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Persisting On A Makrooh Tanzeehi Action Resulting In It Becoming Haraam

Question

What is the proof for the statement that repetition of Makrooh actions result in becoming Haraam?

Answer

To persist on a Makrooh Tanzeehi action does not render it Haraam or Makrooh Tahreemi. We could not find any such rule mentioned in the classical Fiqhi texts by the earlier scholars. Some of the contemporary scholars of this era have made this statement that persistently repeating a Makrooh Tanzihi renders it into a Haraam or Makrooh Tahrimi act, but they have been unable to back this up with references and proofs from the classical texts of Fiqh. 

The Fuqaha have categorically mentioned that Makrooh Tanzeehi does not fall under the category of Haraam rather, it is closer to Halaal and permissible (in spite of it being disliked). Moreover a person committing it won’t be punished, however he will be rewarded for leaving it out. The person doing it knows that to leave it out is better, although by doing it there is no sin. If the proof is not a clear prohibition but only a mere suggestion, it will render it Makrooh Tanzeehi. 

Considering what the Fuqaha have mentioned regarding Makrooh Tanzeehi, it is difficult to say that repeatedly doing such an act will result in it becoming Haraam or Makrooh Tahreemi. For argument’s sake lets take an example; Zaid is repeatedly doing a Makrooh Tanzeehi action and someone comments that this repetition has transformed it into a Makrooh Tahreemi act thereby rendering him to be sinful; however if Umar does the same action for the first time, then what will be said about him, is he sinful or not? The answer is that Umar did a Makrooh Tanzeehi action which did not constitute any sin nor any rebuke. So from this example we can understand that when there is no sin in perpetrating a Makrooh Tanzeehi action once, how can the repetition of the same action raise it to such a high level of Makrooh Tahreemi or Haraam, which constitutes a sin? 

On the other hand, the statement that “to persist on a minor sin results in it becoming a major sin”, is correct as it is proven from the Ibaaraat of the Fuqaha as well as from the following statement of Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Abbaas Radhiyallahu Anhu;

لا كبيرة بكبيرة مع الاستغفار ولا صغيرة بصغير مع الاصرار

“With repentance, no major sin remains a sin (it gets forgiven), and with persistence, a minor sin does not remain minor (but it becomes a major sin).” (Shu’abul Imaan, Hadith: 6882) 

The Fuqaha (May Allah Ta’ala bless them with full reward) use different terms for different actions such as Mubah, Mustahab, Waajib, Makrooh Tahreemi, Makrooh Tanzeehi, etc. Makrooh Tahreemi is an act that is forbidden and doing such an act will constitute a sin. Makrooh Tanzeehi on the other hand (in spite of being disliked and discouraged), is in principle, permissible to carry out and hence does not constitute a sin and cannot be promoted to the category of Makrooh Tahreemi and Haraam in site of its persistence. This is unlike a minor sin that results in it becoming a major sin with persistence. So there is definitely a difference between the two. Once cannot draw an analogy between the two; as a minor sin (in spite of it being a minor sin) is in itself a sin, whereas Makrooh Tanzeehi is not a sin. 

In conclusion, persistence on a minor sin will render it a major sin, since a minor sin in itself is already a sin. Therefore persistence on it will render it a major sin (the point is that it was and remains within the ambit of a sin). As opposed to Makrooh Tanzeehi, since it does not even fall under the ambit of a sin, it cannot be raised up to the level of a sin or a Makrooh Tahreemi act, even if one has to persist on it. 

Note: Makrooh Tanzeehi is an action which is disliked by our Shari’ah. Therefore even though persistence on it will not convert it into a Makrooh Tahreemi or Haraam act, one should not make a habit of doing it, but rather make an effort to abstain from it. This is because it does not behove a Muslim to make a habit of doing something that is disliked by Shari’ah even though it may not constitute a sin.

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Checked and Approved By:

Mufti Muhammed Saeed Motara Saheb D.B.

References

 (قَوْلُهُ فَإِلَى الْحِلِّ أَقْرَبُ) بِمَعْنَى أَنَّهُ ‌لَا ‌يُعَاقَبُ ‌فَاعِلُهُ أَصْلًا، لَكِنْ يُثَابُ تَارِكُهُ أَدْنَى ثَوَابٍ تَلْوِيحٌ، وَظَاهِرُهُ أَنَّهُ لَيْسَ مِنْ الْحَلَالِ، وَلَا يَلْزَمُ مِنْ عَدَمِ الْحِلِّ الْحُرْمَةُ وَلَا كَرَاهَةُ التَّحْرِيمِ، لِأَنَّ الْمَكْرُوهَ تَنْزِيهًا كَمَا فِي الْمِنَحِ مَرْجِعُهُ إلَى تَرْكِ الْأَوْلَى.(شامى/ج6/ص337)

 وأما المكروه فيقال بالاشتراك على أمور ثلاثة أحدها ما نهي عنه نهي تنزيه وهو الذي أشعر فاعله بأن تركه خير من فعله وإن لم يكن على فعله عقاب(المحصول للرازي/ج1/ص104)

ثَانِيهِمَا الْمَكْرُوهُ تَنْزِيهًا، وَمَرْجِعُهُ إلَى مَا تَرْكُهُ أَوْلَى(شامى/ج1/ص132)

 فَإِنْ لَمْ يَكُنْ الدَّلِيلُ نَهْيًا بَلْ كَانَ مُفِيدًا لِلتَّرْكِ الْغَيْرِ الْجَازِمِ فَهِيَ تَنْزِيهِيَّةٌ.(شامى/ج1/ص132)

 أقَالَ ابْنُ الْكَمَالِ: لِأَنَّ الصَّغِيرَةَ تَأْخُذُ حُكْمَ الْكَبِيرَةِ بِالْإِصْرَارِ… أَوْ ‌الْإِصْرَارِ عَلَى الصَّغِيرَةِ فَتَصِيرُ كَبِيرَةً(شامى/ج5/ص473)

لِأَنَّ ‌الْإِصْرَارَ عَلَى الصَّغِيرَةِ كَبِيرَةٌ.(التقرير والتحبيرعلى تحرير الكمال بن الهمام/ج2/ص242)

 عَنْ قَيْسِ بْنِ سَعْدٍ قَالَ: قَالَ ابْنُ عَبَّاسٍ:”لَا كَبِيرَةَ بِكَبِيرَةٍ مَعَ الِاسْتِغْفَارِ، وَلَا صَغِيرَةَ بِصَغِيرَةٍ مَعَ الْإِصْرَارِ”(شعب الإيمان/ج9/ص406/رقم6882)

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