Does Communally Obligatory Knowledge Ever Take Precedence Over Personally Obligatory Duties?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question:Does communally obligatory knowledge ever take precedence over personally obligatory duties?

Answer: assalamu alaykum

The personally obligatory (fard ayn) is prior to the communally obligatory (fard kifaya) in so far as the former needs to be fulfilled by every morally responsible individual while the latter is considered fulfilled if performed by some. This is the position of the majority of scholars.

The only instance wherein the communally obligatory is equal to the personally obligatory is when no one fulfills the former obligation. In this case, the communal obligation will become akin to the personal and it may become specified for a particular individual to fulfill both.

[al-Qarafi, al-Furuq (2:203); al-Zarkashi, al-Bahr al-Muhit (1:252)]


Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Photo: East-West Center