Difference Between Farz and Sunnah
Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,
As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)
One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
what is the difference between 'Farizat' and 'Sunnat' ?We usually say that some aayaat or some prayer is a sunnat and some acts are farizal....
what does it mean ?
(There may be some grammatical and spelling errors in the above statement. The forum does not change anything from questions, comments and statements received from our readers for circulation in confidentiality.)
Difference Between Farz and Sunnah
In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.
Your comment: what is the difference between 'Farizat' and 'Sunnat'?
The definition of the word farz is something which is obligatory or compulsory; and the definition of Sunnah is a way or tareeqa, which when used in the Islamic sense means the way of the Prophet (saws).
There is another term as used in Islamic vocabulary which is called nafl or voluntary duties.
Farz are duties or commands of Allah and His Messenger (saws) which are obligatory on the believers. If these farz duties are done, there is a huge reward for doing them from Allah Subhanah; and if not done, there will be a punishment.
Sunnah are the nafl works which were done by the Prophet (saws). If one does these nafl works, he will receive a reward from Allah, and if not done, there will be no punishment.
Your comment: We usually say that some aayaat or some prayer is a sunnat and some acts are farizal.... what does it mean ?
Brother, your question actually mentions three different things: aayahs (Revelations of Quran), prayers itself, or some acts in the prayers. I am not sure which one you mean, thus I will try to answer all three of them separately.
In light of the teachings of Allah and His Messenger (saws), indeed there are some acts in the prayers which are termed farz; which means that if one misses or forgets to do these acts in the prayers, the prayers will be considered invalid. The farz duties in the prayers are things like the first taqbeer to start the prayers, to stand in qiyaam, to pray Surah Fateha in each rakah, rukuh, sujood, etc.
Then there are some things in the prayers, which if one misses or forgets, does not hold the position of farz. His prayers will be valid even if he forgets to do one of these acts (please note that this is only if one forgets and makes a mistake, not when one leaves out these acts on a habitual basis). Things like doing a particular tasbeeh for a particular number of times when in rukuh or sujood, or things like if one should fold his hands or keep them straight when standing in qiyaam, etc.
If your question is pertaining to Farz or Sunnah prayers, then there is a difference. Farz prayers are the five prayers as commanded by Allah and His Messenger (saws) as an obligatory duty unto every believer.
The nafl or voluntary prayers are those which one prayers extra other than the farz prayers. And the sunnah prayers are those nafl or voluntary prayers which the Prophet (saws) is reported to have prayed.
If your question is pertaining to the Farz aayahs or Revelations which must be prayed in every prayer, then the answer is that it is farz or obligatory to pray the first Surah of the Quran, Surah Fateha, in each and every rakah of the prayer. One is allowed to pray any number of verses after the Surah Fateha in the prayers, which was the Sunnah of the Prophet (saws).
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.
Your brother and well wisher in Islam,