[2/93] al-Faqih and al-Tahdhib: From Ibn Mahbub from Abdallah b. Sinan who said: Abu Abdillah عليه السلام said: everything which has both Halal and Haram [elements mixed into it] then it is Halal for you forever until you know the Haram in it specifically so you abandon it. Comments
al-Moḥsini: It is apparent that the Hadith is limited to external uncertainty i.e. “uncertainty concerning the subject of the ruling” NOT “uncertainty concerning the nature of the ruling”.
I (the translator) say: This is proven by a variant which is weak in chain but is corroborated by the reliable narration under discussion.
علي بن إبراهيم، (عن أبيه) عن هارون بن مسلم، عن مسعدة بن صدقة عن أبي عبدالله ع قال: سمعته يقول: كل شئ هولك حلال حتى تعلم أنه حرام بعينه فتدعه من قبل نفسك وذلك مثل الثوب يكون قد اشتريته وهو سرقة أو المملوك عندك ولعله حر قد باع نفسه أو خدع فبيع أو قهر أو امرأة تحتك وهي اختك أو رضيعتك والاشياء كلها على هذا حتى يستبين لك غير ذلك أو تقوم به البينة
Ali b. Ibrahim (from his father) from Harun b. Muslim from Mas’ada b. Sadaqa from Abi Abdillah عليه السلام, he (Mas’ada) said: I heard him saying: everything is Halal for you until you know that it is Haram specifically – so you then abandon it on your part, and that is for example – clothes which you had bought but turns out were stolen, or a slave under you and perhaps he is a free-man who had already bought his own freedom, or he was sold off into slavery by treachery, or he was forced into slavery (whilst being a free-man), or a woman who is under you (your wife) while she is your biological sister or foster-sister [and you do not know], and everything is on this [principle – of being allowed] until such a time when the opposite is revealed to you or you have evidence to the contrary.
All the examples provided involve uncertainty having to do with the subject of the ruling and not the nature of the ruling.
al-Moḥsini: The words of the Imam being absolute further imply that the principle of Exemption should be applied even to cases where we have non-specific knowledge (secondary doubt), this is indicated by him saying “specifically”. Despite this, there is no option but to remove [non-specific knowledge] from the range of the narration and continue to impose the principle of Precaution in them [in cases of non-specific knowledge]. Refer to the relevant discussion in Usul al-Fiqh.