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I understand that Zakat becomes obligatory if wealth (money, gold, etc) is more than nisab for a period of one year.

However if I don't have nisab amount yet but I want to give zakat, can I do it? I mean to ask whether giving away thing as zakat is different than giving it away as khairat. Is there any difference in rewards? Or is zakat just a form of khairat that is obligatory?

The intention is to earn the rewards of zakat despite not having nisab amount but if Zakat is not different than khairat then probably there is no point in intending to give zakat (while not having nisab) and doing it specially in Ramadan.

  • Why not, charity in islam is always recommended. – Ashu Jul 19 '12 at 18:56
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It becomes a

Sadaqa Naafilah (Optional Saddaqa)

instead since it is not obligatory.

Zakat is considered Saddaqa Waajibah (Obligatory Saddaqa)

There is no limit (minimum or maximum) to how much Saddaqa Naafilah you can give.

The amount of blessings one gets are only known to Allah.

As an example, there is the case of Hazrat Abu Bakr and Hazrat Umar. Donations were being sought to fight the Tabuk expedition. Reference

Hazrat Umar Farooq decided that he would give exactly half of everything he owned. Once he collected it all, he took it to Rasulallah , who then asked him what he had left for his family. Hazrat Umar replied that he had left exactly half of his wealth for his family, and Rasulallah accepted his donation.Shortly afterwards, Hazrat Abu Bakr was on his way to see Rasulallah and was carrying a small package with him which contained everything he possessed. He then gave it to Rasulallah , who asked him what he had left for his family. Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique replied that he had left Allah and his Beloved Rasul for his family.

At this Rasulallah smiled, and it was then that Hazrat Umar Farooq admitted that he could never surpass Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique in willingness to sacrifice for Allah's cause.

So even though Hazrat Abu Bakr's donation was smaller, but it carried greater favor because as a percentage of his wealth, it was greater.

  • And is there difference in rewards? – Muhammad Hasan Khan Jul 20 '12 at 11:05
  • Consider it to be the difference in Fard and Sunnah. What is "Wajib" should be done first/has higher priority. What is Muhtasib (admired, recommended) is after that. Additionally, doing Saddaqa does not grant you X blessings. It depends on Niyyat, your affluence and probably other factors too. For instance, if someone has $10 and he donates $5, while someone else has $1000 and he gives away $100, $5 carry more weight because he gave away half his wealth. This is done to ensure rich are not awarded more blessings because they can give more. – Nasir Jul 20 '12 at 14:37
  • I would recommend you to make the comment, part of your answer. – Muhammad Hasan Khan Jul 21 '12 at 2:13

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