Things Which Muslims Were Commanded To Do

Ibni Abidin (rahmat Allahi ta'ala 'alaih), while explaining the sunnats of ablution, writes: "Mashru'at, namely 'ibadat, i. e. things which Muslims were commanded to do, are of four categories: fard, wajib, sunnat and nafila. Plain commandments by Allahu ta'ala are called fard. Allahu ta'ala's commandments that are not as clear as a fard, but are inferred through deduction are called wajib.

Those worships which are neither fard nor wajib but which Rasulullah himself advised or practised, or if he did not say anything to those who omitted them, are called sunnat-i huda or sunnat-i muakkada. They are the shi'ar (symptoms) of the Islamic religion. [That is, they are peculiar to this religion; they don't exist in other religions.] When he saw someone omit a wajib, he used to prevent him from omitting it. If he himself omitted it from time to time, it is called sunnat-i ghayr-i muakkada. It is makruh to omit a sunnat-i muakkada. It is a venial sin.

Allahu ta'ala promised to give thawabs for all worships. But, it is necessary to intend for a worship in order to be rewarded for it. To intend is to obey the commandments and to remember the fact that the worship is being done to attain the rida (consent) of Allahu ta'ala.

To perform these three categories of worships in their due times is called ada. (Not to perform them in their due times, but to perform them after their due times are over is called qada. To perform them again upon one's own wish after ada or qada is called nafila worship. ) It is more blessed to perform fards and wajibs as nafila than performing sunnat-i muakkadas.

Things which Rasulullah (sallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam) has done continuously not as 'ibadat (worship) but as 'adat (habit) are called sunnat-i zawaid. His style of attirement, his sitting and standing and his beginning from the right hand side while doing good things are in this category. Those who do them are also rewarded. It is not necessary to intend to get a reward for them. If they are intended, then they become acts of worship. Their blessing increases. It is not makruh to omit the sunnat-i zawaid and the nafila worships. "

Nevertheless, following Rasulullah (sall Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam) also in things pertaining to customs supplies one with many advantages and causes much happiness in this and the next worlds.

Source: Turktakvim