» Fard – Obligatory:
An act commanded by Allah in the Holy Qur’an is known as Fard. The following explains a Fard in detail:
a. An act that is obligatory to be executed
b. It has been proven by rigorously authenticated texts
c. The denial of any Fard renders one to come out of the folds of Islam.
d. If one omits to perform any Fard without any valid shari’i reason, then such a person becomes a fasiq (transgressor) and the person is regarded as a major sinner. [Fatawa Ridawiyyah – Vol. 2, Page 194]
» Wajib – Necessary:
An act that is almost as compulsory as a Fard. The Messenger of Allah SallAllaho Alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallam never omitted it. It is a graded second, below a Fard in its necessity.
a. An act that is compulsory to do.
b. It is proven by religious arguments through ijtihad.
c. One who denies a Wajib is misguided.
d. If one omits a Wajib without any valid shari’i reason, then he is a transgressor and liable for the punishment of Hell.
e. To miss a Wajib once (deliberately, without any valid reason) is a minor sin (Gunah-e-Saghira). However, persistently omitting a Wajib shall turn it into a major sin (Gunah-e-Kabira).
“Sunnat” generally means: an act done or liked by the Messenger of Allah SallAllaho Alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallam in relation to worship. One shall gain reward for performing a Sunnah, but there is no sin of on omits it. However, to continually omit it is a sin, and if one shows dissatisfaction to a Sunnah, then this is kufr (disbelief).
a. Sunnat-e-Mu’akkada is an act necessary to perform.
b. An act that was always performed by the Messenger of Allah SallAllaho Alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallam, but occasionally omitted so as to differentiate from something that is Wajib.
c. One gains the displeasure of Allah Most High and His Beloved Prophet SallAllaho Alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallam if a Sunnat-e-Mu’akkadah is omitted even if it is occasionally. Thus, making it a habit to omit a Sunnat-e-Mu’akkadah is an act of earning even more displeasure of Allah and His Beloved and inevitably, one becomes liable for punishment.
d. The status of a Sunnat-e-Mu’akkadah is near a Wajib.
e. Sunnat-e-Mu’akkadah is sometimes known as Sunnat-e-Huda.
» Sunnat-e-Ghayr Mu’akkadah:
a. If it is performed one shall reap reward.
b. The Messenger of Allah had performed such an act, but also omitted it without any reason.
c. To omit a Sunnat-e-Ghayr Mu’akkadah is disliked in the Islamic Law (Shari’ah). However, one is not punished for this.
d. Sunnat-e-Ghayr Mu’akkadah is also known as Sunnat-e-Zawa’id.
» Mustahab – Desirable Acts:
a. An act that is appreciated by the Sacred Islamic Law (Shari’ah)
b. There is no harm if one omits it
c. One gains reward for doing it, but one is not punished for omitting it.
a. An act that is neither commanded nor prohibited by the Shari’ah.
b. There is no reward for doing it, and no punishment or omitting it.
» Haram – Unlawful:
a. Totally forbidden in Islam.
b. Proven by rigorously authenticated texts.
c. Anyone who denies something proven from the Qur’an and Hadith to be Haram, becomes a kafir.
d. If this act is committed deliberately and intentionally, even once, then such a person is a transgressor (fasiq), and has committed a major sin (Gunah-e-Kabira). Thus, such a person shall be punished.
e. To refrain from such acts is rewarded.
f. Haram is considered the opposite of Fard.
“Makruh” generally means something that is not desirable i.e. something that is disliked by the Islamic Law.
a. Makruh-e-Tehrimi is something that is essential to refrain from.
b. To do an act that is Makruh-e-Tehrimi is a sin and against the commands of the Shari’ah.
c. Anyone who does it is a Fasiq, and will be punished.
d. There is reward to refrain from such acts.
e. If such acts are done once, then they are not classed as a major sin. However, to persevere on such acts does turn it into a major sin (Gunah-e-Kabira).
f. It is considered the opposite of a Wajib.
a. An act that is necessary to avoid.
b. It is considered the opposite of Sunnat-e-Mu’akkadah.
a. An act that is disliked by the Shari’ah.
b. If this act is done, then there is no sin or punishment. However, it is bad to make it a habit of doing such an act.
c. One gains reward for not doing it.
d. It is considered the opposite of Sunnat-e-Ghayr Mu’akkadah.
It is best to avoid such acts, but if done then there is no sin or punishment. It is considered the opposite of Mustahab.
Anwaar al-Hadith, Pages 439 to 441
by Hadrat Allama Mufti Jalal al-Din Qadiri al-Amjadi
English Translation: Mawlana Kalim al-Qadiri [Bolton – U.K.]