Friday, May 2, 2014

In necessity a Haram becomes halal?

In necessity a Haraam becomes halal?

By: Khurshid Imam
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A. Introduction:

So many fatwas were given in the past and most of them exist even today - saying:
1. Photography is Haram.
2. Videography is Haram.
3. Working of women is Haram.
4. Making of Robot is Haram.
5. Drawing of living thing is haraam.
6. Voting in democracy is Haram.
.... and so on. Read this for details.                                                           

However after some time many such fatwas were reversed and such "so-called-haraam" things were made "Halal" by "Scholars".
Why it happened so? Did Allah send any new revelation saying that such haraam thing is no more haraam? Did Islam change suddenly? Take the case of voting: Earlier some scholars deemed voting in democratic election to be haraam, they preached accordingly. But later on: their followers went against such fatwas and - in fact - made their own political party. Similarly some sectarian muslims declared voting to be haraam, but later on urged people to vote.  

B. Lame argument:

An oft-repeated argument is given: 
In dharurat (necessity) a haraam (prohibited) thing become halal. This statement is used to derive many rulings of fiqh
For example - they say: "photography, videography is haraam. Its prohibited to either take photo or get photographed..but....but since these days one can use photo / video for so many good purpose hence it can be used for such good purpose". 
Now common sense says - "If photo and video has some good use then why this good use was haraam???". "Has God ever made photo / video to be haraam". Answer: NO.

Similarly they say : "Voting in democratic election is haraam, but if you do not vote then bad people will come to become your leader. Through vote you can prevent corrupt and evil people to come to power". Here again Question comes to mind - "Since voting really has this positive aspect then why you are saying voting is haraam? Has Allah ever made voting to be haraam?" Answer: NO.

So it means: either fatwa of earlier time was incorrect OR current fatwa is incorrect. Both can not be correct.

C. In dharurat (necessity) a haraam (prohibited) thing become halal - is against QURAN.

I am sorry to say - but this argument is completely against Quran. What people refer here is a portion of ayah from Quran 5:3. In this Ayah Allah talks about haraam food (meat) and in the last ayah says:

".... But whoever is forced by severe hunger with no inclination to sin - then indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful."

Nowhere Ayah says that: In the case of necessity : A haraam thing will become halal.

Important point is:
1. Allah talks about  uḍ'ṭurra (ٱضْطُرَّ) unbearable situation and NOT necessity. People exploit this word IZTERAR and mis translate it as "IN NEED" (dharurat). This word talks about a situation which is unbearable. There is lot of difference between "need" and "being forced to an unbearable situation".

For example - When enemies were about to drown Hazrat Ammaar bin yasir and forced him to recite kalima kufr (to proclaim disbelief) then in this unbearable situation he said the same. When he narrated this whole incidence to prophet then prophet said that in such situation if they force you to do same then you can do it. Please note this IZTERAR = unbearable situation of Hazrat Ammaar Bin yaser. Can we compare this unbearable situation with the explanation given by scholars in context of use of photo / video / validity of election etc? They do not belong to same category of situation.

2. Another point is that Quran does not say that haraam will become halal in such situations. It simply says that Allah is most forgiving and most merciful. Reading between the lines: Allah will forgive because he knows the unbearable situation. Since Allah is the most merciful so he may forgive going by such unbearable situation But in no case any haraam becomes halal. Quran does not say that haraam will become halal. It will remain haraam only, only thing is Allah will not punish.

Take an example: if someone is wandering in a forest or its situation of war / drought etc such that one does not have anything to eat except pork or dead meat or any such haraam thing. If that person has absolutely no option, he is facing such unbearable situation then as per Quran 5:3 if he eats these prohibited things then Allah will forgive his sin. This situation is IZTERAR what Quran is talking about. This is not merely situation of need rather its extremely severe form of need.

D. Either we were wrong earlier OR now we are wrong


If photography / videography / voting in election is really haraam (we are not discussing in this article islamic validity of these subjects) - then it remains haraam and one should not indulge in these things. Try to differentiate between NEED and UNBEARABLE situation.

However if someone understand that they are not haraam and its their use that is haraam or halal then they should approach it accordingly.
Either earlier fatwas were wrong which declared any halal thing to be Haraam OR the current ruling is wrong which says that in dharurat (necessity) a haraam becomes halal. Both can not be correct at the same time.

E. Conclusion


1. Lot of fatwas are given whereby some things are declared haraam. later on: Scholars urge people that in dharurat a haraam becomes halal so such things are halal in such dharurat.


2. This statement is completely against Quran.


3. Quran says that in UNBEARABLE situations if someone indulges in Haraam then Allah will not punish for the same. A haraam will always remain haraam.

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