Importance of the fard, the sunna and the supererogatory, differences between them



This letter, sent to Khwâja Sharafaddîn Huseyn, discusses avoiding the harâms and adhering to the Ahkâm-i-islâmiyya:

Yâ Rabbî! Make us know the world as it is and place in our hearts the greatness, the importance of the next world! O my clever son! Do not ever fall for the decoration, the ornamentedness of the harâms; do not get deceived by their transient, exhaustible flavours! Be extra careful so that all your actions, thoughts and behaviour are compatible with the Ahkâmi- islâmiyya! Try to live under their lights! First of all, it is necessary to learn the belief which the Ahl-as sunnat savants – may Allâhu ta’âlâ give them plenty of blessings for their ceaseless efforts – teach and write in books, and to correct the îmân in accordance with their teachings. Then we should learn the rules of Fiqh (the commands and prohibitions of Islam). We should be steady in doing the fards and be careful about the halâls and harâms. Supererogatory acts of worship are worth nothing when compared to the fards. The Muslims of our time abandon the fards and give their utmost to supererogatory acts of worship; they value doing supererogatory acts of worship [e.g. organizing public acts of worship wherein mawlid is performed and the performances are attended by mixed groups, building mosques, giving alms and doing favours], while they deem the performance of fards as unnecesary and unimportant, [e.g. performing the five daily prayers of namâz; fasting in the month of Ramadân; paying zakât; paying ’ushr[1]; paying one’s debts, learning halâls and harâms; girls’ and women’s covering their heads, hair, arms, and legs; not listening to the words of those men on the radio or television who are the enemies of our religion and who try to ruin our beliefs and good morals.]

[Gerard, the major of a town called Charvieu in the province of Lyon in France, upon seeing that the number of Muslims going to the mosque was increasing every day but that the number of Frenchmen going to church was decreasing became rabid like a dog and had the mosque destroyed with a bulldozer. Newspapers dated 8-18-89 reported this madness, this abomination. Ignorant, idiotic, lowly, and dirty unbelievers of that sort have never read an  Islamic book. So they are quite unaware of the lightsome way taught by Islam. Their radious, televisions, and books are continuously attacking Islam. We should not let their broadcast enter our homes, and we should protect our women and innocent children from lies and slanders. We should not be deceived by their sequinned lies which praise freedom of religion, human rights and mutual support!]

Nevertheless, they do not understand that paying one cent of zakât to the proper people (declared in the Qur’ân) is more blessed than giving thousands of dollars as alms. To pay zakât is to do Allah’s command. But alms and favours are mostly intended to earn fame, reverence and the sensual desires of the nafs. When one does the fard, hypocrisy or ostentation do not get mixed with the action. But there is a lot of ostentation in supererogatory worships. It is for this reason that zakât should be paid publicly. Thereby one will be safe from being slandered. The supererogatory alms should be given secretly, which will increase the probability that it will be accepted (by Allah). In short, to be safe from the harm of the world, there is no other way than holding fast to the Ahkâm-i-islâmiyya. Those who cannot cease from worldly pleasures completely should abandon them at least supposedly; in other words, they should think of themselves as having forsaken the world. And for doing this, one should adapt one’s every action and each word to the Ahkâm-i-islâmiyya.

[Disbelievers’ and murtadds’,[2] performing deeds compatible with the Ahkâm-i-islâmiyya in order to get some of their desires may be useful for them and cause them to live happily in comfort in the world, yet it will not give them any benefit in the Hereafter, for they have not been honoured with îmân. It is necessary to have îmân so that one’s worships may be accepted and one may earn rewards for one’s good deeds. It is written in Ifsâh: “The most valuable of worships are those that are fard-i-’ayn. After the fards the most valuable ones are the Sunnat prayers of namâz, according to the Shâfi’î Madhhab; jihâd, according to the Hanbalî Madhhab; learning and teaching knowledge and then jihâd, according to the Hanafî and Mâlikî Madhhabs.”]

[1] A kind of zakât. The ’ushr is given from the things that grow on a field watered by rains or by streams. Please see the first chapter of the fifth fascicle of Endless Bliss  

[2] People who were born as Muslims owing to their Muslim parents but who became unbelievers afterwards.


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