Sadaqa, often translated as charity is a wide concept, which we many a times think it is just the act of giving money to the poor and needy. But it is more than that. Smiling at your brother is sadaqa, a kind word is a sadaqa, spending time with family is Sadaqa and we can go on. But since we are in the blessed month of Ramadan, in this post, I will stick to the meaning of Sadaqa as spending money in the way of Allah.
Sadaqa can be translated as, (spending money seeking the pleasure of Allah to the poor and those in need from the family or the betterment of the community).*
In a Hadith reported by Abu Malik Al-ash’ari, recorded by Imam Muslim, the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “Cleanliness is half of faith and al-Hamdu Liliah (Praise be to Allah) fills the scale, and Subhan Allah (Glory be to Allah) and al-Hamdu Lillah (Praise be to Allah) fill up what is between the heavens and the earth, and prayer is a light, and charity is proof (of one’s faith) and endurance is a brightness and the Holy Qur’an is a proof on your behalf or against you. All men go out early in the morning and sell themselves, thereby setting themselves free or destroying themselves.”
“The Prophet ﷺ said that charity is a proof of one’s faith because money is loved by every human soul and when it comes to money, the soul (النفس) becomes stingy, so when a person spends for the sake of Allah, he does not spend except that which is loved by him. That is the reason why you find people of Imaan are those who spend a lot for the sake of Allah.”**
And contrary to what people think that spending money decreases one’s wealth, when they actually spend solely for the sake of Allah, they find blessing in their lives in their wealth and health and their affairs are made easy, and why not, when it is a promise from Allah.
Allah says : “As for he who gives and fears Allah. And believes in the best [reward], We will make smooth for him the path of ease.” (Surah Al-Layl: 5,6,7)
Charity is also a means of cleansing our deeds from sins, Allah says: “If you disclose your charitable expenditures, they are good; but if you conceal them and give them to the poor, it is better for you, and He will remove from you some of your misdeeds [thereby]. And Allah , with what you do, is [fully] Acquainted.” ( Surah Al-Baqarah: 271)
No matter how much you give, little or more, Allah will give you in abundance and He will double the reward for you. Allah 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.”( Surah Al-Baqarah: 261)
He also says: “And the example of those who spend their wealth seeking means to the approval of Allah and assuring [reward for] themselves is like a garden on high ground which is hit by a downpour – so it yields its fruits in double. And [even] if it is not hit by a downpour, then a drizzle [is sufficient]. And Allah,of what you do, is Seeing” ( Surah Al-Baqarah : 265)
But Islam is a moderate religion, it warns us from being stingy and it also warns us from spending a lot that you are not left with anything. Allah says : “And do not make your hand [as] chained to your neck or extend it completely and [thereby] become blamed and insolvent.”( Surah Isra’:29)
So, spend in the way of Allah and be sure that you will get double of what you gave. Especially in this blessed month, give to the poor, let them share with you the happiness of Iftaar and Eid. Because Allah’s promise is true and expect from Him what you never expected of goodness and Jannah.
May Allah grant us all sincere intentions and accept from us our deeds and forgive us.
*- translated from Sheikh Ibn Uthaymeen’s explanation of the Hadith. http://www.ahlalhdeeth.com/vb/showthread.php?t=271976
** – translated from Sheikh Ibn Uthaymeen’s explanation of the Hadith.http://www.ahlalhdeeth.com/vb/showthread.php?t=271976