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Is the Default Ruling On Things Permissibility?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Seekersguidance.org
Question: Is the default ruling permissibility?
Dear questioner,
Thank you for your important question.
May Allah, Most High, reward you for being a seeker of the Truth.
The juristic principle you are referring to is: “The normative rule for all things is that they are permissible until a sign/proof of impermissibility appears.” [Zuhayli, Qawaid al-Fiqhiyya]
Based on the principle above, we understand that all things (food, drink, activities) are permissible (halal) until there is a reason for them not to be (i.e. The Quran, Sunnah, Legal ruling of scholars).
This juristic principle is sourced from the Quran & Sunnah:

1.Allah, Most High says: “It is He who created for you all of that which is on the earth.” [Quran 2:29]

2. The Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: “That which is lawful is clear and that which is unlawful is clear, and between the two of them are doubtful matters about which many people do not know. Thus he who avoids doubtful matters clears himself in regard to his religion and his honor, but he who falls into doubtful matters [eventually] falls into that which is unlawful.” [Bukhari, Muslim]

It is obligatory for all Muslims to know what is obligatory (fard) and what is impermissible (haram), in the general sense. When one comes across a situation where they are unsure, they must enquire about the ruling from a scholar. (ex. Can I invest in stocks etc.)
One should not be afraid of learning what is impermissible thinking that they are justified in their ignorance. Seeking knowledge is the hallmark of Islam. Muslims should desire to learn more about what is permissible and impermissible in Islam with the sole intention of pleasing Allah, Most High.
The Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) taught us to make this supplication: “O Allah indeed I ask You for beneficial knowledge, and a good Halal provision, and actions which are accepted.” [Muslim]
When seeking knowledge of halal and haram, one should begin by studying from a scholar, following only one school of law (madhab). After many years, they may begin to study other schools of law.
And Allah alone knows best.
[Ustadh] Omar Popal
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

This answer was collected from Seekersguidance.org. It’s an online learning platform overseen by Sheikh Faraz Rabbani. All courses are free. They also have in-person classes in Canada.

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