Question 341:  As Salam O Ale Kum. What is meaning of Mubah? What action of shariah is Mubah in Islam? Does following any Mubah is haram upon Ahlulbait AS? Does Mutah comes under category of Mubah?

Answer 341: When it comes to the practical laws of Islam or what is known as “Ahkaam al-Khamsah” in Arabic terminology, we must say that every act that a duty-bound (mukallaf) does is either wajib (obligatory), haram (prohibited), mustahab (recommended) makrooh (abominable) or mubah (allowable).

If any action that has no specific ruling (i.e. it is not wajib, haram, mustahab or makruh) is considered as Mubah (allowable, permissible), so doing or avoiding it is equal and it has no Divine Reward and Punishment.[1]

In hadiths and sources, mubah also is used in a more general meaning of “ja’iz” (unprohibited) and “halal” (allowed). But, there is difference between Mubah and Halal. Halal is the opposite of haram and includes everything that is not haram. Based on this, halal is more general than mubah, meaning that every mubah is halal, but not every halal is mubah, like makruh which is halal but not mubah.

Islam considers certain acts as inevitably obligatory and mandatory terming them as “wajib“. It has declared certain other acts such lying, backbiting, oppression etc. as prohibited terming them as “haram”.

Anything which is neither obligatory nor prohibited is technically called “mubah” in its broader and more general meaning.[2] Most of the things which we have something to do with in our daily lives come into the category of mubah about which we can have a free choice easily.

Conclusively, when it comes to mubah things, one can choose to do or not to do it. In both cases, he has not violated Islam.  For instance, the model of cell phone you choose to buy, or the washing power (detergents), journeying by bus or train and thousands of such examples can be produced where one does not need to make sure that his actions are in accordance with Islamic standards.

According to some ahadith, mutah is mubah and halal but not mustahab. In this regards, Imam Kadhim (as) said: Mutah is Halal, Mubah and Ja’iz for one whose wife is away. [3]

Arabic version of this hadith:

هي حلال مباح مطلق لمن لم يغنه الله بالتزويج فليستعفف بالمتعة فإن استغنى عنها بالتزويج فهي مباح له إذا غاب عنها

 According to others, it is considered as a mustahab act.[4]

Imam Sadiq (as) said: It is mustahab for men to do mutah.[5]

Arabic version:

أَبِي عَبْدِ اللَّهِ ع قَال‏: يُسْتَحَبُ‏ لِلرَّجُلِ‏ أَنْ‏ يَتَزَوَّجَ‏ الْمُتْعَةَ وَ مَا أُحِبُّ لِلرَّجُلِ مِنْكُمْ أَنْ يَخْرُجَ مِنَ الدُّنْيَا حَتَّى يَتَزَوَّجَ الْمُتْعَةَ وَ لَوْ مَرَّة

For further information in this regards, please read the following answer:

Index: Rules of Mutah (temporary marriage), answer 079.

Index: Usul al-Din and Furu al-Din in Islam, answer 223.

Index: Principles of Religion: Usul al-Din in Quran, answer 230.

Index: Ask Islam: How to become a Muslim, answer 527.

[1] . Adopted from answer 223.

[2] Abominable (makrooh) and recommended (mustahab) acts are included in the general meaning of “mubah” because, although they are instrumental to man’s spiritual progress, they are not mandatory. For instance, the “Night Prayers” is recommended and “poetry” on Friday abominable but none of them is mandatory.

[3] . Sheikh Hurr Ameli, Wasael al-Shia, Beirut, Dar Ihya al-Turath al-Arabi, 1104 A.H. Vol. 14, Pgs. 449-450.

[4] . Jawahir al-Kalam, Vol. 30, Pgs. 139 & 151; Wasael al-Shia, Vol. 21, Pg. 13;  The official website of Ayatollah Bahjat (ra), rules of temporary marriage, Q 527.

[5] . Wasael al-Shia, Vol. 21, Pg. 15; Biharul Anwar, Vol. 100, Pg. 305.