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 Lexical Meaning of Sadaqah

Derived from the Arabic root word “Sadaqa”, Sadaqah literally translates to sincerity. This elucidates the essence of Sadaqah – when one gives out of genuine compassion or love, they are showcasing their sincerity not just towards the beneficiary, but also in their devotion to Allah.

The Technical Meaning of Sadaqah

Technically, in Islamic jurisprudence, Sadaqah refers to the voluntary act of charity or benevolence given out of one’s own goodwill. Unlike the obligatory Zakat, it’s an act that can vary in form and magnitude and isn’t bound by strict rules.

Sadaqah’s Essence and Impact

Sadaqah, in essence, is a reflection of one’s empathy, love, and commitment to the well-being of the community and the underprivileged. It’s not limited to monetary contributions. A simple smile to your neighbour, ensuring someone’s path is free from harm, feeding the hungry, or aiding in providing essential resources like water, all fall under the umbrella of Sadaqah.

Participation in Sadaqah: Who Can Contribute?

Everyone is encouraged to participate in the act of Sadaqah. Irrespective of time, age, or financial status, any contribution made selflessly is regarded as Sadaqah.

How Much Should One Contribute?

Sadaqah does not have a predetermined amount. Individuals are advised to give as per their financial ability. Historic figures like Abu Bakr (ra) dedicated everything, trusting Allah and His Messenger for provision, while Umar Al Khattab (ra) contributed half of his possessions.

Diverse Forms of Sadaqah

  1. Sadaqah lillah: Charity dedicated purely for Allah’s sake.
  2. Sadaqah Jariyah: A form of continuous charity.
  3. Waqf: Donations or assets held in perpetual trust, ensuring consistent charity or catering to a specific, Islamically beneficial, cause.

Criteria for Sadaqah

  • Intention: The act must solely aim for Allah’s pleasure, without any expectation of public praise.
  • Source: The Sadaqah should come from a halal (lawful) avenue.
  • Privacy: It’s recommended to keep charitable acts concealed.
  • Timeliness: Avoid postponing the act of giving.
  • Accountability: Avoid keeping a count or measure of given Sadaqah.


Contrasting Sadaqah and Zakat


  • No fixed amount.
  • Can be given anytime.
  • Beneficiary can be anyone in need.
  • Can be offered on behalf of someone else.



  • Fixed at 2.5% of yearly savings.
  • Distributed annually.
  • Designated for specific categories, like the poor or new converts.
  • Cannot be given on behalf of someone else.
  • Can only be given to Muslims


The Rewards of Sadaqah

Engaging in Sadaqah yields manifold blessings. It not only promises vast rewards in the hereafter but also acts as atonement for sins. The Prophet (saw) beautifully articulated this by stating, ‘Charity extinguishes sins just as water extinguishes fire’ (Tirmidhi).

Moreover, the act of giving in the path of Allah ensures that the donor doesn’t face any decrement. In fact, Allah pledges to amplify the rewards manifold. Those who give Sadaqah are promised by Allah (swt) that they have not lost anything; rather, the more you give for the sake of Allah (swt), the more Allah will give to you. He (swt) has promised that he will multiply the reward of giving charity by at least 700 times:

As revealed in the Qur’an, ’The example of those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah is like a seed of grain, which grows seven ears; in each ear is a hundred grains. And Allah multiplies His reward for whom He wills. And Allah is all-Encompassing and all-Knowing’. (Qur’an, 2:261).