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Lesson 28

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Main Points


        · Legal rulings contain either injunctions or stipulations. An injunctive ruling is one that enjoins the morally competent individual to either perform or refrain from an act, or gives him the option to perform an act or to refrain from it. Stipulatory rulings are those that encompass a legal reason behind a certain ruling, a condition for it, or an interdictor of it.

 Injunctive Rulings

        · There are five types: obligatory, recommended, unlawful, offensive, and permissible.

        · The obligatory ruling is divided into several types concerning timing, the one who is called upon to perform the duty, the amount requested, as well as being determined or optional.

        · The timing of the obligatory ruling is either not restricted, i.e. the obligatory ruling such as prayers and other acts can be made during the same time period, or is restricted to a certain act like fasting.

        · The obligatory ruling concerning the one who is called upon to perform a duty can be either: obligatory for every individual Muslim, or an obligation of a public nature, i.e. if performed by some, the rest will be exempted from its responsibility.

        · The amount required is either specified like the five prayers and Zakah (the poor's due), or unspecified as in all forms of charity.

        · The obligatory ruling is either prescribed like the acts of worship or optional as found in rulings concerning expiation.

        · The recommended ruling is that which the Lawgiver requested, but without its being an order. It is ranked according to the following degrees:

      a) Confirmed Sunnah.

      b) Unsystematic Sunnah, not consistently practiced by the Prophet.

     c) The highly advisable Sunnah, e.g., taking the Prophet (peace be upon him) as an ideal concerning his everyday acts out of love.

        · The unlawful is either completely forbidden in itself, like robbery and fornication, or forbidden because of something incidental related to it.

        · The offensive is what the Lawgiver requested to be avoided, but without a direct prohibition.

        · The permissible is that which the competent person has the option either to do or not, and is based on either a clear text indicating permission, or the absence of a clear text prohibiting it. In principle, things are permissible unless clearly made impermissible.

The stipulatory rulings

        · They are divided into the following:

a. Reason: an apparent and accurate characteristic that is necessary for a ruling.

b. Condition: on which the ruling is based. Impediment: if it exists there will be no ruling or the reason would have been made invalid.

c.  Allowances: rulings legislated by Allah, out of lightening, to be carried out optionally by the competent in special cases.

d. Validity and invalidity: acts that the Lawgiver requested those competent either to do or not to do, in the light of the causes and conditions that He commanded, the Lawgiver is the Only One Who can render something valid or not.

Things one may be held legally responsible for:      

        · These are deeds concerning which Allah has imposed as certain rulings.        

       · It is stipulated that the things one may be held legally responsible for, should be: completely known to the competent person within his capacity, and the competent person should be able to either perform the act or stop doing it.

The competent

 ·  He is a person responsible for performing the legal ruling.

 ·  It is stipulated that the competent person should be able to understand, by himself or through others, the evidence for what he is responsible. This requires maturity, reason, and sobriety (neither drunken nor asleep). Also, he should be eligible for what he is assigned for and under no duress to perform the act.

  · There are two kinds of eligibility:

a) Eligibility for obligation, i.e. to have rights and duties.

b) Eligibility for performance, i.e. the sayings and deeds of the competent person are fit to be legal. Children and the insane are not eligible. Eligibility is incomplete for the minor before maturity and for the mentally deranged person, while it is completely fulfilled for the mature sane person.


Evidence of the Qur'an and Sunnah

The competent:

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

“There are three (persons) whose actions are not recorded: a sleeper till he awakes, a boy till he reaches puberty, and a lunatic till he comes to reason.” (Reported by At-Tirmidhi and Abu Dawud)