What is the Difference Between Sadaqah & Zakat?
In Islam, one of the biggest virtues is to serve humanity in the way they need. Our beloved Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (ﷺ) said, “Charity does not decrease wealth.” [Muslim] Our religion has described charity in various ways, the most common and significant of which are Sadaqah and Zakat.
Although both are similar in nature, there are eight things that differentiate between Sadaqah and Zakat in particular.
What is Sadaqah?
Sadaqah is a form of charity, the word for which is derived from the Arabic word Sidq means the truth. The actions that are intended for righteousness in Islam are considered as Sadaqah. According to a Hadith:
“Sadaqah extinguishes sin as water extinguishes fire.” [Tirmidhi]
What is Zakat?
The other main form of charity devised in Islam is Zakat. The name is a derivation from the word Zaka, which means to purify and sanctify. As Quran says:“Take, [O, Muhammad], from their wealth a charity by which you purify them and cause them to increase, and invoke [ Allah’s blessings] upon them. Indeed, your invocations are reassurance for them. And Allah is Hearing and Knowing.”
Key Differences Between Sadaqah and Zakat!
Here is how you can differentiate between Sadaqah and Zakat:
- Sadaqah in the voluntary form is not obligatory. Our religion encourages us to give out a share as Sadaqah every day, for it will keep one out of trouble. In contrast, Zakat is obligatory, and Sahib-e-Nisab should pay it once a year.
- There is no Nisab or threshold for Sadaqah, and anyone can pay as much as he wants. Zakat is declared under a specific asset calculation on which one year has passed. These assets include gold, silver, cash, business assets, agricultural produce, livestock, and treasure.
- Sadaqah doesn’t require consideration of any liabilities, and one can pay openly at any time. However, Zakat is based on a proper calculation that makes one qualify to pay it. If a person is submerged in debts, there are certain assets to add up and a few liabilities which can be deducted.
- Sadaqah is a form of charity that serves humanity as a personal goodwill gesture. The Islamic Laws or the Government does not enforce it. Zakat, on the other hand, is the sole responsibility of the Islamic Government for its collection and distribution.
- If you are not paying Sadaqah, it won’t be considered a sinful act. However, Zakat payments are mandatory, and abandoning them would make one sinful.
- You can pay Sadaqah wherever you are across the world. Zakat should be distributed as per Sunnah to the place where Zakat is collected.
- Anyone in need can be eligible to be helped with Sadaqah at any time. In comparison, Zakat is designated to be paid to specific people under some conditions.
- Numerous non-monetary actions are also considered as an act like giving Sadaqah. Zakat is a form of charity that is only based on a monetary transfer of value.
As Muslims, we should make Sadaqah and Zakat regular practices to seek Allah’s blessings and help those in dire need of it. One act of kindness can make us earn countless rewards for this life and hereafter.