summarized from “Mukhtasar Minhaj al-Qasideen“
(being al-Maqdisi’s abridgement of Ibn al-Jawzi’s summary of al-Ghazzali’s “Ihya’ `Ulum al-Deen“)
“That which is lawful is plain and that which is unlawful is plain and between the two of them are doubtful matters about which not many people know. Thus he who avoids doubtful matters clears himself in regard to his religion and his honor, but he who falls into doubtful matters falls into that which is unlawful, like the shepherd who pastures around a sanctuary, all but grazing therein. Truly every king has a sanctuary, and truly Allah’s sanctuary is His prohibitions. Truly in the body there is a morsel of flesh which, if it be whole, all the body is whole and which, if it be diseased, all of it is diseased. Truly it is the heart.”
[Bukhari and Muslim]
- The clear halal is that which has no element of haram, such as rain water which is falling on one’s own property.
- The clear haram is that which has some haram element, be it in substance (such as pork, or eating in gold vessels) or in manner of acquisition (such as riba, or a bribe).
- The doubtful is that which is between these, and we can discuss it under the following three sections : Read more