Prohibition in the Qur’an and exception to the rule of prohibition

Thank you to Ali Demirtas for sending in this article

Prohibition in the Qur’an and exception to the rule of prohibition

This article is intended to cover the following points stated in the Holy Qur’an;
• Prohibition
• Test of Prohibition
• Exclusion to the rule of prohibition
• The test to the rule of prohibition

The Quran constantly refers us to keep away from sins and committing anything
which is prohibited. It also tells us that we are given brains’ and we are going to be
held to account to how we use it (017:036).

This article is intended to explore the test which the Quran gives that allows us to
establish when something is permitted and prohibited. Also, this article shall cover
how the test can be implemented and the when the rule of prohibition is exempt.

Verse 002.219
YUSUFALI (translator): 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.” Thus doth
Allah Make clear to you His Signs: in order that ye may consider-

We are told that both in gambling and wine there are benefits for us. This begs the
question, if they have advantages to us then why are they prohibited? It is logical to
say that if something has benefits in it then it must be permitted.

However, we are told in verse 002:219 (above) that when something has more
disadvantages to it than it has advantages then it becomes prohibited. The only reason
why gambling and wine is prohibited as above is because the disadvantages which
they bear exceed the advantages that they carry.

The verse specifically highlights Wine and not Grape (for the sake of argument I
am using grape as wine can also be made from other fruits). However, it is Wine
which is derived from the Grape. But the verse has not prohibited the grape it has
prohibited what can be formed from the grape which carries more disadvantages than

Therefore something can be permitted until it changes form, and if the new form
carries more disadvantages to it then advantages at that stage it becomes prohibited.

For example it is not prohibited to eat grapes until you make a harmful substance
from it i.e. wine, therefore something can be permitted until its use has more
disadvantages than advantages to it e.g. a television can be good until it is used to
send bad messages across (this can range from sending messages that change the
moral values of society in an attempt to get society to accept prohibited values).

The verse mentions that wine is prohibited because of the disadvantages outweighing
the advantages. If we were to remove to the disadvantages to the extent that they do

not exceed the advantages then the wine would not be prohibited under the above
rule. If we were to remove the alcohol from the wine then we would change it’s
substance. Under these circumstances we would then put the alcohol free wine
through the probability test. If it is the case that the alcohol free wine has more
advantages than disadvantages then the alcohol free wine would not be prohibited
because the disadvantages do not outweigh the advantages.

In a nutshell
If on a balance of probabilities the advantages of a thing or act exceed the
disadvantages by 51% or more to 49% then that act is permitted. However if the
disadvantages exceed the advantages by 51% or more to 49% (advantages) then on a
balance of probabilities is prohibited under the rule laid down in verse 002:219.

Therefore when assessing if something is permitted or not we would need to consider
its status and its intended use then apply the probability test (as above).

However this rule is subject to exceptions. It can be disregarded in certain

Yusuf Ali 2:173
He hath only forbidden you dead meat, and blood and the flesh of swine, and that on
which any other name hath been invoked besides that of Allah. But if one is forced
by necessity without wilful disobedience, nor transgressing due limits―then is he
guiltless. For Allah is Oft-Forgiving Most Merciful.

This verse offers a complete defence to committing something prohibited under
002:219 (above) when the act or omission is made under necessity and the person
does not commit it with wilful disobedience.

This defence consists of three elements which need to be satisfied for the defence to
be valid;
1. the act or omission must be made out of necessity (as above), this is a objective
test of fact
2. the act or omission should be done without any wilful disobedience (as above),
this is an subjective test
3. the act or omission should only be carried out to the limit that it is necessity (as
above), this is an objective test based upon the amount necessary e.g. a person eats
an animal which has died naturally due to necessity in order to stay alive [from
hunger] (committing something prohibited) but he continues to eat even after his
hunger is gone; the necessary amount was him to eat enough to stay alive (the
limit). However, by eating more than what was required he has transgressed the
limit and shall be liable for the extra amount he ate which was not required by

The revelation that the book is complete and fully detailed in 006:114 once again is
upheld by the basic probability test that the Creator has given us to apply in situations
when we want to know what is and isn’t permitted. This is a basic test which we can
apply to our day to day life and in risk assessment before fulfilling an intension.


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