Middle East Encyclopedia

Encyclopedia of the Middle East

Fard

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Fard  - (Arabic:  الفرض) or farida (Arabic الفريضة) -  An obligatory duty in Islam.  A duty may be Fard al Ayn, incumbent on every individual or Fard Kiffayah, incumbent on the community. A duty may also be "Wajib" which is sometimes considered a lesser sort of obligation.

The five pillars of Islam are Fard al Ayn in Sunni Islam, obligations of every individual:

Shahada - Confession of faith is the first and key duty.

Salat - Five daily prayers.

Sawm - Fasting during Ramadan. Those with medical conditions are excused however, as are pre-pubescent children.

Hajj - Pilgrimage to Mecca, which must be made at least once in a lifetime.

Zakat - Charity tax.  

Other duties that are considered Fard by some authorities, but are usually considered Fard Kiffaya, are Jihad  (Holy War) and Dawa (conversion of non-Muslims).

Ami Isseroff

December 21, 2008


Synonyms and alternate spellings:

Further Information: Islam History of Islam and the Arabs


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Encyclopedia of the Middle East

Note - This encyclopedia is a work in progress. It is far from complete and is being constructed and improved all the time. If you would like to contribute articles or expansions of existing articles, please contact news (at) mideastweb.org.  Suggestions and corrections are welcome. The concise version of this dictionary is at our Middle East Glossary.

Spelling - Spelling of words in Middle-Eastern languages is often arbitrary. There may be many variants of the same name or word such as Hezbollah, Hizbolla, Hisbolla or Husayn and Hussein. There are some conventions for converting words from Semitic languages such as Arabic and Hebrew There are numerous variant renderings of the same Arabic or Hebrew words, such as "Hizbollah," "Hisbulla" etc. It is not possible to find exact equivalents for several letters. 

Pronunciation - Arabic and Hebrew vowels are pronounced differently than in English. "o" is very short. The "a" is usually pronounced like the "a" in market, sometimes as the "a" in "Arafat."  The " 'A " is guttural.  " 'H "- the 'het ('Hirbeh, 'Hebron, 'Hisbollah') designates a sound somewhat similar to the ch in "loch" in Scots pronunciation, but made by touching the back of your tongue to the roof of your mouth. The CH should be pronounced like Loch, a more assertive consonant than 'het.

The "Gh" combination, and sometimes the "G," designate a deep guttural sound that Westerners may hear approximately as "r." The "r" sound is always formed with the back of the tongue, and is not like the English "r."

More information: Hebrew, Arabic

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Fard