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Difference between Sadaqah and Zakat?

Video: Zakat, Sadaqah and purification - Shaykh Musleh Khan

  • Whilst Zakat means ‘blessing’, ‘increase’, ‘purity’ and ‘rectification’, Sadaqah means sincerity for Allah.
  • Zakat is an obligatory charity whereas Sadaqah is optional and voluntary charity with no time limits or threshold of wealth considered
  • Both Zakat and Sadaqah are acts of worship but one is obligatory and one is voluntary
  • There are conditions on the payment of Zakat but in Sadaqah there are no conditions
  • Zakat can only be distributed to the recipients stated in the Qur’an but Sadaqah can be distributed to anyone you see fit.
  • If Zakat is not paid you will be punished in the hereafter as it is a fundamental pillar of Islam. Sadaqah is not an obligation and not punishable
Sadaqah and Zakat are mentioned in the Qur'an and Sunnah, sometimes interchangeably, and often refer to the same thing, i.e. the obligatory payment.

For example:
  • 1. The word Zakat is mentioned 32 times in the Qur'an.
    2. Salat and Zakat are interlinked in 28 places in the Qur'an.
    3. Zakat is not linked with Salat in 2 places in the Qur'an. (Surah Al-'Araf 7:156 & Surah Ar-Rum 30:39)
    4. Zakat wherever mentioned in the Qur'an, generally refers to the annual obligatory fixed payment from one's wealth. However, in a couple of places, Zakat has the meaning of spiritual purity.
On the other hand:
  • 1. The word Sadaqah is mentioned 4 times in the Qur'an.
    2. Sadaqah covers the meaning of obligatory and voluntary charity.
    3. Sadaqah is referred to as feeding the poor as an expiation for shaving the head while in Ihram. (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:196)
    4. Sadaqah means the obligatory charity (i.e. Zakat) in 2 places. (Surah Al-Taubah 9:60 and 9:103).

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