Eight classes of injunctions and prohibitions
Taken from Kitaabus-ßalaaht - Hanifi Figh
There are eight classes of injunctions and prohibitions which
apply to all deeds and actions of mankind. The various types of prayers which we
will be discussing later also fall into one or another of these categories of
rulings. Thus, we will first review their definitions here before continuing
farther. The eight categories are:
(6) Makrūh Tanz'Ih'I
(7) Makrūh Tahr'Im'I, and
Farḍt ( ) is a Divine Command which is established by undeniable proof (daleel
qat'I). One who neglects a farḍt without valid excuse is termed a f'asiq (corrupt
transgressor) and is liable for punishment in an Islamic government. One who
rejects a farḍt is not a Muslim. There are two types of far'a'Id: farḍt 'ayn ( )
and farḍt kif'ayah ( ). The first is a duty which is compulsory upon every
individual Muslim. The second is a duty which is binding upon the community as a
whole- if a few individuals perform it, the entire community will be absolved
from its performance. If nobody in the community performs it, the entire
community will be sinful.
W'ajib ( ) is a Divine Command established by a proof which is not as strong or
direct as the previous (daleel zann'I). However, the proof is strong enough that,
practically speaking, this act is also compulsory. One who neglects or rejects
such an action is a f'asiq but will not be a k'afir (disbeliever).
Sunnah ( ) refers to those deeds which were practiced by the Prophet ( ) or his
companions. There are also two levels of these: mu'akkadah (emphasized- ) and
ghayr mu'akkadah (less emphasized- ). The first refers to an action which was
steadfastly upheld by the Prophet ( ) or his companions and was not left out
without a valid reason. To constantly neglect such an action is sinful. The
second category refers to those acts which were sometimes left off without any
excuse. Although its neglect does not warrant punishment, to perform the Sunnah
ghayr mu'akkadah brings great reward. (Note, sometimes Sunnah is used in a more
general sense of being any action which was performed by the Prophet .)
Mustahab (deSiirahble- ) is also known as nafl (superogatory- ) or mandūb
(recommended- ). It refers to those actions which the Prophet ( ) and his
companions (All'ah be pleased with them all) occasionally performed. There is no
sin in neglecting such an action. However, there is great reward in engaging in
it. Furthermore, the nafl actions are the method in which one grows closer to
All'ah and also will be used to make up for any shortcomings in the performance
of the obligatory acts. Note, performance of nafl has no benefit if the
obligatory acts are not being fulfilled.
Mub'ah (permissible- ) refers to those actions which merit neither reward nor
Makrūh Tanz'Ih'I (reprehensible- ) is that action whose avoidance will bring
reward but if it is done, it will not be a punishable offense. Note, however,
that engaging constantly in makrūh tanzihi will become sinful.
Makrūh Tahr'Im'I ( ) is a prohibition established by a proof as strong as daleel
zanni, ie. one who engages in such an act or does not view it as being
prohibited will be a transgressor.
Har'am ( ) is a prohibition which is established by an undeniable proof. One who
engages in such acts will be a f'asiq and one who does not regard such an act as
being forbidden will not be a Muslim.
We will now, insha-All'ah, mention the various prayers which are farḍt, w'ajib,
Sunnah and mustahab.