[Ramadan Series] 5 Ways to Give ‘Physical’ Sadaqah

The ver5 Ways to Give ‘Physical’ Sadaqahb ‘give’ doesn’t necessarily denote voluntary charity as having to give away money, yet most of us absolve our obligation for charity by spending lots of money during Ramadan to various causes. Though these are all noble acts – what about other lasting charity acts that we can do physically?

The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said:

“Every good deed is charity” [Bukhari].

He also said:

“On every person’s joint or small bones (i.e. fingers and toes), there is sadaqah (charity) due every day when the sun rises. Doing justice between two people is sadaqah; assisting a man to mount his animal, or lifting up his belongings onto it is sadaqah; a good word is sadaqah; every step you take towards prayer is sadaqah; and removing harmful things from pathways is sadaqah” [Muslim].

So based on the hadith above, here are five ways you can start to give ‘physical’ sadaqah this Ramadan. The list is hardly exhaustive however as you read, ask yourself how you can implement these acts of charity in your daily schedule to increase your good deeds inshaaAllah:

1. Always start with a smile

We can never underestimate the wonders behind a smile. The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him)’s teachings tell us that every smile is charity.

So step one is to make sure you smile; often opportunities in the day arise where we can effortlessly smile and spread the salam, such as when you are on the road travelling, going to work, at the mosque, when you pass by a homeless person, when you meet guests or see children (as often it brings a smile to their face too!)

2. Remember Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) frequently

To remember Allah is to give sadaqah with your tongue. The value and weight of dhikr is heavy and outstanding, and is our key to being rich in our relationship with Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). In an amazing narration the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) advised the one who could not give money to charity, or offer anything from their possessions, to increase in performing dhikr as a better equivalent.

Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) says in Surah Al-Baqarah: “Remember Me, and I will remember you” [2:152].

You might wonder where you can start as there are so many adhkars for different occasions. Here’s a simple step by step process to engrain daily remembrance of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) in your day to day life:

1. Visit MakeDua.com or purchase the Fortress of the Muslim dua book and learn 2-3 adhkar for 2-3 occasions, e.g. what to say when you wake up, what to say when you sleep and what to say when you put on clothes.

2. Repeat these adhkar on a daily basis initially from the book/website and eventually from your memory. Continue for at least a week. 3. Repeat the above process looking for new duas/occasions for supplications.

Al-Hamdulillah nowadays you can find the Fortress of the Muslim in many bookstores and even phone applications.

3. Remove harm from the pathway

A noble act we often overlook is to remove something harmful from others pathway. It may be a piece of glass that is dangerous on the road, a needle on the floor, or a disturbing rock on a busy school road where children may trip and fall.

This simple act can be a means of forgiveness as many Hadiths narrated the benefit of removing harm from the road. Moreover, this will increase your social alertness and help improve your surroundings/community to make it a pleasant place to be.

4. Say good words

Our tongue can be the cause of our destruction or our salvation, yet we often speak before we think (see 5 Ways to Control your Tongue). Ask yourself if your words will be a source of benefit or comfort to someone? Have you mentioned the Name of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) in your conversation? Good words are like a plant that flourishes with many fruits, as the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said:

“It is also charity to utter a good word” [Bukhari].

You can alleviate someone’s suffering by reminding them to ‘be patient’, to ‘have trust in Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He)‘ or say ‘Alhamdulillah’/’JazakAllahu khair’. You can share knowledge in a conversation about something new you’ve learnt thus benefitting others. In social psychology great emphasis lies in using optimism when talking to people so if you know of someone in hardship this Ramadan console them and assist them through your goodly words and efforts.

5. Donate your talents/skills/strength

This Ramadan, donate your skills/talent/strength to your community:

– Help setup Iftar places and moving carpets around. – Use your computer skills to help local Dawah/charity group with administrative work. – If you’re good at speeches/dawah, be the ambassador for the Muslim community in dawah events/Ramadan ceremonies. – If you fall into the arts and craft category – design cards for Eid, then sell them for a worthy cause. (You’d probably be starting up a good business without realising).

There are many other forms of physical sadaqah I have not touched upon above, such as visiting the sick, caring for an orphan, taking care of your body, looking after your parents, amongst others.

I want to hear from you: What form of physical sadaqah can you do this Ramadan?


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6 thoughts on “[Ramadan Series] 5 Ways to Give ‘Physical’ Sadaqah

  1. MashAllah, this Ramadaan we opted out of elaborate parties for friends (we still host friends almost every alternate day, Alhamdulillah) and instead cooked iftar and suhoor for the security guards and shopkeepers and the barber and plumber at our condo. It has been such a spiritually uplifting endeavour, subhanAllah, mashAllah, Alhamdulillah. These young men are living away from their families and on such meager incomes, the look of joy on their faces when they receive the iftar (sometimes theres like a few minutes to iftar and they are swamped with the tension of work, esp the shopkeepers tending to the customers, they are ecstatic when they are gifted a home cooked meal) and the earnest expressions of gratitude, but most of all the dua that escapes their lips for our family is priceless. It also helped me personally realize that we ought to extend this beyond Ramadaan inshAllah. I pray we can adopt this practice and be consistent in it even after Ramadaan inshAllah.

  2. Another conscious, non-monetary (Alhamdulillah) practice we’ve adopted and hope to keep practicing is giving Salam to everyone especially where we live, in the lift, at the shop, by the pool, at the park, to the residents, to the guards, to the children, inshAllah! Truth be told, my inspiration for this is my elder daughter who just turned 5, she unassumingly showers everyone she meets with a salaam, even when i shy away. A lecture mentioning the minor signs of the Day of reckoning said one of the signs will be that people stop giving salam and greet exclusively those they know. That hit a bitter chord!

  3. This is such a thought-provoking and comforting write-up, to me at least. As a SAHM of 2 young boys and practically no income of my own, I had been researching various ways in which I could give sadaqah but found nothing satisfactory, until now…Thank you, Abu Productive – your site and your writeups are very motivational, inspiring and life-changing. May Allah bless you and your family at work and accept your efforts, Ameen!

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