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Islam is a religion that preaches peace, harmony, and brotherhood. The teachings of Islam do not just require Muslims to fulfil their duties towards Allah but also require Muslims to assist fellow Muslims. Islam is a religion that preaches a way of life that benefits all mankind.
Benefiting others means giving charity to those in need. Charity is among the basic pillars of Islam. Giving charity is fundamental to the Islamic faith. This is due to the emphasis on unity and community rather than the individual.
Similarly, while Zakat is the obligatory form of charity, there are other types of charity. One such is the continuous charity or Sadaqah Jaariyah.
Defining Sadaqah Jaariyah
The concept of Sadaqah Jaariyah is genuinely unique. While many other religions encourage charity and kind behavior, none places as much importance on it as Islam. Sadaqah Jaariyah, or continuous charity, highlights just how important charity is in Islam.
Sadaqah Jaariyah is a charitable act or donation that provides constant rewards. It increases the good deeds of the person even after they have passed away, as long as that act continues to benefit even a single living thing.
A tradition of Allah's Messenger (SAWW), as narrated by Hazrat Abdullah bin Abu Qatadah (RA), relates:
The Messenger of Allah (SAWW) said "The best things that a man can leave behind are three: A righteous son who will pray for him, an ongoing charity whose rewards will reach him, and knowledge which is acted upon after his death." [Sunan Ibn Majah, Vol.1, Book 1, Hadith 241]
The traditional quotes above clearly signify the rewards of Sadaqah Jaariyah. It is a charity whose rewards do not end with the death of a person. Since acts of Sadaqah Jaariyah benefit others, even in the future, the rewards of the act continue to be earned. It also shows how and fair Allah is. He is Merciful to His servants. This is why it is necessary to benefit from continuous charity. It is a gift from Allah, after all.
Top Acts of Sadaqah Jaariyahin Islam
Sadaqah Jaariyah has a very wide definition. Since it includes any act or behavior that benefits others, another important thing about Sadaqah Jaariyah is that the rewards of it are not earned by benefiting Muslims only.
If an act benefits anyone or anything other than ourselves, it is considered Sadaqah. Zakat is a charity that only fellow Muslims can receive. This is not thecase for Sadaqah Jaariyah.
Here are five top Acts of Sadaqah Jaariyah Muslims can reap the rewards of:
1) Imparting Islamic Knowledge
Teaching someone, even a single individual, can be a continuous charity. Islamic knowledge does not only mean imparting formal Islamic education. It can be a single Dua or a Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (SAWW).
Providing the other person with such knowledge may not only lead to that individual gaining a reward on your behalf, but if that individual passes on the same knowledge to others, it will also benefit you.
So every time the knowledge is passed on, the person who initially did the act will be rewarded.
It is encouraged to pass on knowledge, especially related to Islam, to others. This will help others improve their lives and also the lives of others while creating a chain of rewards.
A simple act like forwarding a verse of the Holy Quran or a Hadith of the Holy Prophet (SAWW) is Sadaqah Jaariyah. It is simple and anyone can do it as long as the information shared is verified.
2) Planting A Tree
In this regard, Islam was truly ahead of its time. The fear of climate change has led to environmental awareness. People worldwide are planting more trees to make up for the environmental damage done by human activity.
In Islam, the planting of a single tree is an act of continuous charity. Trees provide several benefits. A tree that bears fruits becomes a source for humans and animals.
Even if a tree does not bear fruit, it does provide shade. A person or an animal can seek refuge in the shade of a tree. Each time someone benefits from the tree, the person who planted it receives the rewards.
3) Helping With The Construction Of A Mosque
A mosque is a sacred place for worship and gathering of the Islamic community. In Islam, the mosque plays a central part in the daily routine of Muslims.
While there are plenty of mosques in most countries with a majority Muslim population, this is not the case everywhere. Many Islamic communities around the world do not have a mosque, nor the means to construct one.
You can donate to the repair or construction of mosques. Even if you do not have the finances to donate monetarily, you can help with the construction or repair effort. You can help paint the walls or build the structure.
Helping with the repair or construction of the mosque will reap the rewards for you every time a Muslim prays inside the mosque.
You can check to connect with Muslims around the world through services like Islamic Finder, a popular prayer times app, and figure out where you can help out. It will connect you to Muslims around the world and they may need your help in having their mosque.
4) Helping Raise An Orphan
Orphans are especially mentioned as needing assistance and care in Islam. Orphans are mentioned in the Holy Quran twenty-three times. Allah's Messenger, Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAWW), was an orphan. He lost both his parents by the age of six.
Allah commands in the Holy Quran:
"Do not come near the orphan's wealth unless intending to enhance it until they attain maturity. Honor your pledges, for you will surely be accountable for them. [17:34]"
Helping to raise an orphan may mean assisting with their education or protecting their inheritance until they are old enough.
The best thing about this Sadaqah Jaariyah is that it does not include just charity in the form of money.
Time and effort can also be devoted and become acts of charity. For example, giving an orphan child free education or teaching them a skill like fishing are all types of continuous charity.
5) Helping To Install A Water Well
Water is a basic necessity. Giving a thirsty person water is the ultimate act of kindness.
Helping to install a well so people can access safe drinking water reaps the rewards for future generations. Again, help does not only mean monetary help. You can help with the digging or other activities that require manual work if you do not have money to donate.
The Continuous Rewards Of A Good Deed
A single act of SadaqahJaariyah can reap rewards for many years. Allah is full of Mercy and wants His servants to get as many rewards as possible. This is why Sadaqah Jaariyah is should be viewed as an invaluable gift.
Aside from the five acts of charity mentioned above, there are many more that provide rewards for a long time. A small gesture like a smile is an act of continuous charity.
Sadaqah Jaariyah is the best investment because it provides perpetual rewards. This is why Muslims need to live while trying to benefit others consciously.
Written by: Dur-e-Sabih