What is the difference between sadaqa and zakaat?

What is the difference between sadaqa and zakaat? How do you pay zakat, I heard that you have to posses a certain amount of money, and then you pay; Is that same as sadaqa?

In the name of Allah, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful.

Sadqah and Zakat are usually used interchangeably, however, Saqkah is a generic term and is of three types.

(1) Fardh e.g. Zakat. (2) Wajib e.g. nazar and sadqah-e- fitr. (3) Nafal e.g. normal donations.

Zakat is compulsory upon a person who possesses the quantum of nisab (i.e. 612.35 grams of silver or 87.47 grams of gold or currency equivalent to that amount) for a complete lunar year; which is over and above his basic needs and also free from debts. (Raddul Muhtar Vol 2, P5)

In conclusion if a person possesses wealth equivalent or above the quantum of nisab as described above and a lunar year has passed then he is required to pay 2.5% of the amount. In regards to nafal sadqah there is no condition of the quantum of nisab or for a complete lunar year to pass.

Only Allah knows best.

Sayeedur Rahman

Darul Ifta, Birmingham

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