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The Importance of Sadaqah

by Musa Bukhari

Sadaqah in the Qur’an

In Islam, there are two stipulated ways of giving: Zakat and Sadaqah. Zakat is the obligatory charity that those with assets must give every year with the calculated nisab. If someone is eligible to give Zakat but doesn’t, it counts as a major sin on their part.

As for sadaqah, it is voluntary charity [although these two words were sometimes used interchangeably during the time of the Prophet (SAW)].

Here are some ayat (verses) that emphasize the importance of giving in the path of Allah:

Allah Will Give Us Jannah in Exchange for Our Wealth and Lives

“Indeed, Allah has purchased from the believers their lives and their properties [in exchange] for that they will have Paradise…” (9:111)

Allah Commands Us to Give Before It’s Too Late

“O believers! Spend from what We have provided for you before the arrival of a Day when there will be no bargaining, friendship, or intercession. Those who disbelieve are (truly) the wrongdoers.” (2:254)

Allah Says Charity is the Way to Righteousness

“None of you [believers] will attain true piety unless you give out of what you love; whatever you give, God knows about it very well.” (3:92)

Allah Will Multiply Our Wealth

“The example of those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah is like a seed [of grain] which grows seven spikes; in each spike is a hundred grains. And Allah multiplies [His reward] for whom He wills. And Allah is all-Encompassing and Knowing.” (2:261)

Sadaqah in the Sunnah

The Prophet (SAW) had different ways in which he would give sadaqah, and he taught us how easily we can give it, and how beneficial it is for us to do so.

Charity is Due Upon Every Muslim

Ibn Abbas reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “The son of Adam has three hundred and sixty joints, and charity is due upon each one of them every day. A kind word that a man speaks is charity. A man helping his brother with something is charity. Giving someone a drink of water is charity. Removing harmful things from the road is charity.” (Al-Mu’jam al-Kabir)

This hadith teaches us that sadaqah can go beyond just giving money. Rather, it encompasses all the kind acts we do while seeking Allah’s pleasure. Removing harm from people and providing benefit is sadaqah. We should ask ourselves: am I conducting myself in a way where I am removing harm and providing benefit for all of Allah’s creation (humans and animals)?

Gain Allah’s Help

Abu Darda reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Seek out the vulnerable for me, for you are only given provision and divine support due to your care for the vulnerable.” (Sunan Abi Dawud)

The Prophet (SAW) is teaching us here the grave importance of remembering the vulnerable and seeking them out. How often do we forget about those less fortunate than us even as we enjoy the blessings Allah has given us?

Human Appeal has many different projects and campaigns that you can choose to donate to. Choose a campaign to help the vulnerable, and Allah will help you.

Get Your Sins Forgiven

The Prophet (SAW) said, “Sadaqah extinguishes sin as water extinguishes fire.” (Tirmidhi)

In this hadith, we are given vivid imagery to help us understand just effective sadaqah is in getting rid of our sins. Just like fire does not stand a chance against water, our sins do not stand a chance against sadaqah when we give it sincerely for Allah’s Pleasure.

Save yourselves from Hell-fire

Fadalah ibn ‘Ubayd reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Set up a barrier between yourself and the Hellfire, even with half of a date in charity.” (Al-Mu’jam al-Kabir)

When it comes to good deeds, a powerful intention can make a small deed great. Charity is a barrier against Hell-fire, and the Prophet (SAW) is reminding us that we do not have to give millions to protect ourselves from the Hell-fire–whatever we can afford is enough in the sight of Allah. If we can give even £10 or £50, we should do so immediately.

Charity is a Proof of Faith

On the authority of Abu Maalik al-Haarith ibn Aasim al-Ashari, (may Allah be pleased with him), who said: The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, ‘Purification is half of faith. The phrase Alhamdulillah (‘All praises be to Allah ‘) fills the scale. The phrases Subhanallaah (‘High is Allah above every imperfection and need; He is pure and perfect’) and Alhamdullilah (‘All praise be to Allah’) fill together – or each fill – what is between the heavens and earth. Prayer is a light. Charity is a proof (of faith). Patience is a brightness. The Qur’an is either an argument for you or against you. And everyone goes out in the morning and sells himself either freeing or destroying himself.” (Muslim)

The hypocrites during the time of the Prophet (SAW) used to pretend to be on the side of the Muslims and they prayed and fasted with them. When it came to charity, however, they found themselves incredibly stingy. That is because it is only someone with iman who can manage to part with their hard-earned wealth for the sake of Allah. It is only someone with iman who can withstand the sting of giving and instead focus on the joy that comes with pleasing Allah and meeting Him on the Day of Judgement.

Charity is Shade on the Day of Judgment

Marthad ibn Abdullah reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “The shade of the believer on the Day of Resurrection is his charity.” (Musnad Ahmad)

On the Day of Judgement, the sun will be brought so close that people will be drowning in their own sweat based on how many sins they have acquired. Some will be drowning in sweat up to their ankles, some up to their knees, while yet others will be drowning up to their waist or their entire bodies! In this scary situation, the believers will be given the chance to have shade–based upon their giving of sadaqah in this world. What an amazing gift from Allah on the day when there is no shade except His shade!

Sadaqah Jariyah (Ongoing Charity)

Abu Qatadah reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “The best of what a man leaves behind are three: a righteous child who supplicates for him, ongoing charity the reward of which reaches him, and knowledge that is acted upon after him.” (Sunan ibn Majah)

This hadith is very popular because of a few reasons:

When we die, we will be desperate for good deeds in our grave to save ourselves from the punishment of the grave and the punishment of the Hell-fire, because no matter how much good we have done in this world, it will feel like we haven’t done enough. The disbelievers will wish that they had believed and done righteous deeds, and the believers will wish that they had prayed more extra (nafl) salah and given more sadaqah and done more dhikr.

Let’s try to avoid that sad fate of being regretful on the Day of Judgment by giving what we need to give now, while we have the means. Let’s make sure to set up our sadaqah jariyah by investing in schools and madrasahs, by planting trees, by building water wells, and by giving to those most in need. Learn more about how you can set up your sadaqah jariyah with Human Appeal today.

May Allah (SWT) make us amongst those who purify our wealth by giving it in Allah’s way, to serve the most vulnerable and needy and to serve the deen. May Allah bless us and increase us in our wealth and all types of provision. May Allah put barakah in everything that He gave us, and may He accept our zakah and sadaqah. May Allah guide us to the best forms of sadaqah jariyah that would be pleasing to Him. Ameen.

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