Fi-Sabi-Lillah

Fi Sabillilah is a beautiful Arabic word written as:

 فِي سَبِيلِ ٱللَّٰهِ

The literal meaning of this is ‘for the cause of Allah,’ or it is better translated to ‘for the sake of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى).’

Islam is a religion that is founded on the belief in the oneness of the one mighty God ‘Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى).’ Allah is the center of our deen, and to Him, we obey, pray, and worship. As Muslims, we firmly believe that all our actions are directed by Allah and for Allah. It is also our profound belief that every good deed brings us closer to Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى). As a Muslim, you might have often heard that ‘do it for the sake of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى).’ Anything, no matter how small it is, if it is done for the sake of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى), it will be rewarded. We are created solely to worship Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى). If we go deeper and understand how our every action paves our path toward Allah, we’ll start doing everything purely for the sake of Allah. Let’s learn more about unpack its meaning, significance, and how it can shape your life. We’ll navigate through the journey of understanding the true meaning of ‘Fi Sabillilah.’

About Fi-Sabi-Lillah - Meaning, Pronunciation & Uses

في سبيل الله

Fi-Sabi-Lillah

In the Cause of Allah

Fi-Sabi-Lillah

Fi-Sa-bi-Lil-lah

Fi-Sabi-Lillah

Pronunciation Guide for Fi Sabillilah

Fi Sabillilah is easy to pronounce. Phonetically, Fi Sabillilah is pronounced as ‘Fi-Sabi-Li-Lah.’ For a clear understanding, let’s further break it down.

Fi Sabillilah:

1. Fi: Pronounced as ‘fee’ as in ‘fees’ with a little emphasis on ‘ee’ in the end.

Sounds like ‘fee’ 

2. Sabi

Sa: Pronounced as ‘sa’ as in ‘supper’

Sounds like ‘sa’ without emphasizing the sound of ‘aa.’ 

Bi: Pronounced as ‘bee’ as in ‘bees’ with a focus on ‘ee’

Sounds like ‘bee’

3. Lillah

Li: Pronounced like "lee" but with a short "ee"

Sounds like: Lee

Llah: Pronounced as "lah" but with a heavy emphasis on the "l," almost like "la"

Sounds like: lah

Putting It All Together

Fi Sabillilah: Fee-Sa-Bee-Li-Lah

Tips for Pronunciation

  • Emphasis: The primary emphasis is on syllables like ‘fee’ and ‘bee.’
  • Flow: Try to maintain a smooth flow between the syllables, avoiding breaks between them.
  • Practice: Repeat the word several times slowly, then gradually increase your speed.

When to Recite Fi Sabillilah? Context and Usage

Muslims use the phrase ‘Fi Sabillilah’ a number of times on various occasions. Usually, this phrase is used in the context of giving charity or for the concept of ‘jihad’ meaning ‘fighting in the path of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى).’ This phrase emphasizes the importance of intention. Any action that you take to please Allah is considered to be ‘Fi Sabillilah.’ It highlights the core importance of sacrifice and dedication. If you sacrifice your time, resources, and even your life for the sake of Allah and in the path of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى), you’ll be rewarded with His pleasure.

Usage of Fi Sabillilah falls under three categories:

  • Jihad: As explained before, jihad means fighting in the path of Allah. It is done for the sake of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى) Almighty. Jihad can be of anything, from battleground fighting to promoting good and forbidding evil.
  • Acts of Service: Many acts of service fall under ‘Fi Sabillilah.’ Muslims worship Allah, perform Hajj, offer charity, build mosques, and learn Islamic knowledge for the most Merciful and Gracious Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى). 
  • Daily Life: Everyday actions that are done keeping in mind the approval of Allah are considered as ‘Fi Sabillilah’. Even a simple act as treating someone with kindness or doing him a favor for Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى) is rewarded. 

Significance of Fi Sabillilah in Light of the Quran and Hadith

In the Quran and hadith, the word ‘Fi Sabillilah’ has been used too many times. Let’s have a look at what this world signifies in the Islamic references. 

Quranic References

In the Quran, Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى) has mentioned doing deeds for the sake of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى). From Jihad to charity, Allah's blessings are tenfold when things are done for His approval. 

In Surah Al Baqra, Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى) says, “Spend in the way of God (Fi Sabililah) and do not seek destruction at your own hands. So do good, for God loves those who do good.” This simple reference signifies the importance of spending for Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى) and doing good deeds.

Similarly, Fi Sabillilah is beautifully explained in terms of donation in the verse, “Charities are meant for the indigent and needy, and those who collect and distribute them, and those whom you wish to win over, and for redeeming slaves (and captives) and those who are burdened with debt, and in the cause of God (Fi Sabillilah), and the wayfarers: So does God ordain. God is all-knowing and all-wise.” (9:60)

Hadith References

Just like in the Quran, Prophet Muhammad also explained the significance of Fi Sabillilah and the gates of blessings that it opens. Mu'adh bin Jabal (رَضِيَ ٱللَّٰهُ عَنْهُ) said that he heard the Prophet (ﷺ) say:

"Whoever fights in the cause of Allah, the Mighty, and Sublime, for the length of time between two milkings of a she-camel, paradise is guaranteed for him. Whoever asks Allah to be killed (in Jihad) sincerely, from his heart, then he dies or is killed, he will have the reward of a martyr. Whoever is wounded or injured in the cause of Allah will come on the Day of Resurrection bleeding the most it ever bled, but its color will be like saffron, and its fragrance will be like musk. Whoever is wounded in the cause of Allah, upon him is the seal of the martyrs." (Sunan an-Nasa'i 3141)

This hadith explains how doing anything for the sake of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى) is rewarded hereafter. In the same way, charity done for the sake of Allah is termed the greatest deed, as Abu Umamah (رَضِيَ ٱللَّٰهُ عَنْهُ) reported:

The Messenger of Allah said, "The best of charities is to provide canopy in the Cause of Allah, to pay wages to a servant in the way of Allah, and to provide a camel in the way of Allah ( (to be used by a Mujahid)." (Riyad as-Salihin)

Learn About Fi Sabillilah with Muslim and Quran

As Muslims, we should always keep in mind the concept of Fi Sabillilah. We should remember that all the deeds that are done in the way of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى) bring us closer to Him. The rewards of Fi Sabillilah are many, from paradise to getting the seal of a martyr, Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى) blesses a person who does anything just for Him. Fi Sabillilah is an attitude that should be contemplated and adopted as we move forward in life.