Fardh (Arabic: فرض) or farīḍah (فريضة) is an Islamic term which denotes a religious duty commanded by Allah (God). The word is also used in Persian, Turkish, and Urdu (spelled farz) in the same meaning.
Fardh or its synonym wājib (واجب) is one of the five types of Ahkam into which Fiqh categorizes acts of every Muslim. The Hanafi Fiqh however makes a distinction between Wajib and Fard, the latter being obligatory and the former merely necessary. In Indonesian, wajib also means obligatory, since the word is derived from Arabic.
Individual duty and sufficiency
The Fiqh distinguishes two sorts of duties:
- Individual duty or fardh al-'ayn (الفرض العين) relates to tasks every Muslim is required to perform, such as daily prayer (salat), or the pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in a lifetime (hajj).
- Sufficiency duty or fardh al-kifāya (الفرض الكفاية) is a duty which is imposed on the whole community of believers (ummah). The classic example for it is janaza: the individual is not required to perform it as long as a sufficient number of community members fulfill it.
- Mitzvah (somewhat similar Jewish concept)
- Dharma (Hindu/Buddhist/Sikh term that can be used to mean "duty" or "obligation", although there are also other meanings)
- Dao (Chinese, meaning the "way" or "path")
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