Goodness is an essential part of human nature. A man feels inner satisfaction through committing virtuous deeds, like lending a little money to the poor and helping out a crippled person on the way etc. Such acts of kindness and compassion are the reasons why mankind still exists on the surface the earth; otherwise it would never survive if all of them were cruel and spiteful. The Religion of Islam greatly emphasizes on the importance of doing good to others. Allah SWT says in the Holy Quran:
benefits of sadaqah
“…. And whoever volunteers good – then indeed, Allah is appreciative and Knowing.” [Quran, 2: 158]]
Every action of righteousness in Islam is considered as Sadaqah, which is derived from the Arabic root word, Sadq (truth). Its literal meaning is to expend from one`s possessions and abilities in the way of the Almighty Lord. Sadaqah is the necessary constituent of a believer`s faith through which it seeks Pleasure of the Creator of the world of the worlds by helping out the poor and others in a state of need.
“And those who are patient, seeking the countenance of their Lord, and establish prayer and spend from what We have provided for them secretly and publicly and prevent evil with good – those will have the good consequence of [this] home.” [Quran, 13: 22]
In the above mentioned Ayah, the Gracious God describes the excellent qualities of His true devotees, who are always uncomplaining, constantly looking for His favors, offer Salah, spend from their wealth and remove immorality through decency. Such believers are granted a great reward in Jannah (Paradise).
Difference Between Zakah And Sadaqah:
The point here is to understand the difference between Zakah and Sadaqah both of which are mentioned in the previously stated Quranic Verse together. The former is 3rd pillar of Islam, which binds a Muslim to pay out a fixed or standardized proportion of its supplementary material goods to deprived and disadvantaged people. While latter is an intended and continuous act of uprightness, commonly called “Sadaqah”, which everyone has to carry out no matter what their social status is, which is to work for eradication of harm through incessant deeds of goodness. In short, Zakah is just a kind of Sadaqah as the second covers all acts of goodness for the purpose of getting Allah`s delight.
Types of Sadaqah:
Some of kinds of Sadaqah according to Prophetic ﷺ traditions are as follows:
i) Every Action Of Goodness
Narrated by Abu Musa (R.A) that the Holy Prophet (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) said:
“Every Muslim has to give in sadaqah (charity).” The people asked, “O Allah’s Messenger (SAWS)! If someone has nothing to give, what will he do?” He (SAWS) said, “He should work with his hands and benefit himself and also give in charity (from what he earns).” The people further asked, “If he cannot do even that?” He (SAWS) replied, “Then he should help the needy who appeal for help.” Then the people asked, “If he cannot do that?” He (PBUH) replied, “Then he should perform all that is good and keep away from all that is evil and this will be regarded as charitable deeds.” (Bukhari)
This Saying of Hazrat Muhammad ﷺ clarifies that every act of decency is Sadaqah. Therefore, not a single deed that benefits a person one or another according to Islamic beliefs should be considered unimportant because it eventually leads towards adopting a righteous life.
ii) Dhikr (Remembrance) Of Allah SWT
Abu Dharr reported Rasulullah ﷺ saying as:
“In the morning charity is due from every bone in the body of every one of you. Every utterance of Allah’s glorification is an act of charity. Every utterance of praise of Him is an act of charity; every utterance of profession of His Oneness is an act of charity; every utterance of profession of His Greatness is an act of charity; enjoining good is an act of charity; forbidding what is disreputable is an act of charity; and two rak‘ahs which one prays in the forenoon will suffice.” (Muslim 1557)
Thus, one can deduce from the above stated Hadith that Glorifying the Name of the Almighty Lord for His Oneness, Greatness, Being Praiseworthy etc. all are the great forms of Sadaqah which a believer performs during day and night.
iii) Smiling In Front Of A Muslim Brother
The Holy Prophet ﷺ said:
“To smile in the company of your brother is charity…” (Bukhari)
Therefore, a mere action of smiling in the face of other Muslim fellow is also a kind of charity. It is generally well thought-out as a universal language as it promotes friendliness and gives the other person a reason to be happy.
iv) Embracing Righteousness And Preventing Wickedness
The Messenger ﷺ of God is narrated to have said:
“…To command to do good deeds and to prevent others from doing evil is charity….” (Bukhari)
It means that one should not only keep on doing acts of morality itself but also avert others from doing wrong, as these both are types of Sadaqah, which result in attaining great blessings from the Most Beneficent.
v) Guiding Other Person
Rasulullah ﷺ said:
“…To guide a person in a place where he cannot get astray is charity….” (Bukhari)
It shows that directing a less knowledgeable individual in such a way that it would lead to its getting the desired outcome from that advice is also a deed equal to charity.
vi) Eliminating Harmful Objects From Passageway
The Apostle ﷺ of Allah SWT is narrated to be saying as:
“…To remove troublesome things like thorns and bones from the road is charity….” (Bukhari)
Therefore, helping out others by getting rid of bothersome items such as stones, thorns or bones is also a great act of performing Sadaqah in the way of the Almighty Lord.
vii) Pouring Water For Muslim Fellow
According to Hadith of the Holy Prophet ﷺ:
“…To pour water from your jug into the jug of your brother is charity…”
It indicates that putting little effort in giving someone else to drink water is also a charity.
viii) Helping A Blind Human Being
The Messenger ﷺ of God said:
To guide a person with defective vision is charity for you.” (Bukhari)
The above mentioned Saying of Hazrat Muhammad ﷺ signifies that showing a blind individual its way is also form of Sadaqah.
All of these examples are just a means to understand that Sadaqah is far more than just spending from a proportion of wealth. It is also not limited to a certain person; rather it is compulsory for every believer to carry out this form of charity as it covers all kinds of decent actions.