Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (prayers and peace be upon him) said: “Every Muslim has to give in charity.” The people then asked: “If someone has nothing to give, what should he do?” The Prophet replied: “He should work with his hands and benefit himself and also give in charity (from what he earns).” The people further asked: “If he cannot find even that?” He replied: “He should help the needy who appeal for help.” Then the people asked: “If he cannot do that?” The Prophet said finally: “Then he should perform good deeds and keep away from evil deeds, and that will be regarded as charitable deeds.” – Sahih Al-Bukhari
Zakat is 1 of the 5 pillars of Al-Islam. It is required of every Muslim, so long as they have the means to give.
Sadaqah is charity beyond what you give for zakat (the required giving). Regular sadaqah is strongly encouraged. Even a smile is sadaqah.
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