We’ve put together a detailed outline of the different types of charity and donations. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us by telephone or email.



Zakat is the compulsory alms-giving which is treated as a religious and Islamic obligation or tax. It is one of the five pillars of Islam and has been ordained in the Qur’an.


The giving of Zakat is compulsory upon every single Muslim who is sane, mature and meets the threshold amount (Nisab), male or female.


The Qur’an makes mention of eight eligible categories. If it is not given to any of these eight eligible categories, then the Zakat will be void and it will become necessary to re-pay. It is an obligation on one’s own self to ensure Zakat is handled appropriately or given to trustworthy sources to be allocated suitably.


The eight eligible categories for Zakat are as follows –

  1. The poor – this means those on a low income, indigent or who do not reach the threshold amount to pay Zakat.
  2. The needy – this means someone who is in difficulty or extremely destitute.
  3. Zakat Administrators
  4. Those whose hearts are to be reconciled – this refers to new Muslims and friends of the Muslim communities.
  5. Those in bondage – this refers to slaves and captives.
  6. The debt ridden
  7. In the cause of Allah
  8. The wayfarer – this refers to those who are stranded or travelling with very few resources.


Anyone who reaches the threshold amount and fits the criteria to pay zakat must calculate 2.5% of their applicable “zakatable” wealth and pay this as Zakat. Scholars generally advise that a little extra should be given just in case.



Sadaqah is the general term that is used for charity in Islam. The literal meaning of Sadaqah is to spend from one’s own possessions and wealth for the sake of Allah.


There are 3 main types of Sadaqah – Sadaqah Waajibah, Sadaqah Nafilah and Sadaqah Jaariyah.


This form of Sadaqah is binding and is compulsory to fulfil. It’s very similar to Zakat in terms of where it can be spent or distributed. Where zakat can only be given to eligible beneficiaries who are Muslim, the beneficiary for any Sadaqah donations do not need to be. Sadaqah Waajibah can be given to non-muslims also.


Yes. There are 5 main categories:
  1. Sadaqatul Fitr
    • This is a very emphasised Sunnah (practice of our beloved Messenger) and according to some holds the status of Waajib. This becomes due before the salah of Eid al Fitr, however one should endeavour to pay this at least a few days before. This is so that the funds actually reach the poor and they are able to utilise it on Eid day.
    • Similar to Zakat, any sane Muslim, who possesses the value of Nisab beyond the basic necessities needed must fulfil this form of Sadaqah. For those who have children who have not become of age, the fathers are instructed to give Sadaqatul Fitr on behalf of them. If one does not give Sadaqatul Fitr on time or at all, it will still be due regardless of how much time has passed after Eid.
    • The amount to be given is usually specified wherever one gives the funds to however this amount should be equal to 1.6kg of wheat or 3.2kg of barley, or the like thereof. It is not a requirement for one to actually distribute wheat or barley but rather should give its equivalent value in money.
  1. Fidyah
    • Fidyah is given as a form of compensation for someone who is unable to perform missed prayers/Salah or fasts. This can be due to some terminal illness or being deceased and no longer able to make up for what has been missed. This compensation can also be given for someone who makes a minor mistake during Hajj.
    • Fidyah is normally classed as a Sadaqah Waajibah and the amount is similar to the amount given for Sadaqatul Fitr. In can also be given as Sadaqah Naafilah on behalf of an individual or deceased in which case both the deceased and the one who has given it will be rewarded.
  1. Kaffarah
    • This form of compensation is also Sadaqah Waajibah. When a person breaks a fast intentionally, breaks an oath or takes the life of someone, Kaffarah becomes obligatory. There are two types of Kaffarah under which different actions are categorised:
      • Greater Kaffarah
        • Someone upon whom it is necessary to give “Greater Kaffarah” can either free a slave (if possible) or fast for sixty consecutive days. If neither are possible, a person can feed sixty poor people for a day, where each meal is equivalent to a Fidyah and will normally be two meals a day. If it is not possible to feed sixty people in one day, then a person may feed one person for sixty days. In this instance, a person cannot give the money all in one go. This will not be accepted and kaffarah will not be fulfilled.
        • This form of Kaffarah applies to the following:
          • Someone who intentionally breaks a fast
          • Someone who breaks Zihar – this refers to the one who considers his wife unlawful (haram) for oneself by comparing her to a Mahram (someone he cannot get married to)
          • Someone who directly causes another’s death
      • Lesser Kaffarah
        • Someone upon whom it is necessary to give “Lesser Kaffarah” can either free a slave (which is no longer applicable), feed ten poor people for two meals in one day, or give each one of them clothing. If one is unable to do this, then a person should fast for three consecutive days.
        • This form of Kaffarah applies to the following:
          • Someone who breaks or violates an oath (Yamin)
          • Someone who takes on oath to not have conjugal relations with his wife and then breaks this oath (Ila’)
  1. Udhiyyah (animal sacrifice), Dam and Badanah
    • Udhiyyah is also known as Qurbani or animal sacrifice. This is a religious requirement on Eid al-Adha and is Waajib on all muslims who are mature and possess the threshold amount.
    • The sacrifice can be of a large or small animal, a large animal being equivalent to seven individual shares or a small animal being equivalent to a single share. The slaughter must be carried out after the Eid prayer, preferably on the same day. However, the sacrifice can also be done on the two days after Eid.
    • Note – if someone fails to fulfil the sacrifice within the three days, it will still be waajib for that person to donate the value of the animal.
    • Once the animal has been slaughtered, the meat should be distributed amongst the poor Muslims and one can also take share of the meat for themselves and their family.
    • Dam is of two types. One is called Dam ash-Shukr and this is similar to Udhiyyah with it being a religious requirement however this is only specific to those people who are performing Hajj.
    • The second type of Dam is similar to Fidyah – this is a means of compensation for mistakes made during Hajj. However, this depends on the severity of the mistake made. For minor mistakes made, Fidyah can be given as compensation whereas for major mistakes, Dam is given as compensation. One must sacrifice a small animal as one part or it can be a share or single part of a larger animal.
    • Badanah is similar to Dam, where Dam is the sacrifice of a small animal or a share of a larger one, Badanah is the sacrifice of a larger animal entirely (a cow or camel). This is the most severe penalty in relation to Hajj and is specific to only 3 actions:
    • When one has sexual relations at any point between Wuquf in Arafat and before cutting the hair or between Wuquf in Arafat and before Tawaf al-Ziyarah
    • When a Qarin (someone performing Hajj al-Qiran – combined Hajj and Umrah) has sexual relations after Tawaf al-Umrah and Wuquf in Arafat, but before Halaq/Taqsir and Tawaf al-Ziyarah – Please note, one Badanah and one Dam is required in this instance
    • When one performs Tawaf in a state of major ritual impurity i.e in need of Ghusl, in a state of menstruation or after child birth – in this instance, the penalty will be waived if the Tawaf is repeated and performed in a state of ritual purity, even after 12th Dhul Hijjah
  1. Nadhr
    • When someone imposes something upon oneself, this becomes necessary. For example, if someone wishes to express gratitude.
    • The action can be a number of different things and can also be Sadaqah. If someone makes an oath of giving charity, it will be Sadaqah Waajibah. If they are unable to fulfil their oath, they will be liable to give Kaffarah and could be sinful.


This form of charity is not compulsory but rather it is optional. It is normally given for the removal of difficulties, to show mercy on the poor and destitute or the giving of any Halal item to another.

Note – One is also allowed to bequeath up to a third of a deceased person’s total estate in a will.


Yes. We have broken them down into 6 different categories:

  1. Lillah
    • This is given for the sake of Allah and can also be used for institutes such as Masjids, hospitals, orphanages, schools and the like thereof. There is no condition of this being passed into the possession of any person or individual.
  1. Waqf
    • This is to entrust something to a particular cause. This kind of donation becomes the property of Allah and ownership is not given to any individual or institute. A person can allocate Waqf either during one’s own lifetime or bequeathed in a will (up to a third of the total estate). Waqf requires the care of the trustees, as with any trust, but as explained, ownership is not given, only the benefits of the items are prescribed.
  1. Aqeeqah
    •  This is normally given as gratitude to Allah upon the birth of a child. One animal is sacrificed for a girl and two are sacrificed for a boy.
    • A persons family is permitted to take part in the meat however, it is better that it be distributed to the poor.
  1. Sadaqah given for Removing Difficulties
    •  This type of Sadaqah can be given as Lillah and is given in the hope that Allah will remove difficulties that a person may be facing.
  1. Sadaqah given for Expiating Sins
    •  This type of Sadaqah can also be given as Lillah and is given in the hope that Allah will forgive a person’s shortcomings and sins.
  1. Charity given above the amount of Zakat and Sadaqah Waajibah
    •  This type of charity is similar to Lillah and if given with a pure heart and pure intentions, is always accepted by Allah. In the Qur’an, Allah describes this form of charity as a beautiful debt, as He treats this form of charity as a loan, which He will repay in the hereafter.


“Who is the one that will loan Allah a beautiful loan? For (Allah) will increase it manifold to his credit, and he will have (besides) a liberal reward”

(Qur’an, Surah al-Hadid, 57:11)


This is when charity is given towards some long term project or benefit, such as a water well. It can be given on behalf of any person, deceased or living, with the hope of continuous reward for as long as the project is of benefit to the beneficiaries.


If you have any further questions, or would like to speak with us regarding any of the above, please feel free to either contact us via email or telephone and a member of our team will be happy to assist you.