Fatwa: # 41208
Category: Beliefs and Practices (Aq...
Country: United Arab Emirates
Date: 10th January 2019

Title

The Concept of Colour in Islam

Question

As-Salaam-Alaikum, I would appreciate if you can answer this question as it’s been bugging me for while now. In science, it is taught that objects do not have any color. It is light that gives objects there appearance of color. For example an apple is not really red but rather appears red because a certain wavelength of light reflects off of it giving it it’s red appearance. I believe that color is an intrinsic and essential quality of objects themselves. An apple is red because it inherently possesses the quality of red color. Kindly clarify this matter in the light of Islamic guidance concerning the nature of color. JazakAllah.

Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

Whenever a concept in science corresponds with Shari’ah, then there is no harm in accepting it. Conversely, when such a concept goes against the teachings of Shari’ah, one cannot accept it. Scientific findings are forever changing and there is no harm in adopting them as long as they do not oppose Shari’ah. On the other hand, those principles which are related to Shari’ah are constant. The Quran is not a book on science; therefore it is not necessary that all scientific concepts are discussed therein. Therefore, there is no reason why you should believe that in Shari’ah colour has to be intrinsic or extrinsic.

Logicians, philosophers and theologians, both classical and contemporary, Muslim and non-Muslim, have debated whether colour is intrinsic or extrinsic. Some of what they mentioned was according to their understanding of science at the time, or their words can be better understood in the light of modern science. However, these debates are not integrals of Shari’ah, therefore, even if Muslim logicians or philosophers were incorrect in some aspects it has no bearing on Deen, just as Muslim scientists in the past may have held certain opinions, which modern science came to refute.

According to modern science, light reflects off an object into the eye, wherein various parts of the eye process that wavelength of light into signals to the brain, which interprets it into colour. However, as stated earlier, whether colour is intrinsic or extrinsic, it does not impact one’s Deen.

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Faizal Dhada

Student, Darul Iftaa

UK

Checked and Approved by, 

Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

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