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.
It can be everything from an act of kindness to a monetary donation. For example, Sadaqah can be a voluntary donation. It can be helping someone in need, giving a smile, or it can even be removing a harmful object from your path. Aqiqah, Fidya and Kaffarah are also examples of Sadaqah.
In a famous Hadith narrated by Abu Hurayrah (ra):
“Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said: ‘While a man was going on a way, he saw a thorny branch and removed it from the way and Allah became pleased by his action and forgave him for that.’” (Al-Bukhari)
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.
For many of the world’s most vulnerable, your donations are a lifeline.
When you provide a Sadaqah donation to Islamic Relief, you can change the future of an orphan in need. Through your vital donations, they are provided with a way home to food, shelter, an education, and a chance at a brighter future.
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, Afghanistan, Syria and Palestine.
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 is an entirely voluntary charity, that can be performed at any time of year, and any amount can be given. 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.
Zakat has a number of stipulations regarding the type of assistance it can provide. However, Sadaqah can be used for any project or programme which is of benefit to people. In a number of sayings, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) emphasised the benefits of giving Sadaqah.
As Anas Bin Malik said, narrated by Bayhaqi:
“Give charity without delay, for it stands in the way of calamity.” (Tirmidhi)
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.