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Sadaqah or Sadaka (Arabic: صدقة, IPA: [sˤɑdæqɐ],[n A] "charity", "benevolence", plural ṣadaqāt صدقات) in the modern context has come to signify "voluntary charity". According to Qur'an, the word means voluntary offering, whose amount is at the will of the "benefactor".
According to Arabic lexicography, the words derived from root s-d-q cover "numerous meanings associated with ideas of righteousness and truth." In the Quran, related words are used to indicate "moral excellence", such as al-siddiq (truthful), used to describe the prophet Joseph, or sadiq (trusted friend). Modern researches, on the other hand, try to etymologically link the word sadaqa to the Hebrew sedāḳā (almsgiving). Some experts hence conclude that sadaqa is a loanword.
In the Islamic texts
In the Quran
According to Quran, Sadaqa leads into the purification of the benefactor. Quran says that sadaqa should not be necessarily be in a material form and can be a "voluntary effort", or a kind word. This is in agreement with a narration attributed to prophet of Islam which says "every good deed is a form of sadaq." Kind words and "compassion" are better than sadaqa accompanied by "insult", from the viewpoint of Quran, and it's better for the donations to be offered "discreetly" to those in need rather than doing it in public in order to be acknowledged by them. The Quran also criticizes donating aimed at appearing generous or compromising the value of sadaqa by "ostentatious public behavior" done just to "render a normally charitable act purely self-serving." Quran suggests that sadaqa is not meant only to support the poor, but also can be donated to others who "were not visibly in need" and also who either needed assistance to enhance their life or required to be directed towards new jobs and "economic opportunities".
In the narrations
According to some hadiths, "a kind word and smile" can be considered as sadaqa and the best form of it is "passing on knowledge." Also, the prophet of Islam said in a hadith that sadaqa removes seventy gates of evil.
Difference with Zakat
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- Heck, Paul L. "Taxation". Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān. Retrieved 29 November 2016.
- Nanji, Azim. "Almsgiving". Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān. Retrieved 29 November 2016.
- Palmer, Michael D.; Burgess, Stanley M. The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Religion and Social Justice. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 9781405195478. Retrieved 2 December 2016.
- Neusner, Jacob; Chilton, Bruce. Altruism in World Religions. Georgetown University Press. ISBN 1589012356. Retrieved 7 December 2016.
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- Oxford Islamic Studies On-line