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The Arabic term sadaqa ( Arabic صدقة, DMG Ṣadaqa ; Plural صدقات / Ṣadaqāt ) mostly denotes a voluntary gift. Sadaqa should always be done with the intention of Fī sabīli Llāh , i.e. to act on God's way; a gift for the sake of reputation is not sadaqa.

The voluntary difference distinguishes Ṣadaqāt from the obligatory zakat . The term is used 24 times in the Koran , with one exception (12:88) in Medinan suras and is probably already in use before Islam.

Word origin

Literally, Sadaqa means 'justice' and refers to the voluntary nature of the gift. It comes from the root sidq '(sdq) ص ، د ، ق.

The expression is probably modeled on the Hebrew צדקה ( Zedaka ), as it was used in post-biblical times (period of the Second Temple and rabbinical literature; whether the Hebrew term denotes an enforceable norm is still debatable today).

Authorized recipients

According to Quran Sura 9 , Sura at-Tauba, Verse 60, the following eight groups of people are entitled to receive Sadaqah:

“Verily, the alms are only for the poor and needy and for those in charge of administering (the alms) and for those whose hearts are to be won, for the (deliverance of) slaves and for the debtors, for the cause of Allah and for the son of the way; (this is) a prescription from Allah. And Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise. "

So specifically the following groups of people:

  • The poor (al-fuqara)
  • The needy people (al-masâkîn)
  • Those in charge of managing alms
  • to win people over to Islam ( according to Muslim commentators, voluntary alms can also be given to non-Muslims.)
  • for slaves and their liberation
  • People who are in debt
  • for the cause of Allah (building mosques, etc.)
  • Traveler (son of the way)

Forms of sadaqa

The possibilities of giving Sadaqa are very diverse. Give what you can afford. Here are a few examples:


  • Michael Bonner, Mine Ener, Amy Singer (eds.): Poverty and Charity in Middle Eastern Contexts. State University of New York Press, Albany 2003.
  • Miriam Frenkel, Yaacov Lev (Hgg): Charity and Giving in Monotheistic Religions. Studies on the history and culture of the Islamic Orient 22, Walter de Gruyter, Berlin 2009.
  • Thomas H. Weir, Aaron Zysow: Art. ṢADAḲA , in: Encyclopaedia of Islam , 2. A., Vol. 8 (1995), 708-716.

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Julian J. Obermann: Islamic origins. A study in background and foundation. In: NA Faris (ed.): The Arab heritage. Princeton 1944, pp. 58–120, here 109 f.
  2. ^ Arent Jan Wensinck : Muhammad and the Jews of Medina [first Mohammed en de Joden te Medina , 1908], trans. WH Behn. Klaus Schwarz Verlag, Freiburg im Breisgau 1975, p. 101; as in the following from Weir / Zysow 1995.
  3. ^ Arthur Jeffery : The foreign vocabulary of the Qurʿān , Baroda 1938, p. 153.194 ( e-Text , digitized version ).
  4. ^ Franz Rosenthal : Sedaka, charity , in: Hebrew Union College Annual 23/1 (1950–51), pp. 411–430.
  5. George Foot Moore : Judaism in the First Centuries of the Christian Era , II. The Age of the Tannaim, Cambridge, Massachusetts 10 A. 1966, pp. 162-179.
  6. Fakhr ad-Din al-Razi : Mafatih al-ghayb , Volume VIII, 16, p. 117, Beirut 1990.
  7. ^ Rashid Rida: Tafsir al-Manar , Volume X, p. 293.