What is the most virtuous sadaqah?

The Details of the Question

- When the Prophet (pbuh) was asked what the most virtuous sadaqah was, he said the sadaqah given in Ramadan. What is the source of it?
- What are those sadaqahs

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

When the Prophet (pbuh) was asked, “What is the most virtuous sadaqah?”, he said, “The sadaqah given in Ramadan.” (Tirmidhi, Zakah, 28, no: 663)

Tirmidhi, states that this narration is gharib. (Tirmidhi, ibid)

Gharib means a hadith that is single in terms of the chain of narrators or that has not been reported by other narrators.

If zakah and nafilah sadaqahs are given in the month of Ramadan, they are more virtuous compared to other months. (Tirmidhi, ibid)

The word “sadaqah” mentioned here also means zakah that is fard. Therefore, it is regarded better to give zakah in Ramadan.

Essentially, it is necessary to give zakah when it becomes fard and sadaqah when it becomes necessary. Therefore, it is not appropriate to delay zakah, which is fard, and sadaqah when it becomes necessary in order to give it in Ramadan.

In that case, it is possible to understand the hadith “The most virtuous sadaqah is the one given in Ramadan” as sadaqah al-fitr given in Ramadan and as giving zakah in Ramadan before it becomes fard and as encouraging sadaqah that is not fard and wajib being given more in Ramadan.

As a matter of fact, “The Prophet was the most generous person among people in Ramadan; the times when he was the most generous were in Ramadan." (Muslim, Fadail, 12, no: 2308)

Besides, along with financial aids such as zakah, fitrah and nafilah sadaqahs, there are so many spiritual sadaqahs.

As a matter of fact, it is understood that the deeds to be done with the feelings of self-sacrifice and help are not limited to financial means and that thawabs can be obtained through all kinds of deeds based on the foundation of sincerity and honesty since the concept sadaqah is used in a wide scope to include all kinds of good words and deeds that enable man to attain the consent of Allah.

As a matter of fact, many good deeds such as

- a person’s earning sustenance for his family,
- entertaining one’s guests,
- having an intercourse with one’s spouse,
- planting a tree whose fruits will be eaten by others,
- struggling against bad deeds and advising good deeds,
- greeting one’s brother in religion,
- saying nice words,
- behaving in a friendly manner,
- helping disabled people,
- walking in order to join congregational prayer, and
- removing something that harms people from the way

are described as sadaqah in hadiths. (see Musnad, 5/154, 167, 178; Bukhari, Mazalim, 24, Jihad, 72, 128, Sulh, 11, Adab, 34; Tirmidhi, Birr, 36; Abu Dawud, Tatawwu, 12.9 for examples)

Acting upon the word "ma" meaning the things in the verse "and spend out of what We have provided for them” (al-Baqara, 2/3), Badiuzzaman Said Nursi states that sadaqah is not done only through wealth but also with knowledge, words and advice:

“That is, the form almsgiving should take, with what goods. It may be given as learning and knowledge. It may be given as words, or as acts, or as advice. The word مَا (what) in مِمَّا (out of what) indicates these various sorts through its generality. Furthermore, it indicates this with the sentence itself, because it is absolute and expresses generality." (Sözler, 25. Söz)

The sadaqah of knowledge is enlightening the people around us with our knowledge in a way that is in accordance with wisdom. In trade, capital is not enough; it is necessary to know how to use that capital.  

The capital of knowledge is not enough on its own; it is necessary to use it well.

Word is the ability of man to influence people with his rhetoric; its sadaqah is to guide people with a good and effective rhetoric. Plotters deviate people with their ability; similarly, if we have such an ability, we should invite people to the truth.

Deed is practicing what one believes. Its sadaqah is to become a model and an exemplary Muslim with one’s life. That is, one should show with his state and deeds what he preaches.

Advice is a sadaqah on its own. It is the best sadaqah to invite people to good deeds and to dissuade them from bad deeds.

Advice is and should be given to everybody. However, it is necessary to consider the place, time and method of it very well.

Thus, everything has a sadaqah; it should be essential to fulfil it on all occasions and all the time. We should try to do more in Ramadan. Thus, we will benefit from the blessing of Ramadan more.

We can think of the hadith “The most virtuous sadaqah is the one given in Ramadan” with that broad meaning and understand it in the form of trying to increase the duty of sadaqah more in Ramadan.

Questions on Islam

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