Ease And Removal Of The Difficulty

Praise be to Allah.

Islam did not come to be followed only by the Arabs or for a limited time being. The Deen of Allah is for all nations and to be followed till the day of resurrection. It would have been impractical if the Islamic legislation which provides guidelines on all aspects of life is not easy to follow. One of the ways by which the shariah aims to guide humans is based on the principle- Ease upon the humans and removal of the difficulty. The principal is outlined in several verses of the Quran and demonstrated by the prophet Muhammad (ﷺ).



Five Quranic verses that can be used to prove this principle:


1. “Allah intends for you ease, and He does not want to make things difficult for you[1]” 


2. “….He has chosen you (to convey His Message of Islamic Monotheism to mankind by inviting them to His religion, Islam), and has not laid upon you in religion any hardship[2]” 


3. “Allah burdens not a person beyond his scope[3]


4. “But if any is forced by hunger, with no inclination to transgress, Allah is indeed oft-forgiving, Most Merciful[4]” 


5. “Allah does not wish to place you in difficulty[5]



Five ahadeeth that can be used to prove this principle:



1.Whenever the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) was given choice between two things, he chose the easier one unless it was a sin[6]


2. When Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ), sent Ali ibn Abi Talib and Muadh ibn Jabal to govern the area of Yemen, he told them to ‘make things easy for the people and do not make things difficult [7]‘. 


3. He (ﷺ ) once said to his close companion Abdullah ibn Amr: “Have I heard right that you fast every day and stand in prayer all night?” Abdullah replied: “Yes, O Messenger of God”. The Prophet (ﷺ) said: “Do not do that. Fast, as well as, eat and drink. Stand in prayer, as well as, sleep. This is because your body has a right upon you, your eyes have a right upon you, your wife has a right upon you, and your guest has a right upon you.[8]” 


4. It is reported from Abu Hurairah (radiyallaahu ‘anhu) that the Prophet (ﷺ) said: “Religion is very easy, and whoever overburdens himself in his religion will not be able to continue in that way[9].


5. It is reported that ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-‘Aas was sent by the Prophet (ﷺ) on a dispatch. During his journey, he entered a state of sexual defilement on a cold night; as such, he made tayammum and later led his companions in prayer. To this, the Prophet (ﷺ) asked: “Did you lead your companion in prayers while you were in a state of sexual defilement?” He replied: “O Messenger of Allaah. I remembered the saying of Allah, ‘And do not kill yourselves. Surely, Allaah is Most Merciful to you[10].’ ” The Prophet smiled in approval of his action[11].


Five legislative enactments where this principle is manifested


1- A person in a state ritual minor or major impurity can perform prayer if he/she does not find water or fear illness. It so happened that once a companion led the people in prayer despite being Junub. Imam Abu Dawood collects in his collection this incidence mentioned above. 


 2- Allah has made it permissible for a person who is fasting to break his fast if he travels during the day. The evidence is very clear as Allah says:


“And whoever is ill or on a journey, the same number [of days which one did not observe Sawm (fasts) must be made up] from other days[12]


There is a report narrated from Jaabir ibn ‘Abd-Allaah (may Allaah be pleased with them), that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) went out to Makkah in the year of the Conquest in Ramadaan, and fasted until he reached Kuraa’ al-Ghameem. The people were fasting, but he called for a cup of water and lifted it so that the people could see it, then he drank it. After that, he was told that some of the people had continued to fast. He said, “Those are the disobedient, those are the disobedient[13].”



3- This outstanding principal is further manifested in one of the pillars of Islam- Hajj. One of the conditions which makes Hajj obligatory is being able to do it and who can afford its expenses. 


Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 


“And Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah) to the House (Kaaba) is a duty that mankind owes to Allaah, those who can afford the expenses (for one’s conveyance, provision, and residence)[14]


4- Cats are pure since they go around amongst us. 


There is a report narrated from Kabshah bint Ka‘b ibn Maalik, that Abu Qataadah came in when she had prepared water for Abu Qataadah to do wudoo’. A cat came and drank from the water, and he tilted the vessel for it so that it could drink. Kabshah said: He saw me looking at him and said: Do you find it strange, O daughter of my brother? The Messenger of Allaah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “They (cats) are not impure, they are of those who go around amongst you[15].”


5- Amongst the mercies of Allah on His slaves is that a traveler does not have to offer salah in full. The evidence to support this:


Anas ibn Maalik (may Allah be pleased with him) said: We went out with the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) from Madinah to Makkah, and he offered his prayers with two rak‘ahs every time until we returned to Madinah[16].


Degree of difficulty


It is worth remembering that removal of difficulty and facilitating ease is must be determined by the shariah and not out of casualness or desire. Scholars have pointed out three degrees of hardship.


A-  Extreme level of difficulty. An example of this would be taking a ritual bath in extremely cold weather. One can do tayammum and perform salah.


B- Bearable hardship– An example of this performing wudu on regular winter days or fasting in a slight headache.


C- Hardship between bearable and extreme– the ruling on this is what is closer to extreme or bearable. if the hardship is closer to the extreme then rulings will take that and if the rulings are closer to the bearable then there won’t be any ease associated with the worship.




Mankind and Jinn are created with the sole purpose to worship of Allah. The prophetic guidelines further teach us moderation in worship. This can be achieved by dropping the obligation, lessening the number of obligations, substituting with something easier, delaying, or advancing the acts, or even forbidden is allowable in case of necessity. Allah Knows Best.



  [1] Soorah Al Baqarah :185

[2] Surah al-Hajj (22:78)


[3] Al Baqarah 286

[4] Al Maidah 4

[5] Al Maidah 6

[6] Sahih al-Bukhari 3560: Book 61, Hadith 69


[7] Muslim, Book 23, Hadith 4961


[8] (Sahih al-Bukhari 5199: Book 67, Hadith 133

: Vol. 7, Book 62, Hadith 127


[9] Sahih al-Bukhari 39 In-book reference : Book 2, Hadith 32

USC-MSA web (English) reference: Vol. 1, Book 2, Hadith 39


[10] Surah an-Nisa 4:29

[11] Sunan Abi Dawud 334

In-book reference: Book 1, Hadith 334

English translation: Book 1, Hadith 334


[12] [al-Baqarah 2:185]


[13] Muslim

[14] Aal ‘Imraan 3:97]


[15] by Abu Dawood (75), at-Tirmidhi (92), an-Nasaa’i (68) and Ibn Maajah (367)

[16] Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1081; Muslim, 724.


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