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I have heard since childhood that giving charity/ sadaqah averts a coming calamity or adversity.

But someone recently told me that the hadith is weak.

Can someone clarify on it, especially whether there is a quranic basis or hadith and if it is authentic? Please, if possible, mention hadith number, so that I can study myself as well.

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I don't know of such a hadith. However, it's meaning is fine:

As it is stated in the sahih hadith (true) saqah can protect us from the hell fire.

Narrated `Adi bin Hatim:
The Prophet (ﷺ) said, "Protect yourself from the Fire." He then turned his face aside (as if he were looking at it) and said again, "Protect yourself from the Fire," and then turned his face aside (as if he were looking at it), and he said so for the third time till we thought he was looking at it. He then said, "Protect yourselves from the Fire, even if with one half of a date and he who hasn't got even this, (should do so) by (saying) a good, pleasant word.'

It is also stated in some ahadith that:

... charity extinguishes bad deeds just as water extinguishes fire...

Some of these are da'if (see in Sunan ibn Majah others at least are qualified as hassan (See in Sunan ibn Majah and Jami' at-Tirmidhi here and here)

Another da'if hadith in this context is:

Anas bin Malik narrated that :
the Messenger of Allah said: "Indeed charity extinguishes the Lord's anger and it protects against the evil death."
(Jami' at-Tirmidhi)

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