Filed under: MA'RUFAT
The Shari‘ah divides ma’rfat into three categories: the mandatory (fard and wajib), the recommendatory (mandub) and the permissible (mubah).
The observance of the mandatory is obligatory on a Muslim society and the Shari‘ah has given clear and binding directions about this. The recommendatory ma’rufat are those which the Shari‘ah expects a Muslim society to observe and practise. Some of them have been very clearly demanded of us while others have been recommended by implication and inference from the sayings of the Prophet, blessings and peace be on him. Besides this, special arrangements have been made for the growth and encouragement of some of them in the scheme of life advocated by the Shari‘ah. Others again have simply been recommended by the Shari‘ah, leaving it to the society or to its more virtuous elements to look to promote them.
This leaves us with the permissible ma’rufat. Strictly speaking, according to the Shari‘ah everything which has not been expressly prohibited is a permissible ma’ruf. Consequently, the sphere of permissible ma’rufat is very wide, so much so that except for the things specifically prohibited by the Shari‘ah everything is permissible for a Muslim. And in this vast sphere we have been given freedom to legislate according to our own discretion to suit the requirements of our “time and its dictates.”