The key difference between Zakat and Sadaqah is that Zakat is obligatory, whereas Sadaqah is voluntary.
Both Zakat and Sadaqah are acts of charity that earn the pleasure of Allah. These two acts benefit society and people in need. Zakat helps poor and helpless Muslims, while Sadaqah can help anyone. It is believed that Allah loves Zakat and Sadaqah, and these acts bring believers closer to Allah.
What is Zakat?
Zakat is an obligatory form of almsgiving encouraged upon every Muslim for the sake of Allah. It has its own expectations and requirements. One is that a person must be wealthy enough to meet the Nisab threshold, whose value is calculated from 87.48 grams of gold or 612.36 grams of silver. Zakat is one of the five pillars of Islam. The five pillars are Shahada (Declaration of Faith), Salat (Prayer), Zakat (Almsgiving), Sawm (Fasting), and Hajj (Pilgrimage). Zakat is also a spiritual duty of a Muslim. According to the Qu’ran, Zakat is a means to attain Allah’s mercy.
There are two types of Zakat: Zakat al Mal and Zakat al Fitr. Out of these, Zakat al Mal is the most common type. It includes wealth like gold, silver, property, and money in cash. Zakat al Fitr is made before Eid.
The minimum amount of Zakat that a person should give is 2.5% of wealth or savings, and there is no upper limit. According to the Qu’ran, only selected people are benefited from Zakat. They are the people suffering from hunger, poverty, unmanageable debt, responsible for distributing Zakat, fighting in the name of Allah, those in captivity and slavery, stranded travelers, friends of Muslims, and new Muslims. This is something more than charity since it is a unique method of social welfare that helps the Muslim community worldwide.
Zakat is given annually. If a person has exceeded the Nisab threshold for the previous Islamic calendar year and if he wants to give, he can give Zakat. Many Muslims give it during Ramadan or in the last ten nights of Ramadan. It is said that the rewards are greater during this period.
The main purpose of Zakat is faith and devotion, but it also strengthens the Muslim community by distributing wealth to the poor in the society and providing them resources that they need to live. In general, it eases the burden of fellow Muslims and uplifts the whole community. It is also considered that Zakat protects people from hellfire and promotes belongingness in society.
What is Sadaqah?
Sadaqah is an act of voluntary charity. That means a person should donate without expecting to receive a reward. The word “Sadaqah” means righteousness. It is believed that Sadaqah should be given from a halal source, and if possible, the act should be done in secret. There is no time frame nor a minimum amount for Sadaqah. It is believed that Sadaqah helps in healing diseases, eliminates bad luck, and increases wealth. When people are ill, Sadaqah can be performed by making a dua for the ill person or sacrificing animals and donating the meat to the poor. Some acts that are included in Sadaqah are offering dua, giving advice, passing knowledge, giving aid and time, giving a smile, being patient and respectful, visiting the sick, and being happy for others. There are two types of Sadaqah: Sadaqah and Sadaqah Jariyah.
Sadaqah is when a person does something charitable or beneficial to other people, animals, or the earth. This includes acts like helping a stranger or neighbor and even smiling with a stranger on the road. Most of them are free acts done without expecting anything in return.
Sadaqah Jariya is a charity that gives continuing benefits. The acts that include in this should not be monetary or physical. Some examples are planting a tree and donating a building to a school or an orphanage. For doing such acts, Allah provides rewards even after the death of that person. That means as long as the act benefits someone, a person can enjoy an equal amount of rewards.
What is the Difference Between Zakat and Sadaqah?
The key difference between Zakat and Sadaqah is that Zakat is obligatory while Sadaqah is voluntary. Zakat typically involves donating money, gold, silver, or property, while donations in Sadaqah do not have to be monetary and materialistic.
The below infographic presents the differences between Zakat and Sadaqah in tabular form for side-by-side comparison.
Summary – Zakat vs Sadaqah
Zakat is an obligatory deed encouraged upon every Muslim for the sake of Allah. The types of donations in Zakat include money, gold, silver, or property. Sadaqah, on the other hand, is an act of voluntary charity, and it does not have conditions. Anyone can perform Sadaqah towards any living being on earth at any time. So, this is the summary of the difference between Zakat and Sadaqah