Have you ever given some money to a beggar? Well… I bet most of us have including me of course. But perhaps from now on you need to think twice or thrice before you give some money to a beggar. During Ramadan more and more beggars from the suburbs deluge the cities to beg a great deal of a little charity from richer people. But you know, beggary is not always allowed in Islam. There are conditions when you are allowed or not allowed to beg. Here to follow is how Islam views beggary:
Some people adopt beggary as a profession to earn money. (I remember a beggar in Surabaya, who becomes rich from doing beggary over a long period of time, he owns several cars and a big comfy home). Professional beggary is a nuisance which has been strongly condemned in Islam. The beggar loses reliance on Allah. He turns towards his fellow humans instead of turning to Allah for assistance. Every believer should have firm faith in Allah as the Sustainer and should not lower himself before any others but Allah Who is responsible to provide him with sustenance. It is said in the Quran:
وَيَرْزُقْهُ مِنْ حَيْثُ لَا يَحْتَسِبُ وَمَن يَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّهِ فَهُوَ حَسْبُهُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ بَالِغُ أَمْرِهِ قَدْ جَعَلَ اللَّهُ لِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدْراً
And will provide for him from where he does not expect. And whoever relies upon Allah – then He is sufficient for him. Indeed, Allah will accomplish His purpose. Allah has already set for everything a [decreed] extent. (QS 65:3)
The beggar humiliates himself before his fellow men and puts the other persons in a quandary over whether they should pay or not. The man who is begged of, feels annoyance because unnecessary trouble is inflicted on him.
There are some conditions when begging is lawful and when it is not. Here are those of them:
Begging is lawful for a man whose everything has been destroyed by natural disasters, war, famine and so on. It is lawful for the man to beg if he is disabled and incapable of walking, seeing or working. A man who is seriously ill and requires immediate relief may lawfully beg. A poor widow or a rich man WHO FALLS IN DISTRESS and has nothing at his disposal to keep the wok pot boiling, may lawfully beg as well.
Au contraire, it is not permitted to beg with the intention of increasing wealth. A man who beats drum, playing guitar, sings song and dances after wearing the female dress is a sinner. The money which is earned in this way is unlawful. Begging is also unlawful for the the one who is stout and strong. He should earn his living by labouring hard. It is reported on the authority of ‘Abdullah bin Mas’ud (Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: Begging is neither permissible for the solvent nor for one who is stout and strong, except for one who faces pressing poverty or destroying debt. And whoever begs of men to increase his wealth, will have scratches on his face on the Resurrection Day, and hot stone of hell will devour him.
But the deserving beggar must not be turned away by any man without giving anything in charity however insignificant it may be. Like it is said in the Quran:
وَأَمَّا السَّائِلَ فَلَا تَنْهَرْ
And as for the petitioner, do not repel [him]. (QS 93:10).
As the conclusion of this text, it is strongly proposed that you should not pay money to a strong or stout beggar, you only pay to a physically or mentally disabled beggar or a very old frail beggar. Beggary itself is NOT UNLAWFUL. What makes it unlawful is when a man is capable of doing something to earn money, he doesn’t do it in Allah’s way. Instead he prefers to earn money in the way Allah and the prophet dislike. From now on, we should be more selective to whom we are gonna give out our money………