Haraam-Halaal contradiction and IslamA. Introduction
By: Khurshid Imam
By: Khurshid Imam
............. This is haraam in islam.
.................... That is not permissible in islam.
.................................... This is not allowed in islam.
................................................................ That is against Quran and sunnah.
We hear these statements umpteen number of times. Muslims Scholars come up with frequent fatwas on a number of issues. Just have a glimpse on some of issues and the ruling of majority of muslim scholars on these issues AND the CHANGING trend:
Wearing collar Shirts, using english etc was deemed Haraam, Now....? - It was during British era that WE had declared that using things that looks like imitating Britishers - was haraam or prohibited. So wearing Shirt, using english etc was declared haraam. Ask your elders about it.
Drinking coffee was Haraam, Now...? During the early days of coffee some of US have declared that drinking coffee was haraam.
Using mike for adhan was Haraam. Now...? It was till recently that WE deemed mike for adhaan etc to be haraam.
Wearing Tie was Haraam earlier. Now...? Till recently wearing tie was considered taboo by US. WE considered wearing tie as imitating kuffaar.Even today some of US equate wearing tie equal to imitating kuffar and hence a forbidden act.
Photography / making photos was Haraam. Now...? If u would have asked till 1990s to a muslim scholar about the ruling on photography - most probably you would have got the answer that it is haraam. Muslim world had an unanimous understanding that photography is not allowed at all. Its absolutely haraam. Even today some of them SAY its haraam.
TV / Videography was Haraam, Now...? Similar to the case of photography even videography was deemed prohibited or haraam by ulema till very recently. Islamic Scholars - probably from all school of thoughts - deemed it absolutely prohibited. Making video of human being was considered unislamic. A very generic understanding was in the air there that having TV at home is haraam.
Note: When i mention that we/some of us/muslims scholars have declared haraam then of course that does not means all muslim scholars.
B. Did islam change? New revelation came Or understanding of muslims was wrong?
If you prevent a muslim from drinking coffee because u think it is haraam then you will be declared lunatic.
If you say wearing shirt, using english is prohibited in islam then you will be mocked.
Similarly if u start propagating that tie is haraam then most probably people will say that this fellow does not know about islam.
Photography and videography are very interesting. Some of the opinions of Scholars are:
a. Some say photography or videography for non living things is allowed and for others haraam.One can find plant photography / videography being allowed. ( I say: are plants living things or Non living things?)
b. Some say photography or videography for human beings is haraam, for others it is allowed.
c. Many of scholars are now saying (at least practically) that photography / videography for good purpose is allowed - whether of human beings or non living things.
C. Changing trend:
1. Our tableeghi jamaat brothers and other "pious" muslims were strictly against photography / videography EARLIER. They would not hesitate in burning old photos at home (assuming it was HARAAM to have photographs at home). Now?
Now they are not that much vocal against photography and videography. A large number of bayaan (talks) of Maulana Tariq jameel sahab (A prominent tableeghi jamaat scholar) and others is available on Internet in videos. Lot of photos of tableeghi brother is available on net. Many members have their profile picture in facebook as their picture. The voice that photography/videography is haraam has diminished.
2. Old journals of jamat-e-islami never had photographs of human beings. Why? They thought its HARAAM to have it. Now? No seminar/ program / meeting / gathering of jamat-e-islami is complete without more-than-sufficient photographs flashing around newspaper, journals and magazines, TV etc.
3. Our salafi brothers too had been very very vocal on this topic. For them - since things fall only under allowed or HARAAM - so it was not surprise that their scholars too considered it absolutely HARAAM. The impression given was that a person indulging in photography / videography will have to enter hell fire.
Now? Of all the available islamic websites on the Internet; islamic videos / lectures - that contains large amount of photos and videos of human beings - probably more than 50% belongs to salafis (My observation). Tons of videos of salafi scholars are available on youtube.
4. Similarly a unanimous voice from deoband was that photography/videography was haraam but now that voice seems to have disappeared or least not much discussed now.
5. We hear that so many people are coming to islam because of widespread use of islamic lectures / documentaries in the form of audio, video and print media. Muslims and Non muslims are understanding islam very easily through tonns of videos available on internet. If videography was haraam then muslims scholars - today - must make it absolutely haraam to propagate islam though videos. In fact - all "students of islam and comparative religion" type "orators" make sure that their no programs go unrecorded and then distributed among masses in all good ways.
Several things that were deemed haraam or prohibited by ulemas some years back are considered permitted or encouraged today. Is it logical and valid? Somewhere something is wrong. If something was absolutely forbidden 20 years back then it should be wrong even today and even after 20 years.
This is the characteristics of unislamic society that they declare something as permissible though it was considered wrong earlier. For example: Drinking alcohol was considered bad thing decades back in medium family in india. Today its considered a norm. Similarly premarital affair was paap i.e. great sin in indian society sometimes back, today its encouraged. Unislamic society change their values and rulings because they are not bound by any laws viz: Quran or Prophet.
D. But how come muslims too made similar mistakes?
My analysis is as follows:
1. Intention of ulemas had been noble and good - by and large.
2. Due to abandoning Quran as a whole - we failed to grasp the faham of Quran. Things that are haraam and prohibited are mentioned clearly by Allah. Now what about new inventions like TV, photography, videography etc? For these intellectual brainstorming is required in the light of Quran.
3. Unfortunately muslim world took any new invention from non-believers as unislamic. Advancement in science and technology was directly or indirectly discouraged giving the impression that islam is against exploring science.
4. Had we used our intellectual capacity to its best we would not have ended up in this situation.
5. The ONLY solution for above all problems is that people hold Quran very very strongly and understand that islam is deen-e-fitrat i.e. religion of nature. Understanding faham of deen-islam is an important aspect that is ignored by masses.
6. Quranic principles are forver and do not changes with time. Implementation of these principle may change with time.
In the language of software (java): Quranic principles are abstract class while its rulings/implementations are concrete class.
Note: Intentionally skipping the details of islamic rulings on photography / videography / TV.
1. Islam is religion of nature. It is as simple and as natural as 2+2=4.
2. Principles of islam are eternal and never changes with time. Implementation of an islamic principle may change from time to time.
3. Its ONLY Allah or Almighty GOD who can make a thing Haraam. One need to be extremely careful while declaring anything as haraam. Declaring something today as haraam and tomorrow halal makes us laughing stock.
4. Haraam always remain Haraam - never a Haraam can become Halaal. People have misconception that haraam can become halal in necessity. The ayah 5:3 does NOT say that haraam will become Halaal in necessity, rather it says that if you are forced in unbearable situation then for haraam thing you will not get gunah or sin. Please note this important difference. In unbearable situation when you can not refrain from haraam then if u do that; then you will not be sinned - it does NOT mean that haraam will become halal in unbearable situation. Due to not understanding this delicate and basic difference many wrong rulings have been deduced in fiqh.
5. For future generations it will be hard to believe that WE had declared photography and videography HARAAM. Just like its hard for present generation to believe that once upon a time coffee, english, shirt, tie was declared haraam