What does karahah mean?

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What does karahah mean?
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Dear Brother / Sister,

KARAHAH: Disgust, hatred, detestation, doing something because of being forced or because of an obligation. A deed or something that is close to haram.

Karahiyya and hazr are synonymous. Their opposites are istihsan and ibaha. Makruh (abominable) which is derived from the same word means something that is not wanted by Allah and His Messenger though not certainly. In general, makruh deeds are forbidden. However, if there is a sign that there is no prohibition in the sense of definitely haram or if the evidence is not definite, such a decree is given. The quality of a makruh deed is that it is not liked and Allah is not pleased with it. (Ibnu'l Humam, Fathu'l-Qadir, Egypt 1318, VIII/79, 80)

There are several verses related to the deeds and attitudes that are regarded disgusting. Some of them are as follows:

"O ye who believe! ask not questions about things which, if made plain to you, may cause you trouble."(al-Maida, 5/101).

"Fain would they extinguish Allah's light with their mouths but Allah will not allow but that His light should be perfected, even though the unbelievers may detest (it)." (at-Tawba, 9/32)

"Fighting is prescribed for you and ye dislike it. But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knoweth and ye know not." (al-Baqara, 2/216)

"They attribute to Allah what they hate (for themselves) And their tongues assert the falsehood that all good things are for themselves: without doubt for them is the Fire, and they will be the first to be hastened on into it!" (an-Nahl, 16/62)

It is seen that the deeds that are not liked and wanted and that Allah and His Messenger are not pleased with are mentioned in the hadiths of the Prophet (pbuh). When the Companions did something that was not liked, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) would warn them and showed them the right deed. We can give the following hadiths as examples:

When the verse stating that hajj was rendered fard (see Aal-i Imran, 3/97), the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said to his Companions,

"Allah definitely rendered hajj fard; perform hajj." One of them asked,

"Every year? "Hz. Prophet kept silent. When the question was repeated three times, he said,

"If I had said, 'Yes', it would have been fard for you to perform it every year. Leave me with what I have left to you. For, those who were before you were destroyed because of excessive questioning and their opposition to the answers." (Muslim, Hajj, 412)

The following is stated in another hadith:

"Allah does not like it when you gossip, ask a lot of questions and waste your property." (Bukhari, Istiqrad, 19)

According to Hanafis, a prohibition that is based on definite evidence is called haram, a prohibition that is based on probable evidence is called makruh. For instance, the following is stated in a verse:

"He hath only forbidden you dead meat, and blood and the flesh of swine, and that on which any other name hath been invoked besides that of Allah. but if one is forced by necessity without wilful disobedience, nor transgressing due limits―then is he guiltless." (Bakara, 2/173)

Here, the prohibition that is imposed by a definite verse is defined as "haram". Haram can be definite through a mutawatir or mashhur hadith.

Makruh deedss can be deeds that are stated in some verses that they are not liked and about which there are some signs showing that they are not definitely haram; they can be makruh based on some probable evidence like ahad or mursal hadiths. Makruh deeds are divided into two based on the state of the evidence:  Makruh tahrimi and makruh tanzihi. The former are the deeds that are close to haram, that are definitely demanded not to be committed through probable evidence; in this case, makruh is the opposite of wajib. Wearing silk clothes and golden rings (for men), marriage of a man who probably will not be able to treat his wife justly are among this kind of makruh deeds. The latter are the deeds that are close to halal; in this case, makruh is the opposite of mandub.

A person who commits a makruh tahrimi deed is reproached but a person who commits a makruh tanzihi deed is not reproached. A person who abandons both deeds is praised. (Ibnu'l-Humam, ibid, VIII/80-91 ff.; Abu Zahra, Usulu'l-Fiqh, Daru'l-Fikri'l-Arabi, n.d., p.45, 46)

Karahah Times

There are five period of times called makruh times. It is forbidden to do some kinds of worshipping at those times.

Uqba b. Amir al-Juhani narrates the following:

"The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) prohibited us from performing prayers and burying our dead people at three time periods: from the sunrise to the sun's going up about one or two spears long, from the time the sun is perpendicular to us at noon to the time it starts moving to the west, from the time the sun turns yellow to sunset." (Muslim, Musafirin, 293; Abu Dawud, Janaiz 51; Tirmidhi, Janaiz, 41; Nasai, Mawaqit, 31, 34, Janaiz, 89; Ibn Majah Janaiz, 30; Darimi, Salat, 142).

The three time periods mentioned in the hadith above are as follows:

a. From the time the sun rises to forty or forty-five minutes after it.

b. When the sun is perpendicular to our heads. 

c. From just before the sunsets when our eyes are not dazzled to the time when the sun sets. 

In those three karaha times, no missed fard prayers, no wajib prayers like witr, no janazah prayers and no prostration of tilawah can be performed. Otherwise, they need to be performed again. 

However, if the afternoon prayer of that day has been started before the sun sets, it is completed. If the sun rises while performing the morning prayer, that prayer is invalidated. It needs to performed again afterwards.

There are two more time periods that affect supererogatory prayers only.Abu Said al-Khudri narrates:

"I heard the the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) say, 'There is no prayer after performing the morning prayer until the sun rises. There is no prayer after the afternoon prayer until the sun sets.'" (Ahmad b. Hanbal, Musnad, I/19, II/42, III/95).

It is makruh to perform supererogatory prayers in these two time periods. It is not makruh to perform fard and wajib prayers. It is permissible to perform janazah prayers and tilawah prostrations.

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