Sadaqah refers to a voluntary act of charity performed with the sole purpose of pleasing Allah and without expecting a substitute in return. In Arabic, the word ‘Sadaqah’ literally means ‘righteousness’ and stems from the root word ‘sidq’, which means sincerity; implying that Sadaqah is the sincerity of faith and a righteous behaviour that leads to a healthy and balanced society.
The Quran and Sunnah repeatedly emphasise the importance of giving Sadaqah regularly and Allah has promised many benefits to the person who does.
1. Sadaqah will fulfil your needs
It is a natural human instinct to want to further our own interests in life and this sometimes comes at the cost of being less generous with our wealth to save for our own futures. However, it’s important to remember that we don’t take care of our own needs – Allah does.
And while we should all be planning for our future stability; we should also have faith that Allah will fulfil our needs. We should strive to serve for His sake and not succumb to acting selfishly or short-sightedly.
Ultimately, by fulfilling the needs of our brothers and sisters in need, Allah will take care of our needs too.
2. Sadaqah eases hardships and removes calamities
The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said ‘Give the sadaqah without delay, for it stands in the way of calamity.’ (Tirmidhi)
As Muslims, we believe that this life is a test and one way Allah tests our faith is through hardships. So, giving Sadaqah during a time of hardship shows strong Iman and gratitude to Allah and it is only He, with His infinite mercy that can change a person’s situation.
This means that not only are you easing the burden of your brothers and sisters in their time of hardship, but your Sadaqah will be a protection against calamity in your own life, in sha Allah.
3. Sadaqah is an investment in this life and the hereafter
A return on investment isn’t something you would associate with spending money on charitable causes. However, Allah promises us that he will increase our wealth and sustenance and bring us success in this life and the hereafter when we give Sadaqah.
4. Sadaqah removes sins
On the Day of Judgement, we will all be held to account for every sin we have committed, major and minor. No matter how hard we try, we are only human and sinning is inevitable. That is why we need to give sadaqah regularly to expiate our sins. The Prophet ﷺ said, ‘Charity extinguishes the sins like water extinguishes a fire’. [Ibn Majah]
The amount of charity you give can be as small as ‘half a date’ [Bukhari], but if you give it with a sincere intention, it can still remove your sins and protect you from the Fire.
5. Sadaqah is one of the gates of Jannah
Baab As-Sadaqah is one of the eight gates of Jannah. This door only allows those believers to enter who were charitable and gave Sadaqah in the way of Allah, whether to their parents, orphans, widows, the sick or any other person in need. Giving Sadaqah allows you to enter Paradise through this gate.
6. Sadaqah will be your shade on the Day of Judgement
As Muslims, we are taught from a young age that we have to prepare for the Day of Judgement by doing good deeds. The person who gives hidden charity is one of the seven to be sheltered under Allah’s shade on the Day of Judgement. The Prophet ﷺ said, ‘The believer’s shade on the Day of Resurrection will be his charity.’ [Tirmidhi]
On top of this, every time you give charity which removes someone’s discomfort, Allah will reward you for your compassion by removing one of your discomforts in the next life:
‘Whoever brought his (Muslim) brother out of a discomfort, Allah will bring him out of the discomforts of the Day of Resurrection.’ (Bukhari)
7. Sadaqah purifies the Nafs
Our purpose in life is to strive in the way of Allah through worship and good deeds to attain righteousness, and one of the best ways to attain righteousness is by spending for the sake of Allah. Our wealth is a test from Allah and can even be a burden as we are accountable for how we spend it. We should spend on charity to distinguish worldly desires and attain the reward of the Hereafter.
‘By no means shall you attain righteousness unless you give (freely) of that which you love. And whatever you spend; indeed, Allah is Knowing of it’. [3:92]
8. Sadaqah is a means of acceptance of dua
We can ask Allah to accept our duas by virtue of our good deeds including the sadaqah we give. An example of this is the Sahih Hadith narrated in Muslim and Bukhari, about the three people who entered a cave, and a rock fell and blocked their way out. They asked Allah by the virtue of their best deed to save them. Each of the men made dua to Allah mentioning a good dead they had done sincerely to seek His pleasure and Allah moved the rock and released them from the cave.
9. Sadaqah brings balance to society
Giving sadaqah to orphans, widows, the sick and those in need, ensures we live in a much fairer society by sharing wealth. Sadaqah does not only mean giving money but it can be any act of kindness. The Prophet ﷺ said: ‘Your smile for your brother is a charity. Your removal of stones, thorns or bones from the paths of people is a charity. Your guidance of a person who is lost is a charity’. [Bukhari]. Sadaqah is about benefiting the whole community and looking after the vulnerable for the betterment of society.
10. Sadaqah is a way to earn rewards after death
By giving Sadaqah Jariyah you can invest in the hereafter for yourself or for your loved ones by earning continuous rewards. The Prophet ﷺ said: ‘When a man dies, his deeds come to an end except for three things: Sadaqah Jariyah (continuous charity), knowledge which is beneficial, or a virtuous descendant who prays for him’. [Muslim]