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What Is the Difference Between Sadaqah And Zakat

What Is the Difference Between Sadaqah And Zakat

Islam recognizes two main categories of almsgiving: Zakat and Sadaqah. All Muslims are familiar with these two charities. But many can’t identify the difference between them. To abide by the rules of Islamic laws, one should be aware of how to distinguish between them.

Many sometimes get confused about Zakat and Sadaqah. During Ramadan, the amount we donate does it consider Zakat or Sadaqah. Can we only pay money for Zakat and Sadaqah? What type of charity is considerable as Zakat and Sadaqah? These are some very common questions in Muslims.

You will know about the answer to these questions in this blog. Let’s explore what is the difference between Sadaqah and Zakat. We will learn about Sadaqa vs Zakat in this blog.

Importance of Charity in Islam

Muslims put their faith in Allah (SWT) by helping people less fortunate than themselves.

Both the Qur’an and the Hadith have instructions on how to generously give to charity. We have the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) to look up to as our ultimate role model. The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said in a well-known hadith:

“Whoever has food on his table while his neighbor goes hungry cannot claim to be a believer.” 

– (Al-Albani)

Over 1400 years ago, Allah (SWT) instructed His beloved Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) to explain the many forms of charity. In Islam, Zakat and Sadaqah are the two main forms of charitable giving.

What is Zakat?

One of the five pillars of Islam and the foundation of the Islamic faith is Zakat. Every eligible Muslim has to donate 2.5% of their excess wealth as zakat to those in need. Allah (SWT) says in Quran,

“Establish Prayer and dispense Zakah….” - Surah Al-Baqarah

When it comes to paying Zakat, there are some eligibility requirements.

What is Zakat

What is Sadaqah?

In the eyes of Allah (SWT), sadaqah is a type of voluntary charity and is a very rewarding activity. Since it isn’t obligatory for Muslims, it is a powerful symbol of their devotion to Allah (SWT). It also shows their desire to do good by serving others. The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, 

“Sadaqah extinguishes sin as water extinguishes fire.” - Tirmidhi

Sadaqah in Islam is a wonderful type of charity because it is not restricted to money offerings. Any good act towards others is considered Sadaqah.

Differences Between Zakat And Sadaqah

Zakat and Sadaqah differ significantly from one another. Zakat is a must while Sadaqah is not. They are both significant aspects of the Islamic faith though. We’ve compiled a list of the differences between Zakat and Sadaqah to make things simpler:

  • Obligation

Zakat is a mandatory payment, whereas Sadaqah is voluntary.

  • Amount

Zakat is a fixed percentage (usually 2.5%) of a person’s wealth or income. Bit Sadaqah has no set amount or percentage.

  • Recipients

Zakat is primarily meant for specific categories of people, including the poor, the needy, and those in debt. Only Muslims can receive Zakat. But Muslims can give Sadaqah to anyone in need, including non-Muslims.

  • Timeframe

Zakat must be paid once a year, whereas Sadaqah can be given at any time.

  • Purpose

The purpose of Zakat is to purify wealth and support those in need. The purpose of Sadaqah is to earn rewards and show kindness to others.

  • Accountability

Zakat is a right of the poor, and it is obligatory for Muslims to pay. Sadaqah is a voluntary act, and there is no obligation to give it.

  • Types

Zakat and Zakat al-fitr or Fitrana are the two types of Zakat. Sadaqah and Sadaqah Jariya are the two main types of Sadaqah.

  • Calculation

The calculation of Zakat is based on a person’s wealth or income. There is no set calculation for Sadaqah.

  • Eligibility

To give Zakat, one has to earn eligibility. In the case of Sadaqah, anyone including the poor can give it.

  • Priority

Zakat is a priority obligation. It should be paid before other forms of voluntary charity such as Sadaqah.

Common factors of Zakat and Sadaqah

Muslims have always been among the world’s most giving people. 

According to the Conversation, “In 2020, US Muslims gave to charity at a higher rate than other Americans. The percentage of Muslims in America is only 1.1%. They earn less on average than non-Muslims. However, their contributions accounted for 1.4% of all personal donations.”

That is an astounding statistic. It makes sense given how much attention and value Islam places on charitable giving. Islam recognizes a variety of charitable acts. Some of the acts are obligatory and some are voluntary. But both have the potential to alter the course of events and win Allah’s (SWT) blessing.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, Sadaqah in Ramadan is highly encouraged and the reward is also immense.

Yes. After donating the Zakat amount from your wealth, the rest of the donation can be counted as Sadaqah.

Payment of zakat is not always required in cash. Distributing zakat is permitted as long as the price equals the zakat amount.

Any good deeds of yours toward others are considered Sadaqah in Islam.

Sadaqah and Zakat are both important in Islam. They significantly contribute to the establishment of Islam in people’s lives on both an individual and a communal level. They provide resources to lessen or eliminate problems for poor and needy people. 

As Muslims, we should pay our Zakat accordingly. Also, we should give Sadaqah as much as possible. Because they are the best to please Allah (SWT).

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