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Fundamental Prohibitions

Reference : Dr Javed Jamil

A Systematic Study of the Holy Qur’an-15

Fundamental Prohibitions



As has already been detailed, Islamic Constitution is three-dimensional with equal emphasis on rights, duties and prohibitions. In Islam there is no unlimited freedom of choice. Freedom of choice is limited to choice among the good, pure and healthy things and practices. The choices that endanger life, spread chaos or undue disparity in society or cause harm to self or others are either totally prohibited or restricted depending upon their relative impact. Except for Shirk, which is related to spiritual domain, all other prohibitions are related to health, family or social peace.


The time has now proved that the most glaring deficiency of almost all the prominent systems is that they emphasise only upon fundament rights, underscore fundamental duties and altogether ignore fundamental prohibi­tions. This two-dimensional approach is inadequate in maintaining order in society. Besides, it is inherently dan­gerous, as it unleashes forces of evils and exploitation. No society can maintain order and tranquillity unless it has its sets of restrictions. Its members must not only claim for their own rights, but must also be duty-bound to help in its survival and development and they must not be in a position, even if they want, to do what is expressly detrimental for society. A three-dimensional approach is therefore mandatory if the totally paralysed and redundant legal system has to be rejuvenated. The two-dimensional constitu­tions, without any express provisions of fundamental prohibitions, guarantee rights only for the strong and those rights of the weak that the strong seek to exploit. The three-dimensional approach, on the contrary, with explicit Fundamental Prohibitions, is a guarantee for the rights of all the members of society includ­ing the weak and the underprivileged. Fundamental Prohibitions must be aimed at ensuring the same trio of objectives -- Individual Health, Family Peace and Social Order, the three essential components of Grand Peace.


The modern approach is influenced by economic fundamentalism that seeks to commercialise both strengths and weaknesses of human beings. In order to commercialise weaknesses, it is necessary that “prohibitions” should be totally prohibited and greater emphasis should be given to rights not duties. In Islamic social system, on the other hand, the above-mentioned rights as individual, member of family and member of society are harmonised with duties and prohibitions. In the edifice of Islamic society, duties form the foundation, rights the roof and prohibition the walls; a building cannot be a building without any of the three, and all the three must be adequately planned and built.


A system cannot be deemed complete unless it categorically answers three questions: what is one enjoined to do, what is one permitted or entitled to do and what is one prohibited to do? A proper balance between these three is the most wonderful aspect of Islamic constitution that makes it far superior model to the other systems.




I) Shirk (Polytheism)

Serve God, and join not any partners with Him...  ( 4: 36 /A)



II) Eatables


Forbidden to you (for food) are: dead meat, blood, the flesh of swine, and that on which hath been invoked the name of other than God; that which hath been killed by strangling, or by a violent blow, or by a headlong fall, or by being gored to death; that which hath been (partly) eaten by a wild animal; unless ye are able to slaughter it (in due form); that which is  sacrificed on stone (altars); (forbidden) also is the   division (of meat) by raffling with arrows: that is     impiety. (5: 3/A)


But if one is forced by necessity, without wilful disobedience, nor transgressing due limits,- then is he guiltless. (2:173/A)


III) Drinking and gambling


They ask thee concerning wine and gambling. Say: “In them is great sin, and some profit, for men; but the sin is greater than the profit.” (2: 219/A)


O ye who believe! Intoxicants and gambling, (dedication of) stones, and (divination by) arrows, are an abomination,- of Satan’s handwork: eschew such (abomination), that ye may prosper. Satan’s plan is (but) to excite enmity and hatred between you, with intoxicants and gambling, and hinder you from the remembrance of God, and from prayer. (5: 90-91/A)



IV) Economic corruption



O ye who believe! Devour not usury, doubled and multiplied...(3: 130/A)

Those who devour usury will not stand except as stand one whom the Evil one by his touch hath driven to madness. That is because they say: “Trade is like usury,” but God hath permitted trade and forbidden usury. (2: 275/A)

Those who after receiving direction from their Lord, desist, shall be pardoned for the past...(2: 275/A)

* …But if ye turn back, ye shall have your   capital sums. Deal not unjustly, and ye shall not be dealt with unjustly. (2: 279/A)

O ye who believe! Fear God, and give up what remains of your demand for usury, if ye are indeed believers. If ye do it not, take notice of war from God and His Messenger. (2: 278-279/A)

Hoarding of Wealth

O ye who believe! there are indeed many among the priests and anchorites, who in Falsehood devour the substance of men and hinder (them) from the way of God. And there are those who bury gold and silver and spend it not in the way of God. Announce unto them a most grievous penalty-  on the Day when heat will be produced out of that (wealth) in the fire of Hell, and with it will be branded their foreheads, their flanks, and their backs, their flanks, and their backs.- “This is the (treasure) which ye buried for yourselves: taste ye, then, the (treasures) ye buried!” ( 9: 35 /A)

Wrongful use of property

And do not eat up your property among yourselves for vanities, nor use it as bait for the judges, with intent that ye may eat up wrongfully and knowingly a little of (other) people’s property. (2: 188/A)



V) Forbidden degrees in marriage


Unbelieving women

Do not marry unbelieving women (idolaters), until they believe: a slave woman who believes is better than an unbelieving woman, even though she allures you. Nor marry (your girls) to unbelievers until they believe: a man slave who believes is better than an unbeliever, even though he allures you. (2: 221/A)

Already married women

Also (prohibited are) women already married, except those whom your right hands possess. ( 4: 24 /A)

Wives of gathers

And marry not women whom your fathers married,- except what is past: it was shameful and odious,- an abominable custom indeed. ( 4: 22 /A)

Near Relatives

Prohibited to you (for marriage) are:- your mothers, daughters, sisters; father’s sisters, mother’s sisters; brother’s daughters, sister’s daughters; foster- mothers (who gave you suck), foster-sisters; your wives’ mothers; your step-daughters under your guardianship, born of your wives to whom ye have gone in,- no prohibition if ye have not gone in;- (those who have been) wives of your sons proceeding from your loins; and two sisters in wedlock at one and the same time, except for what is past...(4: 23/A)


VI) Sexual corruption 


Adultery and Promiscuity

Nor come nigh to adultery: for it is a shameful (deed) and an evil, opening the road (to other evils). ( 17: 32 /A)


If two men among you are guilty of lewdness,    punish them both. If they repent and amend, Leave them alone; for God is Oft-returning, Most Merciful. ( 4: 16 /A)

Forced marriage and Prostitution

O ye who believe! Ye are forbidden to inherit women against their will. ( 4: 19 /A)

But force not your maids to prostitution when they desire chastity, in order that ye may make a gain in the goods of this life. But if anyone compels them, yet, after such compulsion, is God, Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful (to them)...  (24: 33/A)


VII) Murder

Nor take life-which God has made sacred - except for just cause. ( 17: 33 /A)

Never should a believer kill a believer; but (if it so happens) by mistake, (compensation is due). (4: 92/A)


VIII) Spreading chaos in society

Do no mischief on the earth, after it hath been set in order but call on Him with fear and longing (in your hearts): for the Mercy of God is (always) near to those who do good. .( 7: 56 /A)

The blame is only against those who oppress men and wrongdoing and insolently transgress beyond bounds through the land, defying right and justice: for such there will be a penalty grievous. (42: 42/A)


And fear tumult or oppression, which affecteth not in particular (only) those of you who do wrong. ( 8: 25 /A)

O ye who believe! When ye hold secret counsel, do it not for iniquity and hostility, and disobedience to the Prophet; but do it for righteousness and self- restraint; and fear God, to Whom ye shall be brought back. (58: 9/A)

Secret counsels are only (inspired) by the Evil One, in order that he may cause grief to the Believers... (58: 9-10/A)




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