Asalaamu alaikum … I have heard that by foregoing a sunnah muaakaddah without a valid reason one will be held accountable and punished… I have also heard one cannot be punished for not fulfilling a sunnah act… which is correct and what proof is there? Jazaak Allah.
: Wa alaikum As Salaam,
There are two types of Sunnah, one is Sunnah Mua’kadah and the other is Sunnah Ghair Mua’kadah. With respect to that which is Sunnah Ghair Mua’kadah (non-emphasized Sunnah), a person will not be held accountable for not fulfilling it and it’s not blame worthy. However, in the case of a Sunnah Mua’kadah (an emphasized Sunnah), one will be accountable to Allah for neglecting it if he did not have a valid, acceptable excuse for missing it. The reason for this is that a Sunnah Mua’kadah is one which the Prophet (s.a.w) practiced with emphasis on it, and this is sufficient to show that it has great importance in Islam. It is for this reason it is called Mua’kadah, i.e. emphasized. Explaining what is Sunnah Mua’kadah, the jurist (fuqaha) have stated: ‘What the Prophet (s.a.w) did continuously while leaving it out sometimes. The reason that the Prophet (s.a.w) was continuous upon it was that it was considered as an act of Ibadah (worship). Hence, establishing this Sunnah is perfecting one’s Deen and leaving it out is bad and reprehensible. The ruling of this Sunnah (Al Mua’kadah) is just like that of Wajib, except that the one who leaves out a Wajib will be punished while one who leaves out a Sunnah Mua’kadah will not be punished.
Leaving out an act which is Sunnah Mua;kadah is close to being Haram (unlawful). The one who abandons it is deserving of being deprived of the Prophet’s intercession and is blameworthy’ (Al Qamoos Al Fiqhi pg. 185)
And Allah Knows Best.
Mufti Waseem Khan.