Islam and the Quran

What could be the reason for command of “infaq” -spending on others-?

Question: The command to infaq (spend on others) from our wealth is mentioned frequently in the Qur'an Al-Kareem. What could be the reason for this command of charity? Could you please enlighten us on this issue?


There is stinginess in the human nature. Therefore there are no commands in the Qur’an to accumulate wealth, and all the commands are to “infaq”. Tunnel is called nafaq (النفق) in Arabic. To ‘infaq’ is to ‘pass something through a tunnel’. Blood vessels are like tunnels. Just as blood flowing through the body by means of vessels, wealth flows around by means of ‘infaq’. Infaq means spending.  Spending for the sake of pleasing Allah is, spending on needy as donation. The Glorified Allah gives such an example about this effect.

“The situation of those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah is like a grain which grows seven ears; in each ear is a hundred grains. And Allah multiplies for whom He pleases. And Allah is The Holder of Wide Possibilities, All-Knowing. (Al-Baqarah/ The Cow 2:261)

The verse points out that spending in the way of Allah has a multiplication effect. The poor spend the money they are granted quickly. For example, they pay up for the grocer’s. The grocer pays that money to the wholesaler, the wholesaler pays for the worker and the worker pays for his expenditures… and the chain grows. One unit of money spent as a donation starts a flow of greater size and it becomes the successor of 700 units of work. The benefits of this spending reach the owner of the donation who grants the recompense for this good deed.

Stinginess is bad. No matter how wealthy a person is, man can only spend little part of the wealth. Properties that are not presented for the use of others get lost. Whoever uses his mind realizes that stinginess is evil. Money that is not spent does not serve any purpose. Money is the keystone of economy, since it provides the product and service flow. Needs are satisfied with it. It is like the blood in the body which should always be flowing. Spending on the poor is similar to pumping blood into capillaries. The country begins paralysing. The Glorified Allah commands:

“Your wealth and your children are only a trial. Whereas Allah! Great reward is with Him.
So hold Allah in awe as much as you are able. Listen; obey, spend on others and do good deeds for yourselves. And whoever is protected from the stinginess of his soul, then they attain what they hope.
If you give Allah a goodly loan, He will increase it for you several-fold and will forgive you. Allah is The Grateful, The Indulgent. “
(At-Taghabun/Mutual Deception 64:15-17)

“Those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah and then do not follow up what they have spent with reminders [of it] or [other] injury, their reward is with their Lord. On them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.
A kind word and forgiveness is better than that charity which is followed up by injury. Allah is The Rich and The Indulgent.
O you who have believed, do not invalidate your charities with reminders or injury as does one who spends his wealth to be seen by the people and does not believe in Allah and the Last Day. His charity may be likened to the rainfall on a rock which had only a thin layer of soil upon it. When heavy rain fell on it, the whole of the soil washed away and the rock was left bare. They cannot gain anything they desire. Allah does not guide the ones who conceal.
And the likeness of those who spend their wealth seeking means to the approval of Allah and assuring [reward for] themselves is like a garden on a hill. If heavy rain falls, it yields its produce twofold; and even if there is no heavy rain there would be a light shower. Whatever you do is in the sight of Allah.
Would any of you wish to have a garden with date-palms and vines, with rivers flowing underneath, and all kinds of fruits for him therein, while he is striken with old age, and his children are weak then it is struck with a fiery whirlwind, so that it is burnt? Thus does Allah make clear His signs to you that you may give thought.
O you who believe! Spend of the good things which you have earned, and of that which We have produced from the earth for you, and do not aim at that which is bad to spend from it, you would not accept it save if you close your eyes and tolerate therein. And know that Allah is The Rich, and The Praiseworthy.
Shaitan (Satan) threatens you with poverty and orders you to commit evil deeds; whereas Allah promises you Forgiveness from Himself and Bounty, and Allah is The Holder of Wide Possibilities, The All-Knowing.
(Al-Baqarah/ The Cow 2:262-268)

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