Is adopting Rukhsah (concession) in religious matters stand as an indication of transgression or negligence?
Adopting Rukhsah in religious matters is permissible if it designates the Shar`y (Islamic legal) Rukhsah that Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him) prescribed, such as the Rukhsah given to the traveler to break Sawm (Fast) during traveling and to shorten the four-Rak`ah Salah (Prayer consisting of four units) to only two Rak`ahs and to combine the Zhuhr (Noon) and `Asr (Afternoon) Prayers and the Maghrib (Sunset) and `Isha (Night) Prayers, at the time of the earlier or the later one during the journey. There is also the Rukhsah of wiping over the Khuffs (leather socks) and the like. It is preferable to adopt Rukhsah in the cases previously mentioned. But if someone does not apply the Rukhsah to which they are entitled; rather, they observe Sawm (Part No. 4; Page No. 15) during traveling and do not shorten or combine the mentioned Salahs, or wash their feet instead of wiping over the Khuffs, there is nothing wrong or sinful in this. This merely counts as choosing not to do what is preferable. This view is supported by the Hadith narrated by
Ibn `Umar (may Allah be pleased with him and his father) that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
Allah loves that His Concessions be availed of just as He hates that His Prohibitions be violated.
(Related by Imam
Al-Tabarany in Al-Awsat) In another narration by
Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him and his father), the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:
Allah loves that His Concessions be availed of just as He loves that His Commands be abided by.
Al-Tabarany in Al-Kabir and
Al-Bazzar; the narrators of this Hadith are Thiqah [trustworthy])However, adopting Rukhsah does not mean to always choose the easier of the two courses and to follow the Fatwas and opinions of scholars that agree with our likes and dislikes. Such conduct is not permissible. It is obligatory for Muslims to be mindful and cautious when it comes to matters related to their religion, and be keen on discharging their responsibility by not following except that which the Qur'an and the Sunnah provide evidence for. If someone is unaware of the legal ruling, they should ask the knowledgeable and trustworthy scholars. They should not repeat the same question to many scholars in order to apply the answer that is most convenient and comfortable to them. This is a sign of negligence and indifference to religion. It was reported from some of the Salaf (righteous predecessors) that anyone who goes after the Rukhsahs given by scholars will eventually end up a Zindiq (irreligious person). (Part No. 4; Page No. 16) May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family and Companions.