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It is important that we are acquainted with some of the terminologies used by FUQAHA in relation to Islamic laws. The divine laws are divided by them in two groups: TAKLIFI and WADH'EE.

TAKLIFI laws are WAJIB, HARAM, MUSTAHAB, MAKROOH and MUBAH. These are five aspects of Islamic laws which a Muslim has to keep in mind while discharging his obligations.

In Islam, every human act will fall in one of these five categories. There are acts which are WAJIB, which must be performed as an obligation, like the daily prayers, as opposed to those which are HARAM and forbidden, like speaking lies, being unjust, intoxication, and so on. Then there are acts which are optional. They are recommended acts which are rewarded, but if not performed, no sin is committed. The example is optional prayers (NAFILAH) which either precede or follow the daily prayers. On the other hand, there are certain unworthy acts, i.e. MAKROOH, which a Muslim is advised to avoid, but no sin is committed if he engages in them, like talking about worldly affairs in the Mosque which is supposed to be a place of worship. Besides, there are acts which are MUBAH, meaning permissible acts, doing or not doing of them does not entail any reward or punishment.

Thus, we see that Taklifi laws are based on 'do's' and 'don'ts', enjoining, forbidding, or generally permitting a Muslim.

WADH'EE laws are an amalgam of temporal and divine laws, partly governed by natural or moral duties, like matrimony, proprietorship, contracts and so on.

Adapted from the book: "Fiqh and Fuqaha"

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