Sadaqah / Saqaqatul Fitra / Zakat

Sadaqah (Arabic: صدقة‎, IPA: [sˤɑdæqɐ],[n A] "charity]", plural ṣadaqāt صدقات) is an Islamic term that means "voluntary charity".[1] This concept encompasses any act of giving out of compassion, love, friendship (fraternity), religious duty or generosity.

Prophet Muhammad (Pease and Blessing be Upon Him) was asked:

We used to sacrifice Atirah in pre-Islamic days during Rajab; so what do you command us? He said: Sacrifice for the sake of Allah in any month whatever; obey Allah, Most High, and feed (the people).

Abu Dawood, Sunan Abu Dawood[2]

In the hadith collectd by Abu `Isa Muhammad ibn `Isa at-Tirmidhi in his Jami` at-Tirmidhi

  • "Sadaqah extinguishes sin as water extinguishes fire." (2541)
  • "Sadaqah appeases the Lord’s anger and averts an fire death." (1909)
  • "The believer's shade on the Day of Resurrection will be his Sadaqah'." (1925)

In other hadith

Narrated Aisha, Ummul Mu'minin:
A woman said: Apostle of Allah, my mother suddenly died; if it had not happened, she would have given sadaqah (charity) and donated (something). Will it suffice if I give sadaqah on her behalf? The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: Yes, give sadaqah on her behalf.

Abu Dawood, Sunan Abu Dawood[3]

Narrated Abu Huraira Raziallah wataallah anhouh:
Allah's Apostle said, "There is a (compulsory) Sadaqa (charity) to be given for every joint of the human body (as a sign of gratitude to Allah) every day the sun rises. To judge justly between two persons is regarded as Sadaqa, and to help a man concerning his riding animal by helping him to ride it or by lifting his luggage on to it, is also regarded as Sadaqa, and (saying) a good word is also Sadaqa, and every step taken on one's way to offer the compulsory prayer (in the mosque) is also Sadaqa and to remove a harmful thing from the way is also Sadaqa."

Muhammad al-Bukhari, Sahih al-Bukhari[4]

Hammam b. Munabbih reported that-this is out of (those ahadith) which Abu Huraira narrated to us from Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him). And he while making a mention of ahadith reported from Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) said this: Sadaqa is due on every joint of a person, every day the sun rises. Administering of justice between two men is also a Sadaqa. And assisting a man to ride upon his beast, or helping him load his luggage upon it, is a Sadaqa; and a good word is a Sadaqa; and every step that you take towards prayer is a Sadaqa, and removing of harmful things from the pathway is a Sadaqa.

Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj Nishapuri, Sahih Muslim[5]

'A'isha reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: Every one of the children of Adam has been created with three hundred and sixty joints; so he who declares the Glory of Allah, praises Allah, declares Allah to be One, Glorifies Allah, and seeks forgiveness from Allah, and removes stone, or thorn, or bone from people's path, and enjoins what is good and forbids from evil, to the number of those three hundred and sixty-four, will walk that day having removed himself from Hell.

Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj Nishapuri, Sahih Muslim[6]

Quran on Sadaqah

Seest thou one who denies the Judgment (to come)?
Then such is the (man) who repulses the orphan (with harshness),
And encourages not the feeding of the indigent.
So woe to the worshippers
Who are neglectful of their prayers,
Those who (want but) to be seen (of men),
But refuse (to supply) (even) neighbourly needs.

Surah (Al-Ma'un), ayat 1-7

and spend something (in charity) out of the substance which We have bestowed on you, before Death should come to any of you and he should say, "O my Lord! why didst Thou not give me respite for a little while? I should then have given (largely) in charity, and I should have been one of the doers of good".
But to no soul will Allah grant respite when the time appointed (for it) has come; and Allah is well acquainted with (all) that ye do.

Surah (Al-Munafiqun), ayat 10-11

Sadaqah should be given solely out of love for God, out of the desire to do good to His creation, as the Quran says about the righteous:

And they feed, for the love of Allah, the indigent, the orphan, and the captive,-
(Saying),"We feed you for the sake of Allah alone: no reward do we desire from you, nor thanks.

Surah (Al-Insan), ayat 8-9

Giving Sadaqah will not diminish a Muslim's wealth. It serves as expiation for sins and yields rewards in the next life. It is stated in the Quran:

For those who give in Charity, men and women, and loan to Allah a Beautiful Loan, it shall be increased manifold (to their credit), and they shall have (besides) a liberal reward.

Surah (Al-Hadid), ayah 18


What is Sadaqatul Fitr? (Zakat ul Fitr)

Ibn Abbas (RA) has narrated that Rasûlullâh SAW prescribed Sadaqatul Fitr as an obligatory duty in order to purify those who fast, from useless and obscene activities and to provide food for the poor.

(Abu Dawood)


Abdullah bin Abbas (R.A) said in a Khutbah (in Basra, Iraq) that Rasoolullah (S.A.W) has declared Sadaqatul Fitr to be of equal to one Sa’ of dates or barley or half a Sa’ of wheat mandatory for all men & women whether free or slave, young or old. But when Ali (R.A) visited Basra and observed that wheat is really cheap in the local market, he (R.A) announced that since Allah (S.W.T) has made you wealthy, it would be better for you to pay Sadaqatul Fitr according to one full Sa’ of everything . (Sunan Abi Dawood)

Therefore, it is deduced that affluent and wealthy individuals should pay the added value for Sadaqatul Fitr.

Amount of Sadaqatul Fitr based on the New York retail market rates as of 1st of Ramadan 1434, corresponding to July 10, 2013:

1) Wheat: Half Sa’ (3.75 lbs.) = $7.00/ perosn

2) Barley: One Sa’ (7.5 lbs.) = $13.00/ person

3) Dates: One Sa’ (7.5 lbs.) = $40.00/­ person


Zakat is important in Islam as it is one of the five pillars of Islam. It means to purify one's belongings or wealth. It is the act of the wealthy giving a certain amount to the needy people as described in the Holy Quran. It is deemed important by how many times the Holy Quran mentions it. It is mentioned in at least 70 places. Allah has clearly outlined who is to give, when the giving is to be done, and who the money is to be given to. Those who do not practice Zakat will suffer great losses.

* Zakah is a kind of social security and insurance. Among the aims of zakah are to help the needy, to support weak people like the poor, the destitute, those who are in debt and the travelers who cannot reach their destination. Everything that strengthens the personality of the individual that makes him economically strong and that improves his material and spiritual means strengthens the community, too.

* Zakah is an insurance that covers all classes that are in need all of their needs regarding their bodies, spirits and ethics. The first foundations of modern social security were laid in 1941. Representatives from the UK and the USA convened for the treaty of the Atlantic in 1941 and decided to set up a social security organization for individuals. However, Islam introduced the organization of zakah 14 centuries ago.

* Zakah eliminates the gaps and differences between the rich and the poor in the society. It decreases the distance between classes and enables the formation of the middle class.

The increase in the number of the middle class citizens will affect the market in the positive way. The property will not be something that is owned by one class only; the purchasing power of the poor will increase, too. Not only the rich but also a great portion of the community will be able to meet their needs and live comfortably in the community.

Verse 7 of the chapter of al-Hashr prohibits the property from being some wealth that is circulated among the rich only. This can be achieved only through zakah.

* Zakah prevents money from being stockpiled; it leads money to investment. For, it is given from the capital not from the profit; so it will decrease if it is not put in business. The owner will invest the money in order to prevent it from being decreased; and he will try to increase it.

* Zakah enables social balance. God Almighty created His servants differently in terms of both nature and living standards. Some of them are; rich some are poor and some are in between.

The following is stated in a verse:

"Allah has bestowed His gifts of sustenance more freely on some of you than on others." (an-Nahl, 71)

It is impossible for everyone to have the same amount of income because there are different duties and jobs in the society that are different from one another in terms of responsibilities and working conditions. If some duties and professions are neglected, its impacts will cause irreparable harms to the society. If all the duties had the same salaries, nobody would want to do the harder works; everybody would prefer the easier ones. Thus, the harder jobs and the jobs that encumber more responsibilities would be neglected and life system would be broken.

Therefore, it is a necessity for people to be different in terms of income and life standards. However, a bridge is necessary in order to prevent this difference from forming a cliff. This bridge is zakah.

* Zakah fastens together the individuals of a community.

Zakah fastens together the individuals since it is a kind of social solidarity. The rich will develop the feelings of love, compassion and mercy toward the poor. The poor will develop the feelings of obedience, respect, working carefully toward the rich. The feelings of jealousy, enmity, and envy will be soothed and even eliminated. The rich will not oppress the poor and put them under obligation; the poor will not develop the feelings of humility, slavery, grudge and enmity toward the rich. The following is stated in a hadith: "The heart makes a person love the one who does him a favor and makes a person dislike the one who treats him badly."

* Zakah prevents individuals from nurturing grudge and hatred and from cooperating with the enemies of the society and the subverters. If the rich do not meet the needs of the poor, necessity and financial difficulty will cause them to join the enemies of Muslims or will cause them to do evil deeds like stealing, robbing or killing.

* Zakah is a door to investment and a great initiative to development. Zakah has both social and economic aspects. Therefore, it is an initiative to development.

* The difference between the rich and the poor has always caused a struggle of classes that has been going on openly or secretly since the beginning of social life - The revolutions and bloody riots seen in history are all the manifestations of this struggle that is the struggle of "you have; I do not have". Islam introduced the institutions of zakah, sadaqah and foundations in order to soothe this struggle existing since the start of community life; it also trained its followers to have patience, content and consent to qadar. Neither the pride of wealth nor the envy caused by poverty is seen among believers who have been trained like that.

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