Sadaqah refers to a selfless charitable deed performed for the benefit of another person, whether from generosity, love, compassion, or faith. Simple actions like a nice deed, a helping hand, a smile, directing others down the straight road, and averting evil are all considered acts of Sadaqah. One must contribute without expecting anything in return.
Two types of Sadaqah
When a person makes a charity or performs anything that may help someone else, such as an animal, this is known as Sadaqah. Simple acts of Sadaqah include:
- Volunteering at an NGO
- Helping someone who is lost
- Sharing knowledge
- Dhikr of Allah
- Taking care of widows, orphans
Sadaqah Jariyah is a charitable gesture with long-term rewards. Allah (SWT) rewards people for performing Sadaqah Jariyah acts even after they have passed away. You will receive the respective rewards as long as your charitable deed benefits a human, an animal, or the environment.
- Sponsoring Education
- Building a well
- Planting a tree
- Building hospitals, schools, or orphanages
- Establishing farms
Benefits of Sadaqah
“Verily those who give Sadaqah, men, and women, and lend Allah a goodly loan, it shall be increased manifold, and theirs shall be an honorable good reward.” (Quran – 57:18)
On the Day of Judgment, Allah (SWT) will show great kindness to Muslims who contribute to the less fortunate, but it isn’t simply His rewards that should motivate Muslims to give Sadaqah. Sadaqah should be offered without expecting anything in return because many people would perish without charitable acts.
“Sadaqah extinguishes sin as water extinguishes fire” (Hadith, Tirmidhi).
Even if the amount of charity you offer is as little as “half a date” [Bukhari], if you give it with a genuine intention, it will be enough to forgive your sins and preserve you from the Fire.
What is the difference between Sadaqah and Zakat?
Muslims practice Zakat and Sadaqah as acts of prayer. In their ways, the two are unique.
- Zakat is only required once a year, whereas Sadaqah is never obligatory.
- Zakat is paid on certain assets, including gold, silver, currency, business assets, agricultural output, livestock, and treasure troves, whereas Sadaqah has no such asset restrictions.
- Certain liabilities can be deducted from a Zakat calculation, but no liabilities can be removed from a Sadaqah calculation.
- The Islamic government collected and distributed Zakat, whereas Sadaqah is always a personal act of generosity.