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.
Nov 20th, 2013
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