Hadith clarification: Please clarify hadith
As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)
One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
(There may be some grammatical and spelling errors in the above statement. The forum does not change anything from questions, comments and statements received from our readers for circulation in confidentiality.)
In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is none worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.
Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 3.267 Narrated by An Numan bin Bashir
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said "Both the halaal (lawful) and the haraam (unlawful) things are (made) obvious, and in between them are (suspicious) doubtful matters. So whoever forsakes those doubtful things lest he may commit a sin, will definitely avoid what is clearly unlawful; and whoever indulges in these (suspicious) doubtful things bravely, is likely to commit what is clearly illegal. Sins are Allah's Hima (i.e. private pasture) and whoever pastures (his sheep) near it, is likely to get in it at any moment."
Because the laws of Islam were scripted 1400+ years ago and is a complete code of life for all people and for all times and ages, it is obvious that sometimes things may arise or happen which cannot be clearly be classified as 'haraam' or 'halaal'; but rather fall in a gray area between the two. One may find any number of things, acts, or inventions as examples.....from the advent of modern schools and colleges to the advent of motels and hotels, from modes of travel to the forms of modern entertainment, or inventions like the radio, telephones, cameras, television, movies, etc....or from the food or clothing available to man to even the modern methods of trading and banking!
It may very well be that some amongst these variations cannot be classified and clearly lawful or unlawful in the context of the prescribed 'Shariah Law', and it would be upto the scholars and the jurists in Islam to determine whether that thing is closer to the 'halaal' and therefore permissible or closer to the 'haraam' and a thing to be avoided by those who sincerely fear Allah and the Last Day.
The guidance of the above quoted beautiful hadith portrays a picture whereby life as we know it is visualized with a pre-defined border or boundary. Every thing or act which is declared 'halaal' or lawful in determined to be within the borders, and every thing or act which is declared as 'haraam' or unlawful is determined to be beyond these boundaries set by Allah and His Messenger (saws).
For the things or inventions unto which is difficult, or at least doubtful, to be classified as clearly 'lawful' or 'unlawful', the hadith guides that these things can be compared to a shepherd who constantly tries to graze his flock of sheep near the boundaries which mark the outer limits of his pastures where it is possible that some amongst his sheep might stray onto lands which do not belong to him.
The hadith guides that if one encounters an act or a thing which one determines to be doubtful, it would be best to abstain from it, lest it be closer to the 'haraam' than the 'halaal'........for that then would be closer to piety and righteousness in the Sight of the Lord Most Majestic.
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is only ones. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.
Your brothers and well wishers in Islam,
Members of Islamhelpline