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Ihsan

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Iḥṣān (Arabic: إحْصان) is a concept in jurisprudential sources which has two meanings: being married and being chaste. The books of al-Shahadat and al-Hudud in fiqh discuss about its first meaning and the books Li'an and al-Hudud discuss about the other meaning. According to jurisprudential sources, ihsan leads to the intensification of the punishments of some sins. If a married one commits adultery, he or she will be stoned, and the person who accuses a chaste woman of adultery without providing evidence will be punished with 80 whips. Certain conditions need to be met in order for ihsan to obtain.

Meaning

The word, "ihsan", literally means protection and immunity,[1] and in jurisprudential terminology, it has two meanings: being married and being chaste.[2] In jurisprudential sources, the first meaning is referred to as "ihsan al-rajm" (stoning-related ihsan) and the second is referred to as "ihsan al-qadhf" (qadhf-related ihsan).[3] The man with ihsan (married man) is called "muhsin" or "thayyib" and the woman with ihsan (married woman) is called "muhsina" or "thayyiba".[4]

In the Qur'an, the word, "ihsan" and its cognates have been used in different meanings, such as being married,[5] chastity,[6] being free (as opposed to being a slave or a bondwoman),[7] being a Muslim, and being mature.[8]

In the Islamic jurisprudence, ihsan is discussed in issues of adultery, qadhf, and li'an[9] (mutual curse) in each of which certain conditions need to be satisfied for ihsan.

Ihsan in Adultery and Sodomy

According to Islamic jurisprudence regarding adultery, any mature, free (as opposed to slave), and sane person who has an available spouse with whom they can have sexual intercourse count as having "ihsan".[10] If such a person (man or woman) commits adultery, his or her action counts as "muhsina".[11] According to jurisprudential sources, "ihsan" leads to the intensification of the punishment for adultery—muhsina adultery is punished with stoning.[12]

Ihsan leads to the intensification of the punishment of sodomy as well. If the sodomizer is "muhsin", he will be executed; otherwise he will be whipped 100 times.[13]

Exit from Ihsan

Some jurists hold that things like menstrual periods, nifas (lochia), travel, imprisonment, and diseases in one's spouse that prevent sexual intercourse may lead to one's exit from ihsan.[14] Also, if a man and a woman get a ba'in divorce (irrevocable divorce), they will immediately exit the state of ihsan. But there is a disagreement over whether a rij'i divorce (revocable) leads to the exit from ihsan.[15] Others believe that if a couple become murtadd fitri, they will exit ihsan.[16]

Ihsan in Qadhf and Li'an

With regard to qadhf, jurists believe that any Muslim who is mature, sane, free, and chaste counts as having ihsan, and if someone accuses such a person of sodomy or adultery, he or she will be punished by 80 whips.[17]

According to the Islamic jurisprudence regarding li'an, if a man claims that his wife (who is chaste) has committed adultery, or says that the child is not his without providing evidence, he and his wife can curse each other as a result of which they will be divorced and will be permanently forbidden (haram) for each other.[18]

See Also

Notes

  1. Dihkhudā, Farhanq-i lughat, Under the word iḥsān.
  2. Hāshimī Shāhrūdī, Dāʾirat al-maʿārif-i fiqh-i Islāmī, vol. 7, p. 111.
  3. Hāshimī Shāhrūdī, Dāʾirat al-maʿārif-i fiqh-i Islāmī, vol. 7, p. 111.
  4. Hāshimī Shāhrūdī, Dāʾirat al-maʿārif-i fiqh-i Islāmī, vol. 1, p. 307.
  5. Qurʾān, 4:24.
  6. Qurʾān, 66:12.
  7. Qurʾān, 5:5.
  8. Qurʾān, 4:22.
  9. Hāshimī Shāhrūdī, Dāʾirat al-maʿārif-i fiqh-i Islāmī, vol. 1, p. 307.
  10. Tawdhīḥ al-masāʾil-i marājiʿ, p. 896.
  11. Tawdhīḥ al-masāʾil-i marājiʿ, p. 896.
  12. Mūsawī Ardabīlī, Fiqh al-ḥudūd wa l-taʿzīrāt, vol. 1, p. 198.
  13. Majlisī, al-Ḥudūd wa l-qiṣaṣ wa l-dīyyāt, p. 21.
  14. Khomeini, Taḥrīr al-wasīla, vol. 4, p. 177.
  15. Mūsawī Ardabīlī, Fiqh al-ḥudūd wa l-taʿzīrāt, vol. 1, p. 234.
  16. Khomeini, Taḥrīr al-wasīla, vol. 4, p. 178.
  17. Khomeini, Taḥrīr al-wasīla, vol. 4, p. 239.
  18. Shaykh Bahāʾī, Jāmiʿ al-ʿAbbāsī, p. 731.

References

  • Qurʾān.
  • Dihkhudā, ʿAlī Akbar. Farhanq-i lughat. Tehran: Muʾassisa-yi Lughat Nama-yi Dihkhudā, 1341 Sh.
  • Hāshimī Shāhrūdī, Sayyid Maḥmūd. Dāʾirat al-maʿārif-i fiqh-i Islāmī muṭābiqi madhhab-i Ahl al-Bayt. Qom: Markaz-i Dāʾirat al-Maʿārif-i Fiqh-i Islāmī, 1382 Sh.
  • Khomeini, Rūhullāh. Tarjuma-yi Taḥrīr al-wasīla. Qom: Daftar-i Intishārāt-i Islāmī, 1425 AH.
  • Majlisī, Muḥammad Bāqir al-. Ḥudūd wa qiṣaṣ wa dīyāt. Tehran: Muʾassisa-yi Nashr-i Āthār-i Islāmī, n.d.
  • Mūsawī Ardabīlī, Sayyid ʿAbd al-Karim. Fiqh al-ḥudūd wa l-taʿzīrāt. Qom: Muʾassisat al-Nashr al-Jamiʿa li-l-Mufīd, 1437 AH.
  • Shaykh al-Bahāʾī al-ʿĀmilī, Bahāʾ al-Dīn al-. Al-Jāmiʿ al-ʿAbbāsī. Qom: Daftar Intishārāt-i Islāmī, 1429 AH.

Tawdhīḥ al-masāʾil-i marājiʿ. Qom: Intishārāt-i Tafakkur, 1372 Sh.