Refuting claim that Islam is a difficult religion
Fatwa No: 367456

  • Fatwa Date:22-12-2017 - Rabee' Al-Aakhir 4, 1439
  • Rating:


Assalaamu alaykum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuhu. This question is about buying items from a seller when we do not know for sure about the origin of the products. I am a programmer; a lot of my business concerns computers. Here, spare parts are imported from another country. There are rumours that one of the parts which I got was imported from the black market, but I cannot verify this. My questions are:
1. Is it permissible for us muslims, to buy these computer parts, whether we know about the origins of the items or not?
2. Has my income become haraam merely because I may have used a computer that I bought from the black market? What should I do with this computer?
3. Why is Islam always making things difficult? -I have received a motorbike as a gift from conventional banks, but I cannot used it because of interest. -I cannot put my money in conventional banks again because of interest. (Putting it in an Islamic bank? Try that in Canada.) -I cannot watch Hollywood movies. -I cannot have a business related to google ads because that includes many haram items. -I cannot listen to music nor watch TV with music in it, even if it is useful (like the news). -I have to go to the masjid five times a day, regardless of the weather. -Muslims scholars often confuse me by saying that something is haram while others say that it is halaal. Islamic teachings really making my life so difficult compared to Christians teachings.
Please give me a clear explanation for these matters. May Allah reward you.


All perfect praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

The Islamic Shariah is based on facilitation and the removal of hardship and inconvenience. This is stated in the texts of the Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ).

In the Quran, Allah, the Almighty, says (what means):

- {Allah does not intend to make difficulty for you.} [Quran 5:6]

- {Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship.} [Quran 2:185]

- {And Allah wants to lighten for you [your difficulties]; and mankind was created weak.} [Quran 4:28]

- {Allah does not charge a soul except [with that within] its capacity.} [Quran 2:286]

The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) summarized this meaning, as he said:

- 'The most beloved religion to Allah is the easy Haneefiyyah (monotheism)." [Ahmad and Al-Bukhaari in Al-Adab Al-Mufrad - Al-Albaani graded it as Hasan (good)]

- "Verily, the religion is easy, and whoever overburdens himself in religion will not be able to continue in that way." [Al-Bukhaari]

- "Make matters easier (for people), and do not make it hard for them; and give them good tidings, and do not make them turn away (from Islam)."

- "The best of your religion is that which is the easiest, the best of your religion is that which is the easiest." [Ahmad and Al-Bukhaari in Al-Adab Al-Mufrad - Al-Albaani graded it as Saheeh (sound)]

The scholars determined that among the comprehensive rules in Islamic jurisprudence is the rule that says, "Hardship brings about facilitation."

Accordingly, when some people find certain rulings to be difficult, distressful, and excessively hard, this is due to either of the two following probabilities:

- They were wrong in their judgment, and they did not realize the aspects of facilitation in those rulings and their favorable effect and good consequences.

- Their attribution of these rulings to the Islamic Shariah is a mistake and misunderstanding, or these rulings are among the issues subject to a difference of opinion among scholars!

What the dear Brother mentioned in the question belongs to either of these two probabilities.

Among the examples of the first probability: forbidding interest involves obvious wisdom and benefits; this was determined by the specialists in this field and by rational people, even from among the non-Muslims. If this is so, then why would the prohibition of dealing with interest, partaking in it, benefitting from it, and helping in it be surprising? Please, refer to fatwa 121306.

Although a Muslim is forbidden from depositing his money in interest-based banks, this forbiddance is removed in case of necessity, such as fearing that one’s money might be stolen while he does not find a place wherein he can securely deposit it except in an interest-based bank. In this case, it becomes permissible for him to deposit his money in it, but it should be in a current account, without any interest. Please, refer to fatwa 90054. Likewise, if someone has an urgent need that can only be fulfilled by owning an account in a specific interest-based bank, such as when the employer stipulates that the salary be paid through an account in a particular bank, he may open a current account for this purpose, but he should withdraw his money or transfer it to an Islamic bank, if available.

As regards the acceptance of gifts from interest-based banks, such as a motorbike, then accepting it is a matter of difference of opinion among the scholars, and there are many details in this regard, because the activities of the banks are varied; they involve what is lawful and what is unlawful. Dealing with someone who has ill-gotten money and accepting his gift is a detailed issue. Perhaps the most correct opinion is that what has to be taken into account is whether his money is mostly lawful or mostly unlawful. If it is mostly unlawful, then it is not allowed to accept his gift, and vice versa.

Some scholars held that the unlawfulness affects the person who earned the unlawful money only and not the person who deals with him, because the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) dealt with the Jews and ate their food while they dealt in interest.

Another example of the first probability: Islam prohibited women from exposing their adornment and dressing immodestly, and it prohibited all aspects of dissoluteness and immorality – what is apparent of it and what is concealed. The wisdom of this is obvious as well; just one look at the conditions of the societies where this is widespread is enough to confirm that this is true. Since this is the case, then what is strange about forbidding a Muslim from watching movies that call to vice, spread immorality, poison the minds, and stimulate forbidden lusts, whether they be from Hollywood or otherwise? If there are movies that call to virtue and are free from such evils, then many contemporary scholars stated that it is permissible to produce them and watch them.

A similar issue is that of musical instruments. Forbidding them does not constrain a sound soul; rather, it liberates it from the constraints of music, the control of desires, and the inclination to the pleasures of this worldly life. It frees the soul from what distracts it from the path of truth that requires seeking beneficial knowledge and doing good deeds.

The fact that music is widespread and present in most of the corrupt areas of the media does not mean that it is not possible to do away with it. Every useful and beneficial thing – such as following the news, for example – can be achieved without having to listen to music.

It should be noted that the Shariah allowed some types of musical instruments in some occasions, to give people lawful entertainment. Ad-Dahlawi said in Hujjatullahi Al-Baalighah:

"Musical instruments are of two kinds: forbidden, which are the instruments that induce emotional transformation, like the flute; and permissible, which is the Duff (a tambourine-like instrument without bells) and singing in the Waleemah (wedding banquet) and other happy occasions. As for songs sung by camel drivers, it is originally meant to urge the camels to move faster, but what is meant here is the general singing with composing a melody and rhythm; it is permissible, as it is a casual practice that does not amount to entertainment."

As for the second probability, among its examples is: using Google ads or other websites; this is not forbidden in itself. If a Muslim makes an ad that is free from Shariah violations, then there is nothing wrong with advertising it on Google or other websites. The Muslim is only held responsible for his own acts. If he advertises on Google, his responsibility is limited to his ad; as for the rest of Google ads, it is those who made them who will be asked about them.

Another example is the belief that it is obligatory to go to the mosque five times a day regardless of the weather. This is not the ruling of the Shariah; rather, it is only an illusion. There are excuses that permit a person to stay at home and not attend the congregational prayer, such as rain, mud, and strong wind on a cold, dark night.

Ibn Qudaamah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said in Al-Kaafi:

"A man is excused for missing the congregational prayer and the Friday prayer for eight reasons: …the third and the fourth are rain and mud: It was narrated that Ibn 'Abbaas said to his mu'aththin on a rainy day, 'After saying, Ash-hadu anna Muhammadan Rasoolullah', do not say, 'Hayy 'alas-Salaah' (come to the prayer), but say, 'Pray in your houses.'" The mu'aththin did as told, but the people disliked it. Thereupon, Ibn 'Abbaas said, 'It was done by someone better than me (meaning the Prophet). Without a doubt, the Friday prayer is compulsory, but I dislike to put you to hardship by bringing you out walking in mud and slippery soil.' [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim] The fifth reason is strong wind on a cold, dark night: this is relevant to the congregational prayer. Ibn 'Umar may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) used to order someone to call the athaan and then say afterwards, 'Pray in you dwellings, pray in your dwellings,' when it was a cold night, or when it was raining on a journey." [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]

Some scholars stated that the strong wind on a dark, cold night does not only allow missing the congregational prayer in the mosque; rather, it also makes it permissible to combine prayers. Ibn ‘Abbaas, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated, "The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) prayed seven units of prayer and eight units in Madeenah; i.e. he combined the Thuhr and ‘Asr prayers (eight units) and the Maghrib and ‘Isha' prayers (seven units)." [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim] Ayyoob As-Sakhtiyaani said to Jaabir, "Was it on a rainy day?" He replied, "I think so."

Ibn ‘Abbaas, may Allah be pleased with him, also narrated, "The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) combined the Thuhr and ‘Asr prayers without being in a state of fear or on a journey in Madeenah." [Muslim] Abu Az-Zubayr said, "I asked Sa‘eed as to why he did that, and he replied, 'I asked Ibn ‘Abbaas the same question that you asked me, and he replied, 'So that he would not put his nation through hardship.''"

It is for this reason that some scholars stated that it is permissible to combine the prayers for a need while resident [not travelling], on condition that this is not taken as a habit. Imaam An-Nawawi said in Sharh Saheeh Muslim, "A group of scholars held that it is permissible to combine the prayers while in residence for a need provided that a person does not take this as a habit."

Therefore, the belief that it is obligatory to go to the mosque five times a day regardless of the weather is incorrect.

Another example of the second probability is what you mentioned at the beginning of your questions, which is the belief that it is forbidden to buy goods in the black market and the prohibition of earning from this! Actually, if a person owns a commodity, it is permissible for him to sell it in the black market or otherwise, provided that there is mutual agreement between the buyer and the seller and provided that the defects in the commodity, if any, are not concealed.

Allah says (what means): {O you who have believed, do not consume one another's wealth unjustly but only [in lawful] business by mutual consent.} [Quran 4:29]

The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said, "The buyer and seller have the choice as long as they are still in the place of the contract; if they [both parties] spoke the truth and described the defects (and condition of the goods), then they would be blessed in their transaction, but if they told lies or hid the defects, then there will be no blessings in their sale transaction." [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]

The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) also said, "Sale is indeed by agreement (consent)." [Ibn Maajah – Al-Booseeri and Al-Albaani classified it as Saheeh]

As-San'aani said in Sharh Al-Jaami' As-Sagheer, 'This hadeeth means that the valid sale which is Islamically accepted and on which transferring the ownership is valid is the sale by which the seller willingly agrees that its ownership is conveyed from him (to the buyer), and the buyer willingly agrees that its ownership is conveyed to him (from the seller). Based on this hadeeth, the sale of a person who is forced is not islamically valid. "

If we presume that the purchase of goods from the black market is prohibited – when the Muslim ruler prohibits it for an obvious public interest – then what is known thereof is forbidden, but what is unknown to the buyer to be from the black market is not forbidden; the sin is borne by its owner and, in principle, a Muslim is free of guilt (unless proven otherwise).

Shaykh Ibn Taymiyyah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said:

"The money that is stolen or possessed by impermissible contracts, then if a Muslim knows about it, he avoids it. If I know that a person stole money or betrayed another person who entrusted him with his money or usurped it by taking it by force from him without right, it is not acceptable for me to take it from him … If his situation is unknown; then the unknown is like the nonexistent; and, in principle, what is in the hands of a Muslim is his property if he claims that it is his property. If I do not know the source of that money which he owns, then I act upon the principle [that it is lawful money]. If he had usurped that dirham while I do not know that he usurped it, then what is unknown is like that which is nonexistent … As regards the Muslim whose source of wealth is unknown, then there is no suspicion in regard to dealing with him in principle, and whoever avoids dealing with him out of fear that his money might be unlawful, then he has indeed introduced a Bid‘ah (religious innovation) for which he has no evidence in religious texts." [Taken from Majmoo‘ Al-Fataawa]

Thus, it becomes clear to you that the teachings of Islam do not make matters difficult; rather, they make matters disciplined and balanced.

As for making a comparison between the teachings of Islam and the teachings of Christianity, then this is incorrect for many reasons that cannot be detailed here in this fatwa, but we would like to point out two matters:

First: the prevailing situation in the West is not a divine law in principle. It is neither Christianity nor any other religion; rather, it is a secular system that is subject only to human desires. Besides, the Christian religion does not have any legislation to start with. It was supposed to follow the legislation of the Torah, because it is the Old Testament in which the Christians believe. But many years after the Christ ascended to heaven, they invented teachings, such as making the consumption of alcohol and pork permissible, which is originally forbidden in the Torah.

Secondly: There are many things in which Islamic law is characterized by easiness and flexibility in comparison to the teachings of the Christians, as is well known to someone who has knowledge of the teachings of the Church. In general, the teachings of Islam remove inconvenience and hardship, as we mentioned at the beginning. It is enough to state the saying of Allah, describing Prophet Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ): {…whom they find written in what they have of the Torah and the Gospel, who enjoins upon them what is right and forbids them what is wrong and makes lawful for them the good things and prohibits for them the evil and relieves them of their burden and the shackles which were upon them.} [Quran 7:157]

For more benefit, please refer to fatwa 351106.

Allah knows best.

Related Fatwa