What is the meaning of mukroo? What does it mean when one says such and such thing(s) are mukroo? I though mukroo meant dislike and is not part of sha’ria, rather it is the opinion of scholars. But recently I was told that something being mukroo is part of sha’ria. One particular hadith I was given example as something being mukroo was when Prophet, Peace and Blessings upon him, saw some companions eating lizard and Prophet, Peace and Blessing Upon Him, let them eat but disapproved of eating the lizard himself. I have heard of this hadith previously. But I was told previously that this hadith would not be part of sha’ria because it would be a personal preference of our Prophet, Peace and Blessings Upon Him, rather then something that he wanted the Umma to implement. This time I was told that it would be part of Sha’ria because it includes everything that Prophet, Peace and Blessings be Upon Him, did regardless if they were personal preference or not. Can you please give the full hadith in its entire context and shed the light on mukroo and if it is part of Sha’ria or not.
Jazak Allah Khair.
Makrooh literally means something which one dislikes. In the Hadith literature it is generally used in the same implication. However, as a term of Islamic Fiqh it connotes something, which even though is not prohibited by the Shairi’ah yet is not a desired act. It needs to be appreciated that when something is declared Makrooh by some of the jurists that does not necessarily mean that the act under consideration is actually not accepted by the Shari’ah. It is rather depictive of the understanding of that particular jurist. You have referred to the tradition in which the prophet (pbuh) is reported not to have eaten lizard. There are many traditions about the incident. What follows is the text of one of the reports dealing with the issue:
عن ابن عمر قال سأل رجل رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم عن أكل الضب فقال لا آكله ولا أحرمه
Ibn-e-Umar narrated that a man asked the Prophet (pbuh) about eating lizards. He replied that he would not eat it nor would he declare it prohibited. (Muslim No: 1943)
It cannot be concluded from the tradition that eating lizard is a prohibited act. Had the matter been so the Prophet would have declared it prohibited. It was only against his personal taste that he preferred not to eat it.
Now the question arises whether personal disliking of the Prophet (pbuh) forms the Shari’ah or not. The answer is no.
The Holy Qur’an categorically asserts that the prophets and the messengers of God were sent only to convey the Din. Their entire activities center on the Din. This has forever remained their prime concern. Although they lived personal lives like other human beings, yet they never demanded anything from the people in their personal capacities. All their demands from human beings were made in their position as Prophets and Messengers of God and in this capacity they had received only the Din from God. Conveying the Deen to humanity constituted their sole responsibility. They were not sent to preserve their personal likings, local and tribal culture or to promote it. An example would adequately explain the matter.
Once the Holy Prophet (pbuh) expressed his disapproval on method of fertilization of the date palms used at that time. The companions stopped applying that method and as a result of it production dropped considerably. At this the Holy Prophet (pbuh) said:
I am a human being like you. When I give you any religious command, accept it. When I say something of my personal opinion, remember that I am nothing but a human being. I had only made an assessment [regarding the fertilization method of date palms]. You may not accept from me that which is based on my assessment. However when I convey something from God, follow it because I will never attribute anything to God falsely. As regards your worldly affairs, you are more knowledgeable than I am. (Sahih Muslim, Kitabul Fazail)
Here the Prophet (pbuh) had issued an order. While in the case of eating lizard he only stopped himself from eating it.
I hope this helps.
Tariq Mahmood Hashmi
December 14, 2002