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Dental fillings and darūrats

Question: Do the situations termed darūrats not make prohibited things allowed? Is a dental filling not considered to be a darūrat?
Having a tooth filled is necessity, not a darūrat. It is written in Majalla: “Darūrats make prohibited things allowed. That is, prohibition for a certain thing is suspended as long as the darūrat lasts. However, not every necessity is regarded as a darūrat.”

[darūrat: 1- strong necessity, a samāwī (involuntary) reason that forces one to do something, that is, a situation which arises beyond one’s will, is called a darūrat 2- an involuntary excuse such as the danger of dying or losing a limb, or severe pain. These excuses make it mubāh [allowed] to perform an act that is normally harām [forbidden] in Islam.]

A darūrat
is a situation that involves hunger, thirst, having no clothes, or homelessness, which in turn causes illness to a person. (Ashbāh)

A darūrat arises from compulsion, or it is because there is no other way. (Translation of Qāmūs)

As it is understood, a samāwī (involuntary) reason that forces one to do something, that is, a situation which arises beyond one’s will, is called a darūrat. In short, darūrat is a compulsion which precludes the possibility of finding any other way out in a thing that Islam has commanded or prohibited.

Let us make it clearer with some examples:
It is harām [prohibited] for a person who has a day’s food to beg for food. A person who is not able enough to work and who will starve to death asks for a loan. If nobody lends it, such a person is allowed to beg for money. If nobody gives anything though one begs for, then one can eat a piece of carcass. One who has not eaten anything for 24 hours is considered hungry. This kind of hunger is necessity because there is not a situation causing death. It is harām for this hungry person to eat a piece of carcass. As is seen, darūrat is the last resort to turn to when all other doors are closed.

To use a prohibited thing which in turn causes halāk if it is not used is a darūrat. But, if not to use a thing causes difficulty and predicament, it is a necessity. For example, if one has been hungry for days and cannot find anything to eat, it is a darūrat for one to eat such an amount of carcass that will save one from death. (Uyun-ul-basāir)

[Lexical meaning of halāk is destruction, perishing, exhaustion. In this register, it is used to mean “the measure of harm or danger which Islam dictated as a gauge whereby to decide about the step to be taken.]

Hadrat Imām-i Rabbānī “quddisa sirruh” states:
A necessity is different from a darūrat. A thing that is allowed in case of a darūrat is not permitted in case of a necessity. To assert that interest in borrowing is not harām for a person in need would be an attempt to change a commandment declared in the Qur’ān al-karīm. The third āyat-i karīma of Sūrat-ul-Māida which purports ”A person in such straights as could end in death …” points out an ‘udhr [excuse] that may be exploited to exonerate oneself from the state of committing a harām. If a need of any measure were to be accepted as an ‘udhr to be resorted to for a justification for borrowing with interest, there would have been no reason for making interest harām. For only a person in need would accept to pay interest. A person not in need would not be willing to make an unwarranted payment. That injuction of Allahu ta’ālā would have been groundless and useless. If every necessity were considered to be a darūrat, then there would be no harām transaction that would be labelled as “interest.” (First Volume, 102nd Letter)

Actions taken by a person to protect one’s self against someone who is pointing a gun at that person would be self defence. It is permissible for one who is under attack to disarm the attacker in order to defend one’s self. However, if one says with the sole intention of frightening you, “I will kill you,” then it is not permissible to murder that one right away to protect yourself.

After marrying and having children, if a man in the Hanafī Madhhab finds out (later) that his wife is his foster-sister, they cannot make their marriage go thinking, “What is done cannot be undone. We have married and had children. It is not proper to break up our households.” In such cases, in order to prevent their households from breaking up, they can imitate another madhhab only in the matter in question. In the Shāfi’ī Madhhab, if two chidren are suckled 5 times by the same mother until they are fully satiated, they become foster-siblings. If a married couple has become foster-siblings by way of suckling 2-3 times, they can remain married by imitating the Shāfi’ī Madhhab. It is not possible for them to remain married unless they imitate the Shāfi’ī Madhhab.

A dental filling is a necessity, not a darūrat. In fact, to fill a tooth does not mean to cure it. If people do not have their decaying teeth filled but have them pulled, they do not die. A pious Muslim doctor does not say, “If you do not have your tooth filled or crowned, you will die.” On the contrary, a pious Muslim doctor is saying, “Dental filling is not a darūrat, but a necessity. So have your tooth filled or crowned.”

When the necessity arises, even if there is not a darūrat, it is permissible and necessary to imitate another madhhab. (Radd-ul-mukhtār)

Date of Update
6 Aralżk 2021 Pazartesi
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