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The Meaning of Mustahab

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by DarulIftaBirmingham

Answered by: Mufti Jamal Ahmed


Assalamualaikum Hazrat.

Please confirm my understanding of Mustahab. It means desirable, or preferable, right? If I indulge in a deed that is a Mustahab, I am a winner. if I refrain from a Mustahab, I’m a loser, but not a sinful loser. Is this understanding correct?

If, so I wanted to confirm if a Muslim has no plans to ever indulge in that which, is Mustahab/Nafl, for example:

– Nalf salah

– Miswaak

– Perform dhikar after salah

– Wear white

– Put on ataar(perfume)

Will that person be sinful? In short, is the complete abandonment of the Sunnah (optional) a sinful intention, and practice?

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful


Mustahab means preferable or desirable. A mustahab act is that which if a person does it, he is rewarded and if he does not do it, he is not sinful nor is he blameworthy. Thus, if a person does not have any intention to do mustahab acts and abandons them, he is not sinful.

(وَمُسْتَحَبُّهُ) أَيْ الْوُضُوءِ (التَّيَامُنُ) الْمُسْتَحَبُّ مَا يُثَابُ عَلَى فِعْلِهِ وَلَا يُلَامُ عَلَى تَرْكِهِ.

Majmaul Anhur,  pg.16, vol.1, Daru Ihya Al Turathul Arabiyah

وَالنَّفَلُ وَمِنْهُ الْمَنْدُوبُ يُثَابُ فَاعِلُهُ وَلَا يُسِيءُ تَارِكُهُ، قِيلَ: وَهُوَ دُونَ سُنَنِ الزَّوَائِدِ.

Raddulmuhtar,  pg. 103,vol.1 Darul Fikr

 قَالَ الْفَقِيهُ أَبُو اللَّيْثِ السُّنَّةُ مَا يَكُونُ تَارِكُهَا فَاسِقًا وَجَاحِدُهَا مُبْتَدِعًا وَالنَّفَلُ مَا لَا يَكُونُ تَارِكُهُ فَاسِقًا وَلَا جَاحِدُهُ مُبْتَدِعًا.

Al Jawharatunnayirah,  pg.5 vol.1 Al Matba’ah Al Khariyah

Only Allah knows best.

Written by Mufti Jamal Ahmed

Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham

This answer was collected from DarulIftaBirmingham.co.uk, which is run under the supervision of Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah from the United Kingdom.

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