What does Mubah mean?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,


Deeds that Allah and His Messenger left people free to do or not to do. The words halal, “permissible” and “absolute” are used synonymously with mubah. They are deeds that do not necessitate praise or condemnation when they are done or abandoned.

What is essential in things is permissibility. Things about which no decrees were sent are halal. The following is stated in the Quran: “It is He (Allah) Who hath created for you all things that are on earth” (al-Baqara, 2/29); “Do ye not see that Allah has subjected to your (use) all things in the heavens and on earth, and has made his bounties flow to you in exceeding measure, (both) seen and unseen?” (Luqman, 31/20). It is clearly understood from the verses above that what is on earth and in the sky were created for the benefit of people. Things that are not forbidden to be eaten, drunk or used by verses or hadiths are halal and permissible. They are things that are useful for man. Harams are those that are harmful.

That something is permissible and halal is determined through one of the following ways:

1) The presence of a verse or hadith stating that it is halal, such as eating and drinking clean things. The following is stated in the Quran: “This day are (all) things good and pure made lawful unto you. The food of the People of the Book is lawful unto you and yours is lawful unto them” (al-Maida, 5/5).

The permissibility of something is related to the determination of its time and type. For example, it is permissible to choose the time and type of meal. A person can marry a woman who is halal for him whenever he wishes. One can have decent fun. However, it is not permissible for him to spend all his time having fun.

2) Statement that something is not a sin. If it is stated in the verses of the Quran and sound hadiths that there is no problem or drawback to a deed, that deed is halal. The following is stated in some verses: “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 willful disobedience, nor transgressing due limits,- then is he guiltless. For Allah is Oft-forgiving Most Merciful” (al-Baqara, 2/173). “There is no blame on you if ye make an offer of betrothal or hold it in your hearts” (al-Baqara, 2/235); “It is no fault in the blind nor in one born lame, nor in one afflicted with illness, nor in yourselves, that ye should eat in your own houses” (an-Nur, 24/61).

3) The imperative (form) expressing permissibility, not wujub. The following verse can be given as an example: “So, eat and drink of the sustenance provided by Allah” (al-Baqara, 2/60).

4) Absence of any decrees regarding a deed. According to the proof of istishab, “what is essential in things is permissibility”.
The decree on mubah: There is no thawab or sin in doing or not doing it. It is equal whether you do it or not do it (see ash-Shatibi, al-Muwafaqat, Damascus (nd), I,141,142; ash-Shawkani, Irshadul-Fuhul, Cairo 1347 H. p. 6; Abu Zahra, Usulul-Fiqh, p. 57 ff.; az-Zuhayli, al-Fiqhul-Islami wa Adillatuh, Damascus 1405/1985, I, 53; Zakiyuddin Sha’ban, Usulul-Fiqh, Transl. İbrahim, Kafi Dönmez, Ankara 1990, p. 220 ff).


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