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Taking the Easier of Two Opinions

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Seekersguidance.org

Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch 


Question Summary

How should we understand the hadith about choosing the easier option?

Question Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

Our mother ‘Aisha (Allah be pleased with her) narrates saying, “The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace)was never given a choice between two matters, one easier than the other, except that he chose the easier of the two unless it was sinful. If it was sinful, he was the furthest of people from it.” [Muslim]

This beautiful description of the Prophetic character is an expression of the beauty of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace) and the expansive nature of the religion of Islam.

Many people assume that piety is to burden oneself with difficulties and to take the harder of any two options out of a sense of righteousness or excessive caution.

The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace), on the other hand, being to the most fearful of Allah Most High, was an easygoing person and didn’t make matters difficult.

From this perspective, we can derive from this narration the exemplary character trait of being easygoing, which could be applied to choosing between permissible things.

Commentary on the Above Narration

Although there are general lessons and benefits we can derive from the aforementioned narration (as explained above), the narration can possibly be understood as being contextual.

Qadi’ Iyad (Allah have mercy on him) said that the choice given to the Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace) was with regards to punishment of the disbelievers and hypocrites that were fighting the Muslims: either they could be killed or a jizya tax be put upon them. In such cases, he would usually choose the easier of the two. [Harari, al-Kawkab al-Wahhaj Sharh Sahih Muslim]

Hope this helps
Allah knows best
[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch

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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