Fard al-kifayah

Definition: 
Fard al-Kifayah defines a communal obligation in Muslim legal doctrine. In recent Islamic literature, this doctrine is a way to discuss social responsibility. Sayyid Qutb constrasted social concern and public concern, arguing that everyone in a particular area are responsible for the hungry. Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini says that commanding the good and forbidding the reprehensible is a fard al-kifayah unless accomplishing this requires the whole of those morally responsible to act. Here it becomes obligatory to act together. This might prove to be an important concept in the restatement of values that is so prominent in the late twentieth-century Muslim world. See also: Fard al-ayn