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f:752 -    Is begging allowed in Islam
Country : Adilabad, India,
Name : Abdullah
Question:     Is begging allowed in Islam?  Nowadays many young people are also resorting to it?
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Answer:     If a person has 1 day's worth of food, it is not permissible for him/her to resort to begging.  As given in Fatawa A’alamgiri, Vol. 5, Pg. No. 349.

Begging is not lawful for the person who is affluent and/or whose body parts are all intact.  However, if someone is extremely poor or really in debt, then that person may beg to the extent of his/her need.  There is a Hadith in Mishkaat Ul Masabeeh, Pg. No. 163:

It is narrated on the authority of Hadhrat Habshi bin Janadah (May Allah be well pleased with him) that it is not lawful for an affluent person and a person whose body parts are all intact except for someone who is dirt-poor or someone who is in extreme need.  If someone begs of people to increase his (or her) wealth, then on the Day of Judgment, this begging will be expressed in the form of scratches and excoriations on the face and in the form of fire from hell, which that person will eat.  Thus, whoever wants to can increase or decrease this punishment for himself.  (Jame’ Tirmidhi, Vol. 1, Pg. No. 83)

Begging is allowed for only 3 kinds of persons, as given in this Hadith:

Translation:  The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said:  Except for these 3 persons, begging is not allowed for anybody else:

1.  The person who has given the guarantee of (somebody else's) loan can beg to the extent of the loan and should then stop.

2.  The person whose wealth is destroyed by a disaster can beg until he gains happiness in his life or maybe He (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said:  ….until his life is set right.

3.  A person who becomes poor and destitute so much so that 3 wise people of his nation/community get up and testify that so and so has become poor and destitute, for this kind of person begging is permissible; so that person can remain alive and fulfill his necessary needs.  O Qubaisa!  Begging is Forbidden (Haraam) apart from these 3 cases and the person who does so consumes unlawful.  (Mishkaat Ul Masabeeh, Pg. No. 162)

For those who have strength, it is better to search for a source of livelihood instead of bearing the taunts and humiliation given by the people and roaming from door to door.  There is a Hadith in Mishkaatul Masabeeh:

Translation: It is narrated on the authority of Hadhrat Zubair Bin 'Awwam that the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said:  For any of you that you should take your rope and carry a pile of sticks on your back and sell it through which Allah safeguards his dignity is a lot better than stretching out palms in front of other regardless of whether people give to him or not.  (Mishkaat Ul Masabeeh, Pg. No. 162)

The best sustenance (Rizq) is that which a person earns through Lawful sources by working hard.  There is a Hadith in Sunan Nasai:

Translation: It is narrated on the authority of Hadhrat 'Aisha Siddiqua (May Allah be well pleased with her) that the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said:  The best sustenance is the one which one earns himself.  The charity (Sadqa), which one gives after earning one’s money is full of reward and better for that person.  (Sunan Nasai, Vol. 2, Pg. No. 210)

The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said:  

Translation: The hand above is better than the hand below.  (Mishkaat Ul Masabeeh, Pg. No. 162)

There are strict condemnations for those who make begging their profession.  On the other hand, there are glad tidings of paradise for those who desist from it.

There is a Hadith in Mishkaat Ul Masabeeh:

Translation: It is narrated on the authority of Hadhrat Abdullah Bin Umar (May Allah be well pleased with them) that the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said:  A man keeps begging as a profession to the extent that he will come on Qiyamah in such a state that there will be no flesh on his face.  (Mishkaat Ul Masabeeh, Pg. No. 162)

There is a Hadith in Mishkaat Ul Masabeeh:

Translation: It is narrated on the authority of Hadhrat Thauban (May Allah be well pleased with him) that the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said:  Whoever gives me the assurance that he will not beg of any one, then I guarantee paradise for that person.

And Allah Most High knows best.

Mufti Syed Ziauddin Naqshbandi Qadri

[Professor, Islamic Law, Jamia Nizamia,
Founder-Director Abul Hasanaat Islamic Research Center]
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