“Even a smile is sadaqa,” the popular phrase goes. As parents, we may find ourselves needing to remind our children that a cheerful and kind disposition not only makes life more pleasant, but is also important in our deen.
The word sadaqa describes voluntary charity and acts of kindness. This could take the form of a monetary donation beyond the zakat (obligatory alms-giving), a donation of clothes to the children’s shelter, or it could be as simple as a smile. By embodying a giving nature in our actions and with our physical possessions, we can foster empathy and social consciousness within ourselves, realizing that there are others in need whom we should assist. Through giving charity, we have the opportunity to reflect on Allah’s (SWT) blessings in our lives and to practice gratitude and humility for these countless blessings.
In this book, we hope to convey two key reasons why we should give sadaqa. In doing so, insha’Allah children will discover the art and beauty of giving.
Our first lesson teaches that in sharing our blessings with others, we can gain Allah’s (SWT) reward and contentment with us. Not only that, He has promised us that when we give, He will increase His good favor upon us. As the Qur’an states, “...[they who] have loaned Allah a goodly loan - it will be multiplied for them, and they will have a generous reward” (57:18). In our first story, “Give and Get More,” Asad experiences this promise firsthand when he decides to donate the money he earned instead of spending it on himself.
Our second lesson teaches that giving charity should hurt a little. If we truly want to purify ourselves, we must give out of what we love the most (Qur’an 3:92). In the same way that water releases its impurities through boiling, our souls release their negative characteristics through giving out of what we love. In our second story, “Give it Away,” Amira puts this learning into practice as she fills a donation box to take to the local orphanage.