Does the Shafi’i school use Sadd al-Dharia’ as a source of law? 

Answered by Shaykh Muhammad Carr


What is the elucidation of sadd al-dhari’a and fath al-dhari’a? Can you give some examples according to Shafi’i school?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate.

The Shafi‘i school does not use blocking the means (sadd al-dhari’a) as a source of law.

The Point of Contention

Scholars agree that means are not considered in planting grapes, fearing that wine will be made therefrom or living under one roof, fearing fornication or adultery.

They also agree that the means are given due consideration when building a well in the pathway of the believers and poisoning their food.

A third category, like deferred sales, is the point of contention. A person sells an item on credit for ten gold coins. He repurchases the same item for five gold coins cash. This permissible sale could be a ruse for exchanging five gold coins for ten gold coins, which is usurious.

Imam Shafi‘i looks at the form of the sale and rules accordingly. He permits it and does not consider the potential negative outcome.


Imam Shafi‘i states, “Whoever passes judgment upon people in contradistinction to the apparent, based on a premonition of what they have made apparent, with or without an indication to it, in my opinion, goes against the Quran and Sunna. Thus, according to Imam Shafi‘I, considering the [potential] outcomes of a permitted phenomenon and passing judgment based on it violates the Quran and Sunna.

Imam Shafi‘I treats the fear of falling into something impermissible by doing something permissible as illusionary, phantasm and conjecture. Without textual evidence and proof (bayyina), the Shafi‘i school of thought does not consider indicants of a corrupt outcome and bad intentions.  

Fath Dhari’a 

Some scholars have extended dhari’a (means) to employing the means to something compulsory. Along the lines of, “If an obligation can only be fulfilled by a specific action, that action becomes obligatory.”

Most limit the legal concept of dhari’a to employing a means which leads to harm (Mafsada).

Ibn Farhun says, “Dhari‘a is a means to something; blockage of means refers to stopping the means of corruption. We prohibit a valid action when it is a means to harm.” [Ibn Farhun, Tabsirat al-Hukkam]

I pray this helps with your question.

[Shaykh] Muhammad Carr
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Muhammad Carr has dedicated his life to studying and transmitting our beautiful deen. His studies have taken him around the globe, where he has benefitted from many luminaries. Under the guidance of his teachers – Shaykh Taha Karan, Shaykh Yaseen Abbas, Shaykh Muadh Ali and many others – Shaykh Muhammad has grown to appreciate the beauty and benefits of diverse scholarship. He completed his memorization of the Qur’an at Dar al-Ulum Zakariyyah in September 1997 and received an Alimiyya Degree in 2006 from DUAI (Darul Ulum al-Arabiyyah al-Islamiyyah). He is also affiliated with Masjid Auwal in Bo Kaap, Cape Town (the oldest mosque in South Africa), where he serves as a co-imam, and Dar Al-Safa, where he has taught since 2018. As a teacher, he imparts the wisdom of our heritage and tradition by opening the door for students. As an imam, he has the unique opportunity to serve his community in daily life. 

In addition to his roles as a teacher and imam, Shaykh Muhammad Carr has contributed significantly to the administrative and advisory aspects of Islamic institutions. Since 2023, he has served as the Administrative Director at The Imam Kurani Institute, contributing to the institution’s growth and development. He continues to pursue traditional Islamic Sciences, possessing a keen interest in Islamic Contract Law and Finance. Shaykh Muhammad has been a Shari’ah Board Member for Islamic Asset Management & Insurance Companies since 2001, aligning financial practices with Islamic principles.