KINDS OF LAW IN ISLAM

Should we track man's daily conduct and his activities and attitudes, we will find it most difficult to count them. Every man produces hundreds of quotes and does hundreds of deeds. Within himself countless thoughts, ideas and feelings flow. For instance, he can eat, drink, sleep, marry, steal, commit adultery, kill, cheat, tell lies, pray, worship, monopolize, be kind to the destitute and orphans, laugh, become desperate, be pessimistic and optimistic, produce medicines, make tools of torture, believe in Allah, think and discover sciences and knowledges...etc.It is a  list of both evil and good deeds. They are not equal in respect to their benefit and harm to the individual  who does them, and the society which absorbs their effects.

Islam regards human activities, which are actions, sayings, ideas and feelings with due attention. Islam puts these activities into a variety of categories, and so every activity is precisely weighed and described in respect to its nature and impact on man himself. Islam does so to show the path before man, and put forward a criterion by which man evaluates his activities, develops them, and steers himself clear from evil and crime.

Man is also urged to mobilize his energies in the domain of good and constructive works and preserve them from being dissipated and lost. These energies granted to man by his Creator are not to become tools of destruction and sources of calamities and torture to man. The ultimate goal, is thus, attaining Allah's pleasure.

On the basis of these considerations and goals, man's deeds fall into five categories, where every activity is valued according to its positive or negative effects on man and his varied relationships.These categories, as stated by the scholars are:-

1- Permitted (Mubah)2- Recommended (Mustahab)3- Disapproved but not unlawful (Makruh)4- Forbidden (Muharam)5- Obligatory (Wajib)

1- THE PERMITTED (MUBAH):

It is an act in which a sane person (mukalaf)2 who has reached his puberty has full freedom to do it or leave it aside. Within the circle of the permission, such  a person is never asked concerning what he does or leaves of the permitted actions.

Examples of permissible acts are countless and innumerable in the life of a man. For instance, a mukalaf is free to choose the work that best suits him/her. He is free to do  research and think on the sciences of nature and life.

He is free to select the suitable system to run the social and political offices and establishments; to determine the food, clothing and residence he likes...etc. He is also free to use what suits his inclinations, circumstances and abilities...on the condition that all his actions should not exceed  the limits and exceptions set by Islam.

It is worth mentioning that the sphere of the permitted (Mubah) is the widest among the daily social human behaviours, for all acts are, as a rule, permitted according to the most well-known religious judgement.

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

2- THE RECOMMENDED (MUSTAHAB):

It is any act that the Muslim is urged to do, whereby he is vieweda performer of the good and so deserves divine reward and Allah'spleasure. But no punishment is set for any one who leaves it orconsiders it easy, because, if done, its fruits will be to his benefit,and if left or ignored no harm will result from it.In the life of the individual  or a group, mustahab acts arenumerous.

Greeting others, paying visits to friends and neighbours,giving alms, being tidy and elegant, and many rites like du`a(supplication), night prayers, fasting during the holy monthsof Rajab and Sha`ban, reciting the Qur'an, are but a few examples ofrecommended acts.The recommended deeds in Islam uplift man to a lofty spiritualposition and make him do the maximum possible acts of good in hislife on earth to obtain  Allah's pleasure in the Hereafter.The Muslim does the recommended deeds out of a sublime moral motivation,without the slightest feelings of fear or coercion. He is propelled bylove and longing to walk on the path leading to perfection andcontinuous enrichment in this life.

3- THE DISAPPROVED BUT NOT UNLAWFUL (MAKRUH):

Makruh could be defined as an act a Muslim,  is urged to  avoidalthough it is not unlawful. It is preferable to avoid such acts inthe interests of self or society. However, Islam does not set apunishment for the Muslim who does it, because it is not consideredharam. Islam stops short of making it haram, and only urges the Muslimto avoid it, as it is likely to lead to harm or corruption.This law is very effective in blocking the ways ending in thecommission of haram acts.

The exhortation to avoid the makruh is the second factor,following the urging to accomplish  the mustahab, that supports thekey laws of wujub and hurma in uplifting man spiritually to attainhigher, sublime, spiritual stages so that he can ward off harm anddanger in human life. Examples of makruh are: urinating in stagnantwater, sleeping till after sunrise, eating in a state  afterintercourse or sexual discharge without performing  the obligatorybath, ablutions, and making largeÄscale advertisement to sellsomething which is not so worthy...etc.

4-THE FORBIDDEN (MUHARAM)

It is any act that Islam prohibits the religiously  responsibleMuslim, from committing, and sets a punishment for the transgressors,while praising and rewarding the one who totally abstains from suchacts. It is a procedure Islam takes to check the deviation that manmay be led to  perversion and the wrong and unnatural expression ofmotives and desires which are harmful to his body and soul.

It  is a law which checks chaos and corruption and nips dangers andcrimes  in the bud.  Doing the haram distances the human soul fromnearness to Allah and blocks the process of sublimity.As haram action contains deep psychological, bodily, spiritual,and social risks, Islam  sets both legal and social punishment for thetransgressor, in addition to the severe  punishment in store for himin the Hereafter.Islam does not leave the matter unexplained. The Holy Qur'an makes itclear that the goal of forbidding certain acts is not disturbing man,depriving him, or making him deal dispiritedly with life. To thecontrary, Islam aims at something else, as mentioned in the followingverse:"Say: My Lord has only prohibited indecencies, those of them thatare apparent as well as those that are concealed, and sin andrebellion without justice, and that you associate with Allah  forwhich He has sent down no authority, and that you say againstAllah what you know not".                  Holy Qur'an (7:33:)

"Those who follow the Apostle Ä Prophet, the Ummi,whom they find written down with them in the Torahand the Evangel, (who) enjoins them good and forbids them evil, andmakes lawful to them the good things and makes unlawful to them impurethings, and removes from them their burden and the shackles which wereupon them; so (as for) those who believe in him and honour him andhelp him, and follow the light which has been sent down with him,these it is that are the successful".        Holy Qur'an (7:157)

Examples of haram acts are premeditated killing, usury, drinkingwine, taking other people's property by force, disseminating harmfulideas and distributing morally reprehensible books and publications,and so on.

5. THE OBLIGATORY (THE WAJIB):

It is any act that Islam makes obligatory on a mukalafMuslim in a decisive and final way and which, under nocircumstances, can he/she ignore. Islam sets punishment for whoever leavesit intentionally, and rewards for whoever performs it perfectly.Prayer, fasting, zakat (poorÄrate), khums, jihad,ruling justly, being kind to parents, enjoining good and forbiddingevil, fighting oppression and tyranny, having love and affection forthe Prophet (s.a.w.) and his Household, being truthful, obeying theorders of the Islamic state that rules by the Qur'an, are among theunavoidably obligatory duties in Islam.

Such duties and obligations were not ordained except for thewelfare of mankind, preserving life and order, and safeguardinghumankind's security in this world and the Hereafter.Should we try to examine the laws of the obligations in Islam,study them analytically, trace their results and practicalconsequences in life, we would see that they effectively conduce tobalance life, preserve the order of human nature, and nurture asystematic relationship between man and his Creator on one hand andman and society on the other.The philosophy of the obligations in Islam is based on making thewajib a quantity in an equation whose other quantity is right andreward or punishment.

What is obligatory is ordained to deepen the feelingof responsibility on the part of the Muslim, emphasize the relationbetween right and duty, narrow the circle of egoism and to fosterhuman conscience which opens one's eyes to the concepts of justice andequity. Man realizes, through these duties and obligations, that everyhuman being has the right to live, and duties to perform without whichsocial life and the ties with Allah the Glorified, cannot bebalanced.

The secret behind the wajib and divine obligations in Islam, shouldwe try to know, lies in the fact that man, when performing suchduties, adds to the chain of good, a new link which makes it moreeffective as it expands man's best tendencies in his inner, and  bearsgood fruit through interaction between the human selfand the surrounding environment. Such results can be regarded as acriterion by which man's intentions are measured, and be the basis forhis reward or punishment.If the original law is amended by any accidental cause then the newlaw possesses the same legitimacy the original one had.

It is anindivisible religious obligation that the responsible Muslim has toperform, or be given the choice of performing or leaving it accordingto the nature of the law.If fasting, for instance, is obligatory under normal circumstances,it is haram for the sick to fast. Then fasting is, in this case,legitimately haram in a decisive way. If the sick person fasts, hisaction is not legitimate but is haram and ensues some consequences setand explained by Islam.

Reference: al-shia.org

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