Sadaqah is a charity given voluntarily in order to please Allah. In Arabic, Sadaqah directly translates to ‘righteousness’ and originates from the root word ‘sidq’, which means sincerity. This essence implies that Sadaqah represents not only the sincerity of faith but also embodies righteous behavior, fostering a healthy and balanced society.
The term used to describe an act of kindness given without expecting anything in return is Sadaqah. It can be as simple as sharing a smile with a stranger or offering information to someone seeking answers. Or it can involve more extended support, such as giving money to a homeless person on the street or dedicating time to help a friend or family member in need.
Types of Sadaqah
There are several types and benefits of Sadaqah:
This is a mandatory act of charity that must be given before the Eid prayers at the end of Ramadan. Individuals typically give it as food or money, aiming to purify the fast and provide for those in need.
This is a form of charity from one’s wealth, such as giving money or valuable possessions to those in need.
This refers to the act of sharing knowledge or teaching others. It can include activities such as teaching others how to read or write.
Sadaqah through Time
Donating time and effort to help others, volunteering, or providing services for free are all forms of Sadaqah through one’s time.
Sadaqah through Dua (Supplication)
Praying for someone’s well-being, success, or relief from hardship is also seen as a form of Sadaqah.
Read About the Importance of Dua in Islam>>
Difference between Sadaqah and Sadaqah Jariyah
Sadaqah is a short-term charity, such as Giving a food package to a needy family to help them get through a short time.
Sadaqah Jariyah is a long-term charity. Engaging in this kind of charity brings incredible rewards, as we receive blessings while alive and even after we’re gone.
If you want to learn more about Sadaqah Jariyah read our other article: Acts of Sadaqah Jariyah in Islam
An example of Sadaqah Jariyah is building or contributing to constructing a well or water pump in a needy community. This will provide a sustainable source of clean water for the neighborhood, benefiting future generations. The ongoing benefits of this act of Sadaqah will continue to increase even after the donor is no longer alive.
Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:
The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said, “When a man dies, his deeds come to an end except for three things: Sadaqah Jariyah (ceaseless charity); a knowledge which is beneficial, or a virtuous descendant who prays for him (for the deceased).”[Riyad as-Salihin 1383]
The reward of Sadaqah in the Quran
Allah Almighty Says:
They ask you, [O Muḥammad], what they should spend. Say, “Whatever you spend of good is [to be] for parents and relatives and orphans and the needy and the traveller. And whatever you do of good – indeed, Allāh knows of it.” [Surah Baqarah Ayat 215]
Hadith on Sadaqah
Narrated Haritha bin Wahab:
I heard the Prophet (SAW) saying, “O people! Give in charity as a time will come upon you when a person will wander about with his object of charity and will not find anybody to accept it, and one (who will be requested to take it) will say, “If you had brought it yesterday, would have taken it, but today I am not in need of it.”[Sahih al-Bukhari 1411]
Narrated `Adi bin Hatim heard the Prophet (SAW) saying:
“Save yourself from Hell-fire even by giving half a date-fruit in charity.”[Sahih al-Bukhari 1417]
What are the Goals of Sadaqah?
The goals of Sadaqah can vary depending on individual intentions and the specific type of Sadaqah being given. Here are some common goals:
- Giving Sadaqah is about doing something good to make Allah happy and blessing Him.
- Sadaqah helps purify one’s wealth. It’s like cleaning it from selfishness and being more willing to share.
- Sadaqah aims to alleviate poverty and aid those who are less fortunate.
- Sadaqah also serves as a means to achieve social welfare and community development.
- Believers attribute immense spiritual rewards to the act of giving Sadaqah.
How to give Sadaqah
To give Sadaqah, you can follow this step;
In giving Sadaqah, intended solely for the pleasure of Allah and to seek His pleasure.
Choose a Type of Sadaqah
There are various types of Sadaqah, including giving money, donating goods, volunteering your time, or offering your skills. Decide which kind you would like to give based on your means and the needs of those you want to help.
Determine the individuals or organizations that are most deserving of the Sadaqah. This can include people with low incomes, orphans, older people, refugees, and others in need.
Give in Secret
It is generally recommended to give Sadaqah privately without seeking recognition or praise. This ensures the sincerity of your intention and preserves the dignity of the recipients.
Follow Islamic Guidelines
When giving money as Sadaqah, giving at least 2.5% of your yearly savings as Zakat is a required form of Sadaqah for eligible Muslims. Apart from Zakat, you can also provide extra voluntary Sadaqah.
Benefits of Sadaqah
Allah promises great rewards for those who give Sadaqah sincerely and with a good heart. Several verses highlight the spiritual and worldly benefits of Sadaqah, such as:
Increase in Wealth
Allah promises to increase the wealth of those who give charity:
The example of those who spend their wealth in the cause of Allah is that of a grain that sprouts into seven ears, each bearing one hundred grains. And Allah multiplies the reward even more to whoever He wills. For Allah is All-Bountiful, All-Knowing. (Surah Baqarah verse 261)
Protection from Calamities
Sadaqah is believed to protect a person from calamities and misfortunes:
Kind words and forgiveness are better than charity, followed by injury. And Allah is Self-Sufficient, Most Forbearing. [Surah Baqarah verse 263]
Blessings and Happiness
Blessings and happiness are associated with charity in this world and the hereafter.
Sadaqah is an Investment in this Life and the Hereafter
We invest in this life and the next in sha Allah by giving Sadaqah regularly.
Indeed, the men who practice charity and the women who practice charity and [they who] have loaned Allah a goodly loan – it will be multiplied for them, and they will have a noble reward. [Surah Hadid Ayat 18]
Difference between Zakat and Sadaqah
Islam allows individuals to voluntarily donate to charity at any time and in any amount through Sadaqah. It’s often an expression of gratitude, purity, or generosity.
On the other hand, Zakat is a fundamental part of Islam, one of the Five Pillars, and it means “that which purifies.” It’s a compulsory donation that comes with specific expectations and rules. By Islamic principles, individuals must contribute Zakat at a rate of 2.5% of their wealth after one year, directing these funds to specific categories of people in need.
In conclusion, Sadaqah is a powerful act of charity and generosity in Islam. It is a means of seeking Allah’s pleasure, purifying our wealth, and helping those in need. Sadaqah can take various forms, including giving money, donating goods, volunteering time, or offering skills. When giving Sadaqah, it is essential to have a sincere intention, choose deserving recipients, give secretly, and be mindful of timing. By following these steps and adhering to Islamic guidelines, we can positively impact the lives of others and fulfill our duty to help those in need.