Encouragement to offer Ongoing Charity (Sadaqah Jāriyah)
In the Name of Allāh, Most Gracious, Most Merciful;
All praise and thanks are due to Allāh, and May peace and blessings of Allāh be upon His Messenger.
Allāh subhānahu wa ta’ala has created man to worship Him alone. Allāh says : “And I (Allāh) created not the jinn and mankind except that they should worship Me (Alone)” [Al-Dhariyat, 51:56].Allah has prescribed for him acts of worship by means of which he may attain great reward in this world and in the Hereafter.
These deeds and acts of worship are not limited to this world only; rather Allāh has prescribed means of increasing one’s good deeds after one's death, namely Ongoing Charity (Sadaqah Jāriyah).
The Messenger (sallallāhu `alayhi wa sallam) said:
“When a man dies, his good deeds come to an end except three: ongoing charity, beneficial knowledge and a righteous son who will pray for him.”
[Narrated by Muslim, 3084]
Al-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
The scholars said: “The meaning of this hadīth that the deeds of the deceased come to an end when he dies, and the renewal of reward ceases for him, except in these three cases, because he is the cause of them: his son is counted among his earnings, as is the knowledge that he leaves behind through teaching or writing, and ongoing charity, i.e., a waqaf (Islamic endowment)”
Ibn Mājah narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allāh be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allāh (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:
“The good deeds that will reach a believer after his death are: knowledge which he learned and then spread; a righteous son whom he leaves behind; a copy of the Qur’an that he leaves as a legacy; a masjid that he built; a house that he built for wayfarers; a canal that he dug; or charity that he gave during his lifetime when he was in good health. These deeds will reach him after his death.”
[Ibn Mājah (224); classified as hasan by Al-Albāni in Sahīh Ibn Mājah]
Ongoing Charity is that which continues to earn reward after a person has died; hence many of the scholars defined it as the waqaf, such as building a mosque, because the reward will continue to be earned so long as the waqaf remains.
It should be noted as for deeds which does not bring a continual reward – such as feeding the poor and needy – it is not right to call it an ongoing charity, although it brings a great reward.
Ibn Hazm said:
“Ongoing charity is that which continues to bring reward even after death.”
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen said:
“Ongoing charity refers to any righteous deed of a man that keep continues after his death. Whatever a person gives in charity of his wealth is his true wealth that will abide for him and benefit him. ”
[Sharh Riyadh al-Sālihīn (4/13)]
Al-Tirmidzi narrated that they slaughtered a sheep at the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and gave it in charity except for its shoulder.
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) asked ‘Aishah,
“What is left of it?” She said: “Nothing is left except the shoulder.” He said: “All of it will remain except its shoulder.”
[Al-Tirmidzi (2470); classified as sahīh by al-Albāni in Sahīh al-Tirmidzi]
What this means is that whatever a person eats is that which is gone and no longer remains, but that which he gives in charity is what will remain for him with Allāh and he will benefit from it on the Day of Resurrection. This hadīth is a reference to the verse in which Allāh says:
“Whatever is with you, will be exhausted, and whatever is with Allāh (of good deeds) will remain”
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) told us:
“Every man will be shaded by his charity on the Day of Resurrection, the day on which the sun will be brought close to people’s heads until Allah passes judgement between them”.
[Narrated by Ahmad, 16882; classified as sahīh by al-Albāni in Sahīh al-Jāmi’, 4510]
Allāh Knows Best.
[Excerpted from Fatwa No: 69948 Islam QA]