Charity or Sadaqa – a way of life

Charity or sadaqa is one of best ways one can ensure goodness and spread kindness. At present, when most people, consider the giving of sadaqa, what comes to their mind is in monetary terms. However, sadaqa is more than just spending from your wealth.

Abu Hurairah (r.a.) reported Allah’s Messenger (s.a.w.s.) as saying: “Charity does not in any way decrease the wealth…” (Sahih Muslim Book 32 Hadith 6264). As such from this hadith we can conclude that one must not be wary of giving charity for fear it will decrease their wealth. Rather keep on giving for Allah SWT says “…And whoever volunteers good – then indeed, Allah is appreciative and knowing”. (Sahih International 2:158 Al - Baqarah).

Further Allah SWT says “The example of those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah is like a seed [of grain] which grows seven spikes; in each spike is a hundred grains. And Allah multiplies [His reward] for whom He wills. And Allah is all-Encompassing and Knowing”. (Sahih International 2:261 Al - Baqarah).

There are many types of sadaqa in which we can indulge as our daily lives unfold, without spending from our wealth per say.

Good character and conduct is considered as sadaqa. Abu Musa reported that the Prophet (s.a.w.s.), said, "Every Muslim must give sadaqa." They said, "And if he does not find anything (to give)?" He replied, "Then he should work his hands, benefit himself and then give sadaqa." They asked, "And if he is unable to or does not do it?" He replied, "Then he should help someone with a great need." They said, "And if he does not do it?" He replied, "Then he should command the good or command the correct." They said, "And if he does not do that?" They said, "He should refrain from evil. That is sadaqa for him." (Al-Adab Al-Mufrad 225 / Book 11, Hadith 225)

Smiling a heartfelt smile is considered as sadaqa. Abu Dharr narrated that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) said, "Your smiling in the face of your brother is charity…” (Jami` at-Tirmidhi 1956 / Vol. 4, Book 1, Hadith 1956). As such, it is time to lose the frown and smile at your family and friends. Smile at those you know and you do not know, for a smile can uplift and leave the receiver with positivity and the strength to get through the day. As said by Mufti Menk, "Do good as much as you can and spread kindness; for the seeds you sowed today will bloom in the hearts of many whom you have touched.”

Reminding people of the righteous path and forbidding evil is considered as a sadaqa. Abu Dharr narrated that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) said, “…commanding good and forbidding evil is charity…” (Jami` at-Tirmidhi 1956 / Vol. 4, Book 1, Hadith 1956). We can always choose to be righteous and remind others to do that which is righteous. However, we have to further try to prevent others from wrongdoing as well.

Assisting others in their time of need is considered as a sadaqa. “…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”. (Jami` at-Tirmidhi 1956 / Vol. 4, Book 1, Hadith 1956). Thus, we must not look the other way when we see someone in need of help but rather, we should do everything we can possibly to ease away their troubles.

Daily dhikr or remembrance of Allah SWT, making dua for those who linger in your heart as well as others, making time out of your busy schedule to spend quality time with your parents, spouse and children, nurturing your children so they become wholesome adults, forgiving others who have mistreated you by word or act, being truly happy for others happiness or blessing sans jealousy, being the epitome of patience in times of trouble whilst relying on only Allah, visiting those who are sick, feeding your spouse, giving sound advice to others, being respectful to your elders and spreading of knowledge in any way possible for those who cannot afford it are all considered as sadaqa.

Sincerity whilst doing sadaqa and obtaining hasanath tenfold in this world and the next, let us be among those indeed. Ameen!