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Unformatted text preview: the same time, or asking him to do and not to do something simultaneously. Likewise, an act may be physically impossible, such as ordering a person to fly without the necessary means. No-one may be required to do the impossible, and it makes no difference whether the act is impossible by its nature or whether it is Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence ~ Kamali 300 beyond the capacity of the individual in view of his particular conditions. 128ff; Abu Zahrah, Usul, 250ff.] [61. Shawkani, Irshad, p. 11; Khallaf, `Ilm, p. A corollary of this rule is that no person may be obligated to act on behalf of another person or to stop another competent individual from acting. For this would be tantamount to asking a person to do the impossible. No-one may therefore be legally obligated to pay the zakah on behalf of his brother, or to perform the salah on behalf of his father, or to prevent his neighbour from committing theft. All that one mukallaf may be lawfully expected to do in such situations is to give good advice (nasihah) as a part of his general duty to promote good and to prevent evil to the extent that this is possible for him as a law-abiding citizen. Similarly, no-one may be obligated to do or not to do something in regard to which he has no choice, such as asking someone to act against his natural and biological functions. Thus when we read in the Hadith a command asking the Muslims to `avoid anger [la taghdab]', although the manifest (zahir) terms of this Hadith demand avoidance of a natural phenomenon, what it really means is that the adverse consequences of uncontrolled anger which might lead to taking the law into one's own hands must be avoided. To give another example, the Qur'an orders the believers 'not to despair over matters that have passed you by, nor to exult over the favours that are bestowed upon you' (al-Hadid, 57:23). Pleasure and despair are natural phenomena, and as such they are basically beyond the individual's control. What is really meant here is that one should avoid the consequences of despair such as violence against oneself or another person, and ensure that joy and happiness do not lead to arrogance and contemptuous behaviour. There is, of course, some hardship involved in all obligations. The kind of hardship that people can tolerate without prejudice or injury is not the aim. It is intolerable hardship which the Shari'ah does not impose. The Shari'ah, for instance, forbids continuous fasting (sawm al-wisal), or staying up all night for worship. Furthermore, the Shari'ah has granted certain concessions with a view to preventing hardship to individuals, and it is strongly recommended that they be utilised. This is the purport of the reminder contained in the Hadith that 'God loves to see that His concessions are taken advantage of, just as He hates to see the commission of a sin.' [62. Ibn Hanbal, Musnad, II, 108.] In yet another Hadith we read an address to the believers, who are asked: `fulfill your duties to the extent of your ability', [63. Muslim, Sahih Muslim, p.104,. Hadith no.378.] which obv...
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This note was uploaded on 04/13/2013 for the course ISLAM 101 taught by Professor Islam during the Spring '13 term at Harvey Mudd College.
- Spring '13