What is Sadaqah and Its Benefits and who deserve it:
Let’s listen to the definition of Sadaqah; Sadaqah means to spend something in the way of Allah without the intention of receiving praise from the people, rather, doing it with the intention to attain reward from the blessed court of Allah.
(Kitab-ul-Tareefaat, pp. 94)
From this definition of Sadaqah, we have also come to know that real Sadaqah is free from any kind of showing off and desires for respect and praises from the people, it is only done for the pleasure of Allah and for attaining rewards from Allah. There is another thing to remember, some people are of this opinion that they should give away worn out items or things of no use as their Sadaqah; this is incorrect and the opposite is true, people should give those possessions in Sadaqah for the pleasure of Allah which is excellent, best and most-liked, as it is mentioned in Blessed Quran:
Translation from Kanz-ul-Iman: You shall never attain virtue until you spend in Allah’s cause the things you love, and Allah is Aware of whatever you spend.
(Part 4, Surah Aal-e-‘Imran, verse 92)Commenting on the abovementioned verse, Sadr-al-Afadil, ‘Allamah Maulana Sayyid Muhammad Naeem Uddin Muradabadi has stated: Sayyiduna Ibn ‘Umar said, ‘Spending here refers to general and common spending, all Sadaqaat, regardless of whether they are obligatory or supererogatory are included. It is a saying of Hasan that the wealth & possession which is most-liked in the eyes of Muslims, should be spent in the way of Allah for attaining His Divine pleasure as the blessed verse refers to this possession even if it is only a date.(Sayyiduna) ‘Umar Bin ‘Abdul ‘Aziz used to purchase sacks of sugar to give in Sadaqah. He was asked, ‘Why do not you give its price in Sadaqah’. He replied, ‘I love Sugar; so I want to spend the thing most liked to me in the way of Allah.
8 Hadith about Sadaqah & Its Excellence
1. Sadaqah locks 70 doors of evil.
2. Everybody will be under the shadow of his Sadaqah on the (Day of Judgement) till judgment takes place amongst the masses.
3. Indeed, Sadaqah protects the giver of Sadaqah from the heat of the
grave and certainly a Muslim will be under the shadow of his Sadaqah on
the Day of Resurrection.
4. Salah is an evidence (of Iman) and fasting is a shield (from sins) and Sadaqah wipes out sins as water extinguishes fire.
5. Give Sadaqah early in the morning as charity given in the morning prevents calamities.
6. Indeed, Sadaqah of a Muslim increases life and rids him of an unfortunate death and Allah prevents evils like arrogance, boasting, jealousy and pride with the blessings of Sadaqah.
7. One who gives Sadaqah for the pleasure of Allah, that Sadaqah becomes a shield between this person and the fire.8. Indeed, Sadaqah extinguishes the wrath of Allah and prevents one from an unfortunate death.
Commenting on the last blessed Hadith, Hakeem-ul-Ummat, Mufti Ahmad Yar Khan Naeemi has stated: A generous person leads a good life, he suffers no worldly trouble and if he does experience tests & trials, Allah blesses him with peace in his heart which helps him to have patience and that patience brings him the reward. In short, trial & tribulation does not cause him to commit any sin, on the contrary, it brings forgiveness for him. Bad death implies bad end or sudden death of heedlessness or any such sign or thing expose at the time of death which causes disrepute for him after death and he suffers such a severe disease creating nervousness & distress in his heart which makes him (deceased) heedlessness of Zikr of Allah. In essence, the generous person will remain safe & sound from all these evils. (Mir’at-al-Manajeh, vol. 3, pp. 103)
4 Types of people regarding Sadaqah
Sayyiduna Abu Kabshah Anmaari has reported, that the Greatest and Holiest Prophet (Peace be upon Him) has stated: I swear upon three things and convey to you one thing which you should remember, ‘Giving charity from one’s wealth never decreases it; a man who suffers injustice and is patient, Allah will increase his honour; a man who begs, Allah will cause him to be poor,’ and to inform you of something else, remember, ‘There are four types of people in the world:
1. A man whom Allah provides with wealth and knowledge, in which he fears Allah regarding it (and does good deeds) and behaves gracefully towards his relatives, and he fulfils the Right of Allah (i.e. he gives Sadaqah and Zakah) for the sake of Allah; this person has the most excellent position.2. A man whom Allah has given knowledge but not wealth, he says with a sincere intention that if he had wealth he would act as so and so does, he will receive the reward for his intention and the reward of both of them (this person and the person in the first category) will be equal.
3. A man whom Allah has given wealth but not knowledge, in which he uses his money without thinking, he does not fear Allah regarding it; neither does he behave gracefully towards his relatives nor does he understand the rights of Allah (giving Sadaqah & Zakah) this man is in the worst condition.
4. A man whom Allah has given neither wealth nor knowledge, who says that if he had wealth he would deal with it as so and so (the person above in the third group) does; he will receive the return of his intention, and both (the third and fourth kinds of people) will have to bear equal sin.
(Mirat-ul-Manajih, vol. 7, pp. 99)
Benefits of Sadaqah
Guarantee of a house in Heaven
A person came to Basra from Khurasaan and entrusted 10 thousand dirhams to Sayyiduna Habeeb ‘Ajami and requested Sayyiduna Habeeb ‘Ajami to buy a house for him in which he would live in upon his return from Makkah Mukarramah. In the meantime people were facing hardship due to the inflated price of flour; Sayyiduna Habeeb ‘Ajami bought flour with those dirhams and gave all as a Sadaqah. He was reminded, that somebody gave you that money to purchase a house for him! Sayyiduna Habeeb ‘Ajami replied, ‘I have bought a house for him in Heaven! If he agrees then it is good, otherwise, I would return his 10 thousand dirhams to him.
When that person returned, he asked, ‘O Abu Muhammad ! Did you buy me that house?’ Sayyiduna Habeeb ‘Ajami replied, ‘Yes, palaces along with streams and trees’. That person became overjoyed and said, ‘I want to live in it.’ Sayyiduna Habeeb ‘Ajami replied, ‘I have bought that house for you in Heaven from Allah. That person became overjoyed when he heard this. His wife advised, ‘Ask him to give this guarantee in writing’, Sayyiduna Habeeb ‘Ajam wrote Full “Bismillah” this is a written guarantee for that home purchased in Heaven consisting of palaces, streams and tree, bought for ten thousand dirhams for such and such person from Allah. Now it is in the Mercy and Favour of Allah to fulfill this guarantee of Habeeb ‘Ajami.
After some time, that person passed away. He had made a will for that letter of guarantee to be placed in his shroud. (After burial) at the break of dawn, people found a paper on his grave in which was written that this is an evidence of exemption for Habeeb ‘Ajami for that home which he had bought for this person. Allah has granted that home to this person. Sayyiduna Habeeb ‘Ajami took that letter and wept bitterly and said, ‘This is an evidence of exemption for me from Allah.
Unparalleled trust in Allah and matchless Sadaqah
Sayyidatuna ‘Aishah Siddiqah has narrated: Once a poor man begged for some food, she was fasting and had nothing to break her fast with (Iftaar), except one Roti (a flat round bread). She told her maid to give him that Roti. The Maid said, ‘If I give him the Roti, there will be nothing left for your Iftaar.’ Sayyidatuna ‘Aishah said, ‘Give him that Roti.’ The maid replied, ‘I have given him that Roti’. Before the evening reached, somebody from Ahl-e-Bayt (household of the Noblest Prophet) or someone else who used to give gifts, sent meat of a she-goat covered in a cloth. She called her maid and said, ‘Eat from this, it is better than that bread.’
(Shu’ab-al-Iman, vol. 3, pp. 620, Hadis 3482)
This was the blessed conduct of the beloveds of Allah who would give Sadaqah of whatever was available; this is the reason that Allah bestowed great and excellent rewards upon them, due to their unparalleled trust in Allah.
An ‘Abdāl (highest level in the ranks of Sufism) of his time, Sayyiduna Abū Ja’far Bin Khattāb has stated: Once a beggar came to my doorstep and asked for help. I asked my wife if there was anything to give him. She replied that they only had four eggs. I asked her to give them to the beggar. She complied and the beggar left with those eggs. After some time, a friend of mine sent me a basket full of eggs. I asked my wife as to how many eggs were there in the basket. She replied that there were 30 eggs. I asked, ‘You gave four eggs to the beggar, so according to which calculation have we received these 30 eggs?’ She replied, ‘There are 30 unbroken eggs and 10 broken ones.’ Elaborating on this parable, Sayyiduna Shaykh ‘Allamah Yāfi’ee Yemeni has stated, ‘Out of the [four] eggs that were given to the beggar, one was broken whereas 3 were unbroken. Allah gave 10 in return for each of those eggs; broken eggs for the broken one, and unbroken eggs for the unbroken ones.
(Raud-ur-Riyāhīn, pp. 151)
Our Scholars: Models Of Sacrifice And Charity
1. Give charity (Sadaqah) in every state
Ameer-ul-Mu`mineen Sayyiduna Ali-al-Murtaza said: If you obtain worldly wealth, spend some of it, because by spending it would not decrease even if you begin to lose it, still spend some of it as it is not supposed to remain with you.
Sayyiduna Hasan Basri was asked: What is generosity? He replied, ‘Spending wealth generously for the sake of Allah. He was asked another question, ‘What is cautiousness?’ He replied, ‘Restricting money for the pleasure of Allah. He was then asked, ‘What is excessive spending?’ He replied, ‘Spending wealth for the desire of possessing power.
Zakah, Sadaqah and giving other charities are all counted as monetary worship. Allah has privileged the wealthy to perform this types of worship in order that whilst they fulfil the needs of the poor and destitute, their wealth does not just accumulate in one place but circulates in the society. Furthermore, Allah has declared spending on the poor and needy as a source of His pleasure. Therefore, if somebody helps any poor and needy person he should not consider himself to be the benefactor nor consider that the needy person is disgraceful because Allah states about those who spend in His path:
Translation from Kanz-ul-Iman: Those who spend their wealth in the path of Allah and thereafter do not express favour nor cause injury (hurt the recipient’s feelings), their reward is with their Lord; there shall be no fear upon them nor shall they grieve. Speaking kind words and pardoning are better than charity followed by injury.
Allamah ‘Alauddin ‘Ali Bin Muhammad has stated in Tafseer Khaazin: In this verse, the words “express favor” means that after giving something to someone then you disclose it in the presence of others, e.g. I gave you that much and treated you in such and such a kind manner. Thus to offend (hurt their feelings) in this way is called disclosing favours done to others, just to boast, and to hurt someone’s feelings means to make others feel ashamed; for example if it is said ‘you were poor, needy, obligated to me, lazy etc., I took care of you’.
He further stated: If you do not desire to give anything to a beggar then at least talk to him politely and respond to him in a courteous way which should not be offensive and if he insists on begging or discussions in a rude manner then are forgiving and overlook it. (It is better than that charity which ends up becoming offensive.)
1. Do not disclose or boast of your favours after giving Sadaqah.
2. Not to hurt the feelings of those whom you have assisted by taunting them.
3. Sadaqah should be given sincerely, solely for the pleasure of Allah.
For those who hurt Muslims by taunting, injuring their feelings by disclosing their favours and for those who have indulged in showing off & ostentation, they should remember the abovementioned three sayings whenever they are blessed with the opportunity of giving Sadaqah (charity), unless they are counted amongst those destitute people who will appear on the Day of Resurrection with loads of virtues but would end up with nothing.
Who is deserves Sadaqah in Islam?
Collecting information and giving charity to those upon whom begging is not allowed does not bring any reward, rather it is not allowed to give them Sadaqah, it is a sin, and you would be helping them in committing a sin.
The Beloved and Blessed Prophet has stated, ‘The one who begs from others, even though, he does not face starvation nor does he have a bigger family to feed, he will come on the Day of Qiyamah in such a state that there will be no flesh on his face.’
(Shu’ab-al-Iman, vol. 3, pp. 274 Hadis 3526)
What is the better way to giving Sadaqah
Anyhow, we should be careful before giving our charity (Zakah, Sadaqaat and Khayraat) and how excellent it will be if we improve our Hereafter by giving our charity to Dawat-e-Islami for the purpose of keeping the status & standard of Islam high, for the sake of propagating ‘Ilm-e-Deen, for students, virtuous acts and progress & construction of Masajid and Madaris along with giving it to the poor, the destitute, the orphan, the needy and relatives.
Remember that fulfilling the need of the needy students of Madaris, and accommodation in Jami’aat instead of their homes is a greater service than filling the need of ordinary needy people. It is stated on page 172 of the 415-page-book ‘Ziya-e-Sadaqat’: Imam Ghazali has reported that it was the routine of a scholar that he would prefer poor spiritual mystics in giving Sadaqah. He was asked, ‘Is it not greater to give Sadaqah to ordinary poor people?’ He replied, ‘No, these virtuous people are always engaging in the Zikr of Allah and contemplation of the Deen; starvation or any trouble would disturb their Deeni activities.
So, it is my point of view that giving charity to a right Deeni person is better than giving charity to one thousand needy people of the world.’ When this narration was told to Sayyiduna Junayd Baghdadi, he loved it and stated that such a man is from the saints of Allah; I had not heard such a beautiful thing before.