Five Reasons to Give Sadaqah (Voluntary Charity) Regularly (2023)

How does giving regular sadaqah, voluntary charity, benefit me in my life?

Briefly:
  1. It purifies your wealth.

  2. It wipes away some of your sins whenever you give it.

  3. It beats out calamity before it comes to you.

  4. It blesses your wealth.

  5. It increases, not decreases, your wealth.

Here are five more benefits for good measure:
  1. It can extend your lifespan.

  2. It gladdens those who need it (which makes your heart happy).

  3. It moves people to pray for you.

  4. It grows trust in God inside you and gives you good thoughts of Him.

  5. It makes you beloved to Allah and beloved to His creation.

And how about a couple extra worldly help for the charitable?

  1. It eases your hardships in this life.

  2. It conceals your shortcomings.

That’s what regular sadaqah giving can give you in this world.

Here’re five more ways sadaqah helps you in the Hereafter

  1. It shades you on Judgment Day, when the sun will immerse people in their sweat.

  2. It protects you from the punishment of the grave.

  3. It lightens your divine reckoning.

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  4. It weighs heavy in the Scale of your good deeds.

  5. It raises you higher in the hundreds of echelons of Paradise.

And here’s another Afterlife benefit of giving sadaqah in this life:
  1. It helps you cross Al-Sirât, The Traverse. This is the bridge over Hellfire that connects the Plain of Judgment to the Garden of Paradise, from which some will fall in, hooked by their sins.

(See Why Is Sadaqah Important?)

A Closer Look at Five Reasons to Give Sadaqah?

1. What does it mean my sadaqah will shade me in the Hereafter?

This is a reference to the statement of the Prophet, on him be peace, about the condition of people when Allah resurrects them body and soul to the Plain of Judgment for everlasting reward in the Garden of Paradise or punishment in Hellfire.

Allah will alter things in such a way as to cause us to endure an experience there inconceivable here on earth.

The Prophet, on him be peace, said:

Behold! On the Day of Resurrection, the sun will be drawn near the servants the distance of a mile or two [or it may mean as close as an eyeliner applicator to their eyes]. The sun will scorch them such that they abide in their sweat in accordance with their deeds [in life]. Thus, some will be whelmed to their ankles, while others will be whelmed to their knees. Yet others will be whelmed to their waists. Then there will be those utterly bridled by it [and the Prophet, on him be peace, raised his hand to his mouth]. (Tirmidi)

So, the blessing of sadaqah in this world turning into shade in the next refers to this harrowing time to which all human beings will come, lasting for fifty thousand years. (Again, the physics of the Hereafter will be unlike the nature of things in this life.)

The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

The shade of the believer on the Day of Resurrection is his charity.” (Musnad Ahmad)

He also mentioned that among the seven kinds of people that Allah will shade with His shade on Judgment Day is a believer so giving of sadaqah – in frequency, inclination, and to all manner of good purposes – that it actually becomes second nature.

He said:

Seven shall Allah shade in His Shade on the Day there is no shade save His Shade. … [including] a man who charitably gives a sadaqah while concealing it, such that his left hand knows not what his right hand has given.” (Bukhari)

This kind of person gives in days of abundance and hard times, when he has and has not, whether much or little. This is when the heart becomes so disposed to give to good and to meet the needs of others that it no longer contemplates, calculates, or calibrates its giving. Sadaqah becomes a reflex of the heart. Just like it beats, it gives.

2. How does sadaqah protect me from Hellfire?

The Prophet, on him be peace, is explicitly telling us that the charity we properly give in this life, Allah will transform into a protection for us from the heat and flames of Hell.

Guard yourselves from Hellfire, if only by a piece of a date [you give in charity].” (Bukhari)

The Prophet, on him be peace, is explicitly telling us that the charity we properly give in this life, Allah will transform into a protection for us from the heat and flames of Hell.

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He is also making clear to us that no matter how small that well-given sadaqah may be, Allah will curate it for us, that is, He will accept it and look after it for us, until we arrive at His Judgment when He shall cause it to become a screen for our bodies from the Fire.

In another hadith statement, the Prophet, on him be peace, explained the process of this divine cultivation of our small but sincerely given sadaqah in more detail: He said:

Allah accepts charity worth even a [single] date, as long as it is from lawful earnings. Allah takes it in His Right Hand and nurtures it for its giver in the same way you bring up your horse’s yearling – until that small bit of charity becomes the size of a mountain.” (Bukhari)

3. What does it mean that sadaqah removes sins?

The Prophet, on him be peace, said:

Fasting is a shield and charity extinguishes sin like water extinguishes fire” (Ṣaḥîḥ Al-Targhîb wa Al-Tarhîb).

This speaks to the quenching and purifying power Allah has put in sadaqah. The kinds of sins that sadaqah blots out from our records and cleanses from our souls exactly match the types of misdeeds we tend to do as a matter of daily habit, or without even thinking about their toll on our own hearts or the hearts of others. These are the minor sins we commit both knowingly and unknowingly with our words, our hands, our eyes, our ears, our thoughts, and in our neglect of the rights that others have on us or that we have on our own selves.

The Prophet, on him be peace, encouraged our daily giving of sadaqah. This trained disposition of everyday sadaqah becomes a habit of the heart that offsets the human tendency to wrong our own souls or others with selfish, hurtful, or inconsiderate acts.

In this regard, the Prophet, on him be peace, taught us:

Each joint in the body of people owes a sadaqah charity every day upon which the sun rises. Justly reconciling between two disputants is a sadaqah. Aiding a man with his animal by hoisting him on it or lifting his things upon it for him is a sadaqah. A good word is a sadaqah. Each step you take to the Salât-Prayer is a sadaqah. And removing something harmful from the road is a sadaqah.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

In a related hadith, the Prophet, on him” be peace, says:

The morning dawns with a sadaqah due for each joint of every one of you. Thus, each glorification of Allah’s transcendence [saying subhan’Allah] is a sadaqah. And each affirmation of Allah’s exclusive divinity [saying La ilaha ila’Llah] is a sadaqah. And each magnification of Allah’s greatness [saying Allahu Akbar] is a sadaqah. And enjoining right is a sadaqah. And forbidding wrong is a sadaqah. And fulfilling all this [daily sadaqah debt] are the two cycles of bowng in prayer (dual rak‘tan, s. rak‘ah) that you bow in in the morning light.” (Muslim)

This tells us two important things about sadaqah:

  1. Sadaqah, though voluntary charity, is actually due from each of us every single day, and in large quantities. The Prophet, on him be peace, totaled the joints of the human body at 360 (precisely accurate, by the way). That’s a substantial daily sadaqah debt we all owe.

  2. Sadaqah need not always be monetary. It is also services or other pleasant or thoughtful deeds rendered in the behalf of others, as well as personal acts of devotion, including both ritual worship and other godly observances, like repetitions of Allah’s endlessly unique praises (dhikr). (See How Many Types of Ṣadaqah Are There?)

The point is to turn to human nature upon which our souls were divinely created; namely, to testify at every moment to sweet faith in our singular Creator, and then to refine this inclination. We do this by seeing avenues to sadaqah within and without in every spiritual and material form and by seeking out every good end to give of ourselves and of what we love dearly humbly and in grateful remembrance.

This, in fact, is sadaqah’s origin in language: a ‘truthful’ testimony that ‘confirms’ faith, ‘supports’ Allah in His revealed summons to belief, and ‘donates’ of oneself and from what we crave and value to all that Allah has called us human beings. Sadaqah is an ‘attestation’ to the truth in our hearts of the faith our mouths proclaim – that we do, indeed, believe in Allah and our inevitable Resurrection into an everlasting Afterlife.

4. How can paying sadaqah from wealth not decrease it?

First, the Prophet, on him be peace, said in an authentic report, meaning it is part of Revelation:

Never does sadaqah diminish wealth in the least. And never does Allah grant a servant who is pardoning of people increase in anything other than nobility. And never does one lower himself to another for the sake of Allah except that Allah raises him up. ” (Muslim)

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This prophetic statement beautifully expresses to us the difference between the illusions we hold about the apparent outcomes of our seemingly diminishing behaviors with others in the world and the truth about their real outcomes of augmentation and amplification always to the good. The only condition is that we do them for the sake of Allah, to gain from Him, and not for any other perceived profit or return.

Each of the three behaviors mentioned here seem to cause a lessening of sorts, in wealth, honor, and humility. Yet Allah brings about the exact opposite result.

We are enriched, honored, and elevated.

The Prophet, on him be peace, is teaching us that we see the mirage of our wealth decreasing when we pay sadaqah from it. But, in fact, Allah is actually diverting more wealth into our possession in this world than what we have given.

Secondly, Allah tells us in a divine pronouncement (hadith qudsi) related by the Prophet, on him be peace:

Spend, O son of Adam, and I shall spend on you.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

The strong implication here is also that Allah will give to us far in excess of what we have paid out in sadaqah.

Why? Because we have invested with Him – and none gives return like Allah.

The likeness of those who spend their wealth in the path of God is as the likeness of a grain that sprouts seven spikes. In every spike, there is a hundred grains. Thus does God multiply reward for whomever He so wills. And God is all-encompassing, all-knowing. (Surat Al-Baqarah, 2:261)

Allah tells us in the Quran that He records our charitable giving as believers – and explicitly from women sadaqah givers as well as men – as a loan from us to Him. Allah makes Himself the divine Guarantor of all the obligations of the poor and needful.

He said:

Indeed, the charitable men and the charitable women – who have therewith loaned to God a goodly loan – shall have it multiplied for them by their Lord. So for them there is a gracious reward. (Surat Al-Hadîd, 57:18)

The very strong implication of this last promise of “gracious reward” is that it is not just a here below bonus but an untold divine recompense awaiting in the Hereafter.

Allah does lay down terms for us to cash in with Him on our sadaqah, and gives us even stronger intimations of the big payoff coming when everything for us literally hangs in the balance, on the Last Day.

Those who spend their wealth in the path of God — then do not follow up what they have spent in charity with boastful reminders, or any harm— they shall have their reward with their Lord in full. And there shall be no fear upon them – meaning when they (we) assemble for Judgment. Nor shall they ever grieve – including on that Defining Day, over whatever transpired for them (us) in the life of the world. (Surat Al-Baqarah, 2:262)

Yet, this wealth expansion also occurs for sadaqah givers in this world in real terms. Allah swells their riches by causing diverse wealth streams to flow into their possession throughout their lives.

In addition, Allah made sadaqah a divine purifier of wealth, keeping it fresh and renewed. For wealth from which one does not give sadaqah, Allah exposes it to the blight of misfortunes that cause it to disintegrate, as if rotting away.

In this regard, the Prophet, on him be peace, said of Zakat, which is an obligatory form of sadaqah:

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Never does Zakat mingle with any wealth without destroying it.” (Mishkat Al-Masabih)

Also, in a prophecy:

Sadaqah will have been incumbent on you, yet you will not pay it. So what is forbidden will destroy what is lawful.” (Mishkat Al-Masabih)

‘Mingling’ here means accepting Zakat when one is not eligible. So it literally spoils that wealth, causing loss or financial ruin. Even when a believer’s other wealth is properly earned and from good sources, Allah will sap the value out of it if one does not pay out the sadaqah due from it. (See What Is the Difference Between Zakat and Ṣadaqah?)

5. What does it mean for sadaqah to ‘beat out’ calamity?

The Prophet, on him be peace, said:

Be ahead with sadaqah. Then, indeed, calamity cannot overtake it.” (Tabarani)

This hadith is commonly interpreted to mean that sadaqah holds the divine blessing of repelling calamities from befalling its giver. And, God willing, this is true. It is usually translated, in this case, something like this:

Give sadaqah without delay, for, indeed, calamity cannot overcome it.” (often attributed to Tirmidi)

Ibn Al-Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah, the 8th Century (14 CE) sage, reportedly cites repelling calamity as one of sadaqah’s otherworldly virtues.

Yet this particular prophetic statement also seems to advise us to hasten, as in a race, to give sadaqah before the calamities of poverty, illness, and death befall us. It is as if sadaqah and calamity are two camels racing to the finish line. Whichever crosses first, the other can no longer beat it out.

That is a winning benefit of sadaqah on both counts.

It may prevent, on the one hand, a bad ending from coming to us, one that sees us physically or financially impaired or passing on before we have a chance to give charity that will enrich us in life materially and spiritually.

On the other, our hastened sadaqah can precede us into the Hereafter. There Allah will grow it into a massive asset of good that can decisively tip our Divine Balance in favor of our admission, by Allah’s grace, into His Garden of Delights. It can also sprout into an immortal hedge for us that can help insulate us against the Fires of Hell.

A last word on sadaqah ‘beating out’ calamity

The Prophet, on him be peace, said:

There is no day wherein the servants of Allah awaken save that two angels both descend. Then one of the two says: ‘O Allah! Give the spender of charity replacement.’ And the other says: ‘Give the withholder of charity ruin.’” (Bukhari and Muslim)

This states clearly not only that sadaqah never diminishes wealth. It strongly implies restitution and a return on one’s payment of charity. Indeed, the word ‘replacement’ could just as well be translated as ‘return’ or ‘recompense.’

It also explicitly tells us that there is an angel praying for disaster to strike those who refuse to give sadaqah that they can to those they know are in need.

This is undoubtedly calamitous, a calamity that sadaqah given righteously will surely prevent.

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FAQs

Why is it important to give Sadaqah? ›

When you give to Sadaqah, Allah ﷻ forgives some of your sins. That's why most scholars advise you to give Sadaqah after every sin you commit; in the hope that this act of Sadaqah removes the sin from your scale on the Day of Judgment.

Why do we give Sadaqah in Islam? ›

Sadaqa Brings Balance to the Society and Benefits the Community. Giving Sadaqah to the orphans, widows, sick and needy ensures we live in a much fairer society by sharing the wealth. Sadaqah does not only mean giving money but it can be any act of kindness. The Prophet said: “Your smile for your brother is a charity.

How often should you give Sadaqah? ›

Sadaqah can be given at any time throughout the year, night or day. Many people choose to give Sadaqah after illness or partake in giving Sadaqah after a bad dream, although this is not an expectation of Islam.

What are the benefits of charity? ›

Five reasons to give to charity
  • Giving to charity makes you feel good. Donating to charity is a major mood-booster. ...
  • Giving to charity strengthens personal values. ...
  • Giving is more impactful than ever. ...
  • Giving can reintroduce friends and family to the importance of generosity. ...
  • Giving to charity builds and strengthens community.

What is the best way to give Sadaqah? ›

7 Simple Ways to Give Sadaqah and How You Can Benefit From It
  1. Feed the hungry. Feeding stray animals is an act of sadaqah. ...
  2. Donate to the poor. No amount is too small or too big for sadaqah. ...
  3. Pray for friends (and foes) ...
  4. Share knowledge with others. ...
  5. Support small businesses. ...
  6. Pay for someone's groceries. ...
  7. Smile sincerely.

What are the 2 types of Sadaqah? ›

Like Zakat, there are two different types of Sadaqah as outlined by the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). They are: Sadaqah. Sadaqah Jariyah.

What is Sadaqah for life? ›

Sadaqah Jariyah is a long-term kindness that accrues ongoing reward from Allah (SWT). When someone decides to build a well as an act of Sadaqah Jariyah, they are rewarded for the act. But they are also rewarded every time someone or something uses or drinks from the well.

What is an example of Sadaqah? ›

Donating a portion of your blessings (rizk/wealth) to charity, a sincere smile to a fellow human being, and assisting another person in any capacity you are able to are examples of Sadaqah. Most people relate sadaqah with voluntary monetary donations which have no minimum amount required.

What is the most important rule in giving Sadaqah? ›

This is the most important rule of giving sadaqah. Allah and His Messengers urged muslims to demonstrate ikhlas when they give sadaqah. The sadaqah giver must have a sincere intention he should not give sadaqah for fame or any worldly cause but give sadaqah for the sake of Allah.

What are the 17 types of Sadaqah? ›

These are the 17 types we can take out about how to give Sadaqah in Islam;
  • Dua: It is one of the types of Sadaqah. ...
  • Knowledge: Spreading knowledge among the people who can't afford it is one of the types of Sadaqah.
  • Advice: ...
  • To smile at your Muslim brother: ...
  • Help: ...
  • Time: ...
  • Tarbiyyah: ...
  • Patience over difficult times:
5 Jun 2017

What are the five reasons to give to charity? ›

Five Reasons to Donate to Charities and Non-Profits
  • Help those in need. It goes without saying, without the support of people through donations of time, money and items, many charities would simply cease to exist. ...
  • Tax deduction. ...
  • Improve your health. ...
  • You are an inspiration. ...
  • Practice gratitude.
31 Jan 2022

What are the two benefits of giving? ›

Giving has been proven to decrease blood pressure and reduce stress. This reduction promotes longer life and better health. Giving promotes social connection. Studies show that when you give to others, your generosity is often continued down the line to someone else, or returned to you.

Who should we give Sadaqah for? ›

So your parents, your siblings, your children, your spouse, and so on — in ever-extending circles outward (all human beings in the end are children of our father Adam) — are most entitled to your sadaqah charity. First, the Prophet, on him be peace, said: The best of charity is to your needy relatives.”

What is the best charity to give in Islam? ›

The Prophet Muhammad said: “The best charity is giving water to drink.”

Does Sadaqah increase life? ›

Sadaqah causes people to make dua, to pray God, (another superpower) for its giver. Sadaqah increases its giver's resources (divinely allocated provision) in this world. Sadaqah increases its giver's lifespan.

Is Sadaqah voluntary? ›

Sadaqa is charity given voluntarily in order to please God. Sadaqa also describes a voluntary charitable act towards others, whether through generosity, love, compassion or faith. These acts are not necessarily physical or monetary. Simple good deeds such as a smile, or a helping hand, are seen as acts of sadaqa.

What is Sadaqah called in English? ›

Sadaqah or Sadqah (Arabic: صدقة IPA: [sˤɑdæqɐ], "charity", "benevolence", plural ṣadaqāt صدقات) in the modern context has come to signify "voluntary charity". According to the Quran, the word means voluntary offering, whose amount is at the will of the "benefactor".

What are the three types of charity? ›

There are three types of qualified charities: public charities, private foundations and private operating foundations.

What are the 5 pillars of faith in Islam? ›

A lot of what most people think they know about Islam is found in the media, where tales of fundamentalism and violence are the norm. The five pillars – the declaration of faith (shahada), prayer (salah), alms-giving (zakat), fasting (sawm) and pilgrimage (hajj) – constitute the basic norms of Islamic practice.

What are the 3 primary types of giving in Islam? ›

Charity in Islam takes many forms, Zakat, Sadaqah, Lillah, Fitrana, Qurbani, and Kaffarah to name some. The two most essential are Zakat (Obligatory charity) and Sadaqah (Voluntary charity).

Which Sadaqah is the best? ›

We learn two important things from this hadith; the first is that we are encouraged to give Sadaqah Jariyah on behalf of a deceased loved one, the second is that the best form of Sadaqah Jariyah we can give is water. Water is one of the most important substances on Earth.

Can you give Sadaqah to rich? ›

It is permissible to give voluntary charity to rich people, and there is no difference of opinion among the scholars concerning that. The one who gives it will be rewarded, but it is better to give it to one who is in need of it.

What does Allah say about Sadaqah? ›

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said “Sadaqah extinguishes sin as water extinguishes fire” (Hadith, Tirmidhi). He also said that Allah offers relief on the Day of Judgement for those who give sadaqa: “The believer's shade on the Day of Resurrection will be their charity” (Hadith, Tirmidhi).

What are the rules of Sadaqah? ›

Sadaqah should be from one's legitimate possessions and property. According to Qur'an 2:274, it is better to offer sadaqah in secret. Sadaqah should not be accompanied by reproaching the person who is given the sadaqa. Sadaqah should be out of pure intentions for God.

What the Prophet said about giving charity? ›

The Prophet (p.b.u.h) said, "The best charity is that which is practiced by a wealthy person. And start giving first to your dependents." The Prophet said, "The upper hand is better than the lower hand (i.e. he who gives in charity is better than him who takes it). One should start giving first to his dependents.

What did the Prophet say about giving charity? ›

Prophet Muhammad (SAW), said: “Do not show lethargy or negligence in giving alms and charity till your last breath.” – (Bukhari and Muslim).

What are the examples of Sadaqah? ›

Types of Sadaqah:
  • Feeding others.
  • Making du'a for others.
  • Being kind to animals, caring and feeding them for example.
  • Donating to someone in need.
  • Shielding someone from something harmful.
  • Visiting and caring for the sick.
  • Giving directions to someone in need of them.
  • Smiling at others.

Videos

1. The Power of Sadaqah | Islamic Charity | Islamic Lifestyle | Islamic Finance
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2. Ways of earning Sadaqa Jariyah (Ongoing, Continuous Charity) - Assim al hakeem
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3. Can we give charity / sadaqa on behalf of two or more people? - Assim al hakeem
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4. Almsgiving (Zakat) and Charity (Sadaqah) - What Is Islam?
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5. Giving for Allah's Sake - Nouman Ali Khan - Quran Weekly
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6. Difference between Sadaqah and Zakaat – Dr Zakir Naik
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