🎶 ‘Tis the season to abuse custom

🎶 fa la la la la, la la la la

Since it’s trendy to throw around contemporary customs (ʿurf) to override and abandon what we find in fiqh books, it seems appropriate to mention the set of conditions that must be met for custom (ʿurf) to be of legal significance – according to those even consider it (as not everyone does).

Here’s a list extracted from Sh Dr Aḥmad Fahmī’s Al-ʿUrf wa-l-ʿādah fī raʾy al-fuqahā (Cairo: Dār al-Baṣāʾir, 1425/2004), from pp105–23:

  1. The custom must be totally or overwhelmingly consistent
  2. The custom must be common in all Muslim lands
  3. The custom cannot conflict with legal evidence
  4. The custom an act is based upon existed before the act’s initiation and remains throughout the entire duration of the act
  5. The custom is considered binding in that people are sure to act according to its implications
  6. The custom is not contraindicated by another action or statement

You’ll find similar conditions in classic texts.

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