Shubha (Arabic)

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Shubha (Arabic: شبهة doubt, obscurity, or mis-grounded conceit)[1]in Islamic term it refers to the duty of the leaders/judges to seek the doubt (shubha) before implementing any verdict in case of a crime of any degree, therefore the Prophet Mohammad commanded to avoid implementing a serious punishment in case of uncertainty, his famous saying in this regard is : ادرؤوا الحدود بالشبهات seek doubts to avoid punishment.Qur'an or Islam.

In Qur'an[edit]

A derived term with similar meaning is mentioned in the Qur'an at 3:7.[2]

It is He Who has sent down to you the Book. In it are Verses that are entirely clear, they are the foundations of the Book; and others not entirely clear. So as for those in whose hearts there is a deviation (from the truth) they follow that which is not entirely clear thereof, seeking Al-Fitnah (polytheism and trials, etc.), and seeking for its hidden meanings, but none knows its hidden meanings save Allâh. And those who are firmly grounded in knowledge say: "We believe in it; the whole of it (clear and unclear Verses) are from our Lord." And none receive admonition except men of understanding.[3]

In Hadith[edit]

Commenting on the above verse, the Prophet is reported to have said:

«فَإِذَا رَأَيْتِ الَّذِينَ يَتَّبِعُونَ مَا تَشَابَهَ مِنْهُ؛ فَأُولئِكَ الَّذِينَ سَمَّى اللهُ، فَاحْذَرُوهُم»

(When you see those who follow what is not so clear of the Qur'an, then they are those whom God described, so beware of them.)[4]


  1. ^ Al-Mawrid dictionary gives: suspicion, doubt, dubiosity, uncertainty, obscurity, vagueness.
  2. ^ Qur'ān, Chapter 3, Verse 7
  3. ^ Rough Translation of the Meaning of The Noble Quran, Muhammad Taqi-ud-Din Al-Hilali and Muhammad Muhsin Khan. Abridged.
  4. ^ Bukhari, Volume 6, Book 60, Number 70 (Arabic). See also Tafsir Ibn Kathir.