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بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Facebeook Ameer QA

 Answer to Question
Any Matter that is not Fully Implemented Prohibits Leaving What is Easy from it
To Abu Umar
(Translated)

Question:

O honorable Ameer, Assalam Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh,

May Allah protect you and open all goodness through your hands

How true is this Sharia principle, and is it permissible to infer from it gradual implementation of the Sharia rules?

"ما لا يدرك كله لا يترك ما تيسر منه" “Any matter that is not fully implemented prohibits leaving what is easy from it.” May Allah reward you with goodness.

Answer:

Wa Alaikum wa Rahmatu Allahi wa Barakatuh,

First of all, may Allah bless you for your kind prayers for us, and we pray for you as well.

You are asking about two matters: the first: What is the validity of the Shariah principle that says, “Any matter that is not fully implemented prohibits leaving what is easy from it,” and the second one: you are asking if it is permissible to infer from it the gradual implementation of the rules of Sharia. The answer to that is the following:

First: With regard to your question about the validity of the rule, “Any matter that is not fully implemented prohibits leaving what is easy from it”:

1. This saying has several forms circulating in the books of the scholars, and they are similar: “Any matter that is not fully implemented, prohibits leaving all of it”, “Any matter that is not fully implemented prohibits leaving most of it”, “Any matter that is not fully implemented prohibits leaving small portions of it”, “Any matter that is not fully implemented prohibits leaving what is less that it”, “Any matter that is not fully implemented prohibits leaving parts of it”. In addition to the form that came in your question: “Any matter that is not fully implemented prohibits leaving what is was easy from it” ... and some call it a proverb or a saying while others describe it as a Sharia principle... In fact, it is as if it was on the tongues of some people as if it was a hadith from the Prophet, peace be upon him, which made the muhaddith of Al-Sham during his days Ismael bin Muhammad bin Abd al-Hadi al-Jarrahi al-Ajluni al-Dimashqi, Abu al-Fida, who died in 1162 AH, mentioned it in his book: “Revealing invisibility and removing ambiguity from the hadiths that are well-known on the people’s tongues” and he says about them: [Any matter that is not fully implemented, prohibits leaving all of it, is in the meaning of the verse: (فَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ مَا اسْتَطَعْتُمْ) “So, observe taqwa (total obedience to Allah in awe of Him) as far as you can,” [TMQ At-Taghabun:16] and the hadith: «اتَّقِ اللهَ مَا اسْتَطَعْتَ» “Fear Allah as much as you can.” The wording of the translation is a principle, not a hadith.]

Likewise, it was mentioned by Ahmad bin Abdul-Karim Al-Ghazi Al-Amiri [deceased in 1143 AH] in his book, “Thorough Effort in the Explanation of What is not a Hadith”, stated: [Any matter that is not fully implemented, prohibits leaving all of it, is a principle and not a hadith and it is in the meaning of the verse: (فَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ مَا اسْتَطَعْتُمْ) “So, observe taqwa (total obedience to Allah in awe of Him) as far as you can” [TMQ At-Taghabun:16].

2. By examining the matter, it becomes clear that the reference to the saying “Any matter that is not fully implemented, prohibits leaving all of it” is to the Sharia principle that says (the easy part of any matter is not cancelled due to its difficult side), that is, it is another expression of the principle (the easy part of any matter is not cancelled due to its difficult side), and the latter is a principle mentioned in the books of Sharia principles with its evidences, for example, Al-Suyuti says in Al-Ashbah and Al-Natha‘er: [The thirty-eighth principle: “The easy part of any matter is not cancelled due to its difficult side.” Ibn al-Subki said: and it is one of the most well-known principles deduced from what he (peace be upon him) said:

«إذَا أَمَرْتُكُمْ بِأَمْرٍ فَأْتُوا مِنْهُ مَا اسْتَطَعْتُمْ» “If I command you to do something, do as much of it as you can.”] Al-Zarkashi mentioned it in his book, Al-Manthur fi Al-Qawa‘id, so he said: [The easy part of any matter is not cancelled due to its difficult side: this goes back to the principle of ability to some origin], and he explained it and explained its limits when talking about the subject of “the portion that one is able to do, is it obligatory”.

3. The scholars have inferred for the principle (the easy part of any matter is not cancelled due to its difficult side) or its other equivalent (any matter that is not fully implemented, prohibits leaving all of it) or to the subject of (the portion that one is able to do, is it obligatory). They cited that from Allah, the Most High saying: (فَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ مَا اسْتَطَعْتُمْ)“So, observe taqwa (total obedience to Allah in awe of Him) as far as you can,” [TMQ At-Taghabun:16] and the hadith:

«إذَا أَمَرْتُكُمْ بِأَمْرٍ فَأْتُوا مِنْهُ مَا اسْتَطَعْتُمْ» “If I command you to do something, do as much of it as you can.” [Narrated by Al-Bukhari in his Sahih on the authority of Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him].

They represented this with detailed examples to clarify the reality of these rules. He mentioned many in the book Al-Ashbah wa Al-Nathai‘r many branches that we will mention some:

[“The easy part of any matter is not cancelled due to its difficult side"... and its branches are many: one of them: if some of the limbs were amputated then the remaining parts must be washed. Among them: the one who is able to cover parts of Sutrah, covers the part that he definitely can, and another one: the one able to recite some of Surah Al-Fatiha must recite it in prayers without dispute...and including: if one is unable to ruku‘ (bowing) and sujood (prostrating) without standing he must perform ruku‘ and sujood without dispute among us... including: the one who only has less than Saa‘ for Zakat Al-Fitr then one still must give as this the correct opinion...]

4. From a study of what the scholars have represented for the principle, “The easy part of any matter is not cancelled due to its difficult side” and its counterparts, it becomes clear that they connote by the principle that the specific ruling that is commanded by Sharia is that if the person is unable to perform some of the matter because of one’s inability to do so, i.e. because of its difficulty, then his performance of the rest of the commanded action does not fall from him, but rather he must perform what he can do from the action he is commanded because the one who is obligated is legally required to perform from the commanded what he is able according to the texts of the Qur’an and Sunnah...

(فَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ مَا اسْتَطَعْتُمْ) “So, observe taqwa (total obedience to Allah in awe of Him) as far as you can,” [TMQ At-Taghabun:16] and the hadith:

«إذَا أَمَرْتُكُمْ بِأَمْرٍ فَأْتُوا مِنْهُ مَا اسْتَطَعْتُمْ» “If I command you to do something, do as much of it as you can.”

For example, the worshiper must read Al-Fatihah in full in every rak’ah. If a person embraces Islam and wants to pray, but he does not know of Al-Fatihah except some of it, is he obliged in his prayer to recite the verses that he knows from Al-Fatihah, or should he stop reciting Al-Fatihah altogether because he does not know some of its verses? The answer to that according to this rule is that he has to read what he knows from Al-Fatihah, and it is not correct for him to leave reading it, because the easy part (reading verses that he knows from Al-Fatihah) is not cancelled due to the difficult part (reading verses that he does not know from Al-Fatihah)...

For example, the one who is obligated to perform ablution must wash his hands up to the elbows, but if his palm is cut off, is he obligated to wash the rest of his hand, or is washing the rest of the hand waived because he cannot wash part of the hand (the palm)? The answer to that according to this rule is that washing the rest of the hand (the east part) is obligatory, even if washing the hand is excused (the difficult part), because the easy part is not cancelled due to the difficult part...Thus, the subject of this principle, according to scholars, is the Shari’ ruling that is commanded. So if the obligated is not able to perform some of it because it is difficult for them, then the obligation to perform the required action is not waived from him.

5. The principle “The easy part of any matter is not cancelled due to its difficult side” and its counterparts are not rigid principles, they are correct in some areas and incorrect in others, for example, whoever is not able to fast part of a day in Ramadan, he does not have to continue fasting the rest of the day and be as if he fasted that day with a pretext, the easy part of any matter is not cancelled due to its difficult side, but he rather breaks his fast and makes up for the fast of the day he missed...Thus, it appears that these rules are not consistent, so it is valid to apply them in some cases and not to apply them in other cases, and their application requires diligence in studying the reality to be applied to it and knowing the relevant Sharia rulings... The scholars have noticed that these principles are not rigid:

a- Al-Suyuti has mentioned in Al-Ashbah wa Al-Nathai‘r the following: [Caution: out of this principle emerged several issues: including: the one who can only afford some amount to free a slave doesn’t free a slave but he moves to the next substitute without dispute. And it has been directed that combining a partial amount of freeing a slave fasting two consecutive months, combining between the substitute and initial action, and combining fasting one month with freeing half of the amount of freeing a slave would lead to reducing the Atonement, which is prohibited, and that the Legislator said: (فَمَنْ لَمْ يَجِدْ) “And whoever does not find one” [TMQ An-Nisa: 92]. The one who can only afford some of the amount of freeing a slave is equivalent to the one who hasn’t found a slave...and among it: Fasting part of a day instead of the whole day, doesn’t require him to continue holding the fasting.]

b- Likewise, Al-Zarkashi explained this matter in Al-Manthur Fi Al-Qawa‘id and said: [Matters that are partly possible to do, are divided into four parts in terms of obligation:

One of the them is that which is absolutely obligatory, like when a person praying was only able to recite some of Al-Fatiha than he must complete that prayer with what he can.

The second: is that which is obligatory upon the healthy...and if he has wounds on his body that prevent him from using water, then the math’hab (what he has to do) is wash the healthy part and perform Tayamum on the wounded part...

The third: is that which is not absolutely obligatory, like if he found in the arranged atonement a partial amount of freeing a slave, then it is absolutely not obligatory because the Shariah intends him to complete freeing a slave as much as possible; ... then he moves to the substitute...

The fourth: is that which is not obligatory upon the healthy, like when a person who needs to perform ablution and can’t find water but instead found snow, or hail and it wasn’t possible to melt it, then according to the math’hab he doesn’t need to wipe his head; because the order of arrangement is obligatory, and this cannot be used on the head before performing tayammum on the face and hands...]

Thus it appears that the aforementioned rule(s) are not absolutely correct and are not absolutely wrong, rather they are correct and straightforward in some areas and incorrect in others.

Second: With regard to the inference of the principle (any matter that is not fully implemented prohibits leaving what is easy from it) or (the easy part of any matter is not cancelled due to its difficult side) on the subject of gradualism in the application of the rules of Sharia:

The inference of these principles on the permissibility of gradual application of the rules of the Sharia is a kind of confusion in people and a form of slandering the religion of Allah (swt), because there is absolutely no room for inferring these rules on the gradual implementation of Sharia from several angles:

1- The meaning of gradual application of the Shariah rulings is that part of the Shari’a rulings are applied in some matters and the rulings of Kufr are applied in others, such as making marriage contracts in accordance with the rulings of Islam but allowing usury, adultery and drinking alcohol, and making the punishment for the thief amputation of his hand and no punishment is put in place for the adulterer or for the one who drinks wine...The real meaning of the gradual application of the rulings of the Sharia is to rule by the rulings of Kufr in specific issues instead of ruling by the Sharia, and this is undoubtedly far from the subject of the principle (any matter that is not fully implemented prohibits leaving what is easy from it) because this principle says that the act that is commanded by Sharia must be performed in parts that are found easy if doing the rest of the others is not possible due to the lack of ability, hence the principle does not say that it is permissible to do the forbidden or to implement Kufr when one is not able to perform the commanded...

2- These rules talk about the commanded action, and not the prohibited action, for the commanded action is to implement the Shari’a, and as for the application of other than the Shari’a, it is undoubtedly forbidden, rather it is one of the greatest sins, so how can this rule be inferred that the rules of Kufr may be applied? Isn't this strange?!

3- Those who talk about the gradual implementation of the rulings mean by this; the ruler’s gradual implementation of the Shariah, and nothing should prevent the ruler from implementing the Shari’a, so the issue of inability should not be mentioned in his regard, because he is the ruler. For example, what prevents a Muslim ruler from implementing all the rulings of Sharia instead of applying the rulings of Kufr in most areas of life? Isn't he the actual ruler of the country? So why does he not apply the rulings of the Sharia, but rather submits to the rulings of Kufr? Is the reality of the ruler like a person who is unable to stand in prayer because of his illness, so he is pardoned from that obligation of standing and prays the prayer without standing? Where is the similarity between them?!

4- Before and after all of that, the Shariah texts that he inferred for these principles do not indicate gradualism at all:

a- So when Allah’s (swt) says: (فَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ مَا اسْتَطَعْتُمْ) “So, observe taqwa (total obedience to Allah in awe of Him) as far as you can,” [TMQ At-Taghabun:16].

It does not imply the opposite, i.e. it is not understood from the verse that piety is not enjoined when it is not possible, but on the contrary, the verse indicates the necessity of exerting all efforts in attaining piety and adhering to Allah's commands and prohibitions, and Imam al-Tabari highlighted this meaning in his interpretation, saying:[...His (swt) saying: “So, observe taqwa (total obedience to Allah in awe of Him) as far as you can,” Allah Almighty says: O believers, beware of Allah and fear His punishment, and avoid His punishment by performing His obligations and avoiding His disobedience, and doing what brings you closer to Him as much as you are able to and within your reach and power.]

Ibn Ashour excelled in his interpretation of Al-Tahrir wa Al-Tanweer when he addressed this verse with an explanation. He said: [...(فَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ مَا اسْتَطَعْتُمْ وَاسْمَعُوا وَأَطِيعُوا وَأَنْفِقُوا خَيْراً لِأَنْفُسِكُمْ وَمَنْ يُوقَ شُحَّ نَفْسِهِ فَأُولئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ) “So, observe taqwa (total obedience to Allah in awe of Him) as far as you can, and listen and obey, and spend (in Allah’ s way), it being good for you. And those who are saved from the greed of their souls are the successful”.

The Arabic letter ‘Faa’ is eloquent and explains the latter, i.e. if you know this fear Allah in all matters that require piety... and the words following fear Allah are omitted to deliberately generalise with regard to piety in all cases mentioned and others so that this speech is like the appendix because its content is more general than the previous content. Since piety in the mentioned affairs and other things may expose its owner to shortcomings in implementing it in order to satisfy the lust of the self in many of the conditions of those things.

The issue of piety was further emphasized by saying: as far as you as you can. And the Arabic letter ‘Ma’ is circumstantial, i.e. the duration of your ability will prevail in all times, and conditions would prevail according to all the times and would include all types of abilities so they do not give up on their piety in any moment in times. Also, times have been made as circumstances for ability lest they don’t fall short in implementing something they can do in matters that they have been commanded to have piety in, as long as it would not come out of the ability limit and move into the hardship limit...] END.

The noble verse clearly indicates the necessity of exerting effort in fearing Allah, glory be to Him, and not deviating from His commands and prohibitions, as far as the Muslim is able to do so with utmost commitment, and it does not in any way indicate gradualism, that is, the permissibility of applying the rulings of Kufr in parallel to the rulings of the Shari’a. Rather, it requires adherence to the entire Sharia to the utmost degree of commitment.

The noble hadith that was used as evidence for the aforementioned principles is as narrated by Al-Bukhari in his Sahih on the authority of Abu Hurairah who narrated that the Prophet (saw) said,

«دَعُونِي مَا تَرَكْتُكُمْ إِنَّمَا هَلَكَ مَنْ كَانَ قَبْلَكُمْ بِسُؤَالِهِمْ وَاخْتِلَافِهِمْ عَلَى أَنْبِيَائِهِمْ فَإِذَا نَهَيْتُكُمْ عَنْ شَيْءٍ فَاجْتَنِبُوهُ وَإِذَا أَمَرْتُكُمْ بِأَمْرٍ فَأْتُوا مِنْهُ مَا اسْتَطَعْتُمْ»

“Leave me as I leave you, for the people who were before you were ruined because of their questions and their differences over their prophets. So, if I forbid you to do something, then keep away from it. And if I order you to do something, then do of it as much as you can.” The hadith says with regard to prohibitions that they must be avoided, for forbidden matters must inevitably be avoided, and as for commands, they are those that are linked with ability, and there is no doubt that the implementation of the rulings of Kufr (along with the rulings of Islam) under the pretext of gradualism is one of the matters that the Sharia forbade with conclusive evidence, for Allah (swt) says:

(وَمَنْ لَمْ يَحْكُمْ بِمَا أَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ فَأُولَئِكَ هُمُ الْكَافِرُونَ)

“And those who do not judge by what Allah has revealed are ˹truly˺ the disbelievers” [TMQ Al-Ma’ida: 45]

(وَمَنْ لَمْ يَحْكُمْ بِمَا أَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ فَأُولَئِكَ هُمُ الظَّالِمُونَ)

“And those who do not judge by what Allah has revealed are ˹truly˺ the wrongdoers” [TMQ Al-Ma’ida: 46]

(وَمَنْ لَمْ يَحْكُمْ بِمَا أَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ فَأُولَئِكَ هُمُ الْفَاسِقُونَ)

“And those who do not judge by what Allah has revealed are ˹truly˺ the rebellious” [TMQ Al- Ma’ida: 48]

(وَمَا كَانَ لِمُؤْمِنٍ وَلَا مُؤْمِنَةٍ إِذَا قَضَى اللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ أَمْراً أَنْ يَكُونَ لَهُمُ الْخِيَرَةُ مِنْ أَمْرِهِمْ وَمَنْ يَعْصِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ فَقَدْ ضَلَّ ضَلَالاً مُبِيناً)

“It is not for a believing man or a believing woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decided a matter, that they should [thereafter] have any choice about their affair. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger has certainly strayed into clear error.” [TMQ Al-Ahzab: 36]

Therefore, the hadith does not in any way indicate the permissibility of negligence in the arbitration of Sharia and the application of the rulings of Kufr on the pretext of gradualism, because ruling by other than what Allah (swt) has revealed is one of the forbidden matters and prohibitions that the hadith necessitated to avoid. Upon this, the inference of this rule for the gradual implementation of the rulings of the Sharia is a false inference that is not based on any evidence at all.

Your brother,
Ata Bin Khalil Abu Al-Rashtah

05 Rabii’ Al-Akhir 1443 AH
10/11/2021 CE

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