Fard and Sunnah

Q: People in our country differentiate between Sunnah (supererogatory act of worship following the example of the Prophet) and Fard (obligatory). They say that Allah's punishment takes place only when someone leaves the acts that are relevant to Fard or stressed Sunnah. However, I believe that anything which Muhammad (peace be upon him) has done or clarified to his Ummah is an obligation. Accordingly, those who do not do this are considered to be hateful of what Muhammad has come with. Growing the beard for example, has been ordained by Muhammad (peace be upon him), is it authentically proven that he shaved it? Does shaving it imply a sign of hatred to what Muhammad (peace be upon him) has come with? Does (Part No. 5; Page No. 5) whoever does this fall under the same Ayah?

A: All Praise be to Allah Alone and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger, his family and Companions. To proceed: Obligation is what a person is rewarded for doing and punished for abandoning. Sunnah or (the desirable acts) is what a person is rewarded for doing but not punished for abandoning. It is not a must that whoever leaves an act of Sunnah is considered to hate it. As for shaving the beard or having it cut, it is prohibited, for the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Trim closely the moustache, and let the beard grow to be unlike the disbelievers. This does not necessarily imply hating what the Messenger (peace be upon him) came with. The same ruling applies to those who are undutiful to their parents or who commit Zina (sexual intercourse outside marriage), for they are considered sinners not haters of what the Messenger (peace be upon him) has came with. Sins have many reasons other than hatred for what the Prophet (peace be upon him) was sent with. This is why sinners are not deemed as Kaffirs (disbelievers) when they commit sin, according to the opinion of Ahl-ul-Sunnah wal-Jama`ah (adherents to the Sunnah and the Muslim mainstream), unlike Al-Khawarij (separatist group that believes committing a major sin amounts to disbelief).May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.