“PROHIBITION AND PERMISSIBILITY”
Translated by Suheil Laher from
Kitab al-Hazr wal-Ibaha in “Mukhtasar al-Quduri“
(a summary-text of Hanafi law), with some re-arrangement and editing.
Rulings presented are as inferred from Qur’an and Sunnah by scholars of the Hanafi school.
DISCLAIMER: Information presented here is for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as a call to perform or abstain from any specific action mentioned in the text. Religious decisions should be taken with due care and thought, after reading and investigating, but also after consulting with reliable people of knowledge – who are aware of one’s particular circumstances – and then pondering and exercising one’s conscience.
1. It is not permissible for men to wear silk, but it is permissible for women.
- There is no harm in reclining on it according to Abu Hanifah. Abu Yusuf and Muhammad said : It is
repugnant to recline on it.
2. There is no objection to wearing pure silk in war according to the two of them, but it is repugnant according to Abu Hanifah.
3. There is objection to wearing [clothing made of] a blended fabric if its warp is silk and its weft is cotton.
‘Blended fabric’ here refers to an interlaced or interwoven fabric, with warp and weft not of the same material.
“Warp” is the set of threads held in tension on a loom.
“Weft” is the set of threads interlaced with the warp.
2.1 Jewelry and Decorations
1. It is not permissible for men to use jewelry of gold,
2. Nor [may they wear jewelry of] silver excepting:
- a ring
- [decorations of] a belt
- the decoration of a sword from silver.
3. It is permissible for women to use jewelry of gold and silver.
4. It is repugnant to make a [minor] boy wear gold and silk.
5. It is disliked to mark verses in tens in the mushaf, and [also] to add diacritical dots [when
not needed for correct reading].
6. There is no objection to decorating the mushaf, [nor to] engraving mosques and decorating them [on
the outside] with gold-water.
1. It is not permissible to eat, drink, use oil or perfume from vessels of gold or silver, neither for men nor for women.
- It is permissible to drink from a silver-decorated vessel according to Abu Hanifah, and [similarly] to
ride on a silver-decorated saddle and to sit on a silver-decorated bed [provided one avoids contact with the areas of silver]
2. There is no objection to using vessels of glass, crystal or cornelian.
[“Cornelian” is a reddish-white variety of quartz.]
3.1 Looking at Women
1. It is not permissible for a man to look at a stranger-woman, except at her face and hands. But, if he
did not consider himself safe from lust, he may not look at her face except out of need.
- [But] it is permissible for
- the judge, when he wishes to pass judgement over her
- the witness, when he wishes to testify concerning her
- [the suitor, when he is considering proposing marriage to her]
to look at her face, even if he fears he may experience lust.
- It is permissible for the doctor to look at the afflicted spot on her.
- The [regulation] of a eunuch regarding looking at a stranger-woman is like [the regulation for] a
2. A man may look at his mahram’s (i.e. permanently umarriageable female relatives’) face, head, chest,
shins and arms, but he may not look at their back or belly. There is objection to touching what it is permissible to look at [of the mahrams] [for a legitimate reason, i.e. provided there is no fear of lust or other inappropriate consequences].
3. A man may look at his wife [entirely] including [even] her genitals.
- One may not practise coitus interruptus with his wife except with her permission.
4. A woman may look at that [much] of another woman that a man may look at of another man.
3.2 Looking at Men
1. A man may look at all of the body of another man except for what is between his navel to his knee.
2. It is permissible for a woman to look at that [part] of a man which another man may look at.
3. It is repugnant to employ the service of eunuchs [if that involves perpetuation of the
practice of castration, which is a prohibited act of mutilation]
- There is no harm in castrating cattle, nor in mating a donkey with a horse.
2. It is permissible to accept, in [the matter of] a gift or permission, the word of a child or servant.
3. The word of a transgressor is acceptable in transactions [and other mundane matters]
4. Only the word of a morally upright (`adl) person is acceptable in religious matters.
1. Hoarding of staple-foods of humans and cattle is repugnant, if that is in a land in which hoarding harms
2. One who hoards the produce of his [own] estate, or what he has imported from another land, is not [termed] a hoarder.
3. It is not appropriate for the ruler to regulate prices for people [as long as they do not reach the level
of exploitation, which is harmful to the public interest]
4. It is repugnant to sell weapons in times of fitna [i.e. turmoil (in which the side of truth is unclear) or sedition (in which there is unjustified rebellion against a legitimate ruler and one is selling weapons to the rebels)]
5. There is no [judicial] objection to selling juice to someone whom it is known will produce wine from it [but notwithstanding the absence of worldly prosecution, the seller might still be sinful in the spiritual domain].