There are various forms of charity within Islam, with Sadaqah and Lillah being just two of many. Charity is important in Islam as it influences Muslims to recognise that all they have is a temporary blessing from Allah (SWT). Worldly possessions can’t be brought with you upon death, meaning that nothing is owned by you and, instead, is gifted to you by Allah (SWT). However, everyone in Islam is considered equal, which is why privileged Muslims should make it their mission to level the playing field by sharing their wealth. It’s not morally correct to be aware of the suffering of others and do nothing to amend it when you have the means to do so.
This prominence of charity within Islam results in various mediums of giving. So, what is the difference between Lillah and Sadaqah?
What does Sadaqah Mean?
The term Sadaqah describes an act of kindness that is delivered in the absence of an expectation of something in return. Quite simply, it refers to a selfless good deed. This could be something as little as exchanging smiles with a stranger or sharing some kind words. On the other hand, it can also act as a means of offering support to those in need, for example, giving up your time to aid a loved one or giving money to a homeless person.
The direct translation of Sadaqah is “righteousness”; however, in modern contexts, it means “voluntary charity”.
Different Types of Sadaqah
There are multiple versions of Sadaqah, including Aqiqah, Fidya, and Kaffarah. However, Sadaqah isn’t to be confused with Sadaqah Jariyah; the main difference between Sadaqah and Sadaqah Jariyah is the scale of the impact that is being made. For instance, Sadaqah can act as a short-term solution, such as providing a hungry child with a meal for one night. On the other hand, Sadaqah Jariyah is given with the intention to help someone on a long-term basis. Sadaqah Jariyah examples include sponsoring an orphan or sharing the teachings of Islam.
How Much Sadaqah to Give
Sadaqah has no set amount, meaning you’re able to simply contribute anything you can. You can give Sadaqah online, making it incredibly easy for anyone to pay Sadaqah.
Importance of Sadaqah in Islam
Charity is a key feature of Islam and is greatly encouraged by Sadaqah as people are prompted to give for the sake of giving. Not only does an act of charity aid the receiver, but it improves the mental well-being of the giver. The support of the poor and donating to charity alike are repeatedly mentioned within the Holy Qur’an. With every random act of kindness, Allah’s (SWT) mercy grows.
‘The likeness of (the ones) who expend their riches in the way of Allah is as the likeness of a grain that grows seven ears, in every ear a hundred grains. And Allah gives manifold to whomever He decides; and Allah is Ever-Embracing, Ever-Knowing.’
Holy Quran, surat Al-Baqarah [2:261]