Zakat is only one part of the wider concept of sadaqah. It is especially concerned with material things, which people may earn and own. However there are many other forms of sadaqah. ‘Abdullah ibn al-Khatami reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said (meaning):

Every act of kindness is sadaqah.”
(Taken from Al-Adab Al-Mufrad No. 231, Grade: Sahih [Al-Albani])

Abu Musa reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said (meaning):

“Every Muslim must give sadaqah.” They said, “And if he does not find anything (to give)?” He replied, “Then he should work his hands, benefit himself and then give sadaqah.” They asked, “And if he is unable to or does not do it?” He replied, “Then he should help someone with a great need.” They said, “And if he does not do it?” He replied, “Then he should command the good or command the correct.” They said, “And if he does not do that?” They said, “He should refrain from evil. That is sadaqah for him.” (Taken from Al-Adab Al-Mufrad No. 225, Grade: Sahih [Al-Albani])

One hadeeth narrated by Abu Huraira (meaning):

The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “While a dog was going round a well and was about to die of thirst, an Israeli prostitute saw it and took off her shoe and watered it. So Allah forgave her because of that good deed.” (Sahih al-Bukhari No. 3467)

Anyone who is concerned with zakat will of course be aware that zakat is but one although specific form of sadaqah. Its purpose has been described by Qur’an as follows (meaning):

“Take, [O, Muhammad], from their wealth a charity by which you purify them and cause them increase, and invoke [ Allah ‘s blessings] upon them. Indeed, your invocations are reassurance for them. And Allah is Hearing and Knowing.” [Al-Qur’an, Surah At-Tawbah (9): 103]

This refers to the person that pays zakat, which he is the one who benefits from it by gaining purification and growth. As to recipients of zakat, the Qur’an explains that zakat is a means to provide them relief and assistance, of which they are in need:

(Meaning): “They ask you, [O Muhammad], what they should spend. Say, “Whatever you spend of good is [to be] for parents and relatives and orphans and the needy and the traveler. And whatever you do of good – indeed, Allah is Knowing of it.” [Al-Qur’an, Surah Al-Baqarah (2): 215]

Finally, as to the extent of spending, Qur’an explains that there is no real limit:

(Meaning): “They ask you about wine and gambling. Say, “In them is great sin and [yet, some] benefit for people. But their sin is greater than their benefit.” And they ask you what they should spend. Say, “The excess [beyond needs].” Thus Allah makes clear to you the verses [of revelation] that you might give thought.” [Al-Qur’an, Surah Al-Baqarah (2): 219]

Since there are always people in need, and since zakat is an annual duty, paying of zakat, receiving it and distributing it is an unending, every-recurring enterprise. Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, as saying (meaning):

“Charity does not in any way decrease the wealth and the servant who forgives, Allah adds to his respect, and the one who shows humility Allah elevates him in the estimation (of the people).” (Sahih Muslim No. 2588)

This is normally understood to be an encouragement for people to pay their zakat and not to worry that they might have to face a reduction or loss in wealth. However taken in the context just mentioned, this word of the Prophet (s) also indirectly implies that in this world the issue of zakat will never be fully accomplished and therefore requires continuous attention. For if sadaqah does not reduce wealth, it also means that after a year has passed, zakat becomes incumbent again on it, and so the process of purification and growth continues. Thus zakat remains a continuous source of support for the needy and blessings for the donors.

Zakat institutions such as Zakat Centre (Pusat Zakat) collecting zakat funds and distributing them should place special emphasis on this when introducing their work and their projects to the general public and to the donors of zakat. They should provide special and detailed information in particular about the phenomenon of growth and development, which occurs after purification in sound projects and takes shape in many forms of blessings.

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