Fard al-Kifayah (Collective Obligation)

Defines a communal obligation in Muslim legal doctrine. In juxtaposition to fard al-ayn, fard al-kifayah is a legal obligation that must be discharged by the Muslim community as a whole, such as military struggle; if enough members in the Muslim community discharge the obligation, the remaining Muslims are freed from the responsibility before God. However, if a communal obligation is not sufficiently discharged, then every individual Muslim must act to address the deficiency. In recent Islamic literature, this terminology is used to discuss social responsibility, such as feeding the hungry, commanding good and forbidding evil.

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