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SADAQAH (CHARITY)

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Sadaqah is also a means of moral learning. Sadaqah (Charity) is an Ibadah (worship). According to Hadith, Sadaqah is prescribed for every person every day the sun rises. Hadith is much more explicit. To remove from the road anything, which may cause hurt is called Sadaqah or a charitable deed. According to another Hadith “there is a Sadaqah (charity) on every limb with every new sun, and to do justice among people is also a charity”. On every limb there is a Sadaqah (charity) every day. If a man allows another to ride his animal, it is a charity; or if he helps him to load his animal, this is also a charity. And so is a good word. Every step, which a man takes in going to pray, is a charity; and to show the way is charity. Sadaqah is a very wide term and is used in the Quran to cover all kinds of charity. Examples of other charitable deeds are; “your salutation to people,” “your enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong”, “refraining from doing evil to any one”, of a smile or a glass of water to a thirsty person, or they may even just utter a kindly word and so on. The circle of those toward whom an act of charity may be done is equally wide. To give food to one’s wife or one’s children is called a charitable deed, while to maintain even one’s self is not excluded from the category of charitable deeds. The Noble Prophet (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) said, “Whatever you feed yourself with is a charity, and whatever you feed your children with is a charity, and whatever you feed your wife with is a charity, and whatever you feed your servant with is a charity.” The doing of good to the dumb creation is also called a charity; Planting something from which a person, bird or animal later eats also counts as charity. The Glorious Qur’an also speaks of extending charity not only to all men (including believers and unbelievers) (2:272), but also to the dumb creation (51:19).

The Qur’an lays stress on the believers to care for the needy, the orphans, the destitute and the unfortunate members of the society. ‘The believers … are steadfast in prayers, and in whose wealth there is a right acknowledged, for the poor and the destitute. (Qur’an There is no limit on Sadaqah. Prophet of Allah (SAS) said, ‘your smile for your brother is Sadaqah. Your removal of stones, thorns or bones from the paths of people is Sadaqah. Your guidance of a person who is lost is Sadaqah.’ (Related by Bukhari from Ibn Hibban’s Sahih).

‘A Muslim does not plant, or sow anything from which a person, animal or anything eats but it is considered as Sadaqah from him.’ (Prophet of Allah (SAWS) related by Bukhari.)

Sadaqah-e-jaria (an everlasting Sadaqah): Leaving a contribution in your will in the form of a Sadaqah to some charitable institution is surely a noble decision and will be deemed as a Sadaqah-e
-jaria. Sadaqah in the form of wakf is also Sadaqah-e-jaria, i.e. permanent alms. Helping someone to establish himself in business, giving someone a proper education; helping someone to recover from some disease by monetary assistance; to looking after the orphans and the destitute; giving scholarships to students, all such charitable works, come under Sadaqah-e-jaria – that is why so many centers of social welfare have continued to function in the Muslim community. The reward for giving voluntary alms in secret is seventy times that of giving it publicly (Al-Baydawi, Anwar al-Tanazil, 2/211). Any gift from a Muslim’s estate will live on in the lives of other brothers and sisters less fortunate than the donor and his/her heirs.

The scope of Sadaqah is so vast that even the poor who can have nothing tangible to give can offer Sadaqah. Good conduct is frequently termed Sadaqah in the Hadith. In this extended sense, acts of loving kindness, even greeting another with a cheerful face, is regarded as Sadaqah. In brief, every good deed is Sadaqah.