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Makrūh (Arabic: مَکْروه, literally: disliked) is one of the Five Rulings. It is an action which is not haram (forbidden), but it had better not be done. In manuals of Islamic law, makruh actions are also mentioned along with obligatory and haram actions. Actions are not makruh to the same extent; some of them are more disliked than others.
Literally, the word, "makruh", means disliked and unpleasant. In the terminology of fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence), it refers to an action that is not forbidden to do, but it had better to be abandoned. For example, urination while standing is makruh, that is, although it is not forbidden (haram), one had better not do it. Sometimes it is alternatively said that an action has "kiraha" (literally: dislikedness) to mean that it is makruh.
As One of the Five Rulings
Along with wajib (obligatory), haram (forbidden), mustahab (recommended), and mubah (merely permissible), makruh is one of the Five Rulings in fiqh. In essays of fatwas as well as other jurisprudential books, in each section, relevant makruh actions are mentioned along with obligatory and forbidden ones. For example, makruh actions regarding foods and drinks (e.g. it is makruh (disliked) to eat the meat of horses and donkeys), makruh actions regarding urination (e.g. it is makruh to urinate in water or urinate while standing), or makruh actions regarding the dhibh (slaughtering) of animals (e.g. it is makruh to slaughter an animal in front of another animal), and the like. According to al-Sayyid Muhammad Kazim al-Yazdi in his al-'Urwa al-wuthqa, it is obligatory to follow a mujtahid with regard to all the Five Rulings, including makruh actions.
Some makruh actions are more disliked than others. For example, it is strongly makruh to have an anal intercourse with one's wife. However, doing makruh actions is not followed by afterlife punishments.
Sometimes certain worships are said to be makruh. In such cases, the word, "makruh", is used in a different meaning. For example, it is makruh to say one's prayer in the bathroom or a cemetery or it is makruh for a junub person or a woman in her menstruation to recite the Qur'an. In these cases, "makruh" does not mean that the action had better be abandoned; rather it means that the action has a comparatively smaller reward, that is, the reward for saying one's prayer in the bathroom is smaller than saying it in other places, or the recitation of the Qur'an for a junub person has a smaller reward, and so on.
- The material for this article was mainly taken from مکروه in Farsi WikiShia.