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Home > Blog > Posts > What’s the Difference Between Zakat and Sadaqah?

What’s the Difference Between Zakat and Sadaqah?

Hands holding a wooden bowl of rice grains

A core part of the Muslim faith is giving charity and supporting those in need who are less fortunate. Both Zakat and Sadaqah are based on helping others, although there are key differences between them. Zakat is one of the Five Pillars of Islam and is an obligatory annual payment made to purify all wealth held above the Nisab threshold value. Sadaqah is not at all obligatory; it is simply a kind gesture made with the intention of helping others.

What is Zakat?

One of the Five Pillars of Islam and officially meaning “that which purifies”, Zakat is an obligatory payment that carries its own set of expectations and requirements. One of which is that you must hold enough wealth to meet the Nisab threshold, a value which is calculated from 87.48 grams of gold or 612.36 grams of silver. The minimum amount of Zakat you must give is 2.5% but there is no upper limit and only a specific group of people can receive Zakat contributions, given in the Qu’ran as;

  • The poor
  • The hungry
  • Those responsible for distributing zakat
  • Those in captivity and slavery
  • Those living with unmanageable debt
  • Those who fight in the name of Allah
  • Stranded or struggling travellers
  • New Muslims and friends of Muslim communities

Zakat must be given annually, as long as you have held wealth exceeding the Nisab threshold for the previous Islamic calendar year and when you choose to give it is up to you. Many Muslims choose to give their Zakat during Ramadan and often in the last 10 nights of Ramadan when the rewards are said to be much greater and it is also when the Night of Power falls.

Zakat is intended to strengthen the Muslim community, the Ummah, by redistributing wealth to the poorest of our society and ensuring they get the resources they need to live.

What is Sadaqah?

Sadaqah is any voluntary act of righteousness or kindness that is made with no expectation for anything in return. There is no minimum amount of Sadaqah that must be given and no requirement to give regularly. Sadaqah can be split into two further acts of kindness, Sadaqah itself which is considered a short-term gesture and Sadaqah Jariyah, which is a gesture that gives long-term. There is no requirement to what you need to do to fulfil Sadaqah and something as simple as sharing your knowledge in Islam can be a gesture that continues to give.

Benefits of Zakat and Sadaqah

Both gestures carry great reward in this life and the next for the giver but the effects of Zakat and Sadaqah are even greater for the receiver. The donations made with the intention of Sadaqah and Zakat through Orphans in Need are received by those most in need, our orphans and widows who are struggling in life through no fault of their own. Your Sadaqah and Zakat donations enable us to provide seasonal clothing to keep warm in the cold winters, food packs that will feed hungry mouths for a month and necessary access to education and medical care.

Giving Sadaqah and Zakat are both ways that help you get closer to Allah (SWT) and by practising regular charity, you can improve your own wellbeing and find peace and happiness in this life and the hereafter. By giving charity, we also show to Allah (SWT) we are grateful for the gifts he has bought onto our own lives.

Following the Way of the Prophet (PBUH)

Prophet Muhammad is the best example of regular giving and would often give to those in need who had nothing of their own when he himself was hungry. By making regular Sadaqah you are following in the footsteps of the Prophet (PBUH) and setting a good example in life for your own children.

By understanding the Zakat and Sadaqah differences, you can be better informed when making a donation or contribution to Orphans in Need. We will take your contributions, whether they are intended as Zakat or Sadaqah and use them to improve their lives of hundreds of orphans in countries all over the world.

You can sponsor an orphan today with us for only £30 a month, that’s about a £1 a day – not a lot to many of us but this amount makes a huge difference in the life of needy orphan children.

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