What Is Sadaqah In Islam?

Islam is a religion centered around benevolence and compassion and places great emphasis on making its followers the most compassionate, kind, and loving people. Islam houses values that make a person the best version of themselves if followed correctly. Such is the value of sadaqah. Sadaqah is the act of giving charity or donations voluntarily. Though sadaqah doesn’t only constitute giving, it rather solidifies our connection with Allah SWT and expresses itself as a profound expression of solidarity with those in need.

Sadaqah Meaning

Derived from Arabic, sadaqah translates to righteousness. In the Islamic context, it signifies a virtuous deed done out of the goodness of one’s heart without expecting anything in return. It is not a religious obligation but a highly encouraged action. Giving sadaqah doesn’t necessarily mean giving money or material possessions; it can be anything as long as it benefits another. In Islam, even removing something dangerous from a road is considered sadaqah.

Sadaqah In The Scriptures

Throughout the history of Islam, from the time of Prophet PBUH and his esteemed companion to the generation of various scholars, sadaqah has been highlighted among the most favorable deeds. Apart from this, the timeless wisdom of the Quran and hadiths also talk about the transformative power and blessings one can include in his life and hereafter because of sadaqah.

In The Quran

In Surah Al-Hadid, verse 18, Allah states that “certainly, those men and women who give charity and lend to Allah a good loan, will have it multiplied for them and they will have an honorable reward.”

In Surah Baqarah, Allah states that “to give charity in public is good, but to give it to the poor in secrecy is even better for you and will absolve you of your sins. And Allah is all-aware of what you do.”

In another verse of Surah Baqarah, Allah says, “That the example of those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah (like jihad or weapons) is like a grain that sprouts into seven ears, each ear bearing one hundred grains. And Allah multiplies the reward even more for whoever he wills. (Ayah continues onward).”

2:274 of the Quran states that Allah says that “those who spend their wealth in charity, during the day and during the night, publicly or secretly, their reward is with their Lord and they will have no fear nor will they grieve.”

In The Hadith

Mu’adh bin Jabal narrated that the Prophet PBUH stated that charity extinguishes sin as fire extinguishes fire.[Sunan Ibn Majah, 3973]

Adi bin Hatim heard the Prophet PBUH say, “Save yourself from the fire of hell, even if it is by giving a half date in charity.” [Sahih al-Bukhari, 1417]

Abu Hurairah RA narrated that “a person came to the Prophet PBUH and asked him what kind of charity was the best. The Prophet PBUH replied, “Give charity when you are in good health and you feel stingy, while you are hoping for a long life and fearing poverty.” [Sunan an-Nasa’i, 2542]

Non-Monetary Deeds Of Charity

  • Smiling at a person. (provided that it’s a mehram)
  • Helping another person when they are in need. (i.e., helping them with their luggage or picking up something they dropped.)
  • Planting a tree, and whenever someone eats from it or sits in the shade of it, it will be considered charity by the one who planted the tree.
  • Giving respite after payment becomes due.
  • Giving meals to those in need without being extravagant
  • Picking up something from the ground or a road that may cause harm to people.
  • Saying SubhanAllah, .Allahu akbar, al-hamdu lillah and laa ilaha illAllah.
  • Commanding a good action.
  • Forbidding an evil action.

Benefits Of Sadaqah

Barrier From Calamities

The Prophet PBUH stated, “Give sadaqah without delay, for it stands in the way of calamities.”

Indeed, life is filled with difficulties, each serving as a test from Allah SWT. In the face of these challenges, sadaqah emerges as a beacon of hope, offering believers peace of mind and heart and helping them navigate the trials. Therefore, by giving sadaqah, one not only helps those in need but also creates a barrier between them and calamities.

Shade Of Allah’s Throne

In a hadith, the Prophet PBUH said that “on the Day of Judgment, seven people will be under the shade of Allah (i.e., under the shade of Allah’s throne), and one of such people is a person who practices charity so secretly that his left hand isn’t aware of what his right hand has given. (i.e., nobody knows how much he gives away in charity).”

Being under the shade of Allah’s throne on the day of judgment is one of the biggest achievements for a Muslim. This hadith clearly states that those who do charity with secrecy without any need for external validation or praise will be among these blessed individuals. Hence, sadaqah is not only a way to resolve calamities in worldly life but also serves as a means to beautify the hereafter.

Purifies The Soul

Allah SWT has said in the Quran that “you will never achieve righteousness unless you spend/donate some of what you cherish.”

Selflessness and generosity in the path of righteousness are the ultimate goals of every Muslim. Therefore, spending or donating helps lessen one’s attachment to material possessions, allowing people to focus more on the spiritual aspect of our lives while cultivating an atmosphere of compassion with those in need.

Sadaqah e Jariyah

Derived from Arabic, the word jariyah means continuous or ongoing. Hence, sadaqah e jariyah is a continuous type of sadaqah. The benefits of this type of sadaqah are not only limited to this life but also carry on into the hereafter. For example, if someone plants a tree, and somebody eats from it, sits in its shade, or finds the wind blown by it helpful, all of these will fall under charities given by the person, whether they are alive or not.

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