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Showing posts with label Sadaqah. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sadaqah. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Understanding Concept of Sadaqah (Voluntary charity) in Islam - And its many forms

No two men are born equal in status and number of blessings including wealth. In fact, the balance tilts heavily on the part of the Have NOTs and while the rich and wealthy are in comparatively smaller i number as compared to the poor and the needy. The giving alms and charity is generally given out by the philanthropists and people with a God earing heart, Islam lays much emphasis on dolling out part of the wealth both as obligation (Zakat) and charity (Sadaqah) to help the needy and to strike a somewhat balance in an Islamic society.

We have already written many posts on Zakat and Sadaqah previously, today's post is restricted only to Sadaqah and its various forms, which otherwise is misunderstood to be restricted to monetary assistance or help only. Generally speaking, Sadaqah (Arabic: صدقة ] (plural ṣadaqāt صدقات) - (plural ṣadaqāt صدقات) can be translated as "voluntary charity or benevolence". But it is not restricted to monetary assistance only. As against Zakat (obligatory charity) which has a minimum fixed amoun to be paid on one's wealth held in one's possession over a period of one year, there are no upper and lower limits as far as Sadaqah is concerned. Thus, unlike Zakat, which is collected by the muhtasib (collector) or the government, Sadaqah is the discretion of an individual, who is free to give it to whom he considers most appropriate for it. 
Understanding literally, the term 'Sadaqah' stems from the Arabic root word ‘sidq’ (s-d-q) ص د ق, which means sincerity and it is considered as a sign of sincere faith. The three-letter root of this word, S-D-Q, also means, "to speak the truth," "to be sincere," and "to fulfill one's promise." All of these aspects of honorable behavior indicate the links between generosity and a healthy society. [1]
Sadaqah thus leads to the purification of the benefactor.  Allah says in Qur'an (Surat 63. Al-Munāfiqūn, verse 10): And spend [in the way of Allah from what We have provided you before death approaches one of you and he says, "My Lord, if only You would delay me for a brief term so I would give charity and be among the righteous." 

Prophet Muhammad ﷺ too has highlighted the need of giving Sadaqah as been quoted in number of Hadiths: 
"Save yourself from Hell-fire even by giving half a date-fruit in charity." (Sahi Bokhari: 1417)
Prophet Muhammad ﷺ also 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). 

The above quoted Hadiths clearly shows the importance of Sadaqah as by giving out even half a date in charity, one can save himself from the fire and chastisement of hell.  

There are no specific days or times to give Sadaqat as being a voluntary act, one could give Sadaqah as and when someone is seen in distress. However, it has been narraed by Ka'b (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet ﷺ said, “Giving Sadaqah on Friday is better than giving it on any other day of the week”.

Etiquette of giving Sadaqah: Since Sadaqah is purely a voluntary act and undertaken at individual level, following must be borne in mind so that the sole purpose of Sadaqah should only be to please Allah and no one else and be not be act of show off. 

  • Sadaqah should be from one's legitimate possessions and property.
  • According to Qur'an 2:274 [Those who spend their wealth in charity day and night, secretly and openly—their reward is with their Lord, and there will be no fear for them, nor will they grieve.]  It is better to offer Sadaqah in secret. Although it is better to give Sadaqah in private, it should only be given openly not to project one's benevolence but to encourage others to follow suit and help the needy.
  • Sadaqah should not be accompanied by reproaching the person who is given the Sadaqah. It is often seen men posing with the receiver and then displaying photos of acct of charity as a show off. 
  • Sadaqah should be out of pure intentions for God.
  • Sadaqah should be from possessions you love: This is very important. give out a part form something you love the most. Sadaqah should not be from the throw aways or the not needed stuff. 
Forms of Sadaqah: While giving out charity in cash is one of the major forms of Sadaqah, but should that mean that anyone who is already resource starved and in need of Sadaqah himself cannot give Sadaqah? This is the beauty of Islam that it provides umpteen opportunities to everyone to please Allah in number of forms even if one is empty pocketed, but not empty hearted. Herein under are some of the forms that fall under the category of Sadaqah besides alms and charity in cash:
  • If one sees one of his brethren in distress or comes across someone from whom one receives charity and has nothing to give in return, he should make a Dua/supplication for him. Praying for someone's benefit is one of the most liked actions of a believer by Allah. So let not any opportunity be slip by to please Allah by just thinking good of others and praying to ease out sufferings of someone. That is if we see people sick, or hit by natural calamities like floods and earthquakes, if we cannot help, we can pray for them. 
  • Stopping the Evil: The world is not a level playing field for everyone. There are many hard to crack nuts that make the lives of others miserable and unlivable. Every believer must therefore try his best to stop the evil of the arrogant and wicked to save the weak and meek from their evil intentions and acts. If one cannot stop evil, at least he should in his heart condemn it. But that is the lowest level of faith.
  • One should be forthcoming in Easing the life of others. For example, if one comes across a hurdle or a blockage in a road or track that may obstruct one's free use of it, one should try to remove that obstruction. 
  • One may be empty pocketed but may have knowledge, especially that of Qur'an and Hadith. Thus, one must spread whatever good knowledge one has to educate others, especially those who cannot afford formal schooling. Here it must be remembered that the knowledge so shared be with good intention and not to pollute someone's mind and thoughts like spreading porn material to disorient someone and put him on the evil path. The sharing of knowledge may be orally one to one or through speeches and lectures to larger audiences, through pen or audio/video lectures.
  • Helping someone who is in distress is one of the most noble casue and an act most liked by Allah. This may take form of solving problems of the poor by mobilizing our own resources as well as that of the community to ease others' sufferings. Or if one knows someone who help, request him to help the one in distress.
  • Noble Upbringing of one's children in an atmosphere as enunciated by Divine commandments in Qur'an and Hadiths of the Prophet of Allah.
  • Giving an appropriate Advice to someone in need of it is also a form of charity for just like removing an obstruction from the blocked way, a well-intended good advice may help someone to solve one's problem.
  • Greet everyone with a smile and positive framework of mind: Greeting others with a smile can have a very refreshing effect on others, especially when someone is down or in depression. Such a gesture may elevate one's spirits and bring him back to life. No matter how tired is one spouse after a hard day's work, when he/she enters the house, he/she must bear a wide smile for the waiting spouse and children - and so should the ones in the house so that both forget the hardships of the day and a healthy and happy evening befalls upon them.
  • Mutual respect is also a form of Sadaqah. No matter if one is less gifted or smaller in age, the others must be respected without any trace of arrogance or contempt
  • Being part of others' happiness: Envy is one of the sins that can rob not only one's peace of mind when seeing others happy and contented, but can also break relations. Everyone has its share from Allah and no one can rob the others of what is destined for them. It is thus better to be part of the good times and happiness of others, while praying for good times for himself.
  • Forgive others much too often. If someone has harmed you, try not to strike back, but try to admonish in as soft and humble words as possible. Such attitudes can humble even the toughest of hearts and may melt them like wax of a candle.
  • Give time to your family and friends. We generally remain much too busy in our office commitments and other business activities. This robs us of time that we should have kept for our parents, wife and children and friends. Remember, time lost can never be made up. Our share of time for them brings happiness to our near and dear ones. Looking after one's family is advised in Qur'an and often stressed upon by the Prophet of Allah.
  • Patiance: Patiance is one the most difficult feats to accomplish, especially when one is hit with the hard times and misfortunes. But only those who have firm belief in Allah know that these are the testing times and something better is around the corner for Allah does not leave His believing servants in distress beyond their capacity to endure.
Please watch the video below which lists down 17 types of Sadaqat that cost nothing, but are much yielding both in blessing of Allah and rewards in the life of the Hereafter:
Let us not shy away from even very little acts of charity. Who knows even a smaller act on our part may become a matter of salvation on the Day of Resurrection and help us from the hellfire. But remember, whatever act or form of charity we undertake, it should be with the intention of pleasing Allah and no one else.
May Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى‎) help us understand Qur'ān and follow the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, which is embodiment of commandments of Allah contained in the Qur'ān. May Allah help us to be like the ones He loves and let our lives be lived helping others and not making others' lives miserable or unlivable. May all our wrong doings, whether intentional or unintentional, be forgiven before the angel of death knocks on our door. 

وَمَا عَلَيۡنَاۤ اِلَّا الۡبَلٰغُ الۡمُبِيۡنُ‏ 
(36:17) and our duty is no more than to clearly convey the Message.”
That is Our duty is only to convey to you the message that Allah has entrusted us with. Then it is for you to accept it or reject it. We have not been made responsible for making you accept it forcibly, and if you do not accept it, we shall not be seized in consequence of your disbelief, you will yourselves be answerable for your actions on Day of Resurrection.

May Allah forgive me if my posts ever imply a piety far greater than I possess. I am most in need of guidance.

Reading the Qur'ān should be a daily obligation of a Muslim - Reading it with translation will make it meaningful. But reading its Exegesis / Tafsir will make you understand it fully. It will also help the Muslims to have grasp over social issues and their answers discussed in the Qur'an and other matter related to inter faith so that they are able to discuss issues with non-Muslims with authority based on refences from Qur'an. 

Note: When we mention God in our posts, we mean One True God, we call Allah in Islam, with no associates. Allah is the Sole Creator of all things, and that Allah is all-powerful and all-knowing. Allah has no offspring, no race, no gender, no body, and is unaffected by the characteristics of human life. 

Photo | references: | 1 | 2 | 3 |

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