Being Cautious When Using the Words Halaal and Haraam

It was the habit of Imam Ahmad (rh), out of his great caution, to avoid frequent use of explicit expressions like halal and haraam. Therefore, Imam Ahmad (rh) would typically resort to the use of certain expressions which would indicate the view that he inclines to. Sometimes, there is disagreement as to what his intent is behind these expressions. Some such expressions are the following:

  • I like it (yu’jibuni)
  • Good (hasan)
  • It is befitting (yanbaghi)
  • It is not befitting (la yanbaghi)
  • I dislike it (akrahu)
  • I fear (akhaafu, akhshaa)
  • I hope (arju)
  • There is no harm in it (la ba’sa bihi)
  • I hope there is no harm in it (arju an la ba’sa bihi)
  • I am not so brave (ajbanu ‘anhu)
  • I am not so bold as to speak about that (la ajtari’u ‘alayh)
  • Leave it (da’hu)
  • Leave this issue (da’ hadhihi ‘l-mas’ala)
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