MAKROOH AND ITS MEANING?
THE REALITY OF MAKROOH TAHRIMI AND MAKROOH TANZIHI
WHAT IS MAKROOH?
“Imaam Abu Yusuf said: ‘I said to Imaam Abu Hanifah: When you say about something: ‘It is Makrooh to me’, then what do you mean thereby?’ He (Imaam Abu Hanifah) said: “Tahreem” (i.e. It is haraam). (Shaami, Vol.1, Page 225)
There seems to be much confusion on the meaning of Makrooh amongst the masses. Many people treat the word Makrooh lightly. They show scant regard for acts which are described as “Makrooh” in the Shariah by certain authorities. Many people also do not understand that Makrooh acts are Haraam which means impermissible. They regard ‘Makrooh’ acts to be Halaal and permissible whereas Makrooh acts are sinful acts. They also have a very dangerous attitude of trivialising the abhorrent, evil and sinful status of Makrooh acts. They belittle ‘Makrooh’ acts. This attitude according to the Shariah is termed ‘Istikhfaaf’. Moreover, a mind-set of ‘Istikhfaaf’ is an attitude of Kufr. It is dangerous for one’s Imaan.
THE CAUSE OF CONFUSION
The cause of the confusion and the corrupt attitude of the public regarding the word Makrooh is the lack of proper and adequate Ta’leem on this important issue. Most of the public knows a lot about Haraam sports such as cricket and soccer, but they do not know much about Halaal-Haraam Masaail(rulings) and are also not interested in learning the Haq (truth) with specific reference to such Masaail. Moreover, when the Haq is placed before them, then they behave like ignoramuses and they display their true colours of being Islamically uneducated. They don’t want to accept the truth because of their addiction to Makrooh acts (which, in reality, are practically Haraam).
Another important cause for the misunderstanding of the meaning and purport of Makrooh, is the jahaalat (ignorance) of some Ulama, especially the Ulama-e-Soo’. These Ulama-e-Soo’ mislead the public with their misinterpretation of the actual meaning of Makrooh along with their excessive usage of the word Makrooh. They also play a devilish role in diminishing the importance of abstaining from Makrooh acts as well as in the desensitization of the perpetration of Haraam acts which are described by some Ulama as Makrooh.
Some people incorrectly believe that Makrooh Tanzihi is permissible. There is a difference between (Mubah) permissible and Makrooh Tanzihi which demands abstention. The fact that Makrooh Tanzihi culminates into Makrooh Tahrimi which, in reality is Haraam, should be a sufficient deterrent for a person to abstain from all acts described as Makrooh Tanzihi. Thus, it should not be difficult to understand that Makrooh acts are impermissible – whether Tanzihi or Tahrimi.
Makrooh Tahrimi and Haraam are basically the same. The word Makrooh Tahrimi is merely a technical term. Whilst it is technically declared as Makrooh Tahrimi, it is practically a Haraam act. The word “Tahrimi” means Haraam. When the Fuqaha use the word ‘Makrooh’, they mean ‘Makrooh Tahrimi’ which is practically Haraam. Thus, every act which is described by our Fuqaha as “Makrooh”, is an act which is Haraam upon the Ummat.
APPLICATION AND USAGE OF THE WORD HARAAM FOR MAKROOH TAHRIMI
Makrooh Tahrimi acts are Haraam. Any Makrooh Tahrimi act could be declared and in fact should be with the term Haraam. Some people are of the misconception that it is wrong to describe Makrooh Tahrimi acts as Haraam. The following texts of the Fuqaha will clear the issue Insha Allah:
- And it is correct to apply the designation of haraam on it (i.e. Makrooh Tahrimi). – Bahrur Raaiq.
- Every Makrooh in the Book of Karaahiyyat is Haraam according to Imaam Muhammed. And it is the closest to Haraam according to Imaam Abu Hanifah and Imaam Abu Yusuf Rahimahumullah. And that is why we describe most Makrooh actions as Haraam! – Tuhfatul Mulook.
- Moreover, it is mentioned in Bahr that it is saheeh (100% correct) to use the word hurmat (haraam) for Makrooh Tahrimi as it (the mas’alah) appears in Hidaayah. – Durarul Hukkaam.
Even Allamah Shaami states that the word Haraam could be used for Makrooh Tahrimi acts. In Minhajus Sulook, Allamah Aini clearly explains that since Imaam Muhammed regards every Makrooh as Haraam, we declare Makrooh acts as Haraam. The Fuqaha use the word Haraam copiously for Makrooh acts. A few examples follow:
- As far as selling monkeys is concerned, Allamah Kaasaani and Allamah Zaila-ee’ use the word Haraam.
- On the issue of which parts of an animal, one may not eat, Allamah Kaasaani, Allamah Shaami and Fataawaa Hindiyyah use the word Haraam.
- With regards to trade and business at the time of Jumu’ah, Allamah Margheenaani – Saahibe Hidaayah and Allamah Abu Bakr Raazi state that business at this time is Haraam.
These were a few examples which show that our Fuqaha use the word Haraam to describe Makrooh Tahrimi acts. There are thousands of examples to support this argument. The severity and reprehensibility of ‘Makrooh Tahreemi’ has constrained our Fuqaha to refer to such acts as being Haraam. When our Fuqaha themselves use the word Haraam for Makrooh acts, then why should it be difficult to understand that all Makrooh acts are impermissible and practically Haraam. It is also clear that only an ignorant person has the potential and capability of making the following stupid statement: “In this instance, one must be careful not to make haram something which is Makrooh.” Makrooh is Haraam!!!
THE SIN OF MAKROOH
It is necessary to state that Makrooh Tahrimi acts are not acceptable acts. The consequence of the perpetration of Makrooh Tahrimi is the Fire of Hell. In Shaami, Vol. 5, page 213, it is stated as follows:
“Every Makrooh, i.e. Karaahat-e-Tahreem is Haraam, i.e. it is like Haraam in punishment with the Fire according to Imaam Muhammad (rahmatullah alayh).”
In other words, the effect of perpetration of Makrooh Tahreemi is identical with the effect of perpetration of Haraam. The consequence of both is Uqoobat bin Naar (punishment with the fire). Can any intelligent person now claim that Makrooh Tahreemi is acceptable? Can anyone find Uqoobat bin Naar acceptable?
Shaami states in Vol. 1, page 79:
“Makrooh Tahreemi is that which is closest to Haraam (i.e. the technical meaning of Haraam). Imaam Muhammad has named it Haraam Zanni. ………In Sharhul Muniyah it is said that when they (the Fuqaha) use Makrooh alal itlaaq (i.e. without specifying whether Tahreemi or Tanzeehi) then it means Tahreem (Makrooh Tahreemi).”
The kutub of Fiqah are replete with masaa-il which technically are Makrooh Tahreemi, but which are described with the term “Haraam”. Thus, the averment or assumption that Makrooh Tahreemi is acceptable is totally baseless. It is haraam to perpetrate an act which is Makrooh Tahreemi. The punishment for such perpetration is the Fire of Jahannum. This is the Ijma’ of our Fuqaha.
CRITICIZING MAKROOH ACTS
Let it be clear that since Makrooh acts are practically Haraam, they will be condemned just as how technical Haraam acts are condemned. Technicalities are not meant to create confusion. One needs to understand the technical terms of Fiqh. The fact that a technical Makrooh act is Haraam in practical terms and that a Makrooh act leads one to the Fire is enough to constrain us to criticize all Makrooh acts. Why should we not prohibit and criticize Makrooh acts when we know that Makrooh acts will take us, our brothers and our sisters to Jahannam? Is this the type of concern (fikr) Muslims have today for others? We don’t care about Makrooh acts which are in fact Haraam! We don’t care about our Muslim brother/sister who is committing a Makrooh act which will take him/her to Hell-Fire? Have we become so insensitive?
The term Makrooh is a technical term. Despite its literal meaning of reprehensibility, it is a Haraam act. Technical terms portray and convey a technical meaning. It is highly unacademic and unintelligent to translate technical words in a literal way which is meant to confuse the ignorant and unwary public. “The consequence of both Makrooh and Haraam is Naar (Hell Fire).”
There is simply no need to juxtapose the term Makrooh with Haraam in a manner to neutralize the effect of the prohibition. For practical implementation, Makrooh and Haraam are on par. Both lead to the Fire of Jahannum. Ulama who speak on the meaning of Makrooh need to be properly versed in the field of Fatwa. What is Makrooh is Haraam as far as implementation is concerned.
STAY FAR AWAY FROM MAKROOH!
When the technical term Makrooh is used, it implies the same meaning as practical haraam. The difference in academic terms does not concern the masses. There is no need to labour a futile exercise by venturing in the technicalities of Fiqh. The message which Muslims should understand is that it is not permissible to perpetrate Makrooh acts. Whether such impermissibility is dubbed Makrooh or haraam is superfluous. However, it has become necessary to abstain from using the term Makrooh to describe an impermissibility because the ulama-e-soo’ have corrupted the minds of the masses. In the understanding of the masses, Makrooh means permissible, albeit a permissibility which brings a slight frown. This understanding is absolutely baatil and destructive for the Imaan of the masses. Makrooh may not be spun to bamboozle the Muslim community by diverting the minds of Muslims from the prohibition of consuming what is Makrooh – reprehensible in their own interpretation. The brains which seek to make acceptable for Muslims what is even literally reprehensible are indeed reprehensible and deranged.
- Makrooh acts are Haraam acts.
- Makrooh may be described as Haraam. In fact, all impermissible acts should be declared Haraam.
- Makrooh acts must be criticized and condemned.
- Committing a Makrooh act leads one to the Fire of Jahannam.