The Prophet stated that it is permitted to ask or beg something for only three categories of people. They are as follows: 1. the person that ask because of acting as a guarantor for a person and cannot pay their debts; 2. people all of whose property was destroyed in a disaster; and 3. people who became destitute and whose poverty is acknowledged by people who know them.
It is not regarded permissible for people who have a day’s food and the strength to work for livelihood to beg. (Muslim, Zakat, 109)
Note: Number 1 is like if a person wanted to prevent the killing of another person by paying the blood money to the family of a person killed. The guarantor ask on behalf of himself to aid the person that will be killed if the blood money is not paid. The Muslim that is traveling and he does not access to his wealth may ask for sadaqah or Zakat. 3 Must have at least to witnesses to their poverty.
Anas bin Malik narrates:
One day, a person from Ansar came to The Prophet and asked for something. The Prophet asked him:
“Do you have anything at home?”
“Yes, Allah’s Messenger, we have a piece of cloth. We lay some of it beneath us, and with some of it we cover ourselves. We have a water pot; we drink water from it.”
“Then, get up immediately, bring both your cloth and water pot to me.”
The person fetched them both.
The Prophet took the cloth and the water pot in his hand, and showing them to the people who were present, he asked, “Is there anybody who will buy these two articles?”
One person among them said, “I will give one Dirham to both.”
The Prophet repeated a couple of times: “Is there not anybody who gives more than one Dirham?” Afterwards, someone else said, “I will buy them in return for two Dirhams.” The Prophet sold the cloth and the water pot to that person. He took the two Dirhams and gave it to the possessor of the articles; then he said:
“Buy food with one Dirham of this money and give it to your family; and with the other one Dirham, buy an axe and bring it to me.”
The man left bought an axe and came back. The Prophet put a stick to the axe himself. Giving it to the man, he said: “Take this, go and cut some wood, gather it and sell. I should not see you for fifteen days.”
The man went away, cut wood, gathered and sold it. When he came to the presence of the Prophet, he had made fifteen Dirhams. With some of it, he bought clothes and with some, foods. Thereupon, The Prophet said:
“Instead of coming to the Day of Resurrection as a black point because of begging, this state of yours is better.
“Begging is permissible only for the following three kinds of people: 1. the one stricken by poverty which causes one `to sprawl on the earth’ (extreme poverty), 2. The one in insurmountable debt 3. The one who took on blood money in order to reconcile people.” In another narration, there is a fourth condition: “The one who suffers a very painful chronic illness can ask for as much money as he is in need of.” 1
The Prophet, peace be upon Him, has made it *Haram*(unlawful) for a Muslim to beg money
from others without dire necessity, thus losing his honor and dignity. He
says: *”He who begs without need is like a person holding a burning piece of
coal in his hand.”* (Reported by Al-Bayhaqi and by Ibn Khuzaymah)
There are four primary reasons why begging is prohibited, and Allaah knows best.
1. Begging will cause the Muslim to lose dependence on Allah alone. The
Muslim turns from asking Allaah for money and support and turns to asking men
for help. Allaah admonishes us that “… *And whosoever puts his trust in Allah
and keeps his duty to Him, He will make a way for him to get out (from every
difficulty). And He will provide him from (sources) he never could imagine.
And whosoever puts his trust in Allah, then He will suffice him*.” Q65:2-3
2. The Muslim who begs lowers himself before others and thus loses honor
and dignity which Allah spoke of in Q17:70. Zubair Bin Awam
reported that the Glorious Prophet of Allah (peace be upon Him) said: “*That one of you
takes his rope and then comes with a load of wood upon his back and sells it
is better than to beg of men whether they give or reject him.”* (Hadith saheeh
3. The Muslim who begs causes others to go without. Because of the
exhortations on the need to give Sadaqah, Muslims hasten to assist others
even to the point of depriving themselves. Muslims are afraid to anger Allaah
by not helping the beggar and the person who gives charity and does not have
the funds, feels a loss of property for their family.
4. Begging weakens the economic base of the Muslim Ummah as it encourages
laziness. Charity basically is a re-distribution of already earned income
which does not constitute a productive activity and therefore does not
contribute to the GDP. If, therefore, the preponderance of the people are
given to begging, it worsens the economy of the Muslim nations by raising
the level of dependency on hand-outs.
Note: Which category of those that have permission to beg does the Massajid fall under? The Muslim ruler is authorized to ask or beg for all of the categories listed. The Muslim leader, or ruler does not include, the following persons, Imaam of the Masjid, or the administration of a Masjid. If we can’t see how the four primary reasons that begging has affected us in an adverse way in our communities, then we are without sight and hearing, Allaahu Musta’an.
We should give our wealth voluntarily to maintain the Massajid, this takes Taqwa, and Tawakkul Allaah. The Imaam should encourage these qualities by teaching these principles, and by being the best example of forbearance and reliance on Allaah. I ask Allaah to give them the Tawfeek.
1. Abu Dawud, Zakat: 26.
2. Muslim, Zakat: 35.
3. As-Sawi, 4: 330.
Narrated Ibn ‘Umar:
I heard Allah’s Apostle (peace be upon him) while he was on the
pulpit speaking about charity, to abstain from asking others for some
financial help and about begging others, saying, “The upper hand is
better than the lower hand. The upper hand is that of the giver and
the lower (hand) is that of the beggar.”
Sahih Bukhari. Volume 2, Book 24, Number 509:
Abu Tariq Dalil