NAWÂFIL – نوافل
The ‘ibâdah that are not obligatory, fardh nor wâjib and are performed voluntarily.
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, and are described in the books of the Prophet's biography (Siyar as-Saniyyah). Opposition to them is not called bid’ah. But it is an opposition of a sort to the Prophet's âdâb and it is to not benefit from their nûr and from such true adab. As for this sort, it is to follow Ar-Rasûl Al-Akram ‘Alayhissalâtu Wassalâm’s actions concerning general custom, habitual practices and fıtrî acts, which are known through tawâtur. For example, there are a number of Sunnah as-Saniyyah concerning social relations that show the âdâb of speaking, and those declaring the principles of the âdâb of conditions like eating, drinking and sleeping. The Sunnahs of this sort are called “âdâb”. However, one who follows such âdâb transforms his habitual practices into ‘ibâdah and receives significant faydh from that âdâb. Conforming to 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 general right. As the whole community benefits through one person performing them, the whole community will be responsible due to its abandonment. Riyâ cannot penetrate in 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)