Voluntary Charity (Sadaqah)
Voluntary Charity is anything given as a means of getting closer to Allah, the Most High, in ways other than what is obligatory.
– Allah’s statement: “Who is he that will lend to Allah a goodly loan so that He may multiply it to him many times?” (Al- Baqarah: 245)
– On the authority of Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “Whoever spends in charity the equivalent of a date from pure earnings- and Allah accepts only that which is pure- Allah will accept it with his right hand and nurture it for its owner as any of you nurtures his foal –and a foal is the offspring of a horse – until it becomes like a mountain.” [ Agreed Upon]
– The Prophet ﷺ counted the person who gives alms in secret to be among the seven that Allah will cover with His shade on the day when there will be no shade except His shade: “…and a man that gives alms and makes this secret to the extent that his left hand knows not what his right has spent.”
– On the authority of Ka’b ibn ‘Ujrah (may Allah be pleased with him), the Prophet ﷺ said: “…and alms extinguishes bad deeds just as water extinguishes fire.” [ Source: At-Tirmidhi]
Benefits of Voluntary Charity (Sadaqah)
Firstly: Benefits accruing to the individual
1- Purification for the soul. Allah, The Most High, says: “Take Sadaqah (alms) from their wealth in order to purify them and sanctify them with it.” (at–Taubah: 103)
2- Following the example of our leader, Muhammad ﷺ. Indeed, part of his noble manners was being open-handed and generous, and he would give as someone who did not fear poverty. He also used to say to Bilal: “Spend O Bilal, and fear not penury[ Penury: poverty] from the Owner of the Throne.” [ Source: Al-Bazaar]
3- Allah replaces for the giver whatever he spends, while He will raise the status of his soul. Allah, the Most High, said regarding this: “And whatever you spend of anything in Allah’s cause, he will replace it.” (Saba: 39)
4- Purification of wealth from the misdeeds of selling: On the authority of Qais ibn Abu Gharazah (may Allah be pleased with him): “During the time of the Prophet ﷺ, we used to be called As-Samasirah [As-Samasirah: is used to mean traders].
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ passed by us and called us by a better name than that and said: ‘O you traders, indeed erroneous speech and swearing do accompany trade, so neutralize[ To neutralise, it is an order to mix; the Prophet ordered them to mix the sins with giving alms so that the alms would expiate for any accidental false speech etc. that may occur during selling.]it by giving alms.” [Source: Abu Dawud]
5- Being rewarded and having one’s sins expiated. The Prophet ﷺ said: “Whoever gives in charity the equivalent of a date from pure earnings– and Allah accepts only that which is pure- Allah will accept it from him with his right hand and nurture it for his owner as any of you would nurture a foal, until it becomes like a mountain.” [ Agreed Upon].
6- A Muslim benefitting from his continuous alms after his death. On the authority of Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet ﷺ said: “Whenever a man dies his deeds are cut from him, except these three: a continuous charity, beneficial knowledge that is being benefited from, and a pious child that continues to pray for him.” [ Source: Muslim]
7- Charity is a reason for the increase and prosperity of wealth, for it is a manifestation of gratitude to Allah, the Giver. This is because a person who is grateful to Allah is promised an increase in blessings.
Allah says: “And (remember) when your Lord proclaimed, ‘If you are grateful, I will surely give you more (of My Blessings); but if you deny (My favors), indeed, My punishment is severe.” (Ibraheem:7)
Secondly: Benefits accruing to the society
1- Voluntary alms complement the function of Zakah in the society.
2- Engendering solidarity, cooperation, stability and love in the Muslim society.