Sadaqah is the term used to describe a voluntary act of charity that is wide-reaching, for example a form of monetary charity or an act of kindness that can be performed in any amount, at any time of the year.
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) emphasised the benefits of giving Sadaqah in a number of sayings:
“Sadaqah extinguishes sin as water extinguishes fire.” (Tirmidhi)
Therefore, any act of kindness or support extended to other beings (including animals) for the sake of Allah (SWT), can be considered a Sadaqah or charity.
What does Sadaqah mean?
The literal translation is ‘righteousness’. However, in the modern-day context, it has come to mean ‘voluntary charity’. The word stems from ‘sidq’, which means sincerity. This suggests that Sadaqah is a righteous behaviour, which shows sincerity of faith.
The Impact of your Sadaqah Donations
Giving Sadaqah can help provide crucial medical care that people facing the effects of war and crisis can seek relief in. For example our brothers and sisters in Yemen and Pakistan.
They also provide livelihoods to thousands of people and communities. This helps to break the poverty cycle and lifting individuals in need into wellbeing.
Your Sadaqah donations are simply transformative.
Sadaqah extinguishes sin as water extinguishes fire
Prophet Muhammad ﷺ - Hadith, Tirmidhi
Sadaqah and Sadaqah Jariyah
An important concept within Islam is the idea of Sadaqah Jariyah – an ‘ongoing charity’.
The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said:
“When a person dies, all their deeds end except three: a continuing charity, beneficial knowledge and a child who prays for them.” (Muslim)
Therefore, many Muslims are eager to give charity which will continue to have benefit to people after their death, and continue to earn them reward.
Sadaqah Jariyah is any charity which continues to have positive effects on a community in the long-term, beyond immediate relief. This includes: building homes, schools and hospitals. Other examples include: installing durable water systems; turning an area of land into a farm which continues to give crops for years to come; helping a poor family start a business which continues generating profit for future generations.
What is the difference between Sadaqah and Lillah?
Lillah means ‘for Allah’. Lillah is a type of Sadaqah donation, that can be made to an institution, a mosque, orphanage or a hospital.
Similarly to Sadaqah, it is not compulsory. There is no minimum amount and no restriction on who can receive funds.
What are the benefits of Sadaqah?
Sadaqah is a voluntary act of charity. It is given for the sole purpose of pleasing Allah (SWT), without expecting anything in return.
We know that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was very generous. He (pbuh) would give his food, money, and belongings to the poor and often letting himself go hungry. In summary, the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) had impeccable character. Therefore, it is an immense reward in following his exemplary behaviour.
Sadaqah not only purifies one’s own wealth, but also helps to establish a flow of wealth in society. Through the good deed of giving, Muslims are bonded together. As well as the economic stability in communities through the distribution of wealth. Therefore, Muslims are instructed by Allah (SWT) to try to give for His sake and spread generosity.
The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said:
“The believer’s shade on the Day of Resurrection will be his charity.” (Tirmidhi)
Sadaqah is an entirely voluntary charity, where any amount can be given at any time of year. However, Zakat is an obligatory charity due from every Muslim whose total possessions (cash, gold, silver, shares) meet or exceed the nisab threshold on a yearly basis.