Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat
Does a project that does not necessarily have free services qualify as sadaqa jariya? For example, a medical clinic that provides healthcare to the poor at a low cost (but not for profit). Or an Islamic school that charges its students tuition fees. In other words, must an endeavor provide actual charity to qualify as sadaqa jariya?
I pray you are well.
Sadaqa jariya (continuous charity) is any form of charity that continues to benefit people over a period of time, and not just as a one-off situation. Anything that does this can be classed as continuous charity.
The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “When a human being dies, his deeds cease except from three [avenues]: continuous charity, knowledge benefitted from, or a righteous child who prays for him.” (Muslim)
An example of continuous charity could be planting a tree from which animals eat and benefit over a long time, or facilitating the learning of beneficial sacred knowledge for others.
Providing the means to something good at a low cost is still a means of benefitting others. If someone is able to get medical treatment at a low cost, then you would benefit from whatever improvement he gets from your help. So, yes, it is a form of sadaqa jariya.
Being completely free is not a condition for something to be continuous charity, nor is permanence.
May Allah continue to reward us long after we pass beyond this world.
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Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History, he moved to Damascus in 2007, where, for 18 months, he studied with many erudite scholars. In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Quranic recital, and he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Quranic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.