NAWÂFIL – نوافل
Sunnah as-Saniyyah has degrees. Some of them are wâjib, these are not to be abandoned. This sort is declared in detail in the Illustrious Sharî’ah. They are muhkamât and are not to be changed in any aspect. Another sort of it is nawâfil. The sort of nawâfil also is of two sorts:
One sort is the Sunnah as-Saniyyah subjected to ‘ibâdah. They, too, are declared in the books of the Sharî’ah. To change them is bid’ah. The other sort is called âdâb that they are described in the books of the Prophet's biography (Siyar as-Saniyyah). Opposition to them is not called bid’ah. But it is a kind of opposition to the Prophet's âdâb; it is not to benefit from their nûr and such true adab. As for this sort, it is to follow Ar-Rasûl Al-Akram ‘Alayhissalâtu Wassalâm’s actions of general custom, habitual practices and fıtrî acts, which are known through tawâtur. For example, there are many Sunnah as-Saniyyah that concern social relations, show the conduct of speaking and declare the principles of the conduct of the states, such as eating, drinking and sleeping. The Sunnah of this sort is called âdâb. However, one, who follows such âdâb, transforms his customary actions into ‘ibâdah and receives significant faydh from that âdâb. Following the smallest âdâb reminds of Ar-Rasûl Al-Akram ‘Alayhissalâtu Wassalâm and gives a nûr to the heart.
The most important among the Sunnah as-Saniyyah are the Sunnahs, which are the symbols of Islam and connected with the shaâ’er. Shaâ’er is an ‘ubûdiyyah concerning the community which is, in fact, a sort of common rights. As the whole community benefits through one person performing them, the whole community will be responsible for its abandonment. Riyâ cannot penetrate this sort of shaâ’er, and it is to be proclaimed. Even if they are of the nawâfil sort, they are more important than personal fardhs.
The Eleventh Flash- Sixth Subtle Point
Riyâ cannot penetrate in fardh and wâjib actions, the shaâ’er of Islam, following the Sunnah as-Saniyyah and abandoning harams. Displaying them openly is not riyâ unless, together with an extremely weak îmân, one has riyâ in his fitrah. In fact, ‘ulamâ such as Hujjat’ul Islam Imam Ghazâlî (ra) declare that to openly display the ‘ibâdah connected with the shaâ’er of Islam is much more rewarding than to perform them privately. Although it is much more rewarding to perform nawâfil privately, in this age of bid’ah, to display openly the shaâ’er, which shows the honour of following the Sunnah, and to display the taqwâ in abandoning the haram within such great kabâir is not a riyâ but rather more rewarding and sincere than performing them privately.
Kastamonu Addendum (203-204)