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ARE WE CREATING A SOCIETY OF BEGGARS?

Communities across South Africa are facing an increasing epiemic of !eggars" #ar$% o %ou pass an
intersection e&cept 'ith a fe' ini(iua$s re)uesting han*outs" Whi$e some !eggars turn a'a% 'ith a
sha+e of the hea, others 'i$$ persist to the point of harassment"

Is$am encourages charit%, generosit% an +inness, !ut at the same time strong$% iscourages !egging"
Rasu$u$$ah Sa$$a$$ahu A$a%hi 'a Sa$$am has state, -Whoe(er is aff$icte !% po(ert% an then turns to
peop$e for assistance, his po(ert% 'i$$ ne(er en, !ut 'hoe(er is aff$icte !% po(ert% an turns to A$$ah
for assistance, soon 'i$$ A$$ah pro(ie for him, immeiate$% or after some time". /A!u 0a'u1

In another #aith, Rasu$u$$ah Sa$$a$$ahu A$a%hi 'a Sa$$am states, -Begging is not permitte for the
'ea$th%, nor for those a!$e to earn" It is on$% permitte for the one in eso$ate po(ert% or for the one
'ith o(er'he$ming e!t" An 'hoe(er !egs to increase his 'ea$th, it 'i$$ !e scars that 'i$$ $ine his face
on the 0a% of Resurrection an !oi$ing stones that he 'i$$ eat in #e$$" So 'hoe(er 'ishes ma% ta+e $ess
an 'hoe(er 'ishes ma% ta+e more". /Tirmi2i1

Once an Ansaari came to Rasu$u$$ah Sa$$a$$ahu A$a%hi 'a Sa$$am as+ing for assistance" Rasu$u$$ah
Sa$$a$$ahu A$a%hi 'a Sa$$am en)uire, -Is there nothing in %our home?. The Ansaari rep$ie, -Yes 'e
ha(e a sa$e !$an+et that 'e co(er ourse$(es 'ith an that 'e $a% o'n for s$eeping, an a 'ooen
container from 'hich 'e rin+ 'ater". Rasu$u$$ah Sa$$a$$ahu A$a%hi 'a Sa$$am then instructe that
Ansaari to !ring those t'o items" When he arri(e 'ith them, Rasu$u$$ah Sa$$a$$ahu A$a%hi 'a Sa$$am
he$ them in his han an sai, -Who 'i$$ purchase these?. One Sahaa!i sai, -I 'i$$ ta+e them for one
0irham /si$(er coin1". Rasu$u$$ah Sa$$a$$ahu A$a%hi 'a Sa$$am as+e again, -Who 'i$$ ou!$e or trip$e
this price?. Another Sahaa!i sai, -I 'i$$ ta+e them for t'o 0irhams". Rasu$u$$ah Sa$$a$$ahu A$a%hi 'a
Sa$$am then so$ him the items an too+ the t'o 0irhams" #e then ga(e the 0irhams to the Ansaari an
instructe, -3urchase foo for one 0irham an gi(e it %our fami$%" 3urchase an a&e hea 'ith the other
an !ring it to me". The Sahaa!i !rought the a&e hea an Rasu$u$$ah Sa$$a$$ahu A$a%hi 'a Sa$$am
fitte the han$e on 'ith his o'n hans" #e then to$ the Ansaari, -Go, cut 'oo an se$$ it an return
after fifteen a%s". The Ansaari then came /after fifteen a%s1 an he ha earne ten 0irhams from
'hich he purchase c$othing an foo" Rasu$u$$ah Sa$$a$$ahu A$a%hi 'a Sa$$am then remar+e, -This is
!etter for %ou than ha(ing to appear on the 0a% of Resurrection 'ith %our !egging as scars on %our
face4. /A!u 0a'u1

Is$am as a re$igion is a$'a%s a!out up$ifting an empo'ering peop$e" We nee to consier serious$% the
manner in 'hich 'e ischarge our charit% an 'hether it is he$ping to empo'er peop$e or is it
increasing the !eggars in our societ%" An Aa$im from So'eto recent$% remar+e that our contri!utions
are creating -Instant #i5aa!is.6 'omen 'ith no affi$iation to Is$am that are no' suen$% in c$oa+ an
scarf to recei(e han*outs from the 7us$im communit%" It is 'orth noting that 'hi$e the re$igious sites
of other faiths are genera$$% free from !eggars, our 7asaa5i an Eigah entrances are $ine 'ith
!eggars"

Generosit% an +inness is something to !e prou of, creating a societ% of !eggars is not"Consier
carefu$$% 'hether %our generosit% is he$ping our societ% gro' or is it proucing the re(erse" The mone%
that 'e ai$% pu$$ out of our poc+ets 'i$$ fin more (a$ue if in(este in programmes that put peop$e on
their feet rather than a$$o'ing them to $i(e of others"

At the same time, remem!er the 8uranic (erse, -An as for the !eggar, then o not sco$ /him9her1". If
'e o not gi(e, o not insu$t an critici2e" Be ecent an ci(i$ in our refusa$"

Is$am ta+es us a'a% from !egging an to'ars se$f*sufficienc%" It remo(es us from re$iance on others
to'ars se$f*etermination" It eraicates 'orth$essness an grants ignit%" Our actions shou$ mirror
the same"

:amiatu$ ;$ama /<=N1
Counci$ of 7us$im Theo$ogians
>>? A$pine Roa, O(erport, 0ur!an
Te$ @ A>B /C1 ?D >CBBCEE
Fa& @ A>B/C1 ?D >CBFDG?
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