The religion of Islam is a mixture of different types of decree, it is said in the jurisprudential books that every action of mankind falls under one of five types of decree; it is either must be done or must be left or better to be done or better to be left or neutral.
The purpose of this essay is to talk about the philosophy of the existence of recommended acts, First lets define the meaning of recommended acts, Mostahab or recommended act is the action that is good to be performed, but if the servant, does not do it, he/she will not be punished for that on the day of judgment, like some kinds of prayers or visiting the holy shrines of the holy prophet of Islam and the infallible Imams, etc.
These recommended acts can be so much helpful for our spiritual perfection, it is true that if a servant performs his/her obligations and leave the prohibited acts, can enter the paradise, but we know that there are different levels of the bounties on the day of judgment, and a lot of these bounties can be obtained through performing the recommended acts.
Apart from the hereafter benefits of the recommended acts, many benefits of these deeds, appear and manifest in this world, for example, some recommended acts regarding eating and drinking, are helpful for the health of the body, or some of them, have benefits regarding the increasing of the sustenance, like performing the Salat Al-Laiyl (night prayer)
It is proved in the theology that Allah is needless of anyone, so if He has decreed a rule, in fact the benefits of that will reach to us, so we believe that if Islam has made something obligatory or recommended, definitely it is useful for us. It is beneficial for our material life or for our hereafter or for both realms.
So let’s mention some of the philosophies of the recommended acts:
1) they compensate and remove the bad effects of the sins, it is mentioned in chapter Hud, verse 114 of the holy Quran:
إِنَّ الْحَسَنَاتِ يُذْهِبْنَ السَّيِّئَاتِ
“Good deeds will repel evil deeds”
2) They compensate the deficiency that may be in the obligatory deeds.
There is a narration from Imam Kazim peace be upon him that says:
[su_quote]Allah has completed the obligatory Salat with the recommended Salat and has completed the obligatory fast with the recommended fast.[/su_quote]
3) They are a cause for the nearness to Allah, because they are the acts that satisfy Allah and make Him pleased with us.