Sadaqa or Saddka (plural sadaqat) means “voluntary charity”. This concept encompasses any act of giving out of compassion, love, friendship (fraternity) or generosity.

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Hadith on Sadaqah

A man called Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.):”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 : 2824)

Sadaqa extinguishes sin as water extinguishes fire.” (Tirmidhi : 2541)

Sadaqa appeases the Lord’s anger and averts an evil death.” (Tirmidhi : 1909)

Give the Sadaqa without delay, for it stands in the way of calamity.” (Tirmidhi: 1887)

The believer’s shade on the Day of Resurrection will be his Sadaqa.” (Tirmidhi: 1925)

A woman said: “Apostle of Allah, my mother suddenly died; if it had not happened, she would have given Sadaqa (charity) and donated (something). Will it suffice if I give Sadaqa on her behalf?” Muhammad (PBUH) said: “Yes, give Sadaqa on her behalf.” (Abu-Dawood: 2875)

Abu Hurairah reported: Muhammad (PBUH) said, “Every day the sun rises, charity (sadaqa) is due on every joint of a person. Administering justice between two people is a charity; and assisting a man to mount his beast, or helping him load his luggage on it is a charity; and a good word is a charity; and every step that you take (towards a masjid) for salat is a charity; and removing harmful things from the road is a charity.” (From Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim)

In Sahih Muslim, it is reported on the authority of Aisha that Muhammad said, “Everyone of the children of Adam has been created with three hundred and sixty joints; so he who declares the Greatness of Allah (i.e, saying “Allahu akbar”), praises Allah (“Alhamdulillah”), declares Allah to be one (“La ilaha ilallah”), glorifies Allah (“Subhan’Allah”), and seeks forgiveness from Allah (“Astaghfirullah”), and removes a stone or thorn or bone from people’s path, and enjoins good and forbids evil, to the number of those three hundred and sixty, will come upon the evening that day having rescued himself from jahannam.

Quran on Sadaqah

Have you seen the one who denies the Religion? Such is he who repulses the orphan, and who does not urge others to feed the poor. Woe to worshippers, who are absent-minded to their prayer, those who make a show (of piety), and refuse to render small acts of kindness (towards others).” (Al-Ma`un 107: 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.” (Al-Munafiqun 63: 10-11)

Sadaqa 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:”They give food, out of love for Him (Allah), to the poor, the orphan, and the slave, saying: We feed you only for Allah’s pleasure – we desire from you neither reward nor thanks.” (Qur’an 76:8,9)

Giving Sadaqa will not diminish a Muslim’s wealth. It serves as expiation for sins and yields rewards in the next life. Allah says: “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.” (Qur’an 57:18).

How much should be given as Sadaqa?

“The rich should give according to their resources and the poor according to their.” (Quran 9:79)

How it should be given?

  • Openly or secretly [2:271][/2:271]
  • Can be given directly to FUQARAA [2:271][/2:271]
  • Can be given to an authority who can distribute to the deserving [9:58; 9:103][/9:58;]


Some differences between Zakat and Sadaqa

1. Zakat is obligatory while Sadaqa is supererogatory or voluntary. The money for the purpose of Zakat can be taken by force by the authorities while for Sadaqa, this is not the case.

2. Zakat must be managed by a central authority while Sadaqa may be given individually or through authorities.

3. Sadaqa is usually for exigencies or a sudden unforeseen crisis while Zakat is a continuous program aimed at providing the resources for the physical and personal development of the people.

4. For Zakat, no categories of people have been mentioned in the Quran to whom it is for.

[it is for the general physical and personal development of all][/it]. For Sadaqa, the categories of people whom it is for is mentioned.

5. In a bid to establish an economic system based upon the Quranic teachings, Sadaqa may be a measure much prevalent in the transitory stage while Zakat will be the main hallmark of the maturity of such a system when all will be provided what they need for their physical and personal development.

6. To affect Zakat, an Islamic authority may levy fixed taxes of different sorts changeable according to the economic state of the nation but for Sadaqa, there is no fixed amount.


In Arabic the phrase “lillah” is composed of the preposition, “li”, and proper noun “Allah”. The preposition li can take one of three different meanings based on the construction of a sentence and the context in which the phrase appears. The proper noun “Allah” literally stands for “The God” and is meant to address the One and the Only God in which Muslims believe. In actual fact Zakat and Sadaqa are also types of Lillah because this contribution is also made to acquire the pleasure of Allah. On the other hand, because the Masaarif of Zakat and Nafl Sadaqa are different, that is why funds are usually collected under two labels:

• Zakat and Sadaqa (i.e. Sadaqatul Fitr and Fidya)
• Lillah (Nafl Sadaqa)

The second type of funds can be utilised in any good cause, i.e. the construction of a Masjid, school or paying the salaries of the teacher, Imam, Muazzin, etc. and also to fulfil the needs of the poor. One can also donate these funds to a destitute Muslim but it cannot be donated to a rich Muslim.

By making intention of Sadaqa one automatically makes intention of Lillah and will receive the reward of Sadaqa.