Justifying evil actions because other people are doing so

Reference: Fataawa al-Lajnah ad-Daa.imah lil-Buhooth al-‘Ilmiyyah wal-Iftaa., – Volume 12, Page 348, Question No.4 of Fatwa No.3247

Question: What is the ruling if you say to a man or a woman that, “What you are doing is haraam”, such as telling a woman not to wear short clothes, or telling a man not to smoke cigarettes; [and they in turn] reply by saying that everyone does it, or that all the women in our country/city dress like this?

Response: The response that you have mentioned is regarded as incorrect, and the people’s evil actions cannot be justified, as Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) says:

{And if you obey most of those on the earth, they will mislead you far away from Allaah’s path}, [Soorah al-An’aam, Aayah 116].

Indeed, rulings on what is halaal and what is haraam are taken from the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger ﷺ, not from the actions of the people, because people [consistently] fall into that which is wrong and that which is right (i.e. they are not perfect).

And with Allaah lies all success and may Allaah send prayers and salutations upon our Prophet ﷺ and his family and his companions.

He is a graduate of the Islaamic University of Madeenah, having graduated from the Institute of Arabic Language, and later the Faculty of Sharee'ah in 2004. He currently resides in Birmingham, UK.

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