Sadaqah and Zakat are two commonly used terms in the Islamic faith that often leave people confused as to what they mean and how they differ from each other. Sadaqah refers to voluntary charity that is given out of love and kindness, while Zakat is an obligation imposed upon Muslims to give a portion of their wealth to those in need. Despite their differences, many wonder does Sadaqah count as Zakat. In this blog, we will delve into the topic of Sadaqah and Zakat, exploring their meanings, purposes, and if Sadaqah can indeed be considered as Zakat.
Sadaqah is an Arabic term that refers to voluntary charity in Islam. It is given out of love, kindness, and generosity and is not considered an obligation.
Zakat is an Islamic term that refers to the act of giving a portion of one’s wealth to those in need. It is considered a religious obligation for Muslims and is one of the Five Pillars of Islam. To distinguish Sadaqah vs Zakat, here are some of the key differences:
Zakat is obligatory
Sadaqah is not compulsory
Given or calculated mostly based on money
It is not limited to money alone
2.5% of savings per year
Any amount given
Given every lunar year
Offered at any given time
For a certain group of people
Contributed to anyone who needs it
Cannot be given in someone else’s name
Can be given in someone else’s name
The purpose and goals of Sadaqah and Zakat are similar in that they both aim to help those in need and promote social justice. Both Sadaqah and Zakat play an important role in the Islamic community, and it is encouraged for Muslims to give both voluntarily.
Zakat and Sadaqah are Islamic forms of charity, and the process of giving them involves some steps. Such as- determine the amount of Zakat you owe based on your wealth and assets, and the amount of Sadaqah you wish to give.
In the case of Zakat, Pay the calculated amount to an authorized collector or to the intended recipients directly. But for Sadaqah, you can give any amount, it needs no calculation. As a matter of fact, you can plant a tree as a form of Sadaqah. And when anyone gains benefits from the tree such as- the tree is giving someone shade or giving fruits, or providing a cool breeze then you will be rewarded for that. This is an on-going charity referred to as Sadaqah Jariyah.
Sadaqah also included-
There are many forms of Sadaqah. Suppose one of your old neighbors is struggling to buy groceries for his family due to his age. He can not go to the market. So, every month, you buy it for him along with your groceries. This is also counted as Sadaqah.
The recipients of zakat is determined in Quran because Allah says,
“Alms are meant only for the poor, the needy, those who administer them, those whose hearts need winning over, to free slaves and help those in debt, for God’s cause, and for travelers in need. This is ordained by God; God is all knowing and wise.” [Quran 9:60]
But Saqaqah is not limited to anyone even if you help any animal, it will be a Sadaqah. Sadaqah can include contributing money, giving good advice, spreading knowledge, speaking kindly, smiling at a stranger, constructing a well or mosque, etc.
Zakat and Sadaqah can be given at any time, however, many prefer to donate more during Ramadan. As the spiritual rewards are higher in this holy month. There is no time limit for Sadaqah but Zakat holds some rules. It is required that zakat be paid once every lunar year. Zakat is an obligation, so delaying payment when it’s due is prohibited.
To fulfill your Zakat and Sadaqah obligations, you can give Zakat to organizations such as UMR (United Muslim Relief), which is a nonprofit organization working to alleviate poverty and suffering around the world. UMR provides aid and support to those in need, regardless of race, religion, or ethnicity. By giving to UMR, you can be assured that your Zakat and Sadaqah will reach those who truly need it and make a positive impact on their lives.
In the Qur’an, Sadaqah is sometimes used to refer to Zakat, but the two phrases normally have distinct meanings. Sadaqah does not necessarily have to follow the calculation or criteria as Zakat. Jabir bin Abdullah reported that the Prophet of Allah (Peace be upon him) declared,
“Every good is charity. Indeed among the good is to meet your brother with a smiling face, and to pour what is left in your bucket into the vessel of your brother.” [Jami’ at-Tirmidhi]
Zakat is an Islamic obligation, a form of charity that involves giving a portion of one’s wealth to those in need. The criteria for paying Zakat include:
Nisab: One must possess a minimum amount of wealth, called Nisab, before they are required to pay Zakat.
Time: Zakat is due annually after one lunar year has passed since acquiring the Nisab.
Ownership: The wealth must be owned by the person who is obligated to pay Zakat, and not owed to others.
Taxable wealth: The wealth must be in the form of cash, gold, silver, agricultural produce, or livestock.
Intention: The act of giving Zakat must be done with the intention of fulfilling a religious obligation.
It is important to note that Zakat is a personal obligation and should be calculated based on individual circumstances, with the guidance of an Islamic scholar if needed. Sadaqah and Zakat are different forms of charity in Islam.
So, Sadaqah does not automatically count as Zakat. Zakat is a mandatory religious tax, while Sadaqah is a voluntary act of charity.
In Islam, Sadaqah and Zakat are two major types of donation. Both are tremendously supported by religion. Zakat is a compulsory charity, while Sadaqah is an optional one. Both have numerous advantages, including spiritual, social, and economic ones. Let us analyze the several advantages of Sadaqah and Zakat.
Giving to charity can have a lot of spiritual benefits that last a long time. Sadaqah (voluntary charity) and zakat (obligatory charity) give us the chance to use our money to improve the physical and spiritual lives of others. By doing this, we also get closer to Allah on a spiritual level (SWT). Sadaqah is a powerful spiritual act that helps us make up for our mistakes. Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) said:
“Allah will forgive the giver of Sadaqah his sins and raise him in status.”
These acts of charity purify one’s wealth and help in the development of a sense of compassion, generosity, and responsibility towards others. They also bring blessings, increase in one’s faith, and help in seeking forgiveness and nearness to God. Additionally, Zakat and Sadaqah are also considered as acts of worship, and fulfillment of religious obligations.
Some of the social benefits of Zakat and Sadaqah are discussed below:
Zakat and Sadaqah, both being Islamic charitable practices, provide several economic benefits:
Overall, Zakat and Sadaqah can play a crucial role in promoting economic stability and growth, especially in developing countries.
So to answer the question, “Does Sadaqah count as Zakat?” No, Sadaqah and Zakat are two distinct forms of Islamic charity, although they both serve the purpose of helping those in need. The Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) said:
“The best of charity is that which is given when you are self-sufficient, and start with those for whom you are responsible.”
Sadaqah is a voluntary act of giving, whereas Zakat is an obligation for Muslims. Both Sadaqah and Zakat play important roles in promoting social welfare and supporting the less fortunate, and both are highly encouraged in Islam. It is recommended that individuals fulfill their obligation of Zakat, while also continuing to give Sadaqah as an act of voluntary charity.