After we pass away, we’re no longer able to collect our sadaqah good deeds…or can we?
While you may think that you can no longer acquire good deeds after your death, there are many exceptions. There are various works you can do that will continue to benefit you as “sadaqah jariyah” after you are deceased.
Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:
“When a man passes away, his good deeds will also come to an end except for three: Sadaqah Jariyah (ceaseless charity); a knowledge which is beneficial, or a virtuous descendant who prays for him (for the deceased).” Muslim and others
Abu Qatadah reported that Allah’s Messenger said:
“Among the good deeds that continue to benefit a believer after death are: a knowledge that he taught and disseminated, a righteous child who lived after him, a Qur’an book that he left as inheritance, a masjid that he built, a house that he built for the two wayfarers, a stream that he ran, or a charity that he gave from his wealth during his healthy life time so that it would reach him (in rewards) after death.”– Ibn Majah and others
Here are 7 simple ways to accumulate sadaqah jariyah (ongoing charity) and rewards even after you’ve passed away:
1 – Teach and spread knowledge
Whatever you teach of good – either information from Islam or worldly education that’s used to benefit their communities as a whole – will be an ongoing charity for you after your death.
The knowledge mentioned in this hadith means any type of beneficial knowledge that can be transferred and taught verbally or via a book, lecture, course, or even online.
For this shared knowledge to count as sadaqah jariyah, and for the original teacher to collect rewards, it needs to help people become better Muslims or somehow benefit others.
2 – Rear a righteous child
Whatever the child learns and teaches to others will be an ongoing blessing and reward for you. They may also be able to pray for you after your death. This will only occur if you are a dutiful and concerned adult who fears Allah enough to rear your child on the straight path.
A truly righteous child has to know how to make dua’a for you, which dua’a to recite, and have the love of Allah needed to take the time to supplicate to Allah on your behalf after your death.
3 – Share copies of the Qur’an
Allah says in His Holy Qur’an (interpretation of the meaning) “This is the Book about which there is no doubt, a guidance for those conscious of Allah” (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:2) Sharing copies of Allah’s book spreads His message far and wide.
Making da’wah can have far-reaching benefits including the turning of minds and hearts to Allah and promotion of correct understanding of Islamic values.
4 – Build or maintain a masjid
You can either donate to help build a masjid or make provision to continuously give to the maintenance of one. Uthman ibn Affan reported that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Whoever builds a mosque for Allah, then Allah will build for him a house like it in Paradise.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
5 – Build a house for wayfarers and travelers
Take travelers under your wing. In the Qur’an, Allah says, “Say: Travel in the land and see how (Allah) originated the creation, and then Allah will bring forth the creation of the Hereafter (i.e. resurrection after death). Verily, Allah is Able to do all things” (Al-‘Ankaboot, 29:20].
This is because travel in the land holds many benefits to mankind even though it’s expensive can make travelers destitute and poor.
Additionally, Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “One who cares for widows and the poor is like those who fight in the way of Allah or those who spend their days fasting and their nights praying.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
6 – Run or manage a stream
Access to clean drinking water is essential to life and the right of all living beings. Managing a stream, building water wells, or constructing water holding tanks in dry areas can literally mean the difference between life and death for hundreds of people and animals.
Until the water runs dry, you will earn sadaqa jariyah (ongoing charity rewards) every time people use the water for themselves, their crops, their families, or their livestock.
7 – Give in charity from your wealth as an ongoing charity
Donate medical equipment like a wheelchair that helps lighten the pain of a patient even after your death. Plant trees and plants: whenever humans and animals eat from them counts as a charity for you.
Create a free program or app that helps Muslims complete required acts or voluntary good deeds. For example, if your app is used to read and recite the Qur’an, dua’a, and dhikr or to pay charity: every time pay charity through the app or use the knowledge they learned through it you’ll have a share in the reward.
Create a new way for Muslims to fulfill an Islamic obligation (like paying zakat or giving charity) to multiply your good deeds.
We hope this list gives you a few ideas of sadaqah jariyah projects to work towards so you can accumulate rewards in the hereafter.
First published: May 2019