Dismissing blocking-the-means just for lack of certainty

Dismissing an argument that follows the form

  1. X leads to haram-Y
  2. what leads to the haram is haram
  3. therefor X is haram

for no reason other than “X doesn’t always lead to Y” is another example of #fauxfiqh #fiqhtion.

The argument is a clear-cut application of blocking-the-means [sadd al-dhari’a]. In this sort of argument, the faqih has to look at how likely it is that X leads to haram-Y.

  1. If it is certainly the case that X leads to haram-Y, then X becomes blocked.
  2. If it is usually the case that X leads to haram-Y, then X becomes blocked.
  3. If it is frequently the case that X leads to haram-Y, then X becomes frequently blocked.
  4. If it is rarely the case that X leads to haram-Y, then X remains as it was.

The objection removes the first category. The next two categories leave ample room for X being blocked.

Really, the only simple way to object is to show that it is rarely the case that X leads to haram-Y.

* * *

So, no: all the mufassirs who quote Shauki’s

نَظْرَةٌ فابتسَامَةٌ فسَلاَمٌ … فكَلامٌ فموعِدٌ فَلِقَاءٌ

aren’t doing it wrong.