Donation (Sadaqah and Zakat) in Islam

Donation or sadaqah is the money or anything which people give for a good cause in the way of Allah or to the Fakirs to please Allah.

The foundation of donation or sadaqah is truthfulness so it is the soul of this worship. Any kind of donation cannot be called a sadaqah if there is no pure intention of spending it in the way of Allah. If one will have pure intention only then Allah will be pleased with him.

To gain Allah’s pleasure is the greatest reward and blessing for a Muslim and there is no blessing greater than consent of Allah. He says in the Holy Quran:

The importance of giving donation (sadaqah) according to the Holy Quran:

Saying of Allah about donation givers in Surah Al-Baqarah

  • Meaning: The example of those who give donation or sadaqah in the way of Allah is like (that) grain out of which seven ears shoot forth. Then each ear bears a hundred grains (i.e., they are rewarded seven hundred times). And Allah multiplies (still more) for whom He likes. And Allah is Infinite, All-Knowing. (2:261)

Allah says about giving donation in Surah Al-Hadeed

  • Meaning: Surely, both the men and women who give donation and those who lend a goodly loan to Allah, the reward for them will be increased manifold, and there will be most honourable reward for them. (57:18)


  • Meaning: Those who have believed and have emigrated and have consistently toiled hard in the cause of Allah with their material and human resources enjoy a very high rank in the presence of Allah, and it is they who have achieved the ultimate goal. (9:20)

Surah Al-Baqarah

  • Meaning: O believers! Give donation (in the way of Allah) of your lawful and clean earnings and of that which We bring forth for you from the earth. And do not intend to spend (in the cause of Allah) from that which is unclean, for (if someone gives to you,) you yourselves would never accept it without closing your eyes to it. And you must know that Allah is certainly All-Sufficient, Worthy of All Praise. (2:262)
  • Meaning: And those who give donation from their wealth to seek Allah’s pleasure and stabilize themselves (in faith and obedience) are like a garden located on a higher ground level. When a heavy rain falls on it, it doubles its yield. And if it does not receive a heavy rain, then even dew (or drizzle) is sufficient. And Allah monitors your actions minutely. (2:265)

Giving donation (sadaqah) according to Hadiths:

Hadiths also mention the importance of giving donation:

  • Narrated Abu Hurairah: The Holy Prophet said, “If one gives donation what equals one date-fruit from the honestly earned money and Allah accepts only the honestly earned money, Allah takes it in His right (Hand) and then enlarges its reward for that person (who has given it), as anyone of you brings up his baby horse, so much so that it becomes as big as a mountain.” (Sahih Bukhari 1410)
  • Narrated Abu Saeed al-Khudri: The Holy Prophet said, “Giving a dirham as donation (sadaqah) during life is better than giving one hundred dirhams as donation at the moment of death. (Abu Dawood 2866)
  • Asma’, daughter of Abu Bakr reported, “The Holy Prophet‌ said to me, ‘Give donation, and do not calculate, otherwise Allah would also calculate while giving you’.” (Sahih Muslim 2375)

Saints’ sayings about giving donation or sadaqah

 Ghawth al-Azam

  • The true believer only takes necessary provision with him and an infidel enjoys (for the journey of life). The true believer takes provision with him like a traveller and is contented on even a small amount. He continually sends large amounts for the hereafter. He keeps only that amount for himself that is necessary for a traveller during journey which he can carry easily and saves all his wealth for the life hereafter.
  • The man who wants to be successful should give donation from his wealth and sacrifice his life for Allah and exterminate the (love of) the creation and world like a hair is removed from milk and flour.
  • Ask everything from Allah who is the Creator of both the worlds. Give donation (sadaqah) in His love. The Saints devoted their lives in the desire of Allah. Since they knew the worth of what they desired hence, their donation became easier for them. The man who understands what his desire is, giving donation becomes easier on him.

Shaikh Sa’adi

  • I spent my whole life in searching for two people, one who gave donation in the name of Allah and became poor and the other who became cruel and escaped the punishment of Allah.

Beneficences of giving donation (sadaqah):

Every order given by Allah has definitely some beneficence in it. Likewise, giving donation (sadaqah) has also numerous benefits.

  • We gain the consent of Allah by giving donation (sadaqah)
  • By giving donation we get the advantages of both the worlds. (Now it is upon us whether we desire the benefits of this transitory world or the perpetual benefits of hereafter).
  • Giving donation saves us from the fire of the grave.
  • Donation (sadaqah) cools down the wrath of Allah.
  • Difficulties cease or become easy by giving donation (sadaqah)
  • Sadaqah or donation becomes the source of forgiveness of sins.
  • Allah saves us from the horrible death because of giving donation (sadaqah)
  • Donations save us from sinning.
  • A donation (sadaqah) is the treatment, the cure as well as the health.

Point to ponder

Now the point to ponder is that where and to whom we should give donation (sadaqah)? Which people deserve it? Are we giving donation (sadaqah) to the deserving people?

The answer is in the following verse of the Holy Quran:

Meaning: Indeed, donation (Zakat and sadaqah) is for the Fakirs and the indigent, and those who are deployed to collect charities and those in whose hearts the inculcation of love for Islam is aimed at. And, (moreover donation is for) freeing of human lives (from the yoke of slavery) and removing the burden of those who are to pay debt and (those who toil hard) in the cause of Allah and the wayfarers (is true). This (all) has been prescribed by Allah, and Allah is All-Knowing, Most Wise. (9:60)

From the above verse, it becomes clear that whom we should give donation (sadaqah) and who truly deserve it. According to this verse the foremost people who truly deserve the donation (sadaqah) are the Fakirs. But we should keep in mind that we are discussing about the Fakirs not the beggars because the Arabic words used in the above verse are لِلۡفُقَرَا which mean “for the Fakirs” not the beggars.

Beggars are not the Fakirs

Mostly we name the people who beg on the streets, roads and markets as fakirs. But this is totally wrong. These people beg from door to door because their lust dominates them. In mercy, other people give donation (sadaqah) to them which they should give to the real Fakirs. Islam has strictly forbidden and condemned begging because it is a curse. Islam orders us to earn a living by working hard.

Sultan Bahoo says about giving donation (sadaqah) to the beggars

  • Those people cannot be called Fakirs who beg at every door like the greedy dogs. They are irreligious, indulged in wrong innovations, evil eyed, renouncers of prayer, second to Satan and the wine drinkers which is the mother of all evils. They have no gnosis of Allah, whoever becomes their friend, in fact becomes friend of the Satan. Their friendship means enmity with Allah and the Holy Prophet. (Kaleed-ul-Tauheed Kalan)

Hence, it is clear from this saying that these beggars have no faith. Some of them are also involved in very serious crimes. How could they be the Fakirs? Thus giving them the donation is just like wasting the money.

Allah says about giving donation (sadaqah) to the Fakirs

Allah has ordered to give donation to the Fakirs. Fakirs are the Saints who are at the level of annihilation in Allah. Allah says in the Holy Quran:

Meaning: (Giving donation or sadaqah is) the right of those Fakirs who have been restricted (from earning their livelihood) in the cause of Allah. They cannot even move about in the land (due to their whole time involvement in matters of religion). Because of their (ascetic) aversion to greed, the unwise (knowing little about their state of heart and soul) consider them wealthy. You will recognize them from their appearance. They do not ask people (for help) at all lest they should humble themselves (before them). And whatever wealth you give in donation, Allah indeed knows it well. (2:273)

Hadiths about giving donation to the Fakirs

  • The Holy Prophet said that Allah will apologise to the Fakirs just like humans do. He will say, “By My Honour and Glory! I did not keep the worldly wealth away from you because you were dishonoured near Me but I kept it away because today there is a great honour for you. O My beloved! Go to the people of hell and whoever had given you the donation in any form for My sake is yours. The Fakir will go to the hell where everyone will be sweating from head to toe and he will recognise these specific people and will take them to the heaven. (Riyaz-ul-Riyaheen)
  • Abu Hurrairah narrated from the Holy Prophet, “Fakirs will go to the heaven five hundred years before the rich.”
  • The Holy Prophet said, “There is a key for everything and the key of paradise is the love of Fakirs and Miskeens. On the Doomsday, there will be no sin upon them and they will be seated with Allah.”
  • Abu Bakr said, “Give donation (sadaqah) to the Fakirs with humility and respect because giving donation or sadaqah with a good heart is the sign of acceptance.”

Sayings of Saints about giving donation (sadaqah) to the Fakirs

Ghawth al-Azam says about giving donation to the Fakirs

  • Give your donation to the pious ones. When you will give your donation to the pious and help them in their worldly matters then you will be included in the reward of their pious deeds. As you took away their worldly burdens and helped them in attaining their objective. However, nothing will be lessened from their reward. But when you will give your donation to the hypocrites and sinners, you will help them in their worldly matters. Hence you will get involved in their affairs and included in their punishment as you didn’t obey Allah and helped them to do the sin. Although, nothing will be lessened from their punishment.

Saying of Sultan Bahoo about the Fakirs

  • Fakir is the sultan, why do you misunderstand him as indigent! The sovereignty of Fakir is upon the immortal realm. (Nur-ul-Huda)
  • The sight of Fakirs is treasure and there is treasure below their steps too. In spite of that they are independent of all needs. (Nur-ul-Huda)
  • The perfect Fakir is one who knows and regards nothing but Allah and His way. Only Allah! Everything other than Allah is lust. (Mohkim-ul-Fuqara)

Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman

The spiritual heir of Sultan Bahoo and the 31st perfect spiritual guide of Sarwari Qadri order Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen says about the perfect Fakir:

  • Fakir is the one who possesses Faqr.
  • The unveiled essence of Quran can be observed in the perfect Fakir.

The grandeur of Fakirs cannot be fully explained. The eminent personalities who know the reality of Fakirs have written a lot about them. So it is difficult to enclose that reality into this small article.

Allah has sent the man as His representative in this world and has told him all the ways of gaining goodness in this world. If man does not follow those ways then he remains in loss. Where Allah has mentioned the rewards for man in the Holy Quran, He has also mentioned the punishments of not obeying Him.

The punishments of not giving donation or sadaqah in the Holy Quran

Allah says in Surah Al-Baqarah

  • Meaning: O believers! Give donation (for the cause of Allah) out of whatever We have provided for you, before the Day comes when there will be no trading; and (for disbelievers) neither any friendship (will be useful) nor (any) intercession; and it is the disbelievers who are the transgressors. (2:254)
    • Meaning: O believers! Do not ruin your donation (or sadaqah) by taunts of doing favour and hurting feelings like the one who gives donation to show off his wealth to the people and believes in neither Allah nor the Last Day. His case is like a smooth rock covered with a thin coat of soil. Then heavy rain falls on it, washes it clean and leaves it (the same) bare and hard (rock). So these (pretentious people) shall get nothing out of their earning. And Allah does not guide the disbelievers. (02:264)

Allah says in Surah Al-A’Araf

  • And on that Day, the weighing (of deeds) is a truth. So those whose scales (of righteous deeds) are heavy will be successful. But those whose scales (of righteous deeds) are light, it is they who have harmed their souls because they had been unjust to Our revelations. (7:8,9)

Allah says in Surah Al-Tawbah

  • The hypocrites, men and women, are one from another (alike). They command evil and forbid good and are close-fisted (in giving donation for the cause of Allah). They have forgotten Allah, so Allah has forgotten them. It is indeed the hypocrites who are disobedient. (20:67)

Allah says in Surah Al-Hadeed

  • We have, indeed, warned you of the impending torment. On that Day, everyone will see whatever (acts) he has sent ahead and (every) disbeliever will say: ‘Would that I were dust (and escaped this punishment)! (78:40)

If man ponders then he will realize that he disobeys Allah while following desires of his innerself and after that he troubles himself. Alas! Even then he complaints to Allah and pretends to be unaware.

Indeed Allah knows everything and also that who is lying and why is he lying and hiding his money from giving donation (sadaqah).

Man should understand that the Divine Entity who has everything under His command needs nothing. He only wants to benefit His creation. But that person suffers loss who spends all his life in miserliness. After death his wealth will not be his possession anymore and it will be distributed among others. It is too late when he realizes that if he had donated his wealth in the way of Allah it would have benefitted him much more. But now “It is useless to cry over spilt milk.”

That is why we should obey Allah before the time ends and should give our donations whole heartedly in the way of Allah to the deserving people. Verily! Allah’s wrath is silent.


“Inama sadaqat li,l Fuqara” is an Urdu article of the magazine “Mahnama Sultan-ul-Faqr Lahore” for the month of April. Originally penned by Maryam Gulzar Sarwari Qadri is presently translated in English by Zainab Moghees exclusively for the website. Do not forget to visit the original article to which you only have to click the link

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Fakirs Truly Deeserve Donations (Sadaqah), zakat