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What is the difference between al-Dharar and al-Dhiraar?

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Source: Sheikh Saalih ibn al-‘Uthaymeen

What is the difference between *al-Dharar* [الضَرَر] and *al-Dhiraar* [الضِرَار]?

Sheikh ‘Uthaymeen – may Allah have mercy on Him – mentioned in his explanation of the hadeeth,

 

Hadeeth

{There should be neither harm [الضَرَر] nor reciprocation of harm [الضِرَار]}:

 

Explanation

 *al-Dharar* [الضَرَر] [is causing harm and] can be in regards to the body, in regards to wealth, in regards to offspring, in regards to livestock, etc. And it occurs without intent. For example – a man has a neighbor who owns a tree which he waters everyday, and then the water enters upon his neighbor and bothers him, however he does not know this is happening. So this is called *dharar*.

 

And *al-dhiraar* [الضِرَار] is referring [to causing harm] with intent, and so it takes the grammatical form indicating that one is doing an act to/on another. For example – there is a man who has poor relations with his neighbor. So he says, ‘Verily I will do what harms him’. So he strains his voice to sound like a bulldozer against his neighbor’s wall, and his intent is causing harm to his neighbor. So because of that he is called a *mudhaar* [مُضَار] (a harmer).

 

And the *mudhaar* does not cease his harming when it is made clear to him [that he is causing harm to someone else] – rather that is his intention! But as for *al-dharar*, then when it is made clear to the one who is causing the unintentional harm, then he ceases to do it.1 

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Footnotes

  1. From Sharh al-Arbaa’een al-Nawawi lil-Uthaymeen, hadeeth #32, pg. 353

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