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The Eradication of Beggary as a Profession

The measures adopted for giving the weaker members of society the right to have a share in the wealth of the rich were at the same time likely to produce another evil in society - that this section of society might become parasitical, and live as a permanent burden on society. In order to check this tendency, the Shariah has subjected these people as well to certain special regulations:-

(i) A man who is healthy and physically fit has not been given the right to beg, except under special circumstances. According to the Holy Qur’ân, the commendable quality of the genuine “Fuqarâ” (beggars) is that:


“They do not beg of men importunately.”


(ii) The man who has the wherewithal for a day has been forbidden to beg.

(iii) A tradition of the Holy Prophet ( ) condemns begging as a humiliation.

(iv) The man who possesses wealth up to the prescribed quantity has been forbidden to accept charity even without begging.

(v) The poor and the helpless have been persuaded to shun charity, to earn their livelihood through their labor as far as possible, and to look upon hard work as noble.

(vi) Those who possess wealth have been admonished that it is not enough merely to set apart a sum of money for charity- they are also responsible for seeking out those who are really needy and thus genuinely entitled to charity, and for distributing it among them.

(vii) Through the department of moral censorship, provision has been made for the eraditation of beggary.

In consequence of the healthy system of the distribution of wealth which Islâm has instituted by means of these injunctions, our history offers instances of a state of society where one sought in vain for a man who would accept charity.



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Last modified 08/12/05 09:25 AM - Iqra - ISSN #1062-2756