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Sunday Open Thread – 2/28/2010 – Sadaqah Made Easy


The parable of those who spend of their substance in the way of Allah is that of a grain of corn: It grows seven ears, and each ear has a hundred grains. Allah gives manifold increase to whom He pleases; And Allah cares for all and He knows all things.”
Qur’an (2:261)

One of the oft-repeated injunctions and advices to us in the Qur’an is that we regularly give from our wealth, a portion to the needy. The immense value of the tiniest bit of charity in the Sight of Allah(swt) is something that you understand when you read through the Qur’an. One particular verse that always strikes me is from Surah Al Hadeed:

“For those who give in charity, men and women, and loan to Allah a Beautiful Loan, it shall be increased manifold (to their credit), and they shall have (besides) a liberal reward.”
(Qur’an 57:18)

Zakah – the “obligatory charity” or the “poor” due, as it is otherwise known, is something that most Muslims do take care to give out annually. However, when it comes to the voluntary charity, Sadaqah, how regular are we with it? If you examine the lives of our beloved Rasool Allah (peace be upon him) and his companions (may Allah be pleased with them all), it seems as if they were constantly on the lookout for opportunities to give out charity. Someone would receive a portion from the date harvest and he’d move to quickly distribute it amongst the needy. A poor beggar-woman came knocking at the door for food and she’d be supplied from whatever little the household had for their own needs. Moreover, people would give their prized possessions in the way of Allah(swt) including lush green gardens, orchards and wells.

Rasool Allah (peace be upon him) said, “If I had (a mountain of) gold, I would love that, before three days had passed, not a single (coin) thereof remained with me if I found somebody to accept it (as charity), excluding some amount that I would keep for the payment of my debts.” (Bukhari)

It’s like a fresh breath of air to my Iman whenever I read about the charitable acts Rasool Allah (peace be upon him) and his companions, men and women (may Allah be pleased with them all) rushed to perform. It also makes me wonder, how can we do the same? How can we make Sadaqah a real part of our lives, rather than a once-in-a-while monetary contribution?

Rasool Allah (peace be upon him) said, “Every act of goodness is charity.” (Muslim)

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I’m looking for creative ideas and suggestions – what’s your personal favorite Sadaqah story? Maybe it was a small deed you did to help out someone in need, helped an old lady with her shopping bags, made a real effort to smile when you meet your friends or gave a cousin some good advice?  Even with monetary Sadaqah, how do you like to disburse it?

There is no Ri’aa (showing off) here Insha’Allah because the intention is to share and learn from one another and ultimately, to adopt creative new avenues for Sadaqah in our routines. Let’s talk about the simple ways in which we can give away Sadaqah so that it’s a real, active part of our lives. And of course, whatever you give in Allah(swt)’s Way with sincerity, it only adds to your “wealth” in this world and the Hereafter, Insha’Allah!

Rasool Allah (peace be upon him) said: “Charity is prescribed for each descendant of Adam every day the sun rises.” He was then asked: “From what do we give charity every day?” The Prophet answered: “The doors of goodness are many… enjoining good, forbidding evil, removing harm from the road, listening to the deaf, leading the blind, guiding one to the object of his need, hurrying with the strength of one’s legs to one in sorrow who is asking for help, and supporting the feeble with the strength of one’s arms–all of these are charity prescribed for you.” He also said: “Your smile for your brother is charity.”

Fiqh-us-Sunnah, Volume 3, Number 98

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Ameera is a final-year medical student and blogger based in Karachi, Pakistan. Having been born and raised in Tabuk, Saudi Arabia, her approach towards her Deen has always been rooted in a basic understanding from authentic sources, which was further polished during a three-year weekend course at Al Huda Institute. Her interests, though, seem to know no bounds and range from a passion for the culinary arts and travelling, as well as following current affairs and global happenings. She feels being able to be part of MuslimMatters is one of the major blessings of Allah(swt) upon her, for it has given her a chance to learn and grow. She also maintains her personal blog at



  1. Sammy

    February 28, 2010 at 3:36 AM

    Great piece! I get a bit of pocket money and it always strikes me as weird that I don’t give away anything because I don’t “earn”… which sometimes makes me give away a chunk of charity impulsively. Now that’s out of guilt and I’m sure that’s not how it’s supposed to be done.
    Other than that, I’ve never really considered Sadaqah in terms other than money but you’ve put it with such clarity; I feel a little better knowing I try to give out the best advice I can to whomever needs it… or I feel s/he need it! I didn’t know smiling was a kind of charity, that’s good to know too. :)

    • Ameera Khan

      February 28, 2010 at 4:39 AM

      Jazakillah!! :) It’s true, we don’t see it as “our money” but try giving out some of it in charity and you’ll feel like a million bucks, seriously, it’s so good. It motivates you to give out more because you’re no longer a passive onlooker when your parents are giving our charity. Now, you can give some of the pocket money you get and thus also credit the reward to your parents too, Insha’Allah, who gave you that money to spend. Allah(swt) Knows your niyyah and will only increase your wealth, Insha’Allah, the more you start to put others before you.

  2. Ameera Khan

    February 28, 2010 at 4:36 AM

    For me, voluntary charity in the form off money didn’t really figure much until recently when I realized how you don’t need to wait till you save huge sums. Sometimes, the change you get back after buying a packet of chips or even the small change that’s left in your jacket pocket may be worth more than a large sum at another time, in the Sight of Allah. It all depends on the niyyah.

    A donation box in a hospital, a quiet old man sitting on the corner (visibly needy, yet asking no one for money), poor patients that you meet in the hospital, etc. all are great opportunities to help out.

    Non monetary: bring a smile on your parents’ faces, cheer up a friend, help out at a charity organization (even helping them out online, like websites and stuff, counts!), clearing the trash on the road, helping a neighbor, baby-sitting someone’s kids… all can become Sadaqah, if done for the sake of Allah.

  3. Mirza Shahbaaz Baig

    February 28, 2010 at 10:53 AM tawiz/obsessive compulsive disorder ..panel discussion


  4. Umm Bilqis

    February 28, 2010 at 11:24 AM

    Once upon a time Umm Bilqis sought to buy a couch second hand from a dear sister who was relocating.
    She went to the house and was pleased to see a what splendid couch an it was.
    Although she did not sit on it to check how durable it was, she hastily agreed to buy it. Tsk, tsk about haste.
    She brought it home and was happy with her purchase and unhappy with her haste.
    One day shortly after she decided upon going on a long trip and was struck with a question should she sell the couch or give it away?
    All those she consulted near and dear said re-sell the couch oh dear one, however, she decided to give it a dear neighbor.
    Umm Bilqis returned home and needed a new couch and did not go about buying one in haste. She learned her lesson.
    One day her dear husband casually inquired from a fellow co worker about the best places to buy a couch.
    His co worker said hold on dear man, I happen to have a couch that I was saving for my married son.
    However, his new wife wanted a new couch so please take it off my hands.
    When it arrived how pleasing it was to the eye Masha’Allah, Tabarak’Allah and it was better than anything Umm Bilqis would have bought.
    So in Thankfulness to Allah Umm Bilqis told a few people about her good fortune. Masha’Allah Tabark”Allah!
    Once again one or two near and dear family members said please do not tell your friends and neighbors that someone gave you that couch just be quiet about it..
    But No and Yet again No the bounty and Blessings of Allah should not be kept private. Alhamdillah!
    The end!

    • Ameera

      February 28, 2010 at 12:25 PM

      That was a good one! :D So you basically gave away your hastily bought couch only to get a really nice one that you actually liked. Sadaqah always comes back to you, I’ve learned that lesson too! Masha’Allah! Jazakillah for sharing.

      This reminds me… I once had to give away a large sum someplace and became “bankrupt” – that refers to my allowance money from parents. However, it was hardly a couple of days later that I got more money from varied sources and my kitty was pretty full again, Alhamdolillah!

      Lesson: Give it away and trust in Allah(swt) – it *will* come back Insha’Allah, giving you more opportunities to do good.

    • Abd- Allah

      February 28, 2010 at 12:34 PM

      You know sister Umm Bilqis, you can turn that story into a book for children and publish it.

      • Mirza Shahbaaz Baig

        February 28, 2010 at 1:55 PM

        Beautiful mash Allaah. good story. i loved it. jazak Allah khayr umm Bilqis for sharing it.

        i am so much amazed at the quality intellectual stuff happens on MM, mash Allaah. :)
        As of now i am asking Allaah for something desperately. ameen.


        • Abu Abdullah

          March 1, 2010 at 6:43 AM

          The best part was however the continuity of blessing in those good deeds. I remember back two and half years ago when i came here, i did not have car and people around mash Allaah were very eager to help out ( car ride etc), and i buycycled my way out to work, while guest paying at ex mayor’s house. Result: Its enormous impact on my personal life where I experienced people helping out, subahan Allaah, without asking for any reward, as against back home it happens, there could be some hidden/apparent reason for the favors but here mash Allaah drove me to continue that small kindness ( al-maun it says right?) to do whenever, wherever.

          PS trying to learn right meaning of niyyah (from JZ book) to have a mukhlis one only for the sake of Allaah.

      • Abdus Sabur

        March 5, 2010 at 5:31 AM

        agreed! inspiring to say the least. Alhamdulillah!

    • Amatullah

      February 28, 2010 at 1:24 PM

      mashaAllah that was beautiful :)

      When you give something up for the sake of Allah, Allah gives you something better in return.

      There are so many stories of people who experience this, starting with the Ansar, may Allah make us from those who continuously give for His Sake alone.

    • Zainab

      March 1, 2010 at 12:17 PM

      Subhanallah! That’s what ALWAYS happens with my mother. Everytime she wants/needs something, she’ll be patient and wait instead of buying things in haste, and lo and behold, either someone needs to get rid of their things or she gets it for a REALLY good price. I, on the other hand, am hasty in everything. And I’ve realized how being patient when you want something will get you what you want, or even better.

  5. Ameera

    February 28, 2010 at 12:26 PM

    Another idea: take your relatives out for a good time (to a Halal place of course, for Halal entertainment!) with sincere intention that you’re doing it for the sake of Allah(swt)’s Pleasure. It’s a Sadaqah, Insha’Allah! :D And you have fun too, together!

  6. Umm Bilqis

    February 28, 2010 at 12:41 PM

    You are welcome Sister Ameera and Jazak’Allah Khairan for posting this really good article.
    Jazak’Allah Khairan brother Abd Allah.

  7. Abd- Allah

    February 28, 2010 at 1:08 PM

    I’m looking for creative ideas and suggestions – what’s your personal favorite Sadaqah story?

    My favorite incidents of giving charity were the ones that happen without me planning them. Some days, we leave the house planning on donating a certain specific amount by putting it in the masjid donation box. But other days, we just leave the house without really planning to give charity that day or to donate anything, but on your way to the masjid for prayer, or on your way back from the masjid, you see some one who is in need of help, and it is those instances that I like, because Allah has specifically planned that you run into that situation and help a brother or sister out, even though you never planned on giving any charity. And I just love those opportunities that Allah opens up for me to donate, because I feel like Allah specifically wanted me to donate and help out that person, where as when I go to the masjid box and drop the money, there is always that feeling of wondering where this money will go and will Allah accept this deed of mine. I also like those incidents because you see the person whom you are helping out, so it is more personal and it puts a certain feeling of brotherhood in your heart that you don’t get from dropping the money into a wooden box which doesn’t have a face and doesn’t talk, so you don’t see the effect of your donation.

    I’ve rambled on too much so I will end with one such incident which I never planned, and that was one day after the isha prayer at my local masjid, and after the prayer I stopped by the masjid’s small store (sooq) that has books and other things, and I usually don’t drop by every day and I only drop by every now and then to check and see if they have any new books that I might be interested in, but that day after prayer, Allah wanted me to go into the store, and as I was browsing the books, I see a brother walk in and ask the store keeper if they have an English-Arabic Quran, and inquired about its price. The brother saw that it was more than he can afford and said he would consult his wife and come back some other day to buy it and started talking about how he recently accepted Islam and is trying to learn more and read the Quran. When I heard this brother who wants a Quran but can’t really afford it, I offered to pay for the Quran because I just loved how everything was set up for me to give charity and help a brother out without me even planning to do anything. I still remember that incident and that brother’s face, and I probably will for a long time, but I can’t remember the shape or color of the last donations box that I put money in.

    • Ameera

      March 1, 2010 at 6:31 AM

      Jazakillah for sharing! That certainly was a great opportunity to “cash in on”! Don’t you just love these chances to really see your money being used for a good purpose? The feeling that you get afterwards, things like “music” could never come oven close to the peace that brings!

      Once I met a small family in a hospital – well dressed but I judged they were going through difficult financial conditions. Prior to that, I’d only come across those kind of people who begged at traffic signals, etc. and often were seen to be pretty well to do – professional begging, that is! Therefore, I was hesitant about offering help to someone who seemingly didn’t need it and might even have turned it away! However, I went ahead and did it – Alhamdolillah, it was a truly deserving family! Lesson: Don’t hold back – give Sadaqah, the receiving person might be waiting for someone to offer something! Allah(swt) Knows how best to send His blessings to someone – maybe He’ll send them through you!

  8. ummahmed

    February 28, 2010 at 3:32 PM

    Mashaallah..Each one has a unique story to tell.May Allah accept all our good deeds..This one is little bit different..Once it snowed a lot and we cleaned our part of side walk and cleaned our neighbors too..Then after some time a severe winter storm came and it snowed a lot..Now my husband has to go to office ,then my neighbors stepped in and cleaned our drive way twice and 3-4 families cleaned another neighbors drive way ..Alhamdulillah it`s Allah`s mercy everywhere…

    • Ameera

      March 1, 2010 at 6:35 AM

      Jazakillah for sharing your experience! Neighbors doing that for each other, today, is amazing Masha’Allah! =D I hear more people grumbling about having to take up an extra chore for their neighbor. :) And you guys set a precedent. Lesson: when you do something good, it may inspire another person to do it too… continuous reward for you too, Insha’Allah!

  9. abu Rumay-s.a.

    February 28, 2010 at 3:37 PM

    this is a true story, witnessed. Brother “A” really needs a loan from brother “B”…Brother “B” only has that amount in his savings but decides to give it to Brother “A” as he saw him in need… a few months later, brother “B” who lent the money gets his car paid off by a generous family member (the amount he received was around 9-10 times greater than what he gave to brother “A”) SubhanAllah…

    Second, I think its good to give charity to poor people specially when you see them doing hard work, I think it encourages them to be patient and thankful. I would also advise to take your children with you whenever you give sadaqa so that they learn how to help the needy.

    • Ameera

      March 1, 2010 at 6:39 AM

      JazakAllah!! That is a *classic* example of charity coming back to you – the boomerang effect! And we can already see how it was multiplied 10 times! We can only imagine how many times the reward for giving that charity was multiplied and stored for the Akhirah, Insha’Allah!

      Alhamdolillah, I can attest to that too… I recently got the opportunity to give away ‘x’ amount of money and received 4x from another source a month later! So Alhamdolillah!! :D

      Lesson: Don’t fear a decrease in your wealth when contemplating charity. The One Who gave you that money in the first place will, by His Will, replenish it and increase it for you Insha’Allah.

  10. abu Rumay-s.a.

    March 2, 2010 at 2:16 PM

    NASA: Chile quake shortened earth’s days, bumped planet off axis

    SubhanAllah, science proves that days are getting shorter…May Allah ta`ala have mercy upon us…ameen…

    He computed how Earth’s rotation should have changed as a result of the Feb. 27 quake. Using a complex model, he and fellow scientists came up with a preliminary calculation that the quake should have shortened the length of an Earth day by about 1.26 microseconds (a microsecond is one millionth of a second).
    Perhaps more impressive is how much the quake shifted Earth’s axis. Gross calculates the quake should have moved Earth’s figure axis (the axis about which Earth’s mass is balanced) by 2.7 milliarcseconds (about 8 centimeters, or 3 inches). Earth’s figure axis is not the same as its north-south axis; they are offset by about 10 meters (about 33 feet).

  11. Sadaf Farooqi

    March 3, 2010 at 11:56 PM

    Excellent, inspiring sadaqah stories. I am so glad you all shared them, so that others can be inspired too.

    I wanted to share a sadaqah story that affected a family deeply. An elder relative let a small family live in his empty but furnished residence at a time when he really needed to sell it. He was in need of finances for an operation. Anyway, he found out that this family needed a place to stay – and even though they could have lived somewhere else on rent – he let them move into his apartment, which was in a family-oriented, safe neighborhood. He adamantly refused to take any rent from them, as they were from his extended family.

    Well, the next year, he died. He impacted that family and their lives forever, not knowing that they’d pray for him long after he was gone, because he came to their aid at a time when they were looking for a roof over their heads.

    I mean, think about it: you need to sell off a property of yours that is a “hot cake”. It is furnished, and you need the money for a personal medical procedure when you’re in weak, old age. Along comes someone looking for a roof, and you let them move in without asking for rent! And then, without knowing that your death was so imminent; you die soon after you do this good deed, leaving behind people praying for your forgiveness, who ask Allah to grant you a place in Paradise in return for ‘letting them in’ in a time of difficulty.

    May Allah make us among the fortunate ones who do good to others, in every possible way there is. Ameen.

    • Sammy

      March 12, 2010 at 9:01 AM

      Your words always make me shiver with their beauty. Suffice it to say, I hope to be like that old man. :)

    • Ameera

      March 13, 2010 at 9:42 PM

      Allahuakbar! Ameen to your dua! This sends shivers down my spine – it’s so similar to the stories of the Sahabah and other pious people who made major sacrifices for Allah(Swt)’s Pleasure and reaped magnificent rewards in such short time. Masha’Allah! The gentleman you mentioned, may Allah admit him to Jannahtul Firdaws! Ameen. We sometimes keep waiting for these eureka moments or opportunities to do good (eg: “I will build a masjid when I’m eighty years old!”) but the tests and chances to excel that come in the form of everyday interactions with people might be the best moments for us!

  12. Abdus Sabur

    March 5, 2010 at 5:52 AM

    This one is for us husbands. Husbands, cook dinner for your wife once in a while. Not only cook the dinner. Do the meal planning, the shopping, the cooking, the serving and the clean up. This is something we have the opportunity to do and will have an immediate effect on your home environment. Also, don’t feel that doing household chores around the house is beneath you. You live there too. Having said all of this, This is a timely article because just recently something clicked in me that I can be helpful around my own home and improve the quality of my life in the name of Allah. I am very thankful to Allah that I have internalized this and is becoming a part of my daily habit rather than one of laziness and sense of entitlement. This new aspect of myself emerged from reading (hundreds of times) that Rasulullah (SAW) would help out around his home when he was not busy with other things outside of the home. Sometimes we really need to reflect on a hadith and try to incorporate it into our being so that it becomes second nature. Allah’s love and mercy is so splendid and boundless it can baffle the brain but comfort the heart :) At this moment, I have that feeling where I could spend all day writing about all the blessings (that I am aware of) that Allah has bestowed upon me but become so overwhelmed inside that I can only express in words – Subhanallah! :)

    • Ameera

      March 13, 2010 at 9:30 PM

      SubhanAllah! JazakAllah khayr for sharing your thoughts and feelings like that! This was the point of this blog post… seek out new and creative ways to contribute in the Way of Allah(swt). Helping out in the home is part of the Sunnah but is not commonly practiced by husbands today, whatever the reason. You came to the realization that the quality of life only improves by adopting the Sunnah like that. May Allah put Barakah and joy in your home! Ameen!

  13. Umm Bilqis

    March 7, 2010 at 1:15 AM

    Brothers and sisters please help Huda t.v with their mission for Dawah with funds and duas. Please ask your family, neighbors and friends to help as well Insha’Allah.
    Ask them to make it a sadaqa jariya Insha’Allah.

    • Ameera

      March 13, 2010 at 9:31 PM

      Masha’Allah – an awesome opportunity for Sadaqah… to keep on air one of the best Islamic channels out there, Insha’Allah!

  14. sadia

    March 9, 2010 at 6:27 PM

    I saw something really sweet at the masjid the other day that really touched my heart. I was standing in the lobby of the masjid after an event with some friends. There are two vending machines in the lobby, one for soda drinks and one for chips, sweets etc. The 5 year old daughter of my friend came up to her and eagerly asked her mother if she had any change. I assumed she wanted to get something from the machine. Her mom gave her some change and the little girl took it very happily and ran off, as her mother called after her to share it with her little brother. I looked back at the two little children, to see what they will get from the vending machine….but they went off in the opposite corner and dropped all the money into the sadaqa box. May Allah SWT accept it from them and their parents and grant them all Jannah al Firdaus, Ameen.

    • Ameera

      March 13, 2010 at 9:33 PM

      Oh that is just so sweet! Masha’Allah! It makes my heart jump with joy when I see or hear about little kids doing such beautiful deeds. May Allah guide those children and their parents and always keep them on the Straight Path! Ameen!

  15. Ummezaynub

    March 23, 2010 at 11:17 AM

    Jazakallah brothers and sisters for sharing your stories- they are sadaqa too- My sadaqa inspiration is a neighbor who lives a block away- many times during the week she will walk to my house with pretty envelope labeled sadaqa. The envelope itself is a lesson- the best for Allah. She takes money out as soon as she hears bad news, is not feeling well, if her children are causing her problems. Never waits for another day- one that she may not have. She gives it to me to give away wherever I feel is needed- masjid, Islamic relief etc. I get thawab for doing her a little chore and she, subhanallah may accept all her duas and relieve her of problems, is earning the love of Allah because of her tawakul on Allah.

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