Sadaqa Jariyah means continuous charity. It is an ongoing charity that givers can benefit from even after they perish. Actions may have ceased, but the good charity that benefits others continue to add up on the scale of deeds until the Day of Judgment. This concept in Islam is similar to the popular proverb: “Give a man a fish and he eats for a day, but give a man a boat and a net to catch fish, then he feeds himself and family for a lifetime.”
The contribution in providing the boat is the act of alms, as it can be used repeatedly as a tool to obtain food for one person or several people.
The Messenger of Allah said, “When a man dies, his deeds come to an end except for three things: Sadaqa Jariyah (ceaseless charity); a knowledge which is beneficial, or a virtuous descendant who prays for him (for the deceased)” [Muslim].
“It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever gives charity equal to a date from good (halal) earnings – for Allah does not accept anything but that which is good – Allah will take it in His right hand and tend it for the one who gave it as any one of you tends his foal, until it becomes like a mountain” [Bukhari].
The donations for the children of Ghana to receive an education do not end with the school being built. That’s where it all begins: every child who receives an education from the school is more equipped to end the cycle of poverty. They can build comfortable lifestyles for their families and generations to come. The reward to the one who donated is multiplied through every person after that. For every Kenyan that has clean water, one’s mountains of deeds grow for each sip taken. For every person who prayed, memorized, and sought knowledge in that mosque that one provided the means to construct, the receiving reward is endless in each act of worship. This is sadaqa jariyah, the contribution that keeps on giving.
Remember that sadaqa does not decrease one’s wealth, as per the saying of the beloved Messenger, “Wealth does not diminish by giving Sadaqa (charity). Allah raises the honor of one who forgives; and one who serves another (displaying humility) seeking the pleasure of Allah, Allah will exalt him in ranks” [Muslim].