Islamic concepts

Aḥkām — rules and guidelines

legal rulings (aḥkām fiqhīya)

, permission levels

The word Ḥukm حكم (plural Aḥkām)

  • al-aḥkām al-khamsah — five permission levels

Aḥkām أحكام‎ — rules and guidelines

Ḥalāl
allowed
Farḍ
mandatory
Wājib
required
Sunnah
exemplary
Mustaḥabb or Mandub or Nafl (bonus or additional)
recommended
Mubāḥ
neutral
Makrūh Tanzihan
frowned upon
Ḥarām
not allowed
Makrūh Taḥrīman
prohibitively disliked
Ḥarām
forbidden

http://seekersguidance.org/ans-blog/2010/10/20/the-rulings-of-the-sacred-law/

 (Wajib), e.g. Salat al-Juma'.

Recommended but not compulsory (Mustahab), e.g. Sunnah prayers, Sadaqa. Legal and allowed (Halal), e.g. eating good food,marriage. Disapproved of, but not forbidden (Makrouh), e.g.smoking tobacco. Forbidden (Muharram, Haram), e.g. Zina (fornication and adultery).

Scholars of the Ḥanafī school have categorized actions into 8 levels:

Say, ‘O my people! Go on acting in your way; indeed I am going to act in my way; soon you will know whose end will be best in the Hereafter.’ Surely, the wrongdoers shall not prosper. 6:135

  • Ḥalāl: allowed
  • Farḍ or wājib: mandatory; necessary, required, vital, essential, must, imperative, commitment
  • Mustaḥabb or mandūb or sunnah: recommended; encouraged, preferable, should, sets a good example
  • Mubāḥ: optional; permissible; indifferent, neutral, acceptable, okay, neither good nor bad, may, optional (nafl: extra, optional)
  • Makrūh: best to avoid
  • Ḥarām: not allowed, against the rules, must not