Zakah is one of five fundamental components of Islam, also referred to as the five pillars of Islam. The concept of Zakah is to purify one’s wealth and soul. As such, it is compulsory that all Muslims perform this duty, provided they meet certain conditions.
All Muslims whose savings meet or exceed nisaab values are obligated to pay 2.5% of their total yearly savings to the poor and needy and for the welfare of the Muslim community. Zakah is calculated based on one’s total savings held for the duration of one lunar year. Even items like gold and jewellery fall under such savings and their value is to be taken into account during the calculations, according to many fiqh opinions.
Sadaqah, on the other hand, is purely voluntary. It can be given by any Muslim, rich or poor, at any time, to anyone, and it can be of any amount or of any type, whether material or non-material. As such, there is an enormous amount of flexibility in the act of Sadaqah. While anyone can receive it, the purpose is to give Sadaqah to those who are truly in need for it. Muslims are repeatedly encouraged in Qur’an and Sunnah to perform Sadaqah. It is an act of worship done purely to help a Muslim, thereby earning the blessings of Allah (swt) and to assist other people. Saqadah can be any monetary amount, however, it is not limited to that. Food rations, clothing garments, and any type of household accessories, work perfectly fine as well. In fact, when it comes to relief aid efforts, such items are often desired and eagerly sought. The idea is to donate something for a noble cause at your own free will; not because it was prescribed by Allah (swt) like Zakah. Sadaqah is not a religious obligation. It is, however, greatly endorsed and favoured in Islam.
We, with the founding of the Zakah/Saqadah committee, understand that there are many members within our Muslim community who are privileged and have Zakah and/or Sadaqah, but do not know where to put them. On the other hand, there are many members within the community whose needs exceed their means, with no one reaching out or offering help for them. For this reason, we have founded an automated Zakah/Sadaqah system under the umbrella of the Ummah Masjid website. The system allows both parties to benefit from the program. Those who are wealthy will deposit their Zakah/Sadaqah money and will receive an immediate receipt. Those who are in need and believe that they deserve to receive such kind of support must fill the required forms and provide the required documentation. Their cases will be investigated confidentially by the Zakah and Sadaqah Committee. If a decision is made and they are permitted to receive funding, the funds will be deposited directly to their bank account. All these transactions will be managed and monitored by professional accountants who are certified by the Canada Revenue Agency to make sure that our work is in line with the rules and regulations of the CRA. Please be advised that we do this service voluntarily and that no fees of any kind will be deducted from your Zakah/Sadaqah. If you know someone who has (or is in need for) Zakah/Sadaqah, please direct them to visit the Ummah Masjid website and follow the instructions.