Khutbah Reflections: Tips on Decision-Making
In life, we are always faced with decisions. The khutbah on 19th April 2013 was about some guidelines for us as Muslims to follow in the decision making process. “Fiqh Al-Muwazanat” or the “Fiqh of Judgement and Comparison” is a framework for us in making judgement based on our values and beliefs as Muslims and involves careful analysis of the options available to us. This can be broken down into 3 categories:
Between permissible options
When given such options, we could just pick any one of them but the best decision is one that is made after considering the advantages and disadvantages of each option. We can ask ourselves the following questions to make it easier:
Which is more beneficial?
After weighing each option, we compare them and see which would benefit us individually more and/or benefit the most number of people. If all the options have the same benefits then we move on to the next question:
Which is easier?
Don’t burden ourselves unnecessarily. If all the options yield similar benefits then just pick one that is easiest to execute.
Between permissible and non-permissible options
In this case, as Muslims we are obligated to choose the permissible option and avoid the non-permissible option. The impermissibility of something isn’t decided by people, it is the Lord of all creation; Allah SWT who has made it so. For us, the laws of Allah (Syariah) supersedes any and all considerations in our decision making process. What Allah has made impermissible for us isn’t even an option anymore.
Between harmful or disadvantageous options
When put into such a situation where permissible or safe options are unavailable and all avenues have been exhausted with no avail leaving us only with undesirable options, we are then required to choose the option which brings the least harm. It is only with the prerequisite stated above that we are granted leeway. Even then, in our hearts we shouldn’t be pleased with the option we took. Should a permissible option present itself after we have made a decision, we must switch to that instead as mentioned in the previous paragraph.
Personally, I didn’t realize that this framework is already embedded in us. We’ve been doing this day in and day out whether we’re consciously aware of it or not.
Let’s say a new piece of technology is introduced. We look at its possible benefits and problems. We weight the two sides carefully and then we decide on whether we can use it or not. Then we decide on how to go about using it so that it is not in conflict with the Syariah.
The beautiful thing about it is that no matter what new issues crop up, Fiqh Al-Muwazanat and on a larger scale, Islam itself remains relevant.
May Allah grant us wisdom and guide us as we make our way through this worldly life.[divider]
Fadhuli is an aspiring writer and believes in putting in the time and effort into meaningful causes. He strives to improve himself as a person and as a Muslim.