Intention determines permissibility of statements
Fatwa No: 316795

  • Fatwa Date:18-3-2016 - Jumaadaa Al-Aakhir 9, 1437
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Question

Assalaamu alaykum. What is the ruling on making generalized statements such as, “I dislike running,” or, “I love meat.” I am asking because running can be from the Sunnah and meat can be pork.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger. 

Undoubtedly, there is no harm in making such statements as long as the speaker does not intend a meaning that is dispraised in the Islamic sharee'ah. What counts is the intention of the speaker since it specifies his general statements. This is why Muslim scholars held the intention of the person as the decisive factor as far as faith is concerned and in other religious matters as well.

When someone says, “I love the meat,” for instance, while intending reference to the lawful meat, then there is no harm in saying so in the slightest. So, the definite particle "the" here may not be used to mean encompassment (istighraaq) of all kinds of meat, rather it could be used to mean particularity (al-'ahd), i.e. a particularized object which is meant by the speaker.

It is feared that asking about such matters may be considered exaggeration, burdening oneself with undue hardship, and immoderation, which are forbidden by the sharee'ah.

Allaah knows best.

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