Posts Tagged ‘infaq’

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Weekly word: Infaq

October 19, 2011

Infaq means “spending.”  Some people explain infaq as a third type of Islamic “charity” along with zakat and sadaqa, but strictly speaking it is not.  “Infaq fi sabil Allah” is spending for the sake of Allah, which suggests spending for the purposes of jihad, dawah, and charity.  S.M. Hasan-uz-Zaman explains:

Infāq literally means spending.  It signifies any spending whether for good cause or bad.  That is why spending by non-believers for opposing Islam, their spending on their wives, spending by hypocrites, spending by Muslims on their wives by way of dower and sustenance are all termed infāq.  Infāq qualifies itself to become virtuous in case it is made for Allah’s pleasure.  It should be done scrupulously without any desire for publicity.*

It is important to understand the concept of infaq by non-Muslims, because it explains part of the hostility of Muslims toward the Western “infidel” economic and financial system.  The Koran declares that infaq by infidels is “like a freezing wind, which falleth upon and destroyeth the cornfields” (3:113 in J.M. Rodwell’s translation of the Koran, 3:117 elsewhere) and, “The infidels spend their riches with intent to turn men aside from the way of God: spend it they shall; then shall sighing be upon them, and then shall they be overcome.  And infidels shall be gathered together into Hell” (8:36).

Supporters of sharia finance have their individual motives, and among them are those who seek not just to provide an alternative investment option to pious Muslims, but to supplant what they deem as an intrinsically untrustworthy, unholy system of Western finance as characterized by their Koran.

*Hasan-uz-Zaman, Syed Muhammad, Economic Guidelines in the Qur’an (Islamabad:  International Institute of Islamic Thought, 1999).

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