Friday, April 27, 2012

Fiqh Medic Part 1

Date        : 30th March 2012
Time        : 8.00am - 1.00pm
Place       : Lecture Theatre 2, IMU
Speaker  : Ustaz Ismat Nazirin bin Mat Isa 

What is MAQASID SYARIAH (The Objectives of Islamic Law)? 

The main objective of Islamic Law is to “protect the benefit (of the individual and the community) and to facilitate the improvement and perfection of the conditions of human life on earth” that includes “eliminating prejudice, alleviating hardships and establishing justice”. The Quran and Sunnah is the perfect guidance to life in this world. From it, His Mercy and Compassion (Rahmah) is widely manifested in every word of the Quran and in every action of the Prophet saw. 

It is important for us to grasp the concept of the Maqasid Syariah as to ensure that all our actions and the decision we make is based on a firm understanding of the Syariah (Islamic Law) as implicated in the Quran and Sunnah. Allah does not create His Laws if not for the benefit of His Servants. 

The Classification of Benefit (Maslahah); Divisions of the Maqasid 

Firstly, the Daruriyyah (the essentials). “These are seen as absolute requirements to the survival and spiritual well-being of individuals, to the extent that their destruction or collapse would precipitate chaos and the demise of normal order in society”. In other words, the Islamic Law orders us to pay an extra attention towards 5 matters. These are: 

1. Faith (Islam) 
2. Life 
3. Intellect 
4. Lineage 
5. Property 

The calling for Jihad is an example of protecting our faith or religion whilst Qisas is a way for us to protect our life. Allah forbids us to drink liquor and take drugs as these acts puts our intellect at risk. Allah told us to stay away from any acts of adultery as to protect our lineage. He also forbids us to steal or look for income in the wrong way and this was all in order for us to protect our property in this world. 

The second benefit is known as the Hajiyyah (the complementary). These are the “benefits that seek to remove severity and hardship in cases where such severity and hardship do not pose a threat to the very survival or normal order”. One of the matters that falls under this category is rukhsah or concessions; which clearly reflects Allah’s Rahmah on His servants. A good example of this is the foregoing of fast by the sick or the shortening of Salah for the traveler. “A complimentary Maslahah may be raised to the rank of the essential Masalih (Daruriyyah) where it concerns the public at large, for example the shortening of Salah at battlefield.” 

The third benefit is the Tahsiniyyah (the desirable or embellishments) where there is “further refinement and perfection in the customs and conduct of the people, at all levels.” Good examples of acts are voluntary fasting and supererogatory prayers. 

It has to kept in mind though; in any event of contradiction between two Masalih, it is advisable to sacrifice the lesser benefit whilst assuring that prevention of evil is prioritized over the awareness of the benefit when making a decision. 

The Legal Maxims of Islamic Law (QAWA’ID FIQHIYYAH) 

1. Acts are judged by the intentions behind them (Al-umuru bi-maqasidiha): This is where Muslims are required to demonstrate consistency in faith and practice, and in words and deeds. The acts performed by two individuals may be the same, but the intention behind the act itself will determine its standing in Allah’s judgement. 

2. Harm must be eliminated (Ad-dararuyuzal): This is where unlawful acts are to be prevented irrespective of benefit. For example, a healthy person is prohibited to donate an organ (that he needs to survive) to other people while he himself is still alive. 

3. Certainty is not overruled by doubt (Al-yaqinu la yazulubish-shakk): Whereby the Islamic Law requires an individual to be firmly assertive in the act that he or she is performing as long as it is not against what the Quran and Sunnah states. 

4. Custom is the basis of judgement (Al-addatumuhakkamatun):Certain customary rules may be allowed provided that it is not contradicted with the Shariah, the act is current and is used predominantly by the people in that area. 

5. Hardship begets facility (Al-mashaqqatutujlab at-taysir): Islam is not a religion of burden; it encourages all Muslims to perform religious and righteous acts within his/her full capability. Though there are certain rules and conditions that must be followed of this relaxation in terms of difficulty or hardship (refer to Quran 2:173). 

The Declaratory Law or Secondary law in the USUL FIQH of Islam has many branches and two of them are Azimah and Rukhsah. Azimah is a strict general rule that has been imposed and Muslims are obliged to perform acts that fall under this category. For example, each Salah falls on its own specific range of time and Muslims are obliged to follow them accordingly. On the contrary, Rukhsah is a concessionary law whereby in specific conditions, Muslims are given exemptions or relaxation due to certain reasons. From the Quran, verse 2:185 clearly gives an example of how a certain obligatory act as a Muslim is given relaxation in performing it due to some impediment. 

As soon-to-be medical practitioners, we must always keep in mind that patients are in a state of emergency (Darurat), therefore certain obligatory acts has to be given some relaxation. This is clearly explained together with the fifth Legal Maxims of the Islamic Law; Hardship begets facility. 

The first FIQH MEDIC mostly discusses on various conditions which hinders the patient’s ability to perform a complete perfect ibadat; from the act of performing ablution to Salah itself. Here are some of the examples of cases: 

Q: The patient’s wounds are covered with a bandage at a site of ablution. How can the patient perform a perfect ablution? 
A: The patient should perform ablution normally and skip the area that is covered by bandage. Water should only reach areas of the skin which is visible. If patient is having a difficulty in performing ablution from a water tap, the medical practitioner may assist the process using a normal spray bottle. This is fairly helpful as the water for ablution would still be flowing on the skin and is able to cover a large surface area at any one time. 

Q: If a patient is having a colostomy bag (which contains his urine or feces), would the ablution be valid? 
A: Yes, as long as there is no leakage from the bag. Nevertheless, the patient has to ensure that the rest of his clothing is free of any excrement. A suspicious stain is considered as excrement if its colour, smell and taste is similar to a normal excrement. 

Q: If the patient is wearing clothes that has stains of blood and he has no other extra clothing, are his prayers valid? 
A: If the blood is still flowing, according to The Schools of Syafie, the patient has to stop the bleeding first, then, he or she may continue to pray or perform a new ablution. Though if the patient clearly has no other outfit, then he is allowed to pray in the outfit that he has on provided that it tallies with the requirement of the Islamic Law (not showing any aurat). 

Q: If the patient is not allowed to have water on his skin, how can he perform ablution? 
A: The patient is allowed to perform Tayammum or dry ablution using particles of dust or powder that is literally present on all flat surfaces. It is advisable to use a very fine powder that is visible with the naked eye. A burned patient for example need not have to perform any ablution and he may perform Salah even if some parts of is aurat is seen (as those burned skin cannot be covered with any cloth as it may further cause harm to the delicate skin). 

Q: What is the various position of Salah that is available for different conditions of patients? 
A: A patient capable of standing up should perform his Salah while standing up. If he is incapable to do so, then he may sit. If performing Salah by sitting is hard, then the patient should lie on his right side and pray. If all else fails, or the patient is unable to perform these positions of Salah, then he may lie flat on the bed and perform prayers. Nevertheless, Salah should be performed in a way that one is able differentiate between qiam, ruku’ and sujud. 

Q: If a women is in labour (bear in mind that giving birth to the first child can be as long as 19hours); can she still performs Salah? 
A: There are three types of bleeding (discharge) which makes it ‘haram’ for women to perform Salah. These are the haid (monthly menstrual period), wiladah (the blood that comes out with the baby) and nifas (the thick reddish blood discharge that comes out after labour). If there is any other blood than the ones stated; provided that the labour hours are long and the mother is able tolerate with the labour condition, then it is advisable for her to perform Salah. Nevertheless, if the mother is not in a state of clear thinking due to intense amount of pain, then it is forgiven for her as giving birth is also part of Jihad.


1.   Notes and Presentation prepared by Ustaz Ismat Nazirin bin Mat Isa
2.   Al-Maqasid Al-Shari’ah (The Objectives of Islamic Law) written by Mohammed
      Hashim Kamali (a Professor of Law at the International Islamic University Malaysia)
3.   Qawa’id Al-Fiqh (The Legal Maxims of Islamic Law) written by Mohammed Hashim
      Kamali (a Professor of Law at the International Islamic University Malaysia)

Prepared by,
IMU Fiqh Medic 2012


Post a Comment