Sadaqah: The Virtuous Act of Giving

Sadaqah: The Virtuous Act of Giving

Regardless of whether one is religious or not, most of us agree that being generous or giving charity is an act of kindness that calls for being selfless. In the light of Islam, sadaqah or charity is the voluntary act of giving that is derived from the root word “sidq” which refers to sincerity or honesty. Hence, when a believer gives sadaqah, it is meant to be given with the purest of intentions in order for it to be accepted and to earn the pleasure of Allah.

Sadaqah can be understood in two broad categories: general and continuous.

  • General sadaqah refers to any act of kindness done with the intention to assist or support another person.

Narrated Abu Dhar, the Messenger of Allah, may peace and blessings be upon him said,

"Your smiling in the face of your brother is charity, commanding good and forbidding evil is charity, your giving directions to a man lost in the land is charity for you. Your seeing for a man with bad sight is a charity for you, your removal of a rock, a thorn or a bone from the road is charity for you. Your pouring what remains from your bucket into the bucket of your brother is charity for you."


  • Continuous sadaqah refers to when a believer gives sadaqah on a regular basis or continuously. For example, one may dedicate a certain percentage of income toward sadaqah every month, or they may give it in any other form of kindness, provided that it is done consistently.

Our beloved Prophet, may peace and blessings be upon him, was the most generous of all humankind. His generosity had no bounds and he would often give away even the last portion of the date as sadaqah and fast himself.

This leaves one to ponder over the virtues associated with this noble act of kindness and generosity.  

How does sadaqah benefit a believer? 

It is said that when a believer gives sadaqah with a pure intention, it reaches Allah before it reaches the hands of the needy. Meaning thereby that Allah accepts it from the believer and reserves the blessings and rewards from it for that person. Here are some of the virtues associated with this noble act of generosity.

1.  It is a cure for illness and prevention against sudden death.

Narrated Abu Umamah, the Messenger of Allah said;

“Treat your sick by giving Sadaqah (charity).”

(Saheeh al-Jami (declared Hasan by Albaani))

Sadaqah helps to treat and cure a person of his illness, by the will of Allah. 

“Once a man asked Abdullah bin al-Mubarak, may Allah be pleased with him, about ulcers that had sprung out on his knee for about seven years, and he tried to treat it with various treatments, he had asked doctors but to no avail. So Ibn Mubarak said: ‘Go and dig a well in a place where people need water, indeed I hope that there springs up water there, and by that you stop bleeding.’ The man did that and Allah cured him.”

(Seerah ‘Alaam’ 8/407)

Anas, may Allah be pleased with him, reported the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, as saying;

“Sadaqa appeases the Lord’s anger and averts an evil death."

(Mishkat al-Masabih and Tirmidhi) 

2.  It relieves one in the advent of calamity and hardship (trials). 

Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, reported the Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him, as saying;

“Give the sadaqa without delay, for it stands in the way of calamity.”

 (Mishkat al Masabi)

The reasoning behind it is that it acts as a barrier beyond which calamity cannot pass.

Narrated Hudaifa, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

“The fitnah of a man with regard to his family, his children, and his neigbors are expiated by his prayers, fasts, charity and enjoining what is good and forbidding what is evil.”

(Sunan Ibn Majah)

As a believer, when we show gratitude toward Allah during times of hardships and difficulties, Allah showers us with His infinite mercy. Hence, the giving of sadaqah is a sign of showing gratitude which brings the person closer to Allah. In return Allah makes matters easy for him and provides him with relief.  

3.  It expiates the sins. 

On one account, our Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, advised Muadh bin Jabal, may Allah be pleased with him;

“Shall I not guide you towards the means of goodness? Fasting is a shield; charity wipes away sin as water extinguishes fire; and the praying of a man in the depths of the night.” Then he, peace and blessings be upon him) recited: “[Those] who forsake their beds, to invoke their Lord in fear and hope, and they spend (charity in Allah’s cause) out of what We have bestowed on them. No person knows what is kept hidden for them of joy as a reward for what they used to do.” [as-Sajdah, 16-17]

( Hadith 29, 40 Hadith an-Nawawi)

4.  It strengthens the bond with Allah. 

For a believer, it is essential to attain taqwa or God-consciousness in order to fulfill the rightful duties toward Allah and earn His pleasure and mercy. When a person gives sadaqah, it demonstrates his contentment (in keeping lesser for himself) and gratitude (for having more than others) which helps foster and strengthen his bond with the Almighty.

The Quran mentions in Surah Al 'Imraan,

“By no means shall you attain righteousness unless you give (freely) of that which you love. And whatever you spend; indeed, Allah is Knowing of it.”

 (Surah Al-Imraan, 3:92) 

5.  It is a source of increasing one's provision. 

Abu Huraira, may Allah be pleased with Him, reported that Allah's Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

"O son of Adam, spend. I will spend on you. The right hand of Allah is full and overflowing and nothing would diminish it, by overspending day and night."

(Sahih Muslim)

This serves as a reassurance for the believer to spend wholeheartedly in the way of Allah. Additionally, rizq or provision is not necessarily in monetary forms. It may also be in varying forms such as the abundance of blessings, forgiveness of sins, provision of offspring, etc.  

6.  It provides for a shade on the Day of Judgment. 

Abu Huraira, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

"He who gives respite to someone who is in straitened circumstances, or grants him remission, Allah will shelter him in the shade of His Throne, on the Day of Resurrection, when there will be no shade except its shade."


This hadith highlights the fact that on the Day of Judgement when there will be much chaos and the sun will be scorching over our heads and bodies, the only shade will be under the throne of Allah. And, those who give sadaqah secretly, “such that their left hand does not know what the right hand has given,” will be among those who find relief under the shade.   

7.  It is a means for having your duas accepted. 

When a believer gives in the way of Allah, he is drawn closer to Him and earns his pleasure and mercy. In such a state, if the believer were to make dua and seek Allah's help by virtue of his good deeds, then he must stay optimistic as Allah is the most gracious and the most merciful.

Many references can be found in the Quran with regards to this. The story of Prophet Zakariya, may Allah be pleased  with him, is one such example. Whereby, Allah blessed him with Yayha, may Allah be pleased with him, and fulfilled his dua in his old age owing to his lifelong acts of kindness (he would rush to help the poor, the widows and the destitute).

8.  It is a source of investment for the Hereafter. 

It is widely agreed upon that sadaqah is a means of purifying the heart of greed, lust and love for worldly desires. Hence, it makes for a great source of investment for the Hereafter.  as the believer realizes that there is more blessing and reward in doing good and indulging in acts of kindness that will benefit him on the day of judgment when the person will need those blessings to enter through the gates of Jannah, instead of the worldly possessions which will be left behind.  

Abu Hurairah narrated that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

"The best of charity is that which is given when you are self-sufficient, and the upper hand is better than the lower hand, and start with those for whom you are responsible."

(Sunan An Nasa'i)

Secondly, there are ways by which a person can also earn rewards and blessings in the form of sadaqah jariyah or on-going charity, even after the person dies. Some of these include planting trees, digging a well, raising rightful children, and imparting beneficial knowledge. So, basically any act of kindness which will continue to benefit another person till the day of resurrection.  

9.  It is an entryway into Heaven and a shield against the Hellfire. 

It is established that those who spend in the way of Allah, will enter Jannah through Bab As-Sadaqah or the Door of Charity. Abu Hurairah, narrated that the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said;

"Anybody who spends a pair of something in Allah's Cause will be called from all the Gates of Paradise, ‘O Allah's slave! This is good.' He who is amongst those who pray will be called from the Gate of the Prayer (in Paradise) and he who is from the people of jihad will be called from the Gate of Jihad, and he who is from those who give in charity (i.e. Zakat) will be called from the Gate of Charity, and he who is amongst those who observe fast will be called from the Gate of fasting, the Gate of Raiyan.”

(Sahih al Bukhari)

In another hadith, the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, says;

"Protect yourselves from the Hell- Fire, even if with one half of a date, and he who cannot afford that, then (let him do so) by (saying) a good, pleasant word."

(Sahih al Bukhari)

10.  It supports the establishment of a harmonious society.

The best example of this, to date, is the city of our beloved Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, Madinah. The foundations of which were established at the hands of the Ansar or the locals who welcomed the Muhajireen or the emigrants from Makkah with open arms. 

Charity creates a positive ripple effect for harmonious living and a well-balanced society. Giving sadaqah can eradicate crime (which again is backed by greed) and ensure that the most vulnerable individuals, such as the orphans, widows, the needy in general or those under debt, are able to take advantage of opportunities and gain an equal standing within the society.

By enjoining in acts of kindness and spending for the sake of Allah, we can earn greater rewards and blessings without a doubt. Each one of us must make use of every opportunity available to our advantage. As a matter of fact, we do not need to look afar, for charity begins from home and the best among us are the ones who are best to their families. 

Umm Ahmed is an early childhood educator and mother of three boys. Always on the quest to learn, she is passionate about seeking knowledge and passing it on to others. A writer in the making, she draws inspiration through deep conversations, laws of nature, and her own children. She and her family are currently living in Abu Dhabi, UAE.


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