Author: Ms. Seen Noon
Sadaqah or Sadqah also termed as “charity”, “benevolence”, in the modern context has come to signify “voluntary charity”. According to the Quran, the word means voluntary offering, whose amount is at the will of the “benefactor”.
This voluntary charity is something that you give without expecting anything in return, other than the obligatory zakat, only to gain the pleasure of the Almighty. A person attempts to reaffirm the sincerity and righteousness of his faith by acting generously in order to proactively strengthen the building blocks of the society.
The word zakat comes thirty times in the Holy Qur’an, whereas sadaqah is mentioned thirteen times in the Holy Book. This non-obligatory charity means to help people in any way you can. Things like speaking politely to your neighbor, feeding a homeless person, clearing up the pathway so people can pass with ease, or supporting a weak person with your strength to assist him, are all included in sadaqah. It’s all about putting your own self aside, not sweating about how strained you might be afterwards, with the desire of helping those in need, ONLY to supplement your good deeds. When we develop this honorable habit of stepping up for a good cause whenever we get a chance, ultimately brings us one step closer to our creator, simultaneously raising our piety.
Quran on Sadaqah
Allah, the Almighty says in the Holy Qur’an, in Surah Al-Baqarah, Verse 215
‘They ask you, [O Muhammad], what they should spend. Say, “Whatever you spend of good is [to be] for parents and relatives and orphans and the needy and the traveler. And whatever you do of good – indeed, Allah is Knowing of it.”’ (2:215)
In other Verses of the same Surah Al-Baqarah, Allah mentions:
‘Kind speech and forgiveness are better than charity followed by injury. And Allah is Free of need and Forbearing.’ (2:263)
‘Allah destroys interest and gives increase for charities. And Allah does not like every sinning disbeliever.’ (2:276)
Allah, the All-Knowing is well aware of the hidden intentions of our hearts, rewarding us of the acts done purely to help others, and also, those that we do only to appear good in front of people. We cannot fool Allah by posing as a goody-goody in public, and help others with the intention of becoming famous as a kind-hearted angel. The good deeds should be done preferably in private, while the ones done in public should be to inspire others to join in for the collective welfare of the society. For sure, this would please our Allah and He will be happy with the way we spend our nights and days in this world. Just think of it, everybody works hard in their lives, tries to make the most of the opportunities that they get, but the true winner is the one who shares his possessions, material or immaterial, only to fulfill the purpose of our coming to this world.
Sadaqa e Jariyah
There are a few charities or good deeds that help us in gaining a never-ending reward from Allah SWT. Meaning, that the blessings attained from the realization of some of our charities help us when we are no longer a part of this mortal world, and are unable to make any amends to our mistakes in this life.
The Prophet ﷺ said:
“When a person dies, all their deeds end except three: a continuing charity, beneficial knowledge and a child who prays for them,” (Hadith, Muslim, Tirmidhi 1376).
Things like constructing schools, hospitals, masjids, water wells, or helping a needy family start a business are a few examples of sadaqa e jariyah.
Ahadeeth On Sadaqa
Multiple Forms of Sadaqa
Abu Dharr reported that the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said, “Charity is prescribed for each descendant of Adam every day the sun rises.”
He was then asked: “From what do we give charity every day?” The Prophet ﷺ answered: “The doors of goodness are many… enjoining good, forbidding evil, removing harm from the road, listening to the deaf, leading the blind, guiding one to the object of his need, hurrying with the strength of one’s legs to one in sorrow who is asking for help, and supporting the feeble with the strength of one’s arms — all of these are charity prescribed for you.”
Smile – A Form of Sadaqah
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “Every good deed is sadaqah (charity). To meet your brother with a smiling face and to pour out from your bucket into his container are sadaqah.” (At-Tirmidhi, 1970)
He ﷺ also said: “Your smile for your brother is charity.” (Tirmidhi, 1879)
Don’t Delay Sadaqah
“Do not show lethargy or negligence in giving alms and charity till your last breath.” -Muhammad ﷺ (Bukhari and Muslim).
Allah Knows Our Intentions
Abu Bakr As-Siddiq (r.a.) narrated that Allah’s Messenger ﷺ said, “A crafty one, a miser, and one who keeps reminding people of what he has given, will not enter Paradise.” (Tirmidhi, 1873)
Charity – A Means of Status Elevation
Abu Hurairah (r.a.) reported Allah’s Messenger ﷺ as saying: “Charity does not in any way decrease the wealth and the servant who forgives, Allah adds to his respect; and the one who shows humility, Allah elevates him in the estimation (of the people).” (Muslim Vol. 4, Hadith 6264)
Allah Spends On You
“Allah, the Exalted, says, ‘Spend, O son of Adam, and I shall spend on you.’” – Prophet Muhammad ﷺ (Al-Bukhari and Muslim 5352).
Saving Others from Harm
I asked the Prophet ﷺ, “What is the best deed?” He replied, “To believe in Allah and to fight for His Cause.” I then asked, “What is the best kind of manumission (of slaves)?” He replied, “The manumission of the most expensive slave and the most beloved by his master.” I said, “If I cannot afford to do that?” He said, “Help the weak or do good for a person who cannot work for himself.” I said, “If I cannot do that?” He said, “Refrain from harming others for this will be regarded as a charitable deed for your own good.” (Sahih Al Bukhari 2518)
Quality, NOT Quantity
Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said, “Protect yourself from hell-fire even by giving a piece of date as charity.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
A Shield against Calamity & Sin
The Prophet ﷺ said: “Give charity without delay, for it stands in the way of calamity.” (Tirmidhi)
The Prophet ﷺ also said:
“Sadaqah extinguishes sin as water extinguishes fire,” (Hadith, Tirmidhi).
Our Holy Prophet ﷺ showed us the way to leading a sin free life, giving charity to purify our souls and our lives from all the evils that might deviate us from the path of Quran and Sunnah.
“The believer’s shade on the Day of Resurrection will be their charity,” (Hadith, Tirmidhi).
What more guarantee do we desire? Allah and His messenger ﷺ guide us to spend our valuable earnings to gain rewards in this life and the next. The main thing is the purity of our intentions, and the motive behind those actions; pleasing Allah and helping fellow mankind.