It’s obligatory to give charity in Islam. But do you know what the is difference between Charity Sadqa Zakat? And what are the rules for giving charity? Here a a complete guide to giving charity in Islam.
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Introduction to give charity in Islam:
Charity, known as “Sadaqah” in Islam, is a cornerstone of the faith, reflecting its core values of compassion, social justice, and community support. Giving charity holds profound meanings, is supported by numerous Quranic verses and Hadiths, and is guided by specific rules and principles. This article delves into the virtues and significance of charity in Islam, elucidating its meanings, exploring relevant Quranic verses and Hadiths, quoting renowned Islamic scholars, and providing a comprehensive understanding of the rules governing this noble act.
I. The Meanings of Charity in Islam
A. A Selfless Act of Giving
Charity in Islam signifies a selfless act of giving to those in need without expecting anything in return. It embodies the spirit of benevolence and empathy toward others, promoting a sense of community and social welfare.
B. A Means of Spiritual Growth
Charity is a path to spiritual growth and closeness to Allah (God). By giving generously, Muslims alleviate the suffering of the less fortunate and purify their souls, seeking blessings and forgiveness.
II. Quranic Verses on Charity
The Quran contains numerous verses that emphasize the importance and virtues of giving charity:
A. Surah Al-Baqarah (Chapter 2), Verse 267: “O you who have believed, spend from the good things which you have earned.”
This verse calls upon believers to share their earnings for the greater good, stressing the significance of giving from what is earned honestly and ethically.
B. Surah Al-Baqarah (Chapter 2), Verse 261: “The example of those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah is like that of a grain that sprouts seven ears, and in every ear, there are a hundred grains. Thus Allah multiplies the action of whomever He wills.”
This verse illustrates the abundant rewards and blessings that charity brings, highlighting the exponential growth of virtuous deeds.
III. Hadiths to give Charity in Islam
The Hadith, comprising the sayings and actions of the Prophet Muhammad, further emphasizes the importance of charity:
A. “Charity does not decrease wealth.” This Hadith conveys the notion that giving charity does not diminish one’s wealth. On the contrary, it brings spiritual and material rewards.
B. “The believers in their mutual kindness, compassion, and sympathy are like one body.” This Hadith illustrates the interconnectedness of believers, emphasizing that their collective compassion is akin to a unified body.
IV. Islamic Scholar Quotes on Charity
Renowned Islamic scholars throughout history have expounded on the significance of charity:
A. Imam Al-Ghazali: “Charity is a sign of faith, and whoever is not charitable has no faith.”
Imam Al-Ghazali underscores that charity is a fundamental expression of faith, serving as an indicator of one’s belief.
B. Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyya: “Charity given in secret extinguishes the wrath of the Lord.”
Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyya elucidates that giving charity privately not only aids those in need but also pleases Allah, quelling divine displeasure.
V. Rules of Giving Charity
Rules of Giving Zakat in Islam
Zakat is one of the Five Pillars of Islam and is a mandatory form of almsgiving. It is an act of worship and a means of wealth purification for Muslims. The rules of giving Zakat in Islam include:
- Nisab Threshold: Zakat is obligatory for Muslims who possess wealth and assets beyond a specific threshold known as Nisab. The Nisab amount is determined based on the current value of silver or gold and may vary over time.
- Eligible Recipients: Zakat must be given to specific categories of recipients, including the poor, the needy, those in debt, travelers in need, and others as defined in Islamic jurisprudence.
- Calculation: Zakat is typically calculated as a specific percentage (usually 2.5%) of one’s eligible assets, which can include savings, investments, and certain types of income. The calculation is based on the assets held for one lunar year.
- Intention and Sincerity: Giving Zakat should be done with the intention of fulfilling this religious obligation and seeking Allah’s pleasure. Sincerity is paramount.
- Distribution: Zakat should be distributed directly to the eligible recipients or through reliable charitable organizations. It should not be used for administrative or overhead expenses.
- Timing: Zakat can be given at any time during the year, but many Muslims choose to give it during the holy month of Ramadan.
Rules of Giving Charity (Sadaqah) in Islam
Charity, known as Sadaqah in Islam, is a voluntary act of giving to those in need and holds distinct rules from Zakat. These rules include:
- Voluntary Nature: Sadaqah is entirely voluntary, and there are no specific thresholds or requirements for giving. It can be done at any time and in any amount.
- Broad Eligibility: Sadaqah can be given to a wide range of recipients, including family, friends, neighbors, or any person in need. There are no strict criteria for eligibility.
- Intention and Sincerity: Just like Zakat, giving Sadaqah should be done with a sincere intention and solely for the sake of Allah, seeking His pleasure.
- Diversity of Forms: Sadaqah can take various forms, including financial donations, acts of kindness, volunteering, providing food, or assisting those in need through virtuous means.
- Anonymity: It is highly commendable to give Sadaqah privately, without revealing the identity of the giver. Anonymity ensures the utmost sincerity and humility.
- Regular Giving: Sadaqah can be given regularly and consistently, not limited to specific occasions or times of the year.
Both Zakat and Sadaqah play crucial roles in fulfilling the social and spiritual obligations of Muslims, and they complement each other in addressing the needs of the less fortunate while purifying the wealth of those who give. While Zakat is a mandatory form of almsgiving, Sadaqah offers greater flexibility and serves as a voluntary act of kindness and compassion.