When we look at the practical legislative rulings, we look at them from two angles. The first is (تكليفي) which is what requires a servant to perform or abandon an action or to choose between two actions. These are the Shari'ah commands which come from Allaah, the Sublime. The second is (وضعي), which refers to situational circumstances that underlie the Shari'ah commands and which bring them into effect.
As for those which are (تكليفي), they are waajib, mandub, mubaah, makruh and haraam. And the explanation of each is as follows:
- waajib: that which has been firmly requested from the mukallaf (the one charged with responding to and abiding by the legislative commands) as an imposition . A person is rewarded for doing and punished for abandoning.
- mandub: that which has been requested from the mukallaf but not as firm injunction. A person is rewarded for doing but not punished for abandoning.
- mubah: that in which the mukallaf has been granted a choice, to do or to leave. A person is neither rewarded nor punished for doing or abandoning (subject to the intention behind the act).
- makruh: that which the mukallaf has been requested to abandon but not as a firm injunction. A person is rewarded for abandoning but not punished for doing.
- haram: that whose abandonment has been requested firmly, decisively, as an imposition. A person is punished for doing and rewarded for abandoning.
All legislative rulings in the Shari'ah do not fall outside of these five.
As for those which are (وضعي), then they are sabab (cause), shart (condition), maani' (barrier), rukhsah (concession), sihhah and butlaan (validity and invalidity). And the explanation of each is as follows:
- sabab (cause): that which the legislator has made as an indication of its effect and tied its presence to the effect and its absence to the absence of its effect. For example, the entrance of the time (when the sun sets) is a cause of the effect which is the prayer (of Maghrib) becoming obligatory. So here, the sunset is a cause underlying a legislated act whose ruling becomes waajib when that cause is present. When that cause is not present, its effect, the ruling, does not exist
- shart (condition): that whose presence a particular ruling depends on for its application and whose absence necessitates the absence of that ruling. For example, being married is a condition for the applicability of divorce. When this condition is not present, the applicability of divorce is non-existent.
- maani' (barrier): that whose presence necessitates the absence of a ruling or the invalidation of the cause (sabab) that brought that ruling into effect in the first place. For example, murder necessitates the absence of the ruling or the invalidation of the cause that brought the ruling into effect. When one who inherits kills one whom he would inherit from, the ruling (of inheritance) will not apply, and the original cause (sabab) of the ruling (a category of blood relation for example) is invalidated.
- rukhsah (concession): what has been legislated in order to grant concession and make affairs easy for the mukallaf in certain specific situations that require such a concession. For example, the ill person (or traveller) being allowed to break the fast.
- sihhah and butlaan (validity and invalidity): The meaning of sihhah (validity) is that certain legislative consequences and effects follow on from it and the meaning of butlaan (invalidity) the absence of legislative consequences and effects following on from it. These are effectively rulings that fall upon actions requested from the mukallaf. When a person performs actions requested in the Shari'ah, then depending on the presence or absence of various causes and conditions, those actions might be judged as being valid or invalid. If they are valid, the legislative consequences follow (such as reward) and if they are invalid, the legislative consequences do not follow.
Refer to (الملخصات الفقهية الميسرة) "Simple, Summarized Fiqh Principles" (Imaad Ali Jumu'ah, 1434H, Dar al-Nafaa'is).