obligation.


Depending upon what opinion you lean towards about the primary significance of Amr, either you will have many commands or less commands, because you think either the default case is obligation or not, since there are so many Amr in the Quran.


This opinion #3 is the majority view and we will come back to this opinion for detailed evidences.


Opinion #4: Amr implies recommendation


If you have verse that implies Amr and you don’t have any other source that implies obligation, the default ruling is that it is a recommendation.


This opinion is also attributed to Imam Shafiee. Most of the Mutazilah were of this opinion. Some Shafiee scholars were definitely of this opinion.


One of the pieces of evidence that they have for it is that if you are going to ask someone to do something, the minimum what you ask someone to do is a recommendation, this is a rational argument. To say it is obligatory, you have to present additional evidence.


In the English language, if you want to order me to do something, there is a way to do it, but if you want me to do something but don’t want to order me to do it, without adding a footnote to say that this is not an order, how would you do it?


If you are my commanding officer and ask me to pick up the trash, is it obligatory or recommendation? It is obligatory for me to follow the commanding officer’s speech. If it is not an obligation then one can say “please, pick up the trash”. This looks like a weak argument however, they try to base it on hadith.


Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said, "Leave me as I leave you, for the people who were before you were ruined because of their questions and their differences over their prophets. So, if I forbid you to do something, then keep away from it. And if I order you to do something, then do of it as much as you can." (Sahih al-Bukhari 7288)


حَدَّثَنَا إِسْمَاعِيلُ، حَدَّثَنِي مَالِكٌ، عَنْ أَبِي الزِّنَادِ، عَنِ الأَعْرَجِ، عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ

‏ "‏ دَعُونِي مَا تَرَكْتُكُمْ، إِنَّمَا هَلَكَ مَنْ كَانَ قَبْلَكُمْ بِسُؤَالِهِمْ وَاخْتِلاَفِهِمْ عَلَى أَنْبِيَائِهِمْ، فَإِذَا نَهَيْتُكُمْ عَنْ شَىْءٍ فَاجْتَنِبُوهُ، وَإِذَا أَمَرْتُكُمْ بِأَمْرٍ فَأْتُوا مِنْهُ مَا اسْتَطَعْتُمْ ‏"‏‏.


However, the hadith seems to be talking about individual capacity regarding fulfillment of a certain obligation but it is not supporting opinion #4.


Opinion #5: We don’t know whether Amr is obligation or recommendation


This is from Waqfites (hesitators) and their opinion is that we do not know what it is (obligation or recommendation) and this opinion is opinion of a number of leading Shafiee legal theorist like Ghazali, Al Baqilani, Ashari and Al Amadi. This opinion is not attributed to Imam Shafiee.


When Ghazali was explaining this opinion, we are not saying waqafities is our madhab, but we know that Arabs would use Amr sometimes for recommendation or obligation, so we leave it that way.


What they are saying is that you don’t conclude anything from Amr unless you find some other evidence for its obligation or recommendation. What if you don’t find any other evidence? Ibn Hazm spent a lot of time refuting this opinion. He used to be very tough on them. There is a famous saying that the sword of the Hijaz and the tongue of Ibn Hazm are equivalent.


ibn Hazm said that when they come across an Amr and do not find any other evidence, they could wait forever for additional evidence but this would be equivalent to abandoning your religion. Or they could consider it to be recommendation without additional evidence, but then if the Prophet made it obligatory then they would be disobeying the prophet. Or they could consider it to be obligation without additional evidence, now they would be following us.


There is another principle they could invoke, they could rely on ihtiyaat (caution) and make it obligatory without any additional evidence. Even scholars do not have access to all information, so then they have to follow the opinion of other scholars, this is known as taqleed.


Q&A: Is opinion #5 the same as the opinion: "Amr is request and conjunction is needed to make it obligation or recommendation"...? Yes it is very close and Al Amadi makes an argument for it, however still keeps it distinct even though it is very close.



Opinion #6: Amr implies permissibility


This opinion is attributed to some of Imam Malik’s followers, to some of the Mutazillah, namely AmaadiA, and some of the legal theorists. This opinion is sometimes left unattributed by some scholars.


If the root of Amr implies an action on the part of the individual, what does it imply that Amr means permissibility? it means I don’t care whether you do it or don’t do it.


Most scholars say that this opinion does not make sense, since it contradicts what is the meaning of a command or Amr.


Homework: The Qaeda “Al Amr Yaqtadi al Wujub”  is derived from opinion #2 which says that Amr is a call to act, how were they able to get this Qaeda from the opinion. Prove it from Quran and Sahih Bukhari. (Edit: Sh mentioned Al Amadi’s writings when he discussed this homework)


Do you know the meaning of the Qaeda, Br Atif? “The Amr necessarily implies obligation”. I think, Yaqtadi is from the root Q D A which means to decide upon something. Next week we can ask!


2013-02-18 Class Notes


Imperative implies obligation - Al Amr Yaqtadi al Wujub


We were discussing the various opinions about the default rulings about Amr, the classroom was leaning towards Amr implies obligation, we discussed and critiqued the six opinions about the default rulings of Amr.


Homework from last week was the following question, how can you prove from Quran and Sunnah that Amr implies obligation. This is an important question to answer. From last week we were discussing the question that “Amr implies an obligation”. Many Ulema say that our main trial is through Amr (i.e. obedience and disobedience to Allah (swt)).


If you were to meet someone that the default ruling is recommendation, how would argue with them and present your evidence to them that the default ruling should be an obligation.


Classroom responses:

1. The attitude of the Sahabah when they came across the Amr in the Quran and Sunnah

2. Hadith: Were it not that I might overburden believers, I would have ordered them to use the miswak at every prayer. This is an evidence for Amr as an obligation.


Narrated Abu Huraira:

Allah's Messenger () said, "If I had not found it hard for my followers or the people, I would have ordered them to clean their teeth with Siwak for every prayer."


حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ يُوسُفَ، قَالَ أَخْبَرَنَا مَالِكٌ، عَنْ أَبِي الزِّنَادِ، عَنِ الأَعْرَجِ، عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏ "‏ لَوْلاَ أَنْ أَشُقَّ عَلَى أُمَّتِي ـ أَوْ عَلَى النَّاسِ ـ لأَمَرْتُهُمْ بِالسِّوَاكِ مَعَ كُلِّ صَلاَةٍ ‏"‏‏.‏


There are arguments from ijmaa, rational arguments, arguments from the language itself about why Amr should be an obligation.


How did Amadi get to the Waqafites opinion that we should suspend judgement about Amr? He studied all of the arguments for obligation and then gives counter evidence against it, this is how he came to his opinion. But we should remember that not all of his counter arguments are going to be correct. We should keep this in mind when we discuss all of the evidence.


Amadi came to his Waqafite opinion about default ruling about Amr based on rational argument. Now we will study various evidences as presented by the scholars.



Evidence #1 - Surah Al Araf verses 11 and 12:


وَلَقَدْ خَلَقْنَاكُمْ ثُمَّ صَوَّرْنَاكُمْ ثُمَّ قُلْنَا لِلْمَلَائِكَةِ اسْجُدُوا لِآدَمَ فَسَجَدُوا إِلَّا إِبْلِيسَ لَمْ يَكُن مِّنَ السَّاجِدِينَ


Sahih International

And We have certainly created you, [O Mankind], and given you [human] form. Then We said to the angels, "Prostrate to Adam"; so they prostrated, except for Iblees. He was not of those who prostrated.


قَالَ مَا مَنَعَكَ أَلَّا تَسْجُدَ إِذْ أَمَرْتُكَ ۖ قَالَ أَنَا خَيْرٌ مِّنْهُ خَلَقْتَنِي مِن نَّارٍ وَخَلَقْتَهُ مِن طِينٍ

Sahih International

[ Allah ] said, "What prevented you from prostrating when I commanded you?" [Satan] said, "I am better than him. You created me from fire and created him from clay."


Here there is a very clear sign that Amr from Allah (swt) is to be taken seriously, since Iblees refused to follow an Amr so he was cursed. Iblees did not say that I didn’t follow this Amr, because I considered its default ruling to be a recommendation and I did not follow it. Here we know from the verse, that the Amr was an obligation and he failed to comply with it. So default based on this verse is to take Amr as command.


We will present Al Amadi’s response for all of the evidences and then try to refute it. Al Amadi says “perhaps in the speech in which Allah (swt) was speaking to Iblees in a language in which Amr meant command”.


It looks like they had too much time back then on their hand to come up with dubious counter arguments such as this one that Amadi presents.


Evidence #2 - Surah Al Ahzab verse 36


وَمَا كَانَ لِمُؤْمِنٍ وَلَا مُؤْمِنَةٍ إِذَا قَضَى اللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ أَمْرًا أَن يَكُونَ لَهُمُ الْخِيَرَةُ مِنْ أَمْرِهِمْ ۗ وَمَن يَعْصِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ فَقَدْ ضَلَّ ضَلَالًا مُّبِينًا


Sahih International

It is not for a believing man or a believing woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decided a matter, that they should [thereafter] have any choice about their affair. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger has certainly strayed into clear error.


There is something tricky going on over here. If they are using this verse as evidence because of the usage of the word Amr, then it might not be good evidence. What understanding of Amr is understood in this verse.

Is it Amr with plural of Umoor or is it Amr with plural of Awamir? Amr has been translated as Affair and not command so the opposite party may have a good counter argument here. However, the affair is decided as an imperative in the first place. However, other evidences are pretty strong to make the case.


Let’s take the previous evidence of Iblees, that if there was no clear evidence exists that the order was an obligation, and if you were punished, then wouldn’t it be unjust that you would be punished for something that was not clear. So there must be some prior evidence that the Amr was to be understood as an obligation. And Al Amadi presents pages upon pages of evidences for it.


I guess the point Sh Jamaal is making in response to a question that there had to be prior understanding that the Amr had to implies obligation in order to justify the punishment of iblees when he refused an Amr.


Evidence #3 - Surah Al Noor verse 33


لَّا تَجْعَلُوا دُعَاءَ الرَّسُولِ بَيْنَكُمْ كَدُعَاءِ بَعْضِكُم بَعْضًا ۚ قَدْ يَعْلَمُ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ يَتَسَلَّلُونَ مِنكُمْ لِوَاذًا ۚ فَلْيَحْذَرِ الَّذِينَ يُخَالِفُونَ عَنْ أَمْرِهِ أَن تُصِيبَهُمْ فِتْنَةٌ أَوْ يُصِيبَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ

Sahih International

Do not make [your] calling of the Messenger among yourselves as the call of one of you to another. Already Allah knows those of you who slip away, concealed by others. So let those beware who dissent from the Prophet's order, lest fitnah strike them or a painful punishment.


The point that people who present this evidence is that the default ruling for orders from the Prophet had to imply obligation because if you refuse them, then you are to be punished.


And if you say that Amr from the Prophet implies obligation, then so should be the case for Amr from Allah swt. This is the strongest evidence presented so far.


Evidence #4 - Musa’s command to his nation to not worship anything other than Allah swt


Did you disobey my command? This is a statement of Musa, that I gave you a command and you did not obey me


قَالَ يَا هَارُونُ مَا مَنَعَكَ إِذْ رَأَيْتَهُمْ ضَلُّوا

Sahih International

[Moses] said, "O Aaron, what prevented you, when you saw them going astray,



Evidence #5 - Surah Mursalat


وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمُ ارْكَعُوا لَا يَرْكَعُونَ

Sahih International

And when it is said to them, "Bow [in prayer]," they do not bow.


Here the people are blamed for not obeying the command. The command was to bow down and they did not obey.


Any of these evidences by themselves would they be sufficient for the case of default ruling and if you add them together, they would strengthen each other.



Evidence #6 - Surah Al Abasa verse 24


This evidence was present by ibn Qudaamah

كَلَّا لَمَّا يَقْضِ مَا أَمَرَهُ

Sahih International

No! Man has not yet accomplished what He commanded him.


Why mankind is in hellfire? It is because he has not fulfilled the Amr.


Discussion about the differences on how scholars see the punishment for disbelievers and the Muslims. I missed the gist of it, what was discussed.



Evidence #7 - Hadith about the miswak (Sahih al Bukhari Hadith # 887)


Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah's Messenger () said, "If I had not found it hard for my followers or the people, I would have ordered them to clean their teeth with Siwak for every prayer."


حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ يُوسُفَ، قَالَ أَخْبَرَنَا مَالِكٌ، عَنْ أَبِي الزِّنَادِ، عَنِ الأَعْرَجِ، عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏ "‏ لَوْلاَ أَنْ أَشُقَّ عَلَى أُمَّتِي ـ أَوْ عَلَى النَّاسِ ـ لأَمَرْتُهُمْ بِالسِّوَاكِ مَعَ كُلِّ صَلاَةٍ ‏"‏‏.‏


This is one of the strongest evidence for default ruling of obligation.



Evidence #8 - Hadith about Sayyid Al Khudri not responding to the Prophet


Prophet asked him why you did not respond, he said that I was in prayer, and then Prophet said the verse ...


It was narrated from Abu Sa'eed bin Al-Mu'alla that:

The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) passed by him when he was praying, and called him. He said: "I finished praying, then I came to him, and he said: 'What kept you from answering me?' He said: 'I was praying.' He said: 'Does not Allah say: O you who believe! Answer Allah (by obeying Him) and (His) Messenger when he calls you to that which will give you life? Shall I not teach you the greatest surah before I leave the masjid?' Then he went to leave, and I said: 'O Messenger of Allah, what about what you said?' He said: "All praise and thanks be to Allah, Lord of all that exists. These are the seven oft-recited that I have been given, and the Grand Quran.'" (Sahih)


أَخْبَرَنَا إِسْمَاعِيلُ بْنُ مَسْعُودٍ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا خَالِدٌ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا شُعْبَةُ، عَنْ خُبَيْبِ بْنِ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ، قَالَ سَمِعْتُ حَفْصَ بْنَ عَاصِمٍ، يُحَدِّثُ عَنْ أَبِي سَعِيدِ بْنِ الْمُعَلَّى، أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم مَرَّ بِهِ وَهُوَ يُصَلِّي فَدَعَاهُ - قَالَ - فَصَلَّيْتُ ثُمَّ أَتَيْتُهُ فَقَالَ ‏"‏ مَا مَنَعَكَ أَنْ تُجِيبَنِي ‏"‏ قَالَ كُنْتُ أُصَلِّي ‏.‏ قَالَ ‏"‏ أَلَمْ يَقُلِ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ ‏{‏ يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اسْتَجِيبُوا لِلَّهِ وَلِلرَّسُولِ إِذَا دَعَاكُمْ لِمَا يُحْيِيكُمْ ‏}‏ أَلاَ أُعَلِّمُكَ أَعْظَمَ سُورَةٍ قَبْلَ أَنْ أَخْرُجَ مِنَ الْمَسْجِدِ ‏"‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ فَذَهَبَ لِيَخْرُجَ قُلْتُ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ قَوْلَكَ ‏.‏ قَالَ ‏"‏ الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ هِيَ السَّبْعُ الْمَثَانِي الَّذِي أُوتِيتُ وَالْقُرْآنُ الْعَظِيمُ ‏"‏ ‏.‏



Evidence #9 - Hadith about freed slave women


Freed slave women have the choice to leave their husbands and a freed slave woman went to the Prophet and asked him are you ordering me to leave my husband, he replied, no I am just recommending it.


.... Missed the discussion .... if Amr was not an obligation, then she would not have gone to ask the Prophet, so here additional information is given that this specific Amr was a recommendation and not an obligation??????



Evidence #10 - Ijmaa evidences


Some of the scholars talk about the Ijmaa also as evidence of Amr as obligation. When the verse came down for forbidding the khamr, and gambling, then sahabah implemented it immediately.


The same group also argues from the perspective of language and they argue that if a Master ordered the slave to do something then slave will be wrong not to do the act. If a slave master asked his slave to do something and if he does not obey, then the slave would be at fault. Here they are using language as evidence for it.


Al Amaadi tries to respond to it too however falls short of giving any convincing argument.


Conclusion about Al Amr implies obligation


The safest approach is that Amr is an obligation, so if you are going to lean towards something that is safe. This is the response to the Waqafites that even if you plan to suspend judgement and do what is safe, then you must lean towards the default case of obligation. So that you do not leave a burden on your shoulder.


The majority of scholars say the Amr is wujub. And that this is Qataai. And when you put all of the evidences together, the strong with the weak, you comes to a Qataai conclusion that Amr implies obligation.


At an individual level, our attitude should be that when we hear an Amr from Allah swt and the Prophet, we should treat it as an obligation, and treat it seriously. You will only move from that position only if you come across additional evidence. And we will discuss what is the additional evidence that could make us change our position.



Discussion about ibn Qudaamah’s additional evidence


What does it mean obey Allah and obey his messenger? Doesn’t it mean that if Allah orders you to do something, you have to do something. And if Allah swt recommends something, that you follow the recommendation


يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَطِيعُوا اللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُوا الرَّسُولَ وَأُولِي الْأَمْرِ مِنكُمْ ۖ فَإِن تَنَازَعْتُمْ فِي شَيْءٍ فَرُدُّوهُ إِلَى اللَّهِ وَالرَّسُولِ إِن كُنتُمْ تُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ خَيْرٌ وَأَحْسَنُ تَأْوِيلًا


Sahih International

O you who have believed, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority among you. And if you disagree over anything, refer it to Allah and the Messenger, if you should believe in Allah and the Last Day. That is the best [way] and best in result.


This verse has not been used since the word Amr has not been used. Second we follow Allah and His Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) for every matter as Obligation, Recommendation, Mubah, Makrooh or Haram.


Homework question: What kind of evidence will you accept to make taweel (to go from haqiqi meaning of obligation to mijazi meaning of something else).


2013-02-25 Class Notes


Proofs for Taweel


Last week we concluded that default meaning for Amr is obligation. From the homework question of last week, what kind of evidence will be considered as a proof for taweel?


Classroom discussion about the types of proofs needed for Taweel

1) A verse from the Quran

2) Authentic hadith and actions of Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم)

3) Actions of the Sahabah and Tabieen

4) Ijmaa of Sahabah

5) Contextual Analysis

6) Qiyaas

7) Mafhoom (understanding of the meaning and it is not the text itself but what the text implies)


Sometimes it is very important to recognize the trends to know where the rules are coming from.  


Discussion of the how different schools conclude on this issue of the taweel


The following table shows two extremes on each side and their basic tendencies.

Obligatory Extreme

Balanced Approach

Mubah or Mustahab

Not Obligatory Extreme

Dhahiris

They are the strictest.


They will only accept Quran and Ijmaah of Sahabah.


They have tendency to declare more things as wajib.


Ibn Hazm will say this action is obligatory while others will say not obligatory

Contemporary Salafi Scholars such as Ibn Uthaymeen, bin Baaz and Albani even more than the other two are in this direction towards the Dhahiris.


They lean towards the obligatory.


This is the balanced approach based on the way of Sahabah. Majority of the scholars of the Hanafi, Shafi, Maliki and Hanbali schools fall in this category.

Some of the Ulema in Shafi and Hanafi

This group looks at the Quran and Sunnah, if there is guidance for this worldly life such as witnesses for contracts but not for matters of ibaadah.


They will not consider any of the Amr in this category as waajib.


Rather they will consider it to be mubah or mustahab.


You will find difference of opinions among this group and Ibn Hazm.

Some recent Ulema and contemporary scholars

Fairly recent development, they are contemporary scholars.


They go beyond traditional sources for doing taweel.


They will invoke the ruh of the shariah or the wisdom behind the Shariah or Maslaha arguments as evidences.


This group tends to use new sources to go make taweel in order to go from wajib to something less than wajib.


If you are planning to make taweel, that is say that the literal meaning of the text is not meant here, you are saying that text is no longer implies wajib and then you are straying away from the original meaning. There are circles of taweel that emanate from the text and you should try to stay as close to the original meaning as possible, taweel kareeb.


You should try to stay as close to the original meaning and not go to the distant meaning unless you have evidence.


The problem with taweel is that it is always open to abuse, whether in Aqeedah, Tafsir or Usul al Fiqh. We have to have evidence to make taweel. The number 5 above of contextual analysis is the one which is used in taweel the most.


Example of Taweel of Amr from Surah Baqarah verse 23


وَإِن كُنتُمْ فِي رَيْبٍ مِّمَّا نَزَّلْنَا عَلَىٰ عَبْدِنَا فَأْتُوا بِسُورَةٍ مِّن مِّثْلِهِ وَادْعُوا شُهَدَاءَكُم مِّن دُونِ اللَّهِ إِن كُنتُمْ صَادِقِينَ

Sahih International (2:23)

And if you are in doubt about what We have sent down upon Our Servant [Muhammad], then produce a surah the like thereof and call upon your witnesses other than Allah , if you should be truthful.


فَإِن لَّمْ تَفْعَلُوا وَلَن تَفْعَلُوا فَاتَّقُوا النَّارَ الَّتِي وَقُودُهَا النَّاسُ وَالْحِجَارَةُ ۖ أُعِدَّتْ لِلْكَافِرِينَ


Sahih International (2:24)

But if you do not - and you will never be able to - then fear the Fire, whose fuel is men and stones, prepared for the disbelievers.


The Amr in verse 23 is a challenge to the disbelievers to show them their inability to do so. Here we are making a taweel and saying that this is not an obligation to produce a Surah similar to this Surah.


The next verse is telling us that the verse 23 is not a command, since it tells us that you will not be able to produce a verse, indeed your will never be able to do so.


The idea of a challenge and their incapability to do a task is very far away from the haqiqi meaning of an Amr. But since we have verse 24, we can use it to show that verse 23 is not an Amr in the haqiqi meaning.


Example of Taweel of Amr from Surah Tur verse 16


اصْلَوْهَا فَاصْبِرُوا أَوْ لَا تَصْبِرُوا سَوَاءٌ عَلَيْكُمْ ۖ إِنَّمَا تُجْزَوْنَ مَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ


Sahih International

[Enter to] burn therein; then be patient or impatient - it is all the same for you. You are only being recompensed [for] what you used to do."


The command to be patient or not to be patient is not Amr


Example of Taweel of Amr from Surah Taubah verse 53


قُلْ أَنفِقُوا طَوْعًا أَوْ كَرْهًا لَّن يُتَقَبَّلَ مِنكُمْ ۖ إِنَّكُمْ كُنتُمْ قَوْمًا فَاسِقِينَ


Sahih International

Say, "Spend willingly or unwillingly; never will it be accepted from you. Indeed, you have been a defiantly disobedient people."


Spend willingly or unwillingly, it will not be accepted.


These above examples are taweel that is further away from the haqiqi meaning of Amr.


Straightening the lines for the prayer


Is this Amr obligatory, mubah, mustahab, makrooh or haraam? It is obligatory. If it obligatory, what is the evidence for it being obligatory. For the vast majority of the madhab it is mustahab.


Hadith: Straighten your lines, since straightening the lines is part of the prayer.


Some scholars say that the Amr here is mustahab and not wajib. Ibn Hazm say it is waajib, but majority of the scholars say it is wajib.


(Muwatta) Yahya related to me from Malik from Abu'n Nadr, the mawla of Umar ibn Ubaydullah, from Malik ibn Abi Amir that Uthman ibn Affan used to say in khutbas, and he would seldom omit it if he was giving the khutba, "When the imam stands delivering the khutba on the day of jumua, listen and pay attention, for there is the same portion for someone who pays attention but cannot hear as for someone who pays attention and hears. And when the iqama of the prayer is called, straighten your rows and make your shoulders adjacent to each other, because the straightening of the rows is part of the completion of the prayer." Then he would not say the takbir until some men who had been entrusted with straightening the rows came and told him that they were straight. Then he would say the takbir.


وَحَدَّثَنِي عَنْ مَالِكٍ، عَنْ أَبِي النَّضْرِ، مَوْلَى عُمَرَ بْنِ عُبَيْدِ اللَّهِ عَنْ مَالِكِ بْنِ أَبِي عَامِرٍ، أَنَّ عُثْمَانَ بْنَ عَفَّانَ، كَانَ يَقُولُ فِي خُطْبَتِهِ قَلَّمَا يَدَعُ ذَلِكَ إِذَا خَطَبَ إِذَا قَامَ الإِمَامُ يَخْطُبُ يَوْمَ الْجُمُعَةِ فَاسْتَمِعُوا وَأَنْصِتُوا فَإِنَّ لِلْمُنْصِتِ الَّذِي لاَ يَسْمَعُ مِنَ الْحَظِّ مِثْلَ مَا لِلْمُنْصِتِ السَّامِعِ فَإِذَا قَامَتِ الصَّلاَةُ فَاعْدِلُوا الصُّفُوفَ وَحَاذُوا بِالْمَنَاكِبِ فَإِنَّ اعْتِدَالَ الصُّفُوفِ مِنْ تَمَامِ الصَّلاَةِ ‏.‏ ثُمَّ لاَ يُكَبِّرُ حَتَّى يَأْتِيَهُ رِجَالٌ قَدْ وَكَّلَهُمْ بِتَسْوِيَةِ الصُّفُوفِ فَيُخْبِرُونَهُ أَنْ قَدِ اسْتَوَتْ فَيُكَبِّرُ ‏.‏


There is another narration from Bukhari that says something similar, except the last words which says iqaamus salah, straighten lines when you establish salah. Would this additional evidence make a stronger case for making it obligatory?


Hadith: Prophet said close the gaps because I have seen the devils come between the ranks.

(Sunan an Nasai 815) Anas narrated that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said:

"Make your rows solid and close together, and keep your necks in line. By the One in Whose Hand is the soul of Muhammad! I can see the shaitan entering through the gaps in the rows as if they are small sheep."


أَخْبَرَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ الْمُبَارَكِ الْمُخَرِّمِيُّ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو هِشَامٍ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا أَبَانُ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا قَتَادَةُ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا أَنَسٌ، أَنَّ نَبِيَّ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏ "‏ رَاصُّوا صُفُوفَكُمْ وَقَارِبُوا بَيْنَهَا وَحَاذُوا بِالأَعْنَاقِ فَوَالَّذِي نَفْسُ مُحَمَّدٍ بِيَدِهِ إِنِّي لأَرَى الشَّيَاطِينَ تَدْخُلُ مِنْ خَلَلِ الصَّفِّ كَأَنَّهَا الْحَذَفُ ‏"‏ ‏.‏


Hadith: Prophet said that when somebody closes the gap, then he is forgiven.


Hadith: Allah and the Angels pray or bless those who join up the ranks.


These hadith are quoted as evidence for making the lines straight. These additional hadith are about closing the gaps, is it the same as straightening the ranks.


Ibn Uthaymeen said, the sunnah is to make the lines straight. He said some ulema said that it is obligatory. Because Prophet saw somebody whose chest was ahead, the Prophet said to straighten the rows because if you do not do this then it will create division among you.


So what would you say about  the context of the hadith quoted by Ibn Uthaymeen?


Ibn Uthaymeen said that this Amr in the hadith is a threat, and a threat is used only for leaving something that is haraam or doing something that is required. And he says that this shows that straightening the ranks is obligatory.


Chapter #75 title from Sahih Bukhari: The sin of a person who does not complete the rows (who is out of alignment) for the prayer


باب إِثْمِ مَنْ لَمْ يُتِمَّ الصُّفُوفَ


Sahih Bukhari has titles for grouping of hadith and the chapter title for hadith related to straightening the ranks clearly states the sin of a person who does not complete the rows for the prayer.


Narrated Anas bin Malik:I arrived at Medina and was asked whether I found any change since the days of Allah's Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم). I said, "I have not found any change except that you do not stand in alignment in your prayers."


حَدَّثَنَا مُعَاذُ بْنُ أَسَدٍ، قَالَ أَخْبَرَنَا الْفَضْلُ بْنُ مُوسَى، قَالَ أَخْبَرَنَا سَعِيدُ بْنُ عُبَيْدٍ الطَّائِيُّ، عَنْ بُشَيْرِ بْنِ يَسَارٍ الأَنْصَارِيِّ، عَنْ أَنَسِ بْنِ مَالِكٍ، أَنَّهُ قَدِمَ الْمَدِينَةَ فَقِيلَ لَهُ مَا أَنْكَرْتَ مِنَّا مُنْذُ يَوْمِ عَهِدْتَ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ مَا أَنْكَرْتُ شَيْئًا إِلاَّ أَنَّكُمْ لاَ تُقِيمُونَ الصُّفُوفَ‏.‏ وَقَالَ عُقْبَةُ بْنُ عُبَيْدٍ عَنْ بُشَيْرِ بْنِ يَسَارٍ قَدِمَ عَلَيْنَا أَنَسُ بْنُ مَالِكٍ الْمَدِينَةَ بِهَذَا‏.‏


Ibn Uthaymeen starts with the opinion that it is mustahab and then shows evidence that it is obligatory.


Sh mentioned that I hope Ibn Uthaymeen had added, “al amr yaqatadi wujub”. The burden of proof is on the one who says it is not wajib. In order for you to make taweel and go from Wajib to something less than wajib, you have to present evidence for it.


Another example of Taweel of Surah Nisa verse 8


وَإِذَا حَضَرَ الْقِسْمَةَ أُولُو الْقُرْبَىٰ وَالْيَتَامَىٰ وَالْمَسَاكِينُ فَارْزُقُوهُم مِّنْهُ وَقُولُوا لَهُمْ قَوْلًا مَّعْرُوفًا


Sahih International

And when [other] relatives and orphans and the needy are present at the [time of] division, then provide for them [something] out of the estate and speak to them words of appropriate kindness.


Is it obligatory to give to orphans and needy when dividing an estate?


We have explicit laws about the inheritance and since it is not mentioned to give to orphans and needy in the strict laws of inheritance. They use it this as evidence for why the Amr in this verse is not obligatory.

Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) also said that it is not permissible to take the wealth of another Muslim except by his pleasure.


Tahiyatul Masjid - Two rakah of entering the masjid


Hadith: Prophet said in third person indirect imperative that if one enters the mosque, he should not sit down until he prays two rakah.


Narrated Abu Qatada Al-Aslami: Allah's Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said, "If anyone of you enters a mosque, he should pray two rak`at before sitting."


حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ يُوسُفَ، قَالَ أَخْبَرَنَا مَالِكٌ، عَنْ عَامِرِ بْنِ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ الزُّبَيْرِ، عَنْ عَمْرِو بْنِ سُلَيْمٍ الزُّرَقِيِّ، عَنْ أَبِي قَتَادَةَ السَّلَمِيِّ، أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏ "‏ إِذَا دَخَلَ أَحَدُكُمُ الْمَسْجِدَ فَلْيَرْكَعْ رَكْعَتَيْنِ قَبْلَ أَنْ يَجْلِسَ ‏"‏‏.‏


These two rakahs are known as tahiyatul masjid. Most of us say that this is recommended and not obligatory?


Why? Some say that there is hadith that shows that the five daily prayers are obligatory and tahiyatul masjid is not mentioned there. Some others use the same hadith and say that if those five prayers are obligatory does not mean that tahiyatul masjid is not obligatory, you could have other prayers that are obligatory.


When the Prophet told the bedouin about the five obligatory prayers, the bedouin asked anything else, the Prophet replied that no except the voluntary prayers.


Ibn Hazm says it is obligatory, whereas the masses say it is recommended.


Malikis when discussing the hadith of the Prophet when he asked the person who joined Jumuah prayers during the khutbah to stand and prayer the tahiyatul masjid. The Malikis say that the Prophet did this in order to show that this person was poor and maybe help him. But there is no evidence for it.


Is there a difference between daily prayers and tahiyatul masjid?


Similarly are there other obligatory fasting other than Ramadan, such as the kaffara fasting? Yes you could have obligatory fasting even though the hadith of the bedouin where the Prophet said that there is no additional obligatory fasting other than Ramadan.


So based on this evidence and the additional hadith of the Prophet where he asked an individual to pray even during the khutbah. This shows that the two rakah are obligatory.


Scholars differ about it, some say it is obligatory and others say it is recommended.

2013-03-04 Class Notes


Examples of making taweel for the imperative


The first question we discussed was what kind of evidences are acceptable for the taweel. The reason why it is important is that many times when people see the imperative they jump to the conclusion that it is the obligation. The fiqh does not work this way and one has to look at many evidences to see if the conclusion makes it an obligation or not. There may be other clear reasons to believe that this is taweel based on the reasons that we see.


Discussion about tahiyyat al masjid


Footnote: On tahiyyat al masjid issue from last week even though the hadith is in the imperative. What shaykh forgot to mention that there is no such thing as salat al tahiyyat al masjid. So it can be obligatory, or sunnah prayers. Since the obligatory prayers can be tahiyyat al masjid this means that Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) did not add another obligatory salat to the five daily prayers. Some scholars say it is obligatory and others say it is recommended. The point here is that external evidence which only obligates five daily prayers was used for taweel.


Ijma can sometimes be used to make taweel


إِلَّا أَن تَكُونَ تِجَارَةً حَاضِرَةً تُدِيرُونَهَا بَيْنَكُمْ فَلَيْسَ عَلَيْكُمْ جُنَاحٌ أَلَّا تَكْتُبُوهَا ۗ وَأَشْهِدُوا إِذَا تَبَايَعْتُمْ ۚ وَلَا يُضَارَّ كَاتِبٌ وَلَا شَهِيدٌ ۚ وَإِن تَفْعَلُوا فَإِنَّهُ فُسُوقٌ بِكُمْ ۗ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ ۖ وَيُعَلِّمُكُمُ اللَّهُ ۗ وَاللَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ


(2:282) except when it is an immediate transaction which you conduct among yourselves. For [then] there is no blame upon you if you do not write it. And take witnesses when you conclude a contract. Let no scribe be harmed or any witness. For if you do so, indeed, it is [grave] disobedience in you. And fear Allah . And Allah teaches you. And Allah is Knowing of all things.


Ibn Hazm says that obligation is dropped if you cannot find witnesses however if one can find witnesses then one is sinful not to do so. Here from Ijma we know that from time of Sahabah and Tabieen that this ayah is not obligating us to find witnesses for every transaction. Among Sahabah Abu Musa al Ashari and ibn Umar were of opinion that it is obligatory to find witnesses and among tabieen we had …...... of opinion that witnesses are an obligation. So this shows that this is not Ijma however majority opinion is that it is recommended and not obligation. There are many situations where Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) did transactions and did not look for witnesses.


Sh gave an example of selling a camera after the class, he asked us would he need a witness in order to sell the camera, the answer is no.


Is ghusl for Jumuah prayers obligatory?


Hadith #1: When one of you goes for Jumuah prayers, you have to do ghusl.


Narrated `Abdullah bin `Umar: Allah's Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم)  said, "Anyone of you attending the Friday (prayers) should take a bath."


حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ يُوسُفَ، قَالَ أَخْبَرَنَا مَالِكٌ، عَنْ نَافِعٍ، عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ عُمَرَ ـ رضى الله عنهما ـ أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏ "‏ إِذَا جَاءَ أَحَدُكُمُ الْجُمُعَةَ فَلْيَغْتَسِلْ ‏"‏‏.‏


The imperative is in the third person. This hadith shows us that the command for ghusl is the imperative. We will present other evidences in order to make taweel of this hadith.


Hadith #2: Ghusl on the day of Jumuah is waajib upon every adult


Narrated Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri: The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said, "Ghusl (taking a bath) on Friday is compulsory for every Muslim reaching the age of puberty."


حَدَّثَنَا عَلِيُّ بْنُ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا سُفْيَانُ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنِي صَفْوَانُ بْنُ سُلَيْمٍ، عَنْ عَطَاءِ بْنِ يَسَارٍ، عَنْ أَبِي سَعِيدٍ الْخُدْرِيِّ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏ "‏ الْغُسْلُ يَوْمَ الْجُمُعَةِ وَاجِبٌ عَلَى كُلِّ مُحْتَلِمٍ ‏"‏‏.‏


Is the verb used in the second hadith in the form of imperative? The answer is no as it just says the word Wajib and is not in the imperative. Tahara could be a shart for the salah, does it mean that it is obligatory?


Hadith #3: Prophet said, if anyone makes wudu, that is well and good, if someone makes ghusl is better. This hadith is graded sahih by Al Arnaut as well as Shaikh Al Albani.


It was narrated that Samurah said: "The Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: 'Whoever performs wudu' on Friday, that is all well and good, but whoever performs ghusl, the ghusl is better.'" (Hasan)


أَخْبَرَنَا أَبُو الأَشْعَثِ، عَنْ يَزِيدَ بْنِ زُرَيْعٍ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا شُعْبَةُ، عَنْ قَتَادَةَ، عَنِ الْحَسَنِ، عَنْ سَمُرَةَ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ "‏ مَنْ تَوَضَّأَ يَوْمَ الْجُمُعَةِ فَبِهَا وَنِعْمَتْ وَمَنِ اغْتَسَلَ فَالْغُسْلُ أَفْضَلُ ‏"‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ أَبُو عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ الْحَسَنُ عَنْ سَمُرَةَ كِتَابًا وَلَمْ يَسْمَعِ الْحَسَنُ مِنْ سَمُرَةَ إِلاَّ حَدِيثَ الْعَقِيقَةِ وَاللَّهُ تَعَالَى أَعْلَمُ ‏.‏


Sunan Nasai Book 14, Hadith 1391


Is this hadith sufficient for us to make taweel about the earlier two hadiths? Since this hadith is very clear that ghusl is not obligatory.


Hadith #4: Prophet said whoever makes wudu properly and goes to Jumuah, and then listens and performs prayers properly, then forgiven for him will be the sins between .......


Evidence #5: There is also a conversation that is recorded between Umar and Uthman ibn Affan, when Uthman came late to Friday prayers, he said that he was late and he just made wudu to come and attend prayer, Umar told him that didn’t you hear the Prophet say, that you have to make ghusl for the Friday prayers.


Abu Huraira reported: Umar b. Khattab was delivering a sermon to the people on Friday when 'Uthman b. 'Affan came there. 'Umar hinting to him said: What would become of those persons who come after the call to prayer? Upon this 'Uthman said: Commander of the faithful, I did no more than this that after listening to the call, I performed ablution and came (to the mosque). 'Umar said: Just ablution! Did you not bear the Messenger of Allah (my peace be upon him) say this: When any one of you comes for Jumu'a, he should take a bath.


حَدَّثَنَا إِسْحَاقُ بْنُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ، أَخْبَرَنَا الْوَلِيدُ بْنُ مُسْلِمٍ، عَنِ الأَوْزَاعِيِّ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنِي يَحْيَى بْنُ أَبِي كَثِيرٍ، حَدَّثَنِي أَبُو سَلَمَةَ بْنُ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ، حَدَّثَنِي أَبُو هُرَيْرَةَ، قَالَ بَيْنَمَا عُمَرُ بْنُ الْخَطَّابِ يَخْطُبُ النَّاسَ يَوْمَ الْجُمُعَةِ إِذْ دَخَلَ عُثْمَانُ بْنُ عَفَّانَ فَعَرَّضَ بِهِ عُمَرُ فَقَالَ مَا بَالُ رِجَالٍ يَتَأَخَّرُونَ بَعْدَ النِّدَاءِ ‏.‏ فَقَالَ عُثْمَانُ يَا أَمِيرَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ مَا زِدْتُ حِينَ سَمِعْتُ النِّدَاءَ أَنْ تَوَضَّأْتُ ثُمَّ أَقْبَلْتُ ‏.‏ فَقَالَ عُمَرُ وَالْوُضُوءَ أَيْضًا أَلَمْ تَسْمَعُوا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَقُولُ ‏ "‏ إِذَا جَاءَ أَحَدُكُمْ إِلَى الْجُمُعَةِ فَلْيَغْتَسِلْ ‏"‏ ‏.


This narration is used by both sides to argue their case, Umar’s argument is used by both pro and con for making ghusl, since he did not force him to go and make ghusl, whereas Uthman’s argument is used for the argument that he did not perform ghusl to come and pray Jumuah.


Evidence #6: Abu Said al Khudri also said that I testify the making ghusl for Jumuah is a necessity, so is cleaning of the teeth by miswak and …(below is a similar narration from Abu Said al Khudri).


Abu Sa'id al-Khudri and Abu Hurairah reported the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) as saying: If anyone takes a bath on Friday, puts on his best clothes, applies a touch of perfume if has any, then goes to congregational prayer (in the mosque), and takes care not to step over people, then prayer what Allah has prescribes for him, then keeps silent from the time his Imam comes out until he finishes his prayer, it will atone for his sins during the previous week.


Abu Hurairah said: (It will atone for his sins) for three days more. he further said: One is rewarded ten times for doing a good work.


Abu Dawud said: The version narrated by Muhammad b. Salamah is perfect, and Hammad did not make a mention of the statement of Abu Hurairah.


حَدَّثَنَا يَزِيدُ بْنُ خَالِدِ بْنِ يَزِيدَ بْنِ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ مَوْهَبٍ الرَّمْلِيُّ الْهَمْدَانِيُّ، ح وَحَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ الْعَزِيزِ بْنُ يَحْيَى الْحَرَّانِيُّ، قَالاَ حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ سَلَمَةَ، ح وَحَدَّثَنَا مُوسَى بْنُ إِسْمَاعِيلَ، حَدَّثَنَا حَمَّادٌ، - وَهَذَا حَدِيثُ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ سَلَمَةَ - عَنْ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ إِسْحَاقَ، عَنْ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ، عَنْ أَبِي سَلَمَةَ بْنِ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ، - قَالَ أَبُو دَاوُدَ قَالَ يَزِيدُ وَعَبْدُ الْعَزِيزِ فِي حَدِيثِهِمَا عَنْ أَبِي سَلَمَةَ بْنِ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ وَأَبِي أُمَامَةَ بْنِ سَهْلٍ - عَنْ أَبِي سَعِيدٍ الْخُدْرِيِّ وَأَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ قَالاَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏"‏ مَنِ اغْتَسَلَ يَوْمَ الْجُمُعَةِ وَلَبِسَ مِنْ أَحْسَنِ ثِيَابِهِ وَمَسَّ مِنْ طِيبٍ - إِنْ كَانَ عِنْدَهُ - ثُمَّ أَتَى الْجُمُعَةَ فَلَمْ يَتَخَطَّ أَعْنَاقَ النَّاسِ ثُمَّ صَلَّى مَا كَتَبَ اللَّهُ لَهُ ثُمَّ أَنْصَتَ إِذَا خَرَجَ إِمَامُهُ حَتَّى يَفْرُغَ مِنْ صَلاَتِهِ كَانَتْ كَفَّارَةً لِمَا بَيْنَهَا وَبَيْنَ جُمُعَتِهِ الَّتِي قَبْلَهَا ‏"‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ وَيَقُولُ أَبُو هُرَيْرَةَ ‏"‏ وَزِيَادَةُ ثَلاَثَةِ أَيَّامٍ ‏"‏ ‏.‏ وَيَقُولُ ‏"‏ إِنَّ الْحَسَنَةَ بِعَشْرِ أَمْثَالِهَا ‏"‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ أَبُو دَاوُدَ وَحَدِيثُ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ سَلَمَةَ أَتَمُّ وَلَمْ يَذْكُرْ حَمَّادٌ كَلاَمَ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ ‏.


You have to go back to the time of the Prophet and find out the possible meanings of the word waajib?????


Ibn Abbas was asked by somebody whether ghusl is recommended for Jumuah prayers, he said that a lot of people used to gather from large distances in Madinah for Jumuah prayers, they used to travel large distances and they were poor and wore woolen clothes, the Prophet recommended them to make ghusl and wear perfume.  So some scholars say that if you have bad odor and are dirty, then you have to make ghusl for the Jummah prayers.


Narrated Yahya bin Sa`id: (narration similar to the one above from Ibn Abbas ra) I asked `Amra about taking a bath on Fridays. She replied, " Aisha said, 'The people used to work (for their livelihood) and whenever they went for the Jumua prayer, they used to go to the mosque in the same shape as they had been in work. So they were asked to take a bath on Friday.' "


حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدَانُ، قَالَ أَخْبَرَنَا عَبْدُ اللَّهِ، قَالَ أَخْبَرَنَا يَحْيَى بْنُ سَعِيدٍ، أَنَّهُ سَأَلَ عَمْرَةَ عَنِ الْغُسْلِ، يَوْمَ الْجُمُعَةِ فَقَالَتْ قَالَتْ عَائِشَةُ ـ رضى الله عنها ـ كَانَ النَّاسُ مَهَنَةَ أَنْفُسِهِمْ، وَكَانُوا إِذَا رَاحُوا إِلَى الْجُمُعَةِ رَاحُوا فِي هَيْئَتِهِمْ فَقِيلَ لَهُمْ لَوِ اغْتَسَلْتُمْ‏.‏


'Aisha reported:

The people (mostly) were workers and they had no servants. Ill-smell thus emitted out of them. It was said to them: Were you to take bath on Friday.


وَحَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ رُمْحٍ، أَخْبَرَنَا اللَّيْثُ، عَنْ يَحْيَى بْنِ سَعِيدٍ، عَنْ عَمْرَةَ، عَنْ عَائِشَةَ، أَنَّهَا قَالَتْ كَانَ النَّاسُ أَهْلَ عَمَلٍ وَلَمْ يَكُنْ لَهُمْ كُفَاةٌ فَكَانُوا يَكُونُ لَهُمْ تَفَلٌ فَقِيلَ لَهُمْ لَوِ اغْتَسَلْتُمْ يَوْمَ الْجُمُعَةِ ‏.‏


Majority of scholars say ghusl is either sunnah or sunnan al mawkida?????? ...


Sh mentioned many scholars and sahabi who considered it to be sunnah, then he mentioned many others include the following sahaba such as Abu Hurairah, Umar who considered it obligatory.


So we have clear imperative of the first hadith but enough evidence from other hadith to make taweel of the first hadith and say that it is not obligatory. So here we used other hadith and interpretations of other sahabi in order to make taweel of the very first hadith that uses the imperative.


Is marriage an obligatory for one who has the means?


Narrated `Abdullah:

We were with the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) while we were young and had no wealth whatever. So Allah's Messenger () said, "O young people! Whoever among you can marry, should marry, because it helps him lower his gaze and guard his modesty (i.e. his private parts from committing illegal sexual intercourse etc.), and whoever is not able to marry, should fast, as fasting diminishes his sexual power." (Sahih Bukhari 5066)


حَدَّثَنَا عُمَرُ بْنُ حَفْصِ بْنِ غِيَاثٍ، حَدَّثَنَا أَبِي، حَدَّثَنَا الأَعْمَشُ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنِي عُمَارَةُ، عَنْ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنِ يَزِيدَ، قَالَ دَخَلْتُ مَعَ عَلْقَمَةَ وَالأَسْوَدِ عَلَى عَبْدِ اللَّهِ فَقَالَ عَبْدُ اللَّهِ كُنَّا مَعَ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم شَبَابًا لاَ نَجِدُ شَيْئًا فَقَالَ لَنَا رَسُولُ اللَّهُ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ "‏ يَا مَعْشَرَ الشَّبَابِ مَنِ اسْتَطَاعَ الْبَاءَةَ فَلْيَتَزَوَّجْ، فَإِنَّهُ أَغَضُّ لِلْبَصَرِ، وَأَحْصَنُ لِلْفَرْجِ، وَمَنْ لَمْ يَسْتَطِعْ فَعَلَيْهِ بِالصَّوْمِ، فَإِنَّهُ لَهُ وِجَاءٌ ‏"‏‏.‏


The default case is that it is obligatory to get married, but now we have to find evidence in order to make taweel from this interpretation of it not being obligatory.


Of course we have the extreme of ibn Hazm and the Dhahiris who will say it is obligatory. And then we have the shafiee opinion that it is not obligatory.


Fuqaha would try to find any excuse for not calling something waajib and similarly avoid calling something haraam and call it makrooh. We have to be aware of this tendency of the earlier fuqaha.


Some scholars say that the fasting being mentioned in the hadith is not obligatory so it also shows that the marriage is not obligatory. The majority of the scholars of opinion that the marriage is recommended. We have evidences of some sahabah who had the means but did not get married right away.


This fiqh issue of going from the imperative to something that is not imperative is very common. It is common to go from something that is obligatory to something that is less than obligatory, or something that is recommended to something that is less than recommended. And this is the reason why scholars differ based on their tendencies or willingness to accept the taweel for the texts.


Taweel of what are you supposed to break your fast with


Hadith: When one of you break your fasts, you should break it with dates and if you dont have it, break it with water, since it purifies.


The arabic verb is fal yaftar which is similar to the other imperative verbs such as fal yastar for which we have so far performed taweel from obligatory to something less than obligatory.


Salman bin 'Amir (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:

I heard the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) saying, "When one of you breaks his Saum (fasting), let him break it on dates; if he does not have any, break his fast with water for it is pure." [Recorded Abu Dawud].


وعن سلمان بن عامر الضبي الصحابي، رضي الله عنه عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال‏:‏ ‏ "‏إذا أفطر أحدكم، فليفطر على تمر فإن لم يجد فليفطر على ماء فإنه طهور‏"‏ ‏(‏‏(‏رواه أبو داود، والترمذي وقال‏:‏ حديث حسن صحيح‏)‏‏)‏‏.‏


In this example, is breaking a fast with date is obligatory and if you don’t have dates make sure to use water, is this a recommendation? Dhahiris take this hadith as an obligation.


We have narrations from Sahabah that they broke their fast on dry yoghurt. Can this be source of taweel? The answer is yes and there is also something from Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) that at Khaybar he (صلى الله عليه وسلم) broke fast with moist bread.


The above hadith that is recorded by Abu Dawud is weak. So in this case we use the action of the Prophet from Khaybar in order to make taweel for this hadith.


Taweel of witnesses for divorce


Surah Talaq verse 2


فَإِذَا بَلَغْنَ أَجَلَهُنَّ فَأَمْسِكُوهُنَّ بِمَعْرُوفٍ أَوْ فَارِقُوهُنَّ بِمَعْرُوفٍ وَأَشْهِدُوا ذَوَيْ عَدْلٍ مِّنكُمْ وَأَقِيمُوا الشَّهَادَةَ لِلَّهِ ۚ ذَٰلِكُمْ يُوعَظُ بِهِ مَن كَانَ يُؤْمِنُ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ ۚ وَمَن يَتَّقِ اللَّهَ يَجْعَل لَّهُ مَخْرَجًا

Sahih International

And when they have [nearly] fulfilled their term, either retain them according to acceptable terms or part with them according to acceptable terms. And bring to witness two just men from among you and establish the testimony for [the acceptance of] Allah . That is instructed to whoever should believe in Allah and the Last day. And whoever fears Allah - He will make for him a way out


This verse implies that when somebody is divorcing his wife, he is supposed to do it in front of witnesses, the question is, whether this is obligatory for him to do so.


There are two situations being discussed in this verse, one for making divorce and one for rajaa. According to a statement from ibn Abbas (ra), it is obligatory to have witnesses for making rajaa but not for making divorce.


Here is an example that the verse is clearly in the imperative but it was considered recommendation. Some of the scholars however considered it to be sin not to have witnesses. However most of the scholars considered it to be recommendation. This is opinion of Abu Hanifa, Shafi and Ahmad. The Dhahiri are of opinion that witnesses are required for rajaa and talaq. Albani is of similar opinion that just like marriage is not complete without witnesses similarly divorce is not complete without witnesses. Some of the sahabah are also of opinion that witnesses are needed.


Keep in mind without witnesses the divorce is valid or rajaa is valid, however we are arguing whether having witnesses is obligatory or recommended. We will continue next week and the students should research on this question.



2013-03-11 Class Notes


فَإِذَا بَلَغْنَ أَجَلَهُنَّ فَأَمْسِكُوهُنَّ بِمَعْرُوفٍ أَوْ فَارِقُوهُنَّ بِمَعْرُوفٍ وَأَشْهِدُوا ذَوَيْ عَدْلٍ مِّنكُمْ وَأَقِيمُوا الشَّهَادَةَ لِلَّهِ ۚ ذَٰلِكُمْ يُوعَظُ بِهِ مَن كَانَ يُؤْمِنُ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ ۚ وَمَن يَتَّقِ اللَّهَ يَجْعَل لَّهُ مَخْرَجًا

Sahih International (65:2)

And when they have [nearly] fulfilled their term, either retain them according to acceptable terms or part with them according to acceptable terms. And bring to witness two just men from among you and establish the testimony for [the acceptance of] Allah . That is instructed to whoever should believe in Allah and the Last day. And whoever fears Allah - He will make for him a way out


The above verse describes how a divorce or talaq should take place. The imperative verb ashadatu, does it mean that it you need witnesses for both the talaq and the rajaa?


Some scholars say that this is only related to the Raja and not Talaq. When you look at the tafseer from Sahabah then we see that it refers to both talaq and raja.


Majority of the scholars say that witnesses are not required for talaq. This is the famous opinion of ...  Ibn Taymiyyah says that opinion of having witnesses goes against the majority opinion. Shawkani also says that witnesses are not required for talaq.


The question that we need to ask on what basis do they make this taweel. They say that it is the right of the man and he does not need to produce any witnesses for what is basically his right.


It is narrated from the Prophet or the companions that anything that indicates the obligation of witnesses is a recommendation?????........  they say that this verse is just like the verse that says bring forth witnesses, it is just a recommendation, and it is just to remove the possibility of a dispute. Finally they say that if you take a look at other verses and ahadeeth then they say that nothing about having the witnesses. So they conclude that the witnesses are not obligatory but recommended. However different schools have a conflict in their arguments. On one hand they say that this verse is only related to raja and has nothing related to talaq and then later they use the same verse to say it is recommended to have witnesses for talaq.


You cannot just say that witnesses are not required, you have to provide evidence for why it is just a recommendation and not an obligation.


Discussion of the argument whether divorce being right of the man does not need witnesses

Can this really be a basis for making the taweel?  What about the right of the marriage, is it your right and yes it is then you do need witnesses for the marriage. So what is difference between divorce and marriage as far as the right is concerned. So it looks like argument is a weak argument and cannot be used to conclude that no witnesses are needed for divorce.


(Edit: In Fiqh of marriage class we discussed why we say witnesses are mandatory for the marriage contract since you are making something that is haraam into halal (sexual relationship with a woman) and that is the reason why you need witnesses for marriage. But we left the discussion of this argument since the classroom students said that this argument was not convincing.)


Discussion of the evidence of hadith that obligation of witness is a recommendation

A bit of discussion about this hadith. .... did not capture the discussion....


Argument that it is like other verses of the Quran that discuss witnesses

وَأَشْهِدُوا إِذَا تَبَايَعْتُمْ ۚ

(2:282) ...And take witnesses when you conclude a contract...


It does not have anything directly with divorce so it is hard to make analogy here of divorce with contract.


We do not have any explicit witnesses from the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and the sahaba that they divorced without witnesses.


Another evidence that they use is the divorce of Abdullah ibn Umar. He divorced his wife when she was in her periods. Umar (Abdullah’s father) went to the Prophet and asked him about this divorce. The Prophet replied that he should take back his wife and divorce when she is pure. This hadith does not mention anything about having witnesses when he divorces here.


However you do not have to give explicit directions on prayer when I command you to go and pray two rakahs of tahiyaatul masjid. Similarly if I know that you are aware of the witnesses of divorce, then I don’t have to mention it explicitly. So this argument does not point to the fact that witnesses are not obligatory for divorce.


Discussion of opinion that witnesses are obligatory for performing divorce


The second view which says that witnesses are obligatory: It is the opinion of Ibn Hazm, contemporary scholars Albani, ibn Shakir, ibn Qasim and it is also opinion of Shia as well. However this narration in Shia books is from Ali (ra) and it cannot necessarily be trusted. There is a narration from Ibn Abbas (ra) said that one should have witnesses in both divorcing and marriage.  


The sahabi Imran ibn Hussain (ra) said to someone who divorced without the witnesses that you did something that was against the sunnah so go back and take her back and do not do it again.


When sahabah referred to the sunnah, they mean the actions and the statements of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and in this case the sahabi also stressed that do not do it again, i.e. it looks like something stronger than recommendation.  


The other camp says that this does not mean obligation, it could mean either obligation or recommendation. However if this was not an obligation why would you mention this hadith.


Ibn Katheer says …(missed it)


Al Albaani says that in the same way that marriage is not complete without witnesses, similarly divorce is not complete without witnesses. You are basically sinning if you do not have witnesses.


Shaykh bin Baaz concludes that it is obligation to have witnesses however he does not base it on the verse but says that if some harm is feared then one should have witnesses.


The point of this discussion is to get an idea of what type of evidences are used by both camps and is the evidence strong enough to push us away from the default case.


Going from imperative to something that is less that obligation you need some evidence. There is no doubt that many times there are imperatives that are really less than an obligation. We also need to be aware of the trends of the various scholars on how they deal with this issue.


Suppose there is some verse and hadith which has imperative and ibn Hazm says that it is recommendation then one needs to understand that there is some strong evidence that it is not an obligation. This is why knowing the trends of the scholars is also important part of knowledge.


Discussion about taweel of hadith discussing waleema after aqd of marriage


Similarly the Waleema after the Aqd of marriage is mentioned in a hadith in the imperative in relation to the Abdul Rahman bin Awf (Ra), i.e. give Waleema even if with one sheep.


It was narrated that Anas (ra) said:

"The Messenger of Allah saw traces of yellow perfume on 'Abdur-Rahman and said: 'What is this?' He said: 'I married a woman for a Nawah (five Dirhams) of gold.' He said: 'May Allah bless you. Give a Walimah (wedding feast) even if it is with one sheep.'"


أَخْبَرَنَا قُتَيْبَةُ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا حَمَّادُ بْنُ زَيْدٍ، عَنْ ثَابِتٍ، عَنْ أَنَسٍ، أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم رَأَى عَلَى عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ أَثَرَ صُفْرَةٍ فَقَالَ ‏"‏ مَا هَذَا ‏"‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ تَزَوَّجْتُ امْرَأَةً عَلَى وَزْنِ نَوَاةٍ مِنْ ذَهَبٍ ‏.‏ فَقَالَ ‏"‏ بَارَكَ اللَّهُ لَكَ أَوْلِمْ وَلَوْ بِشَاةٍ ‏"‏ ‏.‏


In this example, we have a hadith of the Prophet wherein he say that a sahabah had signs of a new marriage and the Prophet told him to give waleema. Is this an obligation or a recommendation?


Jamhoor say that waleema is sunnah. Some shafies say it is obligatory because of the above hadith. There is one narration from Imam Malik that it is obligatory. Imam Shafiee says in Kitab al Umm that it is obligatory. Ibn Hazm of course says it is obligatory and so do the Dhahiris.


It is surprising that Imam Shafiee says that it is obligatory.


Evidences for it being recommendation


They quote a hadith, there is no obligation involved except zakat. How is this evidence that waleema is mustahab. They say that this is a financial burden. Anyways this hadith is not authentic.


Most of the evidence is a rational argument.


#1 This is celebration for a joyous occasion. So just like any other dinner party or feast it cannot be obligatory.


#2 The cause behind the waleema is the aqd contract. The aqd contract is not waajib so how come something that is a branch of the aqd contract become waajib. We discussed this in the Fiqh of Marriage class, once you start praying nafila prayers, all of the actions of the prayers become obligatory for you. Just like ihtiqaaf or voluntary fasting etc


#3 If waleema was obligatory, then there should be some quantification of what is required for a waleema. For example we have explicit quantification of zakat or expiation of sinful acts etc. Since we do not have any quantifiers for it, it is not obligatory. However we have other financial obligations that are not quantified, such as nafaqa (financial obligation of the husband towards his wife)


Evidences for it being obligatory


#1 When Ali was going to marry Fatima (ra) at that Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said that marriage must have waleema. This is very explicit statement.


#2 Hadith: The most evil food is the food of the waleema is where only the rich come and the poor are excluded. And when there is an invitation and you do not respond then you are .....  


Here they are saying that if responding to the waleema is obligatory then waleema is obligatory. However this argument is not correct, since responding to an invitation might be obligatory but that does not mean that waleema itself is obligatory.


#3 Under any conditions and circumstances the Prophet always had a waleema for each of his marriages.


The evidence for it being obligatory is more convincing that it being less than obligatory.



2013-03-18 Class Notes


Today we continue with the examples of Amr and remember the default ruling of an Amr is that it is an obligation.


Example of Amr from Surah al Maida verse 2


يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تُحِلُّوا شَعَائِرَ اللَّهِ وَلَا الشَّهْرَ الْحَرَامَ وَلَا الْهَدْيَ وَلَا الْقَلَائِدَ وَلَا آمِّينَ الْبَيْتَ الْحَرَامَ يَبْتَغُونَ فَضْلًا مِّن رَّبِّهِمْ وَرِضْوَانًا ۚ وَإِذَا حَلَلْتُمْ فَاصْطَادُوا ۚ وَلَا يَجْرِمَنَّكُمْ شَنَآنُ قَوْمٍ أَن صَدُّوكُمْ عَنِ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ أَن تَعْتَدُوا ۘ وَتَعَاوَنُوا عَلَى الْبِرِّ وَالتَّقْوَىٰ ۖ وَلَا تَعَاوَنُوا عَلَى الْإِثْمِ وَالْعُدْوَانِ ۚ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ ۖ إِنَّ اللَّهَ شَدِيدُ الْعِقَابِ

Sahih International

O you who have believed, do not violate the rites of Allah or [the sanctity of] the sacred month or [neglect the marking of] the sacrificial animals and garlanding [them] or [violate the safety of] those coming to the Sacred House seeking bounty from their Lord and [His] approval. But when you come out of ihram, then [you may] hunt. And do not let the hatred of a people for having obstructed you from al-Masjid al-Haram lead you to transgress. And cooperate in righteousness and piety, but do not cooperate in sin and aggression. And fear Allah ; indeed, Allah is severe in penalty.


In the state of Ihram you are not allowed to hunt. So here after the Ihram is taken off one is allowed to go and hunt however the word Astadu is in the imperative. Does this mean that you are obligated to go and hunt after removing ihram? Here the Amr implies that you are now allowed to go and hunt but it is not an obligation for you to go and hunt..


Example of Amr about storage of slaughtered meat from Hajj


Early in Islam, it was not allowed to save the meat of zabiha during Hajj for more than three days and one had to give it away or consume it. Then came a hadith  


Hadith: I used to prevent you from keeping slaughtered meat more than three days, but now amsiku (which means store away).


http://www.sunnah.com/nasai/43#69


It was narrated from Ibn Buraidah that his father said:

" The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said: 'I used to forbid you from doing three things: to visit graves, but now visit three, for you may benefit from that. And I used to forbid you (from eating) the meat of sacrificial animals after three days but now eat it, and keep whatever you want. A and I forbade you to drink form (certain kinds of) vessels, but now drink form whatever kind of vessel you want but do not drink any kind of intoxicant." (Sahih ) Muhammad (one of the narrators) did not mention: "kept (whatever you want).


أَخْبَرَنَا عَمْرُو بْنُ مَنْصُورٍ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ مُحَمَّدٍ، - وَهُوَ النُّفَيْلِيُّ - قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا زُهَيْرٌ، ح وَأَنْبَأَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ مَعْدَانَ بْنِ عِيسَى، قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا الْحَسَنُ بْنُ أَعْيَنَ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا زُهَيْرٌ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا زُبَيْدُ بْنُ الْحَارِثِ، عَنْ مُحَارِبِ بْنِ دِثَارٍ، عَنِ ابْنِ بُرَيْدَةَ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏"‏ إِنِّي كُنْتُ نَهَيْتُكُمْ عَنْ ثَلاَثٍ عَنْ زِيَارَةِ الْقُبُورِ فَزُورُوهَا وَلْتَزِدْكُمْ زِيَارَتُهَا خَيْرًا وَنَهَيْتُكُمْ عَنْ لُحُومِ الأَضَاحِي بَعْدَ ثَلاَثٍ فَكُلُوا مِنْهَا وَأَمْسِكُوا مَا شِئْتُمْ وَنَهَيْتُكُمْ عَنِ الأَشْرِبَةِ فِي الأَوْعِيَةِ فَاشْرَبُوا فِي أَىِّ وِعَاءٍ شِئْتُمْ وَلاَ تَشْرَبُوا مُسْكِرًا ‏"‏ ‏.‏ وَلَمْ يَذْكُرْ مُحَمَّدٌ ‏"‏ وَأَمْسِكُوا ‏"‏ ‏.‏

Amsiku is an Amr. This is also an example of permission and not an obligation that you have to store the slaughtered meat.


Example of Amr from Surah Al Baqarah verse 222 about approaching your wife after purification


وَيَسْأَلُونَكَ عَنِ الْمَحِيضِ ۖ قُلْ هُوَ أَذًى فَاعْتَزِلُوا النِّسَاءَ فِي الْمَحِيضِ ۖ وَلَا تَقْرَبُوهُنَّ حَتَّىٰ يَطْهُرْنَ ۖ فَإِذَا تَطَهَّرْنَ فَأْتُوهُنَّ مِنْ حَيْثُ أَمَرَكُمُ اللَّهُ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ التَّوَّابِينَ وَيُحِبُّ الْمُتَطَهِّرِينَ

Sahih International

And they ask you about menstruation. Say, "It is harm, so keep away from wives during menstruation. And do not approach them until they are pure. And when they have purified themselves, then come to them from where Allah has ordained for you. Indeed, Allah loves those who are constantly repentant and loves those who purify themselves."


When they have purified themselves, go to them in a way that Allah has ordained you. Here fahtahunna is Amr again, what is the ruling of the Amr over here?


What do you think ibn Hazm says over here? He says that it is obligatory for a man to have sexual relationship with your wife after she purifies herself after the menses. But Umar says no, here it is just a permission.


Example of Amr from hadith that says you have to look at the woman whom you intend to marry


Hadith: http://www.sunnah.com/urn/1261830


It was narrated from Anas bin Malik that:

Mughirah bin Shubah wanted to marry a woman. The Prophet (pbuh) said to him: “Go and look at her, for that is more likely to create love between you.” So he did that, and her married her, and mentioned how well he got along with her. (Sahih)


حَدَّثَنَا الْحَسَنُ بْنُ عَلِيٍّ الْخَلاَّلُ، وَزُهَيْرُ بْنُ مُحَمَّدٍ، وَمُحَمَّدُ بْنُ عَبْدِ الْمَلِكِ، قَالُوا حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ الرَّزَّاقِ، عَنْ مَعْمَرٍ، عَنْ ثَابِتٍ، عَنْ أَنَسِ بْنِ مَالِكٍ، أَنَّ الْمُغِيرَةَ بْنَ شُعْبَةَ، أَرَادَ أَنْ يَتَزَوَّجَ، امْرَأَةً فَقَالَ لَهُ النَّبِيُّ ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ ‏ "‏ اذْهَبْ فَانْظُرْ إِلَيْهَا فَإِنَّهُ أَحْرَى أَنْ يُؤْدَمَ بَيْنَكُمَا ‏"‏ ‏.‏ فَفَعَلَ فَتَزَوَّجَهَا فَذَكَرَ مِنْ مُوَافَقَتِهَا ‏.‏


Here it means go and look at her because it will improve the affection between the two. Is this Amr an obligation, a permission or a recommendation?


The common thing between the cases that we have studied so far is that there is prohibition of something and then it is followed by an Amr which we considered to be permissibility and not an obligation.


An Amr coming after prohibition what does it imply?


There are four different opinions on this question


#1 Amr after prohibition implies obligation as the default ruling.


View of the Shafi and Maliki scholars. However if you have other evidence then you can lower it to something other than obligation.


#2 Amr after Nahi basically in default implies permissibility.


This was the view of Imam Malik and Imam Shafi themselves. This is also view of some Hanafis and one opinion attributed to Imam Ahmad.


#3 The approach of the Waqafites, there is no default ruling, you have to look at the evidence to determine the ruling.


This is also the view of some Shafies.


#4 The object of the Amr goes back to its previous ruling before the prohibition.


So in case of hunting, it will go back to being mubah since it was mubah before the prohibition came due to ihram.


Rulings of the four examples discussed earlier


On the case of the ruling on the storing of meat (see the hadith above) it is a similar case. On the case of the ruling related to looking at women, it is prohibited to look at women and the exception is only made in the case of the looking for marriage. The case of the verse (2:222) above, it is also considered permissible based on the view #4. This was also the view of ibn Taymiyyah .....


Given these four possibilities we now look at the evidences one by one.


What is meant by the Amr after prohibition?


In some cases it is pretty clear, you have a condition that is temporary for the prohibition. When that condition is finished which made it prohibited then it can become something else. The first three opinions do not analyze what was the ruling before the prohibition.


There was a temporary situation for the prohibition and then an Amr comes, what are we supposed to do with it.


We have the order to go hunting after taking of ihram. During hajj we are not allowed to hunt. This prohibition is of temporary nature. And then when we get a command to do what was prohibited. Does this command mean that it is permissible or use the ruling of it before the prohibition.


So if hunting was mustahab then it goes back to it default ruling of mustahab. But if the act was an obligation, then it should go back to its default ruling of obligation.


http://www.sunnah.com/urn/670530


Prophet said, I used to prohibit you from visiting the graves, now I allow you to to and visit the graves.


Sulaiman bin Buraidah narrated from his father that:

The Messenger of Allah said: "I had prohibited you from visiting the graves. But Muhammad was permitted to visit the grave of his mother: so visit them, for they will remind you of the Hereafter." (Sahih)


حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ بَشَّارٍ، وَمَحْمُودُ بْنُ غَيْلاَنَ، وَالْحَسَنُ بْنُ عَلِيٍّ الْخَلاَّلُ، قَالُوا حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو عَاصِمٍ النَّبِيلُ، حَدَّثَنَا سُفْيَانُ، عَنْ عَلْقَمَةَ بْنِ مَرْثَدٍ، عَنْ سُلَيْمَانَ بْنِ بُرَيْدَةَ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ "‏ قَدْ كُنْتُ نَهَيْتُكُمْ عَنْ زِيَارَةِ الْقُبُورِ فَقَدْ أُذِنَ لِمُحَمَّدٍ فِي زِيَارَةِ قَبْرِ أُمِّهِ فَزُورُوهَا فَإِنَّهَا تُذَكِّرُ الآخِرَةَ ‏"‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ وَفِي الْبَابِ عَنْ أَبِي سَعِيدٍ وَابْنِ مَسْعُودٍ وَأَنَسٍ وَأَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ وَأُمِّ سَلَمَةَ ‏.‏ قَالَ أَبُو عِيسَى حَدِيثُ بُرَيْدَةَ حَدِيثٌ حَسَنٌ صَحِيحٌ ‏.‏ وَالْعَمَلُ عَلَى هَذَا عِنْدَ أَهْلِ الْعِلْمِ لاَ يَرَوْنَ بِزِيَارَةِ الْقُبُورِ بَأْسًا ‏.‏ وَهُوَ قَوْلُ ابْنِ الْمُبَارَكِ وَالشَّافِعِيِّ وَأَحْمَدَ وَإِسْحَاقَ ‏.‏


Is visiting the grave waajib or mustahab or haraam?  If you go to the default ruling for this case then you would say that it is haraam. But if you use opinion #2 then you would say it is permissible.


Another example is after Jumah to go out and seek Allah’s bounty while it was forbidden for the Jumah time.


فَإِذَا قُضِيَتِ الصَّلَاةُ فَانتَشِرُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ وَابْتَغُوا مِن فَضْلِ اللَّهِ وَاذْكُرُوا اللَّهَ كَثِيرًا لَّعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ

Sahih International

And when the prayer has been concluded, disperse within the land and seek from the bounty of Allah , and remember Allah often that you may succeed.



Discussion of Opinion #1 - Amr after prohibition implies obligation


For the first opinion the Amr implies obligation, they say that Amr is not affected by the fact that there had been a prohibition before. If there was a prohibition before Amr then Amr has to be studied by going back to the original case.


This opinion says that there is no such thing as special Amr and it resorts back to the default ruling for all Amr which is an obligation unless shown otherwise. But we clearly see that Amr after prohibition is a special case.


They make another point that Amr after Nahi ..... They say that Nahi is a negative Amr and there is nothing special about it.


They finally argue and show that Amr implies obligation, and if you violate the Amr you are sinning.


They give a linguistic argument. If a master tells his slave, do not kill Zayd. And then later he tells his slave, kill Zayd. What is the Amr after the prohibition? They say that it is an obligation. And they say that it is the haqeeqi meaning of the Amr.



Discussion of Opinion #2 - Amr after prohibition implies permissibility


They say by induction, if you look at the examples, the Amr clearly points to permissibility. They use the evidence as (62:10) and (2:222) to make their argument. However it can be countered that permissibility is due to secondary evidences in the examples that they give.


One of the evidences they give is that the only thing Amr implies is that it removes prohibition. And they say what is meant by removing prohibition is that it means permissibility. And if you argue that it is mustahab, then you have to present evidence for it.


From the linguistic point of view this view is not strong either. If I want someone to leave the room at 6:45 PM, then I would write it on the board: “do not leave the room until 6:45 PM and then you may leave the room” rather than saying “do not leave the room until 6:45 PM and then leave the room”. If I have no requirement for when you leave the room, then I would not write anything on the board and you can leave at any time you want.


Ibn Taymiyyah’s opinion about temporary prohibitions and it being allowed by the Amr does make sense, but outside of  that subset his opinion seems weak.


So for the other subset, the Amr goes back to obligation according to Sh Jamaal and the other subset it goes back to its default ruling before the prohibition. We will continue with Amr and Nahi next quarter inshaAllah.



Comments