Sadaqah describes a voluntary charitable act towards another being, whether through generosity, love, compassion or faith. Sadaqah Jariyah is a long-term kindness, a gesture that continues to give after you have gone. We should think of it as an investment in our akhira; that small amount of money, or time, or knowledge we spend in the way of Allah will earn us reward – in our lifetime and beyond. When our time comes to depart from this world and return to Allah, it is one of the three things we will still be able to reap reward from, bi’thnillah:
Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) as saying: When a man dies, his acts come to an end, but three, recurring charity, or knowledge (by which people) benefit, or a pious son, who prays for him (for the deceased).
We’ve all heard the saying ‘charity begins at home’ and we can apply this here too. Being students, we might not have much money to spare however there is still so much we can give. Many of us have younger siblings, cousins, or neighbours. Helping them practise their Quran recitation, or teaching them a small dua is sadaqah jaariyah as this will remain with them for their lifetime, and if they pass on the knowledge you impoarted upon them, you will gain reward for it also, and it will come to our aid on the Day of Judgement. Even telling them a story about one of our pious predecessors can all be forms of sadaqah for us insha’Allah. The Prophet ﷺ said ‘Convey from me, even if it is a verse’. We all have something we can share, and we should begin with those around and closest to us.
If we do have some money to spare, there are many amazing projects we can donate to. We can do this for ourselves, or on behalf of someone else. We don’t have to build a whole mosque or water well to benefit, even donating £1 towards any good cause will insha’Allah be a source of barakah for us, well beyond our time on this earth. Examples of Sadaqah Jariyah include helping to build a well, school, hospital, or masjid. The beauty of Sadaqah Jariyah is that you earn a reward every time it is used, for as long as it is used.
The example of those who spend in the way of Allah is just like a grain that produced seven ears, each ear having a hundred grains, and Allah multiplies (the reward) for whom He wills. Allah is All-Embracing, All-Knowing. [2:261]
There are many virtues of giving sadaqah and I have listed a few below in hope you take inspiration and decide to implement this in your lives, during this virtuous month of Ramadhan and after too!
1. Sadaqah eases hardships and removes calamities
The Prophet (saw) said “Give Sadaqah without delay, for it stands in the way of calamity.” (Tirmidhi)
As Muslim, we believe that Allah (swt) has created this life as a test of our faith and loyalty through hardships. Giving Sadaqah during a difficult time shows strong Iman and gratitude to Allah (swt). Only Allah’s (swt) infinite mercy can change a situation and giving Sadaqah is a way of drawing closer to Him.
2. Sadaqah atones our sins and offers shade on the Day of Judgement
The Prophet (saw) said: “Charity extinguishes the sins like water extinguishes a fire.” (Ibn Majah)
On the Day of Judgement, every person will be held accountable for their sins, both major and minor. Giving Sadaqah regularly is a simple way of helping to expiate any sins we have committed knowingly, and unknowingly.
The Prophet (saw) said: “The believer’s shade on the Day of Resurrection will be his charity.” (Tirmidhi)
3.Sadaqah opens the gates of paradise
Only those believers who were charitable and gave Sadaqah in the way of Allah, to their parents, orphans, widows, the sick and the needy will be allowed to enter through Baab As-Sadaqah, one of 8 gates to Jannah.
“But those who feared their Lord will be driven to Paradise in groups until, when they reach it while its gates have been opened and its keepers say, “Peace be upon you; you have become pure; so enter it to abide eternally therein,” (Quran 39:73)
4. Sadaqah creates balance and benefits to all of society
Sadaqah benefits the whole community and ensures that the most vulnerable, including orphans, widows, the sick and needy, have an equal standing in society. Remember, any act of kindness is Sadaqah, not just money.
The Prophet said: “Your smile for your brother is a charity. Your removal of stones, thorns, or bones from the paths of people is a charity. Your guidance of a person who is lost is a charity” (Bukhari)