Rafed English

Ridiculing the shari‘ah

Adapted from: "The Uprising of Ashura and Responses to Doubts" by: "‘Ali Asghar Ridwani"

Some say that entrusting the application of the shari‘ah in some instances to common sense will result in deriding and making fun [istihza’] of the shari‘ah. And because it is incumbent upon every Muslim to protect the honor of the shari‘ah, it is therefore clear that the issue of applying the shari‘ah in all its aspects should be entrusted to none other than Allah.


Making fun of something is of several kinds:

1. Derision which is not right and so null and void

This type of istihza’ is not of concern because it involves mockery of something that is right and just in one ideology but misunderstood by those of other ideologies. For instance, sometimes people of other religions or ideologies ridicule or sneer at Islamic acts of servitude like prayer. This type of derision does not prove any deficiency or defect in the believers or in Islam itself.

2. Customary derision

This type of derision is a result of social differences in different environments and common practices that pertain to them.

The actions of every group of people depend on their interpretation of their environment, but it is always possible to find other groups of people who understand things in a very different way. However, these differences should not make us prohibit the application of what we understand to be the truth.

3. Derision in a true sense

Some kinds of derision have true aspects and will therefore lead to true violation of the honor of the shari‘ah and the religion. However, reason is capable of perceiving this kind of derision, because it is a matter of distinguishing decency from indecency. Therefore, in instances where the application of the general instance leads to real derision and scorn, we condemn and forbid such practices.

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