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February 26th, 2011

Discouraging asking for detailed instructions

Often a discussion relating to a worldly matter can shed light on the teachings of the Quran. The example I have in mind here is a discussion at a workplace about certain facilities that the employees are granted regarding their working conditions, such as flexible working hours. It was being discussed whether there should be rules clearly defining the extent of these facilities or if your boss could simply use his commonsense about how much to allow, when to allow it, etc.

People agreed that using commonsense and judgment was far preferable to laying down exact rules. You can’t cover every situation when drawing up rules, and it might lead to unfairness at times, because rules might not cover some circumstance whereas fairness would allow it.

This reminded me of the following verses of the Holy Quran:

“O you who believe, ask not about things which if made known to you would give you trouble; and if you ask about them when the Quran is being revealed, they will be made known to you. Allah pardons this; and Allah is Forgiving, Forbearing. A people before you indeed asked such questions, then became disbelievers therein. ” (5:101-102)

If you ask to be given too many rules in matters of details to cover all kinds of situations (as many Muslims do when they ask for fatwas about all sorts of things), you will only end up facing trouble when you try to abide by them. You will then try to wriggle out of them.

So, in matters of details it is best to use your judgment and commonsense and apply the basic principles which are the essentials.

One Response to “Discouraging asking for detailed instructions”

  1. “If you ask to be given too many rules in matters of details to cover all kinds of situations (as many Muslims do when they ask for fatwas about all sorts of things), you will only end up facing trouble when you try to abide by them. You will then try to wriggle out of them.”

    This is exactly what Jews did. And today Jews find ways to wriggle out of rules. such as having elevators in high rise buildings that stop, open and close on every floor on Sabbath. Or they need to tie fishing cord for miles around their synagogue, so they can drive to get their from their homes. Or special telephones that dial by not pressing digit but rather un-pressing digits. The ways they have devised are ridiculous and stupid.


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