The meaning of Al-Afwu


What is the meaning of His statement; (وَيَسْـَٔلُونَكَ مَاذَا يُنفِقُونَ قُلِ ٱلْعَفْوَۗ)َ

“And they ask you what they ought to spend. Say: “Al-Afwu”(That which is beyond your needs).” [Al-Baqarah, 219]


Al-Awfu is what surpasses the state of necessity, the Sunnah has pointed to what the verse points towards.

The Prophet ﷺ said:

خير الصدقة ماكان عن فضل غنى وابدأ بمن تعول

“The best of sadaqah is that which is given out of surplus and begin with those under your care.”

Also from the Sadaqah other than wealth is the obedience to Allāh and praiseworthy characteristics and the likes of this, and from them is Al-Afwu (pardoning).

Allāh said;

(وَٱلْكَٰظِمِينَ ٱلْغَيْظَ وَٱلْعَافِينَ عَنِ ٱلنَّاسِۗ وَٱللَّهُ يُحِبُّ ٱلْمُحْسِنِين)َ

“Those who repress anger, and who pardon men; verily, Allāh loves Al-Muhsinīn (the good-doers).” [Āal-Imrān, 134]

And when the Prophet ﷺ ordered them to give sadaqah:

قالوا إن لم يجد قال يعمل بيديه فينفع نفسه ويتصدق ، قالوا إن لم يستطع قال يعين ذا الحاجة الملهوف ، قال إن لم يفعل قال يكف شره عن الناس فإن ذلك صدقة منه على نفسه.

They said: “If someone has nothing to give?” He said, “He should work with his hands and benefit himself and also give in charity (from what he earns).” They said: “If he cannot do even that?” He said: “He should help the needy who appeal for help.” They said: “If he cannot do that?” He said: “Then he witholds his evil from the people and this will be considered as sadaqah upon himself.” [Bukhāri and Muslim]

And he said:

وتعين الرجل في دابته فتحمله عليها أو ترفع له عليها متاعه صدقة ، والكلمة الطيبة صدقة ، وفي بضع أحدكم صدقة، وتميط الأذى عن الطريق صدقة . كل هذه صدقات

“And assisting a man onto his riding beast, or to load his luggage on is sadaqah; and a good word is sadaqah, and in man’s relations (with his wife) there is a sadaqah, and removing harmful things from the way is sadaqah”. [Bukhāri and Muslim]

All of this is sadaqah. And the Prophet ﷺ said;

كل معروف صدقة

“All Ma’ruf (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all that Islām orders one to do) is Sadaqah.”

And from the Ma’ruf is Al-Afwu.

Answered by: Shaykh, the Allamah, the Trustworthy Advisor, Abu Abdirrahman Yahya bin Ali Al-Hajuri – may Allah preserve him


Translated by: Abū ‘Abdillāh ‘Omar bin Yahya Al-‘Akawi