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It turns out that I have been incorrectly calculating my zakah for the last few years and I have paid less than I should have. However during those years I did also pay lillah and sadaqah.

Can I use the the sadaqah and lillah I paid during those years to count towards the zakah I owe for the previous years? I would appreciate an answer that conforms to the Hanafi madhhab.

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  • I came to the conclusion that they couldn't be counted towards the missed zakat as there are specific criteria for who can receive zakat money which don't apply to sadaqah. Commented Jun 23, 2017 at 20:00
  • How do you come to this conclusion if the Qur'an verse ordering zakat and showing the order or recipients is the one used to conclude a ruling for sadaqah as it in fact uses the wording sadaqah instead of zakat (9:60)? And what do you mean by lillah?
    – Medi1Saif
    Commented Jun 18, 2018 at 5:36

3 Answers 3

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Sadaqah is any amount of money donated for the pleasure of Allah swt and intended for the poor. However the term Sadaqah also applies to money donated for any noble cause, as well.

Lillah is simply any goodness given or done with the intent to please Allah swt

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  • But can they be counted towards missed zakat? Commented Jun 21, 2017 at 23:56
  • @Rebecca I thought you'd like to know that in the end I came to the conclusion that they couldn't be counted towards the missed zakat as there are specific criteria for who can receive zakat money which don't apply to sadaqah. Commented Jun 23, 2017 at 19:59
  • So basically both terms refer to the same! Because all (good) deeds a Muslim does should be to please Allah. I still don't see any difference.
    – Medi1Saif
    Commented Aug 6, 2020 at 10:51
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It was narrated from 'Umar bin Al-Khattab that the Prophet said: "Actions are but by intentions, and each person will have but that which he intended. Thus, he whose emigration was for the sake of Allah and His Messenger, his emigration was for the sake of Allah and His Messenger, and he whose emigration was to achieve some worldly gain or to take some woman in marriage, his emigration was for that for which he emigrated."

Intention is First step . If you paid within zakah intention its not zakah

May Allah reward you . When you pay for Allah ( with honest) Allah invest it for you .

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, "He who gives in charity the value of a date which he legally earned, and Allah accepts only that which is pure, Allah accepts it with His Right Hand and fosters it for him, as one of you fosters his mare, until it becomes like a mountain."

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The Sadaqah word comes from triliteral root 'sidq' (s-d-q) ص د ق, which means sincerity and the word Zakat comes from triliteral root ز ك و, meaning to purify. And lillah simple means for Allah with Lam particle prefixed to Allah like lillahi ma fissamawati meaning To Allah belong heavens. Both Sadaqah and Zakat are given for lillah means for Allah(in the path of Allah). Hence now we should be left with only two terms Sadaqah and Zakat. Both the terms refer to charity. First usually refers to optional(nafl) charity, the second one refers to obligatory charity. And the distinction between two words(actions) comes from the heart in the form of intention. You cannot change the intention after the action has been executed. For example when you intend to give hundred dollars as optional charity that isn't calculated based on your nisab, this cannot be converted to Zakat at a later stage. The intention and calculation for Zakat needs to be made prior to dispensing the cash. I hope this adds value to this thread inshaAllah.

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