Islam teaches us the lesson of peace and harmony. It tells us to care for those in need and consider ourselves blessed for being a helping hand. Similarly, Islam also tells us to develop traits and adapt habits that benefit us in this world and the Hereafter. Develop a character that people would enjoy your company and pray for you behind your back.
One such act is the act of charity. It is the act of giving away a share of your wealth. To learn more about charity or “Sadaqah,” continue reading this blog post. We will tell you the meaning of Sadaqah, Perpetual Sadaqah, and how you can benefit from this act of goodness.
Meaning of Sadaqah
In Islam, Sadaqah is considered one of the most benevolent acts.
In Surah Baqara, Verse 261, Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى) says: “The charity of those who expend their wealth in the way of Allah may be likened to a grain of corn, which produces seven ears, and each ear yields a hundred grains.”
In this verse, we can understand how charity is a fruitful deed. Sadaqah meaning (in simple terms) is a voluntary act of giving or charity. It is about your generosity and kindness. And how you’re willing to help your Muslim brothers and sisters. You don’t have to offer money to consider it charity, but donating goods or offering your time and skills to ease someone’s distress will also be considered “Sadaqah.”
In reality, it’s a deed that refreshes your faith and brings you closer to Allah. It is a generous act to gain blessings and bless the less fortunate. However, there is a form of Sadaqah that is considered a lasting legacy of blessings and goodness, it is “Sadaqah Jariyah.”
What is Perpetual Charity in Islam?
Sadaqah or charity means helping someone to gain instant relief and, in return, gaining immediate blessings. But Sadaqah Jariyah means an act of goodness that will reward you for a long time or an endless charity.
Abu Hurairah (رَضِيَ ٱللَّٰهُ عَنْهُ) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “When a man dies, his deeds come to an end except for three things: Sadaqah Jariyah (ceaseless charity); a knowledge which is beneficial, or a virtuous descendant who prays for him (for the deceased).”
This Hadith can help you understand the long-lasting effect of Sadaqah Jariyah or perpetual charity. It’s like an investment you make for your Hereafter.
Examples of Sadaqah Jariyah
To help you better understand the concept of perpetual charity and its difference from ordinary charity, here are a few examples of never-ending Sadaqah:
- Providing Clean Water: This is the primary and the simplest example of Sadaqah Jariyah. Building a well or providing a clean water system to a community helps them quench their thirst, stay healthy, and grow their food. A sustainable source of clean water is a blessing. And it will help this generation and future generations; hence, a never-ending reward system.
- Educational Support: You may have heard in the news about private organizations or personalities aiding schools and libraries or providing scholarships. Well, guess what? It is another form of perpetual charity. Islam stresses the importance of education and considers it obligatory for every Muslim. Education is a powerful tool that can help the community grow and flourish. By establishing or funding educational institutes, you will benefit as (long as) people acquire knowledge from them.
- Tree Plantations: Planting trees isn’t only an environmentally friendly act but an act of reward, too. When you plant a tree, it will provide shade to people (even after you’re gone) or bear fruit for a very long time (or both). All these aspects will help other people and animals. Hence, Sadaqah Jariyah.
- Sponsor Child or Orphans: Every child has the right to education and to gain access to skills to survive life. Children are the future of the community. But we often forget that countless less fortunate children or orphans have it rough. You can make a powerful impact on their lives by providing a safe environment and supporting their education. This sponsorship will aid the child and their family’s future. It will be contributing to uplift a community.
- Spreading Islamic Knowledge: Sharing Islamic knowledge is a form of Sadaqah Jariyah. You earn a reward even when you share one fact or piece of Islamic advice (as little as reciting a dua). Sharing the knowledge of Islam and inviting someone to your faith is a tremendous deed. Even teaching someone to recite the Quran will benefit you. You will be immensely rewarded whenever they read the Holy Quran, teach others (or act on your other Islamic advice or suggestion).
- Donations: This form is similar to the above one. You donate something religious, such as the Holy Quran, tasbih, prayer mats, or a book of supplications. So, as long as people use your donated material, you will reap rewards.
- Contributing to Constructions: You can partake in the construction of a mosque, a hospital/ clinic, or a school. It is a form of Sadaqah Jariyah where every person who prays in the mosque, every patient treated in the hospital, and every student gaining knowledge from the school will give you blessings in return. They will aid from your generosity, and you will reap the rewarding goodness.
In Surah Baqarah, Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى) says: “Those who spend their wealth secretly and openly by day and night will have their reward with their Lord, and they have nothing to fear nor grieve.” (2:274).
And this promise alone is enough to drive us to engage in charity or perpetual charity.
Benefits of Sadaqah Jariyah
Sadaqah Jariyah is a legacy of blessings. It will keep benefitting you even after your death. There is no doubt of the high regard Islam has given to Sadaqah, given that numerous Verses and Hadith emphasize its importance. Here are a few other examples that show the advantages of perpetual charity:
Eternal Reward: As we have said before, Sadaqah Jariyah is an act that will continue to benefit you even after death. In the Quran, Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى) says: “And spend of what Allah has granted you by way of sustenance before death should come to any of you and he should say: “Lord, why did You not defer my return for a while so that I might give alms and be among the righteous?” (63:10)
This verse will tell you the effect charity has; it is a holistic act of righteous people. So even after you die, you will gain rewards for what you have done in this life.
Benefiting Others: Sadaqah Jariyah means helping someone ease their distress. This act is about others more than about you. Whether you help someone financially or contribute to a community project, it will ultimately benefit others.
So, think of this act as a spirit renewal deed. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى) chose you to provide someone else relief. This perspective will help you feel spiritual contentment. This feeling will bring you closer to your religion and your Creator.
A Source of Blessings: Whether building a clinic or planting a tree, Sadaqah Jariyah has the potential to benefit society for years to come. And as Muslims, we pray for the goodness of those who help us. So, consider this as a virtuous cycle. You will help a community through a single act of perpetual charity. And the benefitting people will pray for your well-being and success in this world and the Afterlife.
The Ripple Effect of Sadaqah Jariyah
This Duniya distracts us from spending our time and money on worldly things. We spend our energy to gain earthly pleasures. We can also spend this time, energy, or money to see results in the Hereafter. Everyone makes investments to see the desired results in their business or projects. It brings them a sense of accomplishment and success.
Similarly, why not invest in the life after death? Invest in your Hereafter, where achievements and rewards will be better than this temporary world’s. Sadaqah Jariyah are great ways to earn rewards even after you die. The best part is the reward may keep multiplying as the receiver grows and potentially helps others.
When talking about the people who will be fortunate to enjoy the shade of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى) for protection, the Prophet (ﷺ) said among those will be “a person who practices charity so secretly that his left hand does not know what his right hand has given (i.e., nobody knows how much he has given in charity).” (Sahih al-Bukhari 1423)
So, do not boast about your charities. The Divine sees your goodness, and he will surely reward you. Therefore, there is no need to taunt those less fortunate. But spend to seek the pleasure of Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى.
The concept of charity in Islam is beautiful. It is about caring for each other. The wealthy care for the less fortunate, and the others provide with blessings. It is a way to seek Allah’s pleasure and acceptance. Safe to say, it is a powerful act of lasting legacy.
So, whether planting a tree or contributing to a school’s development, your contributions are seen by Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى. Your contributions can and will impact the lives of others. The school you sponsored now teaches numerous students, and the tree you planted provides fruits to several people. So, no matter the size of your deed, it will have a significant impact with consequences beyond this world.
We are blessed to have born Muslims because Islam is the religion of compassion and unity. It teaches us the lesson of brotherhood and living together peacefully. The deed of Sadaqah Jariyah is a prime example.
Islam has given us countless ways of spiritual growth and preparing for our life after death. It has also given us numerous possibilities to gain rewards. Even greeting others with a smile is an act of charity and blessing. So, engage in charity today to create a rewarding system for this world and the next!