The word Faqr used by Iqbal has a peculiar significance. This word, in the Qur’an, stands for need, poverty, an attribute which men can possess while God is characterized by an attribute which is its opposite, viz, self-sufficiency. The Qur’an says: “O men, it is you that have need of Allah (fuqara’), and Allah is Self-Sufficient, the Praised One” (xxxv. 16).
Faqr, according to the Qur’an, then, is a state which man should avoid and fear: “The Devil threatens you with Faqr (poverty) . . . and enjoins you to be niggardly, and Allah promises you forgiveness from Himself and abundance . . .” (ii. 268). In other words, the state of Faqr is something that should be avoided while its opposite, called fadl, abundance, is something which is commendable and which God bestows on the righteous.