Islamic Donations Explained

‘Believe in Allah and His Messenger, and spend (in charity) out of the (substance) whereof He has made you heirs. For, those of you who believe and spend (in charity), for them is a great Reward.’ (Qur’an 57:7)

The days are getting longer, the nights are getting shorter and it’s come to that time when we want to reap the rewards of the most blessed month of the year. Our tongues are wet with the remembrance of Allah and the gates of Jannah are wide open. What better time to give in charity than the month when our deeds are multiplied? I’m sure we’ve all got lots of questions about what we think we should know when it comes to Sadaqah but maybe are too shy to ask. Here are some frequently asked questions about giving charity in Islam.

What is Sadaqah?

Sadaqah is the act of charity given purely out of compassion, love, friendship, religious duty or generosity. It’s the smile you give to your neighbour, the potential harm you remove from someone’s pathway, the food you feed to the needy or the well you dig to quench someone’s thirst.

Who can give Sadaqah?

Anyone can give Sadaqah at any time and for any amount.

How much Sadaqah do I have to give?

Unlike Zakat, Sadaqah has no set amount. You can give anything that you are financially capable of. The decision about how much to give is left to the individual. Abubakr (ra) used to give everything he had, leaving Allah and his messenger to provide for his family whereas Umar Al Khattab (ra) gave half of what he had.

What types of Sadaqah are there?

  • Sadaqah lillah (charity for the sake of Allah)
  • Sadaqah Jariya (continuous charity)
  • Waqf – assets that are donated, bequeathed, or purchased for the purpose of being held in perpetual trust as ongoing charity (Sadaqah jariya) or for a general or specific cause that Islam regards as socially beneficial.

What are the conditions of Sadaqah?

  • Sadaqah must be given sincerely for the pleasure of Allah and not to gain praise or recognition from others
  • Sadaqah can only be given from a halal (lawful) source
  • It is better to conceal what we give or do
  • Do not delay in the giving of Sadaqah
  • Do not count whatever you give

What’s the difference between Sadaqah and Zakat?

 Sadaqah

  • Given in any amount
  • Given at any time
  • Given to anyone in need of help
  • Can be given on behalf of another person

Zakat

  • 2.5 % of annual savings
  • Given annually
  • Given to a specific group of people i.e. the poor, the Muslims
  • Cannot be given on behalf on anybody

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