Sunday, September 2, 2012

Choose ease or piety in deen?

Choose ease or piety in deen?
Question:Bismillahi r-Rahmani r-Rahim
Assalamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatu-Hu

Respected Mufti,
i was talking with a brother yesterday and we had different views, so he asked me to ask you so you could explain to me that what he was saying is right.
I said there is an hadith that says we always have to do what's hard and seek easiness for others and he said that Islam is not meant to be hard as Allah t'ala has not given what we cannot do (so listening to music, not having a beard, keeping long trouser and so on are all ok as all of these things would constitute hardship as we're in 2010 and we cannot possibly think of living like at the time of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) ) and said that his iman is in his heart and that's all that matters.

3) Allāh Ta’ālā mentioned,

"يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ بِكُمُ الْيُسْرَ وَلَا يُرِيدُ بِكُمُ الْعُسْرَ"

“Allah intends what is easy for you and He does not intend what is difficult for you.”

He also said,

"لا يُكَلِّفُ اللَّهُ نَفْسًا إِلا وُسْعَهَا"

“Allah does not impose upon a person what is beyond his ability.”
Hence, Allāh and His messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم already chose what is the easiest, best and most convenient for us when legislating the laws. They took extreme precaution in not imposing on us actions which will be difficult for us. There are numerous examples in Shari’a which testifies that Allāh Ta’ālā and His noble messenger only desired what is easy for us. To make masāh on khufayn and jawrabayn, qasr in salāh for a traveler, the permissibility for the sick to sit and pray, etc are just a few examples. It is precisely for this reason that siwāk is not compulsory for every wudhu. Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم said,

« لولا أن أشق على أمتي لأمرتهم بالسواك عند كل وضوء ». ) رواه البحاري تعليقا - 2/682 - دار ابن كثير ، اليمامة(

“Had I not feared it will be difficult on my Ummah, I would have commanded them to use siwāk for every Ṣalāh.” (Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhāri Ta’līqan 2/682)

Thus, Allāh Ta’ālā already completed our religion and made binding upon us the easiest of commands. Indeed, He knew what will be easy for the Ummah till the Day of Judgment. We now have no alternative but to follow the Dīn as it was revealed to Nabi صلى الله عليه وسلم. In fact, we should now choose that which is closest to piety. As Nabi صلى الله عليه وسلم praised Ibn Sumaiyah (May Allah Ta'ala be pleased with him) by saying,

ابن سمية ما خير بين أمرين إلا اختار أرشدهما – (أخرجه ابن أبي شيبة في مصنفه- 17/199 المجلس العلمي)

“Ibn Sumayya is never given a choice except that he chooses the one closer to piety.” (Al-Muṣṣannaf of Ibn Abi Shayba 17/199 Al-Majlis al-‘Ilmi)

A similar narration appears in Sunan al-Tirmīdhi and Al-Mustadrak of Imām Hākim wherein Nabi (Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam) praised 'Ammar (Radiyallahu 'Anhu):

ما خير عمار من أمرين إلا اختار أرشدهما روها الترمذي و قال قال هذا حديث حسن غريب لا نعرفه إلا من هذا الوجه من حديث عبد العزيز بن سياه وهو شيخ كوفي – (سنن الترمذي 5/668 دار إحياء التراث) ، ورواه الحاكم في مستدركه سكت عنه الذهبي في التلخيص)

“ ‘Ammār does not choose between two matters except that he chooses the one closer to piety.” (Sunan al-Tirmīdhi and Al-Mustadrak of Hākim)

[Note – In some copies of Sunan al-Tirmīdhi the words اشدهما (more difficult) appear instead of ارشدهما. The meaning of the Ḥadīth then would be, “When ‘Ammār is given a choice between two things, he would choose the more difficult action.” This narration also appears in Sunan al-Kubrā of Imām Nasa’i.
Thus, all the laws of Islām are now easy even if we attempt to choose that which apparently seems difficult (we will still be practicing on what is easy). We have no right now to further simplify the laws which Allāh has already simplified for us through His infinite wisdom].
[Mufti Ismail Moosa]

Moreover, all the 4 Fiqh schools have already incorporated the Hadiths of ease in their Fiqh as a whole, so picking and choosing the easiest fatwas across the fiqhi schools is not necessary to act on the Hadith of ease in deen, rather such shallow approach in Deeni issues based purely on one's personal convenience is nothing but following one's own Nafs and desires and leaving the knowledge based usool and rulings of a Fiqh madhab.
This desire based fatwa-hopping-and-shopping approach resulting in whimsical madhab switching is harmful for one's Deen and has not been allowed by any notable Aalim of past or present.

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