In the article below, is it used for all madhhahib or is it only for the hanafi? How does one determine whether a situation falls under ‘necessity’?

Allama Hamawi (ra) in his commentary on al-Ashbah wa al-Naza’ir classifies five levels of necessity and some of their rulings.

1. Darurah – A person reaches such a state that if he does not indulge in an unlawful act, he will die or reach close to death. This state makes unlawful things lawful.

2. Hajah –A person reaches such a state that he will not die, but will experience extreme difficulty. It will not make unlawful entities lawful, but it will create leniency in aspects of purity, prayer, fasting, etc. For example, a person is in the state of such hunger that if he does not get something to eat, he will not die, but he will be in great difficulty. This stage does not make an unlawful thing lawful, but it gives leeway for a person not to fast.

3. Manf’ah – To be of benefit. For example a person desiring wheat bread, mutton, and fatty dishes.

4. Zeenah – Luxuries. For example a person desiring sweet dishes and sugar.

5. Fudool – Extravagance. For example expansion in eating unlawful foods and doubtful.


 The Fuqaha (jurists) of the other Madhahib have generally accepted the five different levels as you have mentioned. However, some of them have used different ‘words’ to express these rulings. (see Al Muwafaqaat- Imam Shatibi and Fiqhul Islami wa Adilatihi –Dr. Wahba Az Zuhaili).

And Allah knows best.

Mufti Waseem Khan