Difference between fard 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:
My question to all the people of knowledge is that if something is not farz, then whether it is sunnah moqadah or ghair moqadah then it does not entitle a perosn to perform it whatsoever may be the case.
Farz is Farz and a sunnah is sunnah. After all it is not farz... then why do people stress and keep telling us things to do which are not farz even.. and they say you will be given gunnah for things which are not categorically stated to be farz and are stresses by rasool Allah (peace be upon him) kindly update me on this important issue of mine.
When something is not farz and even if it is stressed, howcome it will carry
gunnah for it.
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Difference between fard 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.
One should make a clear distinction between the ‘fard’ and ‘sunnah’ in the acts of worship; and ‘fard’ and ‘sunnah’ in all the other aspects of one’s life.
Ref: ‘Fard’ and ‘Sunnah’ in acts of worship; prayers, fasting, etc.
In all the acts of worship, Allah and His Messenger (saws) have clearly distinguished between the fard (obligatory) and the nafl (voluntary) ibaadah. All the nafl (voluntary) ibaadah done by the Prophet (saws), is known to us as his Sunnah.
The five obligatory prayers are fard; the fasting of the full month of Ramadan are fard; the paying of the zakat is fard; and the making of the Hajj pilgrimage once in one’s lifetime is fard for those who can afford it. If one does over and above any of the above fard acts of worship, they will be considered voluntary acts of worship, and the person will earn extra reward from Allah Subhanah.
If one performs the fard (obligatory) acts of worship, he will earn a huge reward from Allah Subhanah. If one intentionally and without a valid reason leaves any of the fard acts of worship, he will be committing a heinous sin in the sight of Allah Subhanah.
All acts of worship other than the ones listed above will be considered ‘nafl’ or voluntary. The ‘nafl’ ibaadah done by the Messenger of Allah (saws) is what is called the Sunnah. If one does extra voluntary (Sunnah or Nafl) prayers, or fasts, or sadaqa, or extra Hajj or Umrah pilgrimages; he will earn a huge reward from Allah Subhanah. If one does not do any of the extra voluntary (Sunnah or Nafl) acts of worship, there will be no sin upon him.
The above distinction of Fard and Sunnah is only for the acts of worship.
Your Statement: then why do people stress and keep telling us things to do which are not farz even.. and they say you will be given gunnah for things which are not categorically stated to be farz and are stresses by rasool Allah (peace be upon him). When something is not farz and even if it is stressed, howcome it will carry gunnah for it.
In all the other aspect of ones normal life, it is an obligatory (fard) duty of the believer, who sincerely fears Allah and the Last Day, to follow the example or Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (saws).
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 33 Surah Ahzab verse 21:There is indeed the best example for you to follow, in the Messenger of Allah, for every such person looks forward to Allah and the Last Day, and remembers Allah much.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 4 Surah Nisa verse 79-80:We have sent you (O Mohamed) as a Messenger to mankind, and Allah’s witness suffices for this. Whoever obeys the Messenger, in fact obeys Allah, and whoever turns away from him, he will be accountable for his deeds. Anyhow, we have not sent you (O Mohamed) to be a guardian over them.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 3 Surah Ale Imran verse 31-32:O Prophet, tell the people, “If you sincerely love Allah, follow me. Then Allah will love you and forgive you your sins, for He is All Forgiving, All Merciful.” Also say to them, “Obey Allah and His Messenger.” And if, in spite of this, they do not accept your invitation, warn them that Allah does not love those, who refuse to obey Him and His Messenger.
There are literally millions of examples where it is ‘fard’ (obligatory) to follow the example or Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (saws) in one’s normal day to day life. If one follows the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (saws), he will be doing right and will thus earn his due reward from Allah Subhanah; but if one does not follow the example or Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (saws), he will be doing wrong and will thus be considered being in sin.
A few simple examples where it is obligatory to follow the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (saws):
- Eating and drinking with the right hand.
- Washing of the private parts after relieving oneself and keeping oneself pure.
- The growing of the beard.
- Replying the salaams and salutations of the believers.
Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 1.215 Narrated by Ibn Abbas
Once the Prophet (saws), while passing through one of the graveyards of Medina or Mecca heard the voices of two persons who were being tortured in their graves. The Prophet (saws) said, "These two persons are being tortured not for a major sin." The Prophet (saws) then added, "One of them never saved himself from being soiled with his urine, while the other used to go about with calumnies (to make enmity between friends).”
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah’s Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.
Your Brother in Islam,