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Al-Wajib (fiqh)

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Furu' al-Din

Wajib: Daily PrayersEssentials of PrayerFriday PrayerEid PrayerAl-Ayat PrayerFuneral PrayerIstijari Prayer

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See also
FiqhRulings of Shari'aManual of Islamic lawPubertyWajibHaramMustahabMubahMakruh

Al-Wājib (Arabic:الوااجب) is an Islamic jurisprudential term referring to an act that must be performed and if abandoned, it will lead to Divine wrath and punishment. There are several categorizations for Wajib. The most important obligatory acts in Islam are known as Furu' al-Din, the most famous of which are ten.


Literally, Wājib means essential or necessary. Technically, it is an act that must be performed, and abandoning it is a sin and causes Divine punishment.[1]


Al-Wājib al-Ta'yini and al-Takhyiri

  • Al-Wājib al-Taʿyīnī (الواجب التعيني) (without choice) is an obligatory act that has no substitute, such as daily Prayers.
  • Al-Wājib al-Takhyīri (الواجب التخيري) (with choice) is an obligatory act that has one or more substitute and one is free to choose between them,[2] for example, according to the fatwa of some jurists, one can choose between Zuhr Prayer and Friday Prayer on Friday.

Al-Wajib al-Ayni and al-Kifa'i

  • Al-Wājib al-ʿAyni (الواجب العيني) (individual) is an obligatory act that every individual Muslim must perform, such as Salat (Prayer)
  • Al-Wājib al-Kifa'i (الواجب الکفائي) (collective) is an obligatory act that if some Muslims perform it, that will suffice for others. They are no longer held responsible for performing it, such Ghusl of the Dead and burying a dead.

Al-Wajib al-Muwaqqat and Ghayr al-Muwaqqat

  • Al-Wājib al-Muwaqqat (الواجب الموقت) (with timing) is an obligatory act that must be done in a specific time such as Salat and Sawm (fasting)
  • Al-Wājib Ghayr al-Muwaqqat (الواجب الغيرالموقت) (without timing) is an obligatory act that has no specific time such as being honest.

Al-Wajib al-Muwassa' and al-Mudayyaq

  • Al-Wājib al-Muwassaʿ (الواجب الموسع) is a kind of al-Wājib al-Muwaqqat. It is an obligatory act for which a specific period of time has been allocated, which is more than enough to perform it such as daily Prayers.
  • Al-Wājib al-Muḍayyaq (الواجب المضيّق) is also a kind of al-Wājib al- Muwaqqat. It is an obligatory act for which a specific period of time has been allocated, which is equal to the time needed to perform it, such as fasting.

Al-Wajib al-Ta'abbud' and al-Tawassuli

  • Al-Wājib al-Taʿabbudi (الواجب التعبدي) (devotional) is an obligatory act that must be done to gain proximity to God.[3]
  • Al-Wājib al-Tawassulī (الواجب التوصلي) (non-devotional) is an obligatory act that does not require an intention of gaining proximity to God, such as washing Najis (ritually impure) clothes for performing Prayer.

Al-Wājib al-Nafsī and al-Ghayrī

  • Al-Wājib al-Nafsi (الواجب النفسي) (due to itself) is an obligatory act that is obligatory due to itself and not as a prerequisite of another obligatory act.
  • Al-Wājib al-Ghayrī (الواجب الغيري) (due to something else) is an obligatory act that is obligatory as a prerequisite of another obligatory act, such as Wudu that is wājib for performing Salat.[4]

Famous Wajibs

Furuʿ al-Dīn

Main article: Furu' al-Din

The most important practical rulings of Islam are known as Furu' al-Din (branches/ancillaries of religion), which is according to majority of Faqihs consists of 10 famous acts of worship:

It seems that enumerating these ten acts of worship is because of their importance in the Qur'anic verses and hadiths, as according to the aforementioned categorization obligatory acts are not confined to these ten cases. There are other rulings on various topics such as transactions, marriage, retaliation, judgment, … that are obligatory.

Some topics of Furu' al-Din are related to the relation between humankind and God and the duties, rulings, and laws of human beings in this regard, such as Salat, Sawm, and Hajj. There are other topics related to one's duties towards other humans and regulate human relations, such as Jihad, Zakat, and Khums.[5]

Obligatory Prayers

  • Salat al-Ayat (Signs Prayer) will become obligatory whenever some rare natural events, such as solar or lunar eclipse and earthquake, occur.
  • According to the majority of Shi'a faqihs, the oldest son must perform Salat al-Qada' of his father (the obligatory Prayers that he missed) after the father's death. Moreover, some Faqihs said that the oldest son also must perform the Qada' Prayers of his mother.
  • A Salat that has become obligatory for someone due to vowing, swearing an oath or being hired by another person for performing Prayers.
  • Friday Prayer is obligatory (Wājib aTaʿyīnī) during the presence of an infallible Imam; however, during the Occultation period it is al-Wajib al-Takhiyri, i.e., one is allowed not to perform it.

Obligatory Fasts

  • Sawm of the month of Ramadan
  • Sawm al-Qada'
  • Sawm al-Qada' of father (and mother)
  • Fasting the third day of I'tikaf
  • Sawm instead of the sacrifice in Hajj
  • Sawm as an atonement for violating vow or oath
  • Sawm as an atonement for deliberately leaving or breaking Sawm of the month of Ramadan.


  1. See: Malikī Iṣfahānī, Farhang-i iṣṭilāḥāt-i uṣūl, p. 335.
  2. Mishkīnī, Iṣṭilāḥāt al-uṣūl, p. 277.
  3. Mishkīnī, Iṣṭilāḥāt al-uṣūl, p. 277.
  4. Farhangnāma-yi uṣūl-i fiqh, p. 871.
  5. Dāʾirat al-maʿārif tashayyuʿ, vol. 2, p. 152.
  6. Khomeini, Taḥrīr al-wasīla, vol. 1, p. 135.


  • Group of authors. Farhangnāma-yi uṣūl-i fiqh. Qom: Pazhūhisgāh-i ʿUlūm wa Farhang-i Islāmī, 1389 Sh.
  • Khomeini, Rūḥollāh. Taḥrīr al-wasīla. Qom: Dār al-ʿIlm, [n.d].
  • Malikī Iṣfahānī, Mujtabā. Farhang-i iṣṭilāḥāt-i uṣūl. Qom: ʿĀlama, 1379 Sh.
  • Mishkīnī, Mīrzā ʿAlī. Iṣṭilāḥāt al-uṣūl. Sixth edition. Qom: Nashr al-Hādī, 1416 AH.