Difference Between Zakat And Sadaqah

Zakat and Sadaqah are two Islamic charity forms. While active Muslims know the difference between these two terms, the majority, unfortunately, are in confusion. They tend to use both words interchangeably. One of several reasons for such confusion is that both zakat and Sadaqah words belong to the Arabic language and you know most of them don’t know Arabic. Let’s try to resolve it once for all.


The Arabic word Zakat refers to growth, blessing, and purification. Zakat is one of the five pillars of the Islamic religion. Islam considers Zakat as tax which is obligatory to pay. All Muslims who have grown to their adulthood and possess a sound mind is liable to pay Zakat. The very purpose of giving zakat is nothing more than to help poor people, to free people from debt, release captives, and even migrants.

Muslims need to pay zakat on a number of things including crops, herds, gold, silver, and even merchandise. The rate of zakat payable for gold and silver is 2.5%. It should be noted here that people who are rich and who have been given the ability by Allah to make their livelihood aren’t eligible for zakat. You become liable to pay your zakat once the wealth that you have accumulated meets the minimum threshold{nisaab}. One more thing you need to remember is that even non-Muslims aren’t eligible for Zakat.


Sadaqah is another Arabic word that denotes to show sincere behavior and to always speak the truth. There are other meanings of Sadaqah including efficiency, honesty. While Sadaqah isn’t something mandatory, it is given to seek the pleasure of Allah.


The main difference between the two is that zakat is an obligation {required by Islam} while Sadaqah is given voluntarily. In short, giving Sadaqah is not obligatory. You may or may not pay it. However, when you decide to pay Sadaqah, your intentions should be seeking the happiness of Allah. Zakat has to be distributed to needy people. There is no such condition for Sadaqah.

Difference Between Zakat And Sadaqah

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