What Is the Difference Between Ongoing Charity and Regular Charity?

Question: What is the difference between ongoing charity & regular charity?
Dear questioner,

Thank you for your important question.

Allah, Most High mentions charity (sadaqa) in the Quran multiple times.

 If you do deeds of charity openly, it is well; but if you bestow it upon the needy in secret, it will be even better for you, and it will atone for some of your bad deeds. And God is aware of all that you do. [Quran 2:271]

The word charity (sadaqa) is a general term including all good deeds. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Every act of good is sadaqa.” [Bukhari, Muslim]

The Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) specifically mentioned “continuous charity” (sadaqa jariya) is the well known Hadith narrated by Abu Hurayra (Allah be please with him):

“When a man dies, his deeds come to an end except for three things: continuous charity (sadaqa jariya), beneficial knowledge, or virtuous descendants who pray for him (for the deceased).” [Muslim]

The only difference between Sadaqa and Sadaqa al-Jariya is:
1. Sadaqa can be a one time charity. (ex. giving money to people in need)
2. Sadaqa al-Jariya is a charity that is continuous and the reward is received even after death. (ex. building a well)

May Allah, Most High reward you for your care in upholding his rights during this difficult time.

And Allah alone knows best.
[Ustadh] Omar Popal
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani