Believing In Performing “Fards” And Abstaining “Harams”

The teachings that must be believed in order to be a Muslim are not only the six tenets of iman (belief). To be a Muslim, it is also obligatory to 'believe' that it is necessary to do the well-known fards [1] and to avoid and not to do the harams. A person who disbelieves the fact that it is one's primary duty to do the fards and to avoid the harams loses his faith and becomes a murtadd (renegade, apostate, proselyte). A person who believes it but does not do one or more of the fards or commits one or more of the harams [2] is a Muslim, but he is a guilty, sinful Muslim. Such a Muslim is called a fasiq. Doing the fards and abstaining from the harams are called "performing 'ibada." A Muslim who tries to do the 'ibadat and who repents immediately when he has a fault is called salih [3].

Today, it is not excusable for a person who lives in the free world not to know the six tenets of iman and the well-known fards and harams. It is a grave sin not to learn them. It is necessary to learn them briefly and to teach them to one's children. If one neglects to learn them as a result of flippancy, one becomes a kafir (disbeliever). Any non-Muslim who only says, "'Ashhadu an la ilaha ill'Allah wa ashhadu anna Muhammadan 'abduhu wa Rasuluh," and knows and believes its meaning becomes a Muslim immediately. Yet, later on he has to learn gradually the six tenets of iman and the wellknown fards and harams for every Muslim, and Muslims who know them should teach him. If he does not learn them he goes out of Islam and becomes a murtadd. It is necessary to learn them from genuine 'ilm al-hal books written by the Ahl as- Sunna [4] scholars.

[1] fard: an act or thing that is commanded by Allahu ta'ala in the Qur'an al-karim. Fard (or fard) means (any behaviour or thought or belief which is) obligatory. Islam's open commandments are called fard (pl. faraid).
[2] haram: an action, word or thought prohibited by Allahu ta'ala.
[3] salih: (pl. sulaha') one who is pious and abstains from sins, (opposite: fasiq); see Wali.
[4] Ahl as-Sunna (wa'l-Jama'a): the true pious Muslims who follow as-Sahabat al-kiram. These are called Sunni Muslims. A Sunni Muslim adapts himself to one of the four Madhhabs. These madhhabs are Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi'i and Hanbali.