What are the azimah and rukhsa in islam? What does azimah and rukhsa means?
Aẓīmah lexically means to turn in a certain direction and make an intention. Aẓīmah in Islamic legal terminology refers to the provisions that Almighty Allah decreed in the first place in a binding manner for all competent and responsible believers under all circumstances. Ritual prayer, fasting, pilgrimage, and similar religious obligations are of this nature. The provisions of prohibition of certain acts such as killing someone unjustly, drinking wine, consumption of meat of dead animals, and pork are also decrees of aẓīmah.
Rukhṣa literally means convenience. In Islamic legal terminology, it refers to the temporary provisions that Allah established for His servants according to their excuses and needs. Therefore, aẓīmah refers to the general and original provision, while rukhṣa refers to the exceptional provision. A general and normal situation is in question in aẓīmah, and in rukhṣa, there is an excuse, need, and necessity. The rukhṣa is divided into four types:
1. Rukhsa to Commit Haram
In the case of necessity or need at the level of necessity, committing a ḥarām act can become permissible. It becomes permissible for a person with a heart full of faith to utter the word of disbelief under the threat of being killed or losing an organ. Allah has given this permission to the one who is forced.
For instance, the Meccan polytheists tortured Ammar Ibn Yasir (d. 34/657) in the early days of Islam. They did not leave him until he insulted the Prophet and praised their gods. When Ammar (r.a) conveyed this situation to the Messenger of Allah (saw) and stated that his heart was full of faith, the Messenger of Allah (saw) said, “If they torture you again, do the same.”
2. Rukhsa to Abandon The Wajib
When there is an additional difficulty in conducting a farḍ and wajib act, sometimes the one who is legally responsible may abandon that act. For example, it is permissible for a traveler and a sick person not to fast in the month of Ramadan. It can be made up later. However, in this case, acting in accordance with aẓīmah is superior to using the rukhṣa. This is because of the following command found in the continuation of the Qur’anic verse, which states that notwithstanding the rukhṣa, “It is better for you to fast (despite your difficulties).”
3. The Rukhsa to Perform Some Legal Acts Contrary to The General Rule
Examples of this are the salam contract (money in advance, goods on credit) and the iṣtiṣnāʿ contract (ordering a craftsman to construct or produce something), which are the contracts of sale of something that does not exist at the time of the contract. Due to the needs of people, these two kinds of transactions are permitted by hadith and common custom. In these cases, it is permissible in both cases to act according to the rukhṣa and to leave the rukhṣa.
4. The Rukhsa That Abrogates The Exacting Provisions of Previous Monotheistic Religions
Some demanding provisions that existed in previous religions were abolished for the followers of Muhammad (saw) and instead conveniences were introduced to them. Provisions in these previous religions were for example that a person who wanted to repent for a major sin was required to slay himself, a ritual prayer was deemed invalid if performed outside the place reserved for worship, and the booty was prohibited. All of these provisions of the previous religions were abrogated in Islam.
The following verses indicate that there were such weighty provisions in previous religions: “…our Lord! Lay not on us a burden Like that which You did lay on those before us…”, and “… He releases them from their heavy burdens and from the yokes that are upon them…”
These kinds of changes are metaphorically called rukhṣa since these provisions were not first legalized and then abolished in Islam. Ultimately, it is not permissible to act according to these past provisions found in the previous religions.
After having dealt with some basic terms and general introductory knowledge about Islam that can assist us in understanding the issues related to the acts of worship and daily transactions, we can now turn towards examining the issues related to the Islamic creed, which is a core matter for the validity of all types of worship.
 See al-Naḥl, 16: 106 Al-Sarakhsī, Mabsut, XXIV, 144; Abdulazīz al-Bukharī, Kashf al-Aṣrār ‘ala ‘Uṣūl al-Pazdawī, Istanbul 1308, II, 636, 637 Al-Baqara, 2: 184. See al-Baqara, 2: 54; Z. Shaʿbān, ibid, p. 223 ff. Al-Baqara, 2: 286. Al-Aʿraf, 7: 157.