Lectures on Fiqh by Maulana Sadiq Hasan Lecture
# 21 (Thursday 7 August 2003)
Yaqeen means to be
100% sure and Itminan means to have a very high
degree of satisfaction (around 98 to 100%
confidence of being satisfied). In many
situations, Islamic sharia allows Yaqeen or
Itminan as a sufficient condition to prove the
truthfulness of something, and obtaining of
witnesses is not necessary.
This concept of Yaqeen and Itminan was first
introduced in fiqh by the great shia Mujtahid,
Sheikh Murtaza Ansari (who died in 1284 Al Hijri.
This is supported by Quran and Sunnah. Before
the time of Sheikh Ansari, witnesses were a
necessary condition in fiqh to prove the
truthfulness of something. Hence all Mujtahids
of our time now say that to prove the
truthfulness of something in many cases, it is
not necessary to get witnesses, and Yaqeen or
Itminan are enough.
However, in sharia, witnesses are more important
than Yaqeen or Itminan in most of the cases. So
if required level of witnesses do testify the
truthfulness of something, then we have to
follow the decision based on witnesses, and
decision by yaqeen or itminan will not be
of situations where Yaqeen or Itminan are
enough, and witnesses may not be necessary:
(a) Deciding about the direction of
qibla for salat or other things
(b) Deciding whether salat tme has
(c) Deciding if Iftar time has come
(d) Deciding about moon sighting
(e) Deciding if a meat is halal (zabiha)
(f) Deciding if a thing is najis or
(g) Deciding if a person is adil to
lead jamat prayer
How to get
Yaqeen or Itminan ?
This is an
individual matter of decision. A person can get
Yaqeen or Itminan about a thing by getting any
reliable information from any reliable source
and then deciding honestly for the sake of
Allah. The source of information can be anything
or any sane person (including non-Muslim), which
gives him yaqeen or itminan.
Based on Yaqeen or Itminan, it is thus possible,
for example, that a meat is halal for one
person, and the same meat is haram for another
person. But if required level of witnesses
testify that the meat is halal, then it is halal
for both persons, even if they have differences
in Yaqeen or Itminan.
(a) If you have Itminan by looking at
the picture of a fish that the fish has
visible scales, then you can eat that fish.
(b) If a kafir says that the meat is
halal, and you also attain Itminan, then you
can take that meat as halal (but his
statement alone is not enough).
Imam of Jamat
Prayer: If you are offering salat of jamat, then
either witnesses must testify or you must have
Itminan that the imam leading the salat is adil.
In many situations (eg when you are visiting a
new place or a new mosque), you do not even know
who the imam of jamat prayer is. How to get
Itminan about his adalat ? This is again an
individual matter. If you are satisfied about
his adalat by any means (eg by his reputation,
his dress, his personality, the place of salat,
or by the fact that other momineen are offering
salat behind him, etc), then you can consider
him as adil and pray jamat behind him. But if
you get neither Itminan nor witnesses about his
adalat, then you can not pray jamat.
HOW TO PROVE
NAJASAT OR TAHARAT
Islamic sharia, to prove the najasat or taharat
of something, any of the following three methods
can be used:
Witnesses (according to standards specified
by your Marja)
(b) Itminan (very high degree of
(c) Sahibe Yadd (owner or controller
The rules of
Witnesses and Itminan for proving najasat have
been discussed previously in detail.
Rules of Sahibe Yadd are as follows:
Sahibe Yadd is the
person or organization who is the owner or
controller of something. If a Sahibe Yadd
(Muslim or non-Muslim) declares that a thing
under his control is najis or contains a najis
thing, then you have to take it as najis (even
if you may not have Itminan).
Examples of cases based on Sahibe Yadd:
the owner of a cheese making company says
that it contains ingredients made from pig,
then you have to believe his statement and
you can not eat that cheese.
(b) If a food company writes on its
food packet that it contains animal fat,
then you have to believe in it. But if a
third person (who is not sahibe yadd) tells
you that a food contains a najis or haram
thing, then the rule of Itminan will apply.
(c) If the owner or person in charge
of a Chicken & Chips Takeaway shop says that
the chicken is haram, then you have to
believe in it. (But if he says that the
chicken is halal (zabiha), then this mas’ala
needs more explanation and will be discussed
in next Fiqh Lectures).