Infaq & It’s Benefits – The Nature of Infaq
The Nature of Infaq
Infaq is the Arabic word for “spending.” It is a type of charity in Islam that is given without any expectation of reward or return. One gives Infaq for the betterment of society, their family and to please God.
Through Infaq, the giver does not lose his or her income and wealth, because God guarantees that at least the same amount will be returned, if not more.
“The parable of those who spend their substance in the way of God is that of a grain of corn: it grows seven ears, and each ear has a hundred grains. God gives manifold increase to whom He pleases: And God cares for all and He knows all things” (Quran 2: 261).
Infaq is an individual obligation on the Muslim (Zakat is a form of Infaq), a religious-based circumstantial obligation, a religious-based voluntary obligation;, and a social obligation.
Conditions of Infaq
The Quran imposes several conditions regarding Infaq:
Infaq should be for the pleasure of Allah (Quran 2:177).
Infaq should be for the welfare of the poor and without any expectations of reward (2:262).
Infaq should not be given for the purpose of pretense or to show off (2:264).
Infaq that is given secretly is better than when given openly (2:271).
Infaq should be out of Islamically permissible income and assets (2:267). This is particularly important today because the Prophet said, “a time will come upon the people when one will not care how one gains one’s money, legally or illegally” (Bukhari).
Infaq should be given before death (63:10).
Benefits of Infaq
Though the Muslim who gives Infaq should do so without any hope of a return and simply to please Allah, the Quran does present several benefits for doing this. These differ based on whether the spending is monetary or non-monetary.
The benefits of monetary Infaq:
At least the same amount which has been spent will be returned. This will be the minimum return.
The return may be increased to twice the amount given (28:54).
The return may increase many times (30:39).
The return may be more than 700 times the initial amount (Quran 2:261).
The benefits of non-monetary Infaq:
Infaq is to give without expecting anything in return. Infaq is one of the most honorable acts of kindness. Infaq is to give for God’s sake; God’s sake alone. The Infaq is a way to purify one’s heart and mind. It is an unselfish act of worship. The Prophet said, “the Lord’s commandment for every one of His slaves is, ‘Spend on others, and I will spend on you'”(Bukhari, Muslim).
It helps remove the problems of ordinary life and beyond. The Prophet said, “verily charity appeases the wrath of Allah and eases the sufferings of death” (Tirmidhi).
It improves one’s character. The Prophet said, “there are two habits which are never present together in a believer: miserliness and bad manners”(Tirmidhi).
The giver will obtain Allah’s protection on the Day of Judgment. In the well-known Hadith in Bukhari about the seven types of people who will receive God’s shade or protection on that Day, one of those listed is “a man who gives charitable gifts so secretly that his left hand does not know what his right hand has given.”
The giver will get the best house in Paradise
Giving Beyond Your Requirements
Infaq is one of the most important tools of income distribution. The Quran has placed special emphasis on the Muslim not only giving Infaq, but giving as much as one can beyond the requirement. “They ask you how much they are to spend; Say: ‘What is beyond your needs.'” (Quran 2:219)
Allah is telling the believer to spend whatever they don’t require for themselves in charity, for the sake of Allah. And if the conditions of Infaq are met, He promises that they will not be destitute; they will have at least the amount they donated returned.
Infaq is mentioned almost 60 times in the Quran. Allah commands this basic pious spending for His sake on all of human beings. Through Infaq, the redistribution of wealth contributes to the eradication of poverty in our communities. Infaq also provides numerous benefits and securities for the giver, as long as all conditions are met.