Avoiding doubtful matters altogether

بســـم اللــه الرحــمــن الـرحـــيــم

▪️Avoiding doubtful matters altogether▪️

Our Shaykh, Muhammad ibn Hizaam – may Allaah preserve him – was asked the following question:

? Question:

What is the ruling on one engaging in doubtful matters under the pretext of, its impermissibility is uncertain? And is the following principle valid: ‘The uncertainty surrounding doubtful matters is removed in times of need’?

? Answer:

This is in opposition to what has been reported from the Prophet ﷺ in the hadeeth of Nu’maan ibn Basheer, in Bukhaari and Muslim, (that he ﷺ said):

((إن الحلال بين والحرام بين وبينهما أمور مشتبهات لايعلمها كثيرٌ من الناس فمن اتقى الشبهات فقد استبرأ لدينه وعرضه ومن وقع في الشبهات فقد وقع في الحرام كالراعي يرعى حول الحمى يوشك أن يرتع فيه الا وإن لكل ملك حمى ألا وإن حمى الله محارمه))

“The Halaal is clear and the Haraam is clear and between the two are doubtful matters which many people have no knowledge of, so whoever refrains from doubtful matters keeps his religion and honour blameless, and whoever falls into doubtful matters will fall into Haraam; just like one who grazes (his flock) on the edge of a sanctuary, he is likely to stray into that sanctuary. Indeed every king has a sanctuary, and the sanctuary of Allaah is what He declared unlawful.”

This indicates the command to stay clear of doubtful matters.

Similarly, it comes in the hadeeth of Al-Hassan ibn ‘Ali -may Allaah be pleased with him- that the Prophet ﷺ said:

((دع ما يريبك إلى ما لا يريبك))

“Give up that which makes you doubt for that which does not make you doubt.” [Narrated by Tirmidhi]

So he ﷺ ordered with giving up doubtful matters for that which is not doubtful. Therefore, the principle mentioned falls contrary to these evidences.

What’s appropriate is to stay clear of doubtful matters altogether, and for one to strive in removing this uncertainty [surrounding doubtful affairs] from himself by asking the people of knowledge so that the ruling becomes clear for him, but as long as it [remains] doubtful then the statement of the Prophet ﷺ:

((دع ما يريبك إلى ما لا يريبك))

“Give up that which is doubtful to you for that which is not doubtful.” [Narrated by Tirmidhi]…still applies


Translated by:

Abu ‘Abdirrahman ‘Abdullaah ibn Ahmad Ash-Shingaani

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Original Fatwa: