Prohibitions that are taken too lightly
English Translation
Book by Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid

We seek refuge with Allah from the evil of our own souls and from our evil deeds. Whomever Allah guides will never be led astray, and whomever Allaah leaves astray, no-one will guide.

Allah, has laid down obligations which we are not permitted to ignore, and has set limits which we are not permitted to transgress, and has set out prohibitions which we are not allowed to violate.

The Prophet (saws) said: "Whatever Allah has permitted in His Book is allowed, and whatever He has prohibited is forbidden; whatever He has remained silent about is a concession, so accept the concession of Allaah, for Allaah is never forgetful." Then he recited the aayah: ". . . and your Lord is never forgetful" [Maryam 19:64]. (Reported by al-Haakim, 2/375; classified as hasan by al-Albaani in Ghaayat al-Maraam, p. 14)

The things which have been prohibited are the boundaries or limits set by Allaah:

". . . And whosoever transgresses the set limits of Allaah, then indeed he has wronged himself . . ." [al-Talaaq 65:1]

Allaah has issued a threat to the one who transgresses His set limits and violates His prohibitions, as He says (interpretation of the meaning):

"And whosoever disobeys Allaah and His Messenger, and transgresses His limits, He will cast him into the Fire, to abide therein; and he shall have a disgraceful torment." [al-Nisaa' 4:14]

Avoiding that which has been forbidden is a duty, because the Prophet (saws) said: "Whatever you have been prohibited to do, avoid it, and whatever you have been commanded to do, do as much of it as you can." (Reported by Muslim, Kitaab al-fadaa'il, hadeeth no. 130, Abd al-Baaqi edition).

It is well-known that some of those who follow their desires, who are weak at heart and have little knowledge, become irritated when they hear lists of prohibitions. They grumble and mutter, "Everything is haraam, you haven't left us anything that is not forbidden! You make our lives boring and miserable. You don't talk about anything but what is haraam, but religion is supposed to easy, not strict, and Allaah is Forgiving and Merciful."

In response to such remarks, we say: Allaah, may He be glorified, rules as He wills and there is none to put back His judgement. He is All-Wise and Aware, and He allows whatever He wills and forbids whatever He wills, may He be glorified. One of the basic principles of our being His slaves is that we should accept whatever He decrees and submit fully to it. His rulings stem from His knowledge, wisdom and justice, and are not the matter of frivolity or foolish whims, as He says (interpretation of the meaning):

"And the Word of your Lord has been fulfilled in truth and in justice. None can change His words. And He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower." [al-An'aam 6:115]

Allah has explained to us the governing principle behind the allowing and prohibiting of various things (interpretation of the meaning):

". . . He allows them as lawful al-tayyibaat [(i.e., all good and lawful) as regards things, deeds, beliefs, persons, foods, etc.], and prohibits them as unlawful al-khabaa'ith [(i.e., all evil and unlawful) as regards things, deeds, beliefs, persons, foods, etc.] . . ." [al-A'raaf 7:157].

So what is good and pure is halaal, and what is evil and unclean is haraam.

The right to determine what is halaal and what is haraam belongs to Allaah alone. Whoever claims this right or affirms it for someone else is a kaafir whose extreme kufr places him beyond the pale of Islam, as Allaah says (interpretation of the

Furthermore, no-one is allowed to speak about matters of halaal and haraam except those who have knowledge of the Qur'aan and Sunnah (The renouned Islamic Scholars). Allah has issued a stern warning to those who speak about halaal and haraam with no knowledge (interpretation of the meaning):

"And say not concerning that which your tongues out forth falsely: 'This is lawful and this is forbidden,' so as to invent lies against Allaah. . . ." [al-Nahl 16:116]

Things which are definitively forbidden have been clearly stated in the Qur'aan and Sunnah, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

"Say: 'Come, I will recite what your Lord has prohibited you from: Join not anything in worship with Him; be good and dutiful to your parents; kill not your children because of poverty - We provide sustenance for you and for them; come not near to al-fawaahish (shameful sins, illegal sexual intercourse, etc.) whether committed openly or secretly; and kill not anyone whom Allaah has forbidden, except for a just cause (according to Islamic law). This He has commanded you that you may understand." [al-An'aam 6:151]

The Sunnah also mentions many prohibitions; for example, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:

"Allaah has forbidden the sale of wine (intoxicants), dead meat, pork and idols." (Reported by Abu Dawud, 3486; see also Saheeh Abi Dawud, 977).

"Whatever Allaah has forbidden, its price is also forbidden." (Reported by al-Daaraqutni, 3/7; it is a saheeh hadeeth).

Allaah has also mentioned that which is forbidden with regard to marriage, as He says (interpretation of the meaning):

Allaah, Who is Merciful towards His slaves, has permitted innumerable good things, of many kinds. He has not described the permitted things in detail because they are so many; in contrast, He has described the prohibitions in detail because they are limited, so that we will be aware of them and can avoid them. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

It is a part of His Mercy that He has made all things halaal in principle, except where there is proof (daleel) that they are haraam. This is part of His generosity and bounty towards His slaves, for which we must obey him, and give praise and thanks.

When some people hear a detailed list of the things that are haraam, they become alarmed about the rules of Sharee'ah. This is due to their weak faith and poor understanding of Islaam. One cannot help wondering whether these people really want to be given a list of every type of thing that is halaal, so that they can be convinced that Islam is easy! Do they need for us to enumerate every type of good thing so that they can rest assured that Islam will not make their lives dreary?

I wonder what would happen if we were to explain all this in detail to them. "And what is wrong with these people that they fail to understand any word?" [al-Nisaa' 4:78]

As regards their claim that Islaam is easy, this is true, but they are twisting the truth to try and prove something that is false. What is meant by saying that Islaam is easy is not that it is in accordance with their desires and opinions, but that is it easy in accordance with what the Sharee'ah has brought. There is a huge difference between violating prohibitions by making false claims about Islam being easy - although it is easy, beyond any doubt -

In addition to the above, the Muslim should realize that one principle underlies all the prohibitions in Islam: Allaah is testing His slaves by means of these prohibitions, to see what they will do. One of the things that distinguishes the people of Paradise from the people of Hell is that the people of Hell indulge in the desires with which the Fire is surrounded, whereas the people of Paradise patiently endure the hardships with which the Garden is surrounded. Were it not for this test, the obedient would not be distinguished from the disobedient. People of faith look at the difficulties involved from the perspective of the reward they will earn by pleasing Allaah, so obedience becomes easy for them. The hypocrites, on the other hand, view these difficulties as a matter of pain, suffering and deprivation, so obedience becomes a heavy burden on them.

By foregoing what is prohibited, the obedient person gains much more: whoever forsakes something for the sake of Allaah, Allaah will compensate him with something better, and he will enjoy the sweet taste of faith in his heart.

I ask Allaah to guide me and my Muslim brothers, and to help us to adhere to the limits which He has set and to avoid the things that He has prohibited, and to save us from our evil deeds. And Allaah is the Best to guard, and He is the Most Merciful of those who show mercy.

Allowing what Allaah has forbidden and forbidding what Allaah has allowed, or believing that anyone has the right to do so except Allaah, or referring matters for judgement to jaahili (non-Islamic) courts freely and by choice, and believing that this is permissible. Allaah has mentioned this form of major kufr in the Qur'aan (interpretation of the meaning):

Allah described the mushrikeen as (interpretation of the meaning): ". . . [those who do not] forbid that which has been forbidden by Allaah and His Messenger and those who acknowledge not the religion of truth . . ." [al-Tawbah 9:29]

And Allaah said (interpretation of the meaning): "Say: 'Tell me, what provision Allaah has sent down to you, and you have made of it lawful and unlawful.' Say: 'Has Allaah permitted you (to do so), or do you invent a lie against Allaah?'" [Yoonus 10:59]

Other widespread forms of shirk are:

Sitting with hypocrites and wrongdoers to enjoy their company or to keep them company:

Many of those who do not have strong faith deliberately sit with people who are immoral and sinful. They may even sit with those who attack the Sharee'ah and make fun of Islam and the people who adhere to it strictly. There is no doubt that this is a forbidden deed, one which could undermine a person's belief. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

"And when you see those who engage in a false conversation about Our Verses, stay away from them till they turn to another topic. And if Shaytaan causes you to forget, then after the remembrance sit not in the company of those people who are the zaalimoon (polytheists and wrongdoers, etc.)" [al-An'aam 6:68]

In that case it is not permitted to sit with them, even if they are closely-related or are very kind and good company, except for the purposes of da'wah or refuting their false talk. But accepting and remaining quiet about their conduct is not permitted. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

"They (the hypocrites) swear to you (Muslims) that you may be pleased with them, but if you are pleased with them, certainly Allaah is not pleased with the people who are al-faasiqoon (rebellious, disobedient to Allaah)." [al-Tawbah 9:96]

Zinaa - fornication and adultery:

One of the aims of Islamic sharee'ah is to preserve honour and lineage, so zinaa (unlawful sexual intercourse) is forbidden. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

"And come not near to unlawful sexual intercourse. Verily it is a faahishah (a great sin) and an evil way (that leads to Hell unless Allaah forgives)" [al-Israa' 17:32]

Sharee'ah blocks all the ways and means that could lead to zinaa, by enjoining hijaab and lowering the gaze, and by forbidding being alone with a non-mahram woman, etc.

The married man who commits adultery deserves the worst kind of punishment, which is stoning to death, so that he may taste the results of his deeds and so that every part of his body may suffer just as every part of his body enjoyed the illicit liaison. The fornicator who was previously unmarried is to be punished with the maximum number of lashes mentioned in sharee'ah, which is 100 lashes, in addition to the scandal of this punishment being witnessed by a group of believers, and the humiliation of being banished from his city and the scene of his crime for one full year.

In Barzakh, the punishment for men and women who were guilty of zinaa is that they will be in an oven whose top is narrow and whose bottom is wide, with a fire beneath it, and they will be naked therein. When the heat of the fire increases, they will scream and rise up until they nearly come out of the top, then when the fire decreases, they will fall back down. This will repeated over and over until the onset of the Hour.

What is even worse is when a man continues to commit adultery even when he grows old, death approaches and Allaah gives him the opportunity to repent. Abu Hurayrah reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "There are three to whom Allaah will not speak on the Day of Resurrection, nor praise, nor look at; theirs will be a painful torment: an old man who commits zinaa, a king who lies, and a poor man who is arrogant." (Reported by Muslim, 1/102-103). Among the worst of incomes is the earnings of a prostitute which she takes before committing zinaa, and the immoral woman who earns her living by selling herself is deprived of having her prayers answered when the gates of heaven are opened at midnight. (The hadeeth is in Saheeh al-Jaami', 2971) Being in need or being poor are not acceptable excuses for transgressing the limits set by Allaah. There is an old saying that the free woman would rather starve than eat by displaying her breasts, so how about her private parts then?

Nowadays all the doors of immorality have been opened, and Shaytaan and his supporters have made it very easy for people to commit sin. This has been followed by the spread of tabarruj (wanton display) and unveiling among women, people allowing their gazes to wander to things they should not look at, an increase in mixing between the sexes, the popularity of immoral magazines and lewd films, increased travel to corrupt countries and the establishment of a market for prostitution, an increase in the violation of honour, and an increase in the number of illegitimate births and abortions.

O Allaah, we ask you to show us Your mercy and to protect us from immorality; we ask You to purify our hearts and to keep our private parts chaste, and to place a barrier between us and what is haraam