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Mashwarah

Fatwaa ID: 1424

Question:
A sister asks:

  1. When should mashwera be made,?
  2. Who’s opinion should be considered during mashwera?
  3. How many people should make mashwera?

Answer:
In the Name of Allaah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salaamu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullaahi wa-barakaatuh.

At the outset, mashwarah/Mashoorah, or consulting with the appropriate people, is a great sunnah of Rasulullaah . Allaah Ta’aala had commanded Nabi do this. He said,

وَشَاوِرْهُمْ فِي الْأَمْرِ
“And consult with them (the Sahaabah) in the matter.” [Aali ‘Imraan 159]

In Surah Ash-Shoora, verse 38, Allaah Ta’aala commends those who make mashwarah and refers to it as a characteristic of the believers. When we study the lives of Rasulullaah and the Sahaabah (R), we find their lives replete with this blessed practice. Take for example the decision made regarding the prisoners of war from the Battle of Badr. Similarly, prior to going out for the Battle of Uhud and also during the battle, Nabi consulted the Sahaabah (R). In the Treaty of Hudaybiyah, he consulted with some of his wives (R). In the issue of Ifk, he consulted some of the Sahaabah (R). Many many examples can be cited for this.

Sayyiduna Abu Hurayrah (R) says,

ما رأيت أحدًا أكثر مشورة لأصحابه من رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم
“I have not seen anyone make more mashwarah with his companions than Rasulullaah .” [Tirmidhi]

This is despite Nabi being divinely inspired by Allaah Ta’aala. It only shows how much we should engage in this. When a person makes mashwarah with others, it brings about ideas which result in better decisions and outcomes. It also bonds and strengthens relationships. It protects one from being blamed if things do not work out as expected.

Imaam Hasan Al-Basri (R) said,

ما تشاور قوم إلا هداهم الله لأفضل ما يحضرهم
“Whenever a group of people make mashwarah, Allaah Ta’aala guides them to the best of outcomes.” [Adabul Mufrad]

Some narrations even suggest that a person who decides on matters after consulting, he will not regret his decision. Mashwarah should be made regarding all our issues and matters. It is a form of ‘ibaadah.

Nevertheless, the answers to your queries are as follows,

  1. Mashwarah should ideally be made for almost everything that requires a decision.
  2. The one making the decision should weigh the pros and cons of each opinion and make a thoughtful decision. Istikhaarah should also be made prior to the decision.
  3. There is no set amount. Mashwarah may be made with one person or many. This will differ from person to person. In some cases, it will be ideal to make mashwarah with everyone involved. At times, one may choose a few individuals. The most important part of making mashwarah is to consult the right people. Not every person is right or suitable for every matter.

And Allaah Ta’aala knows best.
Mufti Muajul I. Chowdhury
Darul Iftaa New York
https://askthemufti.us/

12/18/1444 AH – 07/06/2023 CE | AML3-3503

وصل اللهم وسلم وبارك على سيدنا محمد وعلى ءاله وصحبه أجمعين

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