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Commentaryit is necessary to know that the Holy Qur’an has pointed out to spending in the way of Allah at several places with the word, DWI (infaq: انفاق spending) “and at several others, with the words, اطعام (it` am: feeding) or صدقہ (sadaqah: charity) or ; إِيتَاءَ الزَّكَاةِ (ad’ az-zakat: paying the obligatory zakah الزَّكَاة properly). A careful look at these Qur’anic words and the way they have been used shows that the words – infaq انفاق ، it` am اطعام and sadaqah صدقہ — are general and as such incorporate all sorts of charitable spendings that aim to seek the good pleasure of Allah. These spendings may be fard فرض and wajib (obligatory) or nafl نفل and mustahabb مستحبّ (commendable, or desirable, or preferred). It may be noted that the Qur’an has used a distinct word إِيتَاءَ الزَّكَاةِ for the obligatory زکاۃ Zakah which indicates that there are special requirements in receiving and giving of this particular صدقہ sadaqah.
A similitude of spending in the way of AllahIn the first verse it is said that people who spend in the way of Allah, that is, in Hajj حج or in Jihad جھاد ، or on the poor, on widows and orphans, or on relatives and friends to help them out, can be likened to one who sows a good grain of wheat in the field from which grows a plant on which sprout seven ears and each ear yields hundred grains. As a result, one grain was worth a total yield of seven hundred grains.
Conditions that make charity a “ worship”But, the Qur’an has not, in its wisdom, put this subject in a few clear words. It has rather used the form of a similitude featuring a grain of wheat which has a subtle hint towards the labour of a farmer who can hope to get an yield of seven hundred grains out of one grain sown only when the grain is good, and the farmer sowing it should be fully conversant with the art of farming, and the soil where the grain goes should be good too, because, should even one of these factors remain missing, either this grain will be wasted leaving no grain to come out, or it would just not yield enough to reach the production ratio of one grain to seven hundred grains.
[Taken from a lecture titled “The Prophet (SAW)’s Advice on Wealth” by Mufti Aasim Rashid]
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