29 Intentions Dont Change Observable Realities

29 Intentions Dont Change Observable Realities

Tools are amoral

In Islam, we have 5 general rulings that most of us know.
  1. Waajib, which refers to things that we are obligated to do. By doing it we receive reward and by leaving it deliberately without valid excuse we receive a sin. Actions such as the 5 daily prayers.
  2. Sunnah/Musta’habb, which refers to things that are encouraged to do, they by doing it we receive reward, but by leaving it, we don’t receive a sin, even if we have a invalid excuse to leave it. Actions such as smiling in the face of a stranger and giving him salaams.
  3. Mubaah, which refers to actions that have no specific reward attached to them, and not specific sin for leaving it. Such as eating a cake.
  4. Makrooh, which refers to actions that we are encouraged to leave and not do, and we even receive reward for leaving it if done for Allaah’s sake, but we got no sin for actually doing it. An example of that would be staying up late to the extent that it would make waking up for Fajr difficult.
  5. Haraam, which refers to actions that we are ordered specifically to leave, by doing so for Allaah's sake we receive reward with Allaah, and by doing it, we receive a sin. An example of this would be eating pigs meat.
If one contemplates the details mentioned above, you will see a consistent pattern, which is that all of the above refer specifically to actions, not things. So for example, ‘eating’ pigs meat is Haraam, using pigs skin to make clothing, drinking pigs blood and using pigs bones as a utensil are all acts that are haram. But you can’t say ‘pig is haram’ because we would need to qualify what action we are referring to. Torturing a pig to death is haram, even if the pig itself is najis. So the act and intent behind the act is was we discuss in Islamic law. This brings us to the question we will answer in future blog post of the famous question that gets asked in this sphere, which is “Is Bitcoin halal”. The correct understanding of this question is:
“Are there any actions that are fundamentally halal that we could do with or to Bitcoin that would be prohibited in Islam?”
So we qualified this question by adding in it ‘actions’. We also qualified the question by saying 'that would be prohibited’, and that’s because of the basic fundamental rule Islam gives us with regards to all worldly affairs, which is:

الأصل في الأشياء الإباحة

“The general rule with all affairs that are in this worldly life is that it is ‘Mubaah’”
This means that we need evidence to demonstrate that acts with things in this world are by default halal. We don’t and should’t ask if something is Halal, we need to ask if it is Haram. We would need substantial evidence to prove that something is prohibited in Islam, that there are angels following us around and writing down that this particular act is in the ‘sin’ column of his book of deeds. These are the two most important fundamental things to focus on when discussing this topic, and topics like it.
  1. What actions are we focusing on?
  2. What are the reasons to take this act out of the default Halal box and put this action in the Haram box?
There is one other thing to consider as a foundation to build on this topic, and must be excluded from the discussion, which are the use of such tools in acts that are fundamentally haraam. So for example, we have the following question, that will always be haraam no matter what.
“Can I use …… tool to kill an innocent person”
Whatever you put in that space, the answer will always be haraam. Another example,
“Can I use ……… to acquire alcohol to drink”
“Can I use ……… to rebel against a legitimate Muslim ruler”
“can I use ……… to enable me to commit zina”
Such a question will always lead to one answer, and therefore we must exclude these types of questions from out discussion. Out discussion is referring only to acts that are fundamentally halal, such as,
“can I eat ……”
Eating is not something that is prohibited regardless of what is eaten, so therefore different things placed in that space would give different answers. If I put in there ‘pork’ that answer is Haram, and if I put ‘strawberries’ the answer would be halal. I mention this as often people use these ‘red herrings’ scenarios to get the answer they want. This is why I defined the question we will seek to answer as:

“Are there any actions that are fundamentally halal that we could do with or to Bitcoin that would be prohibited in Islam?”


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