The first principle is entitled: The Lawgiver orders only that which is a purely beneficial (i.e. no evil therein) or predominately beneficial (meaning its benefits exceeds any evil therein). The Lawgiver forbids only that which is purely evil or predominately evil (i.e. the good is negligible when compared to the evil), giving precedence to warding off the evil.
Qur’anic Foundation for Principle One
This foundation comprises the entire shari’ah. Nothing is irregular when considered using this foundation. There is no differentiation, whether this foundation refers to the rights of Allaah or the rights of His slaves. Allaah (subhannahu wa ta’ala) said (in the translation of the meaning): «Verily, Allaah enjoins al-‘Adl (i.e. justice) and al-Ihsaan, and giving (help) to kith and kin and forbids al-Fahsha (i.e all evil deeds), and al-Munkar (i.e. all that is prohibited), and Al-Baghye (i.e. all kinds of oppression), He admonishes you, that you may take heed.» Surah an-Nahl (16:90).
From this ayah, it is clear that there is no justice or goodness, except that Allaah orders it. Similarly, there is no evil or munkar related to the rights of Allaah and no transgression nor oppression related to the rights of people, except that He forbade it. This is where this foundation is deducted from. Also, Allaah said in the Qur’an (in the translation of the meaning):
«Say (O Muhammad: sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam): My Lord has commanded justice and (said) that you should face Him only (i.e. worship none but Allaah and face the Qiblah, i.e. the Ka'bah at Makkah during prayers) in each and every place of worship, in prayers and invoke Him only making your religion sincere to Him» Surah al-‘Araf (7:29). As such, this verse comprises the basic foundations regarding the commands and reminds us of their goodness. Similarly, the following verse comprises the basis of all the prohibitions while commanding us to say away from them, stating (in the translation of the meaning):
«Say (O Muhammad: sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam): "(But) the things that my Lord has indeed forbidden are al-Fawahish (great evil sins, every kind of unlawful sexual intercourse, etc.) whether committed openly or secretly, sins (of all kinds), unrighteous oppression, joining partners (in worship) with Allaah for which He has given no authority, and saying things about Allaah of which you have no knowledge."» Surah al-‘Araf (7:33).
This verse begins by describing those acts that are lesser in gravity, continuing on to those that are the highest in magnitude and forbiddance.
In addition, Allaah said the following verse (in the translation of the meaning): «O you who believe! When you intend to offer as-Salaat (the prayer), wash your faces and your hands (forearms) up to the elbows, rub (by passing wet hands over) your heads, and (wash) your feet up to ankles. If you are in a state of Janaaba (i.e. had a sexual discharge), purify yourself (bathe your whole body).
But if you are ill or on a journey or any of you comes from answering the call of nature, or you have been in contact with women (i.e. sexual intercourse) and you find no water, then perform Tayammum with clean earth and rub therewith your faces and hands. Allaah does not want to place you in difficulty, but He wants to purify you, and to complete His Favor on you that you may be thankful.» Surah al-Ma’idah (5:6).
After mentioning the command that when one wants to perform the salaah that he must make wudhu with water if it is available or otherwise clean earth, Allaah tells us that His magnificent commands, which are from His greatest favors, are not meant to be difficult but to provide good for us and to purify us.
Furthermore, contemplate His saying in Surah al-Isra (in the translation of the meaning): «And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect, nor shout at them but address them in terms of honor.» Surah al-Isra (17:23).
In the same Surah, Allaah affirmed (in the translation of the meaning): «This is (part) of al-Hikmah (wisdom, good manners and high character, etc.) which your Lord has inspired to you» Surah al-Isra (17:39).
To fully understand this verse, we must look at the preceding verses. Allaah said (in the translation of the meaning): «And kill not your children for fear of poverty. We provide for them and for you. Surely, the killing of them is a great sin. And come not near to the unlawful sexual intercourse. Verily, it is a Faahishah [i.e. anything that transgresses its limits (a great sin)], and an evil way (that leads one to Hell unless Allaah forgives him). And do not kill anyone which Allaah has forbidden, except for a just cause.» Surah al-Isra (17:31-33).