Further Notes on Chapter 5

Istiḥāla & Istihlāk

Definition of istiḥāla: This refers to the transformation of impurities (najis) into purities. For example, changes in the essence and characteristics of faeces, liquor, and pork in processes such as combustion, fermentation, filtration, or by mixing impurities with a purity such as the mixing of pork with salt until it turns into salt.

Definition of istihlāk: This refers to changes that occur when mixing large quantities of a purity with small quantities of an impurity. It results in the impurity dissolving in the purity, thereby eliminating its original essence and characteristics. For example, pouring a drop of liquor in a large pool of water diminishes liquor’s form and characteristics. Jurists consider istihlāk as a form of istiḥāla.


ʿAzīma & Rukhṣa

ʿAzīma is the original rule prescribed by God. For example, drinking liquor is prohibited, as is taking drugs containing alcohol.

Rukhṣa is an exception in certain situations for the reasons mentioned by theSharīʿa.1

1. Hashim Kamali, Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence (Selangor: Pelanduk Publication, 1989), 429-430.


Al-ʿIzz Ibn ’Abd al-Salām

Imām Abū Muhammad ʿIzz al-Dīn ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz Ibn ʿAbd  al-Salām Ibn Abī al-Qāsim al-Silmī al-Dimashqī al-Shāfiʿī is a faqih, i.e. expert in the principles of Islamic jurisprudence, the Arabic language, and Qur’anic exegesis. He was born in Damascus in 577/8H. He read from many scholars and attained the level of a mujtahid. He served as a khatib in the Damascus Mosque, as well as presided as judge in Egypt. He died in Cairo, Egypt in 660H. He wrote many books, the most renowned of which is Qawāʿid al-Ahkām fī Maṣāliḥ al-Anʿām which gathered and analysed the rules of Mazhab  al-Shāfiʿī.1

.Muhammad ʿIzz al-Dīn ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz Ibn ‘Abd al-Salām Al-Silmī, Qawāid al-Ahkām fī Maṣaliḥ al-Anām, ed. ʿAbd al-Laṭīf  Hasan ʿAbd al-Rahmān (Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 1999), 3-4



A Muslim physician born in Cordova in 930CE. He was a well-known surgeon in al-Andalus. He pioneered a technique to stop bleeding from the skull using wax and alcohol during cranial surgery in the middle ages. He also used alcohol in sewing torn skin.



Euthanasia is usually categorised into two types: passive and active. Passive euthanasia is defined as letting someone die. “Letting” is the key word in this definition, and it includes stopping or indirectly treating a patient to prolong his life, such as providing a breathing tube, or feeding him through a tube. Active euthanasia involves an act that causes the death of a patient without his involvement. Euthanasia is also divided into voluntary and involuntary, referring to whether the act was done at the request of the patient or not, and whether the patient has the ability to give consent.1

1 Fecio Jennifer MacDougall & Martha Gorman, Euthanasia: A Reference Handbook, (California: ABC-CLIO, 2008), 32


The Terri Schiavo Case

Schiavo was involved in an accident and became vegetative as her brain activities ceased. Her condition caused a conflict between her parents and her husband. The latter wanted to stop her life support equipment, but Schiavo’s parents disagreed and wanted their daughter to continue to live (on life support). The case ended with a victory for her husband. Schiavo died a few days after her life support equipment was stopped. As Schiavo did not make an AMD or living will, it became difficult for her family members to choose who among them should decide on her behalf. The result is a long and bitter family struggle, as seen in the case.


Tobacco and Culture

In the early twentieth century, companies producing tobacco products started mass marketing them in the United States and many other parts of the world. By 1929, for example, Lucky Strike – a major cigarette company – spent more than US$ 7 million in advertising.1 With this extended advertising, a culture of coolness associated with smoking began to develop. The most emblem of this gendered cultural association is that of the macho “Marlboro Man.”Many films in both Western and local cinema prior to 1970 also had main characters who smoked heavily. Therefore, both cigarettes and its attendant culture had a global reach.


1 Brandt (2007), The Cigarette Century, p.201.

2 Katie Connolly (2011). “Six Ads that Changes the Way You Think.” BBC News. Available online at http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-1196364. Accessed Sep 4, 2015



Fatwas of Singapore Copyright © 2017 by Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura (MUIS). All Rights Reserved.

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