Sen McGlinn's blog

                                  Reflections on the Bahai teachings

The Five Ahkam in Bahai law

One of the friends asked:

> In future Baha’i jurisprudence, will the five ahkam of Islamic law be
> used to classify the moral valuations of various actions — i.e.
> obligatory (fard/wajib), recommended (mandub), permitted (mubah),
> discouraged (makruh), and prohibited (haram) actions?
> Is there a textual basis in the n Baha’i Writings for (or against)
> categorizing actions in this traditional way?

There’s a basis for this categorization in logic, and in the needs of the believers.

We already use at least this categorisation. Fasting is obligatory for all, electing a
House of Justice is a collective obligation where there are 9 adult
Bahais, consulting a physician is recommended, smoking is discouraged,
backbiting is prohibited, and many thing are left to the conscience of the

The value of the meta-knowledge is limited. Knowing that some things are
discouraged but not forbidden in the Bahai Faith, for example, is all very
well (if one was under the illusion that all things not forbidden are
compulsory, it would be downright liberating) — but one then wants to
know what particular things are discouraged, in what terms, and why.
Smoking and divorce are not interchangeable issues, each has its

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