Allah (swt) says in the Holy Quran: ‘Charity is for the Fuqara (poor), who in Allah’s cause are restricted (from travel), and cannot move about in the land (for trade or work). The one who knows them not thinks that they are rich because of their modesty. You may know them by their mark, they do not beg of people at all. And whatever you spend in good surely Allah knows it well’. (TMQ-2:273)
This verse mentions about the category of people who deserve charity. This category includes those who had migrated from Mecca to Medina. These people had devoted their entire lifetime to the mission of Islam and hence they had got detached from the worldly matters.
This category also includes students of Islam and Islamic scholars. Such people are characterized by the noble trait of not asking anybody for help, despite their poverty. They can be identified by their trait of not pestering people for help. This interpretation of the verse 2:273 has been confirmed by the following hadith:
Abu Huraira reported that Allah’s Apostle said, “Miskin is not the one who goes around begging for one or two morsels or for one or two dates but Miskin is the one who abstains from begging. Then Allah’s Apostle (swt) gave the reference of verse no. 2:273”. (Sahih Muslim).
In the light of this Quranic verse we can conclude that instead of giving charity to the professional beggars, we should try to identify those people who migrate for the noble cause of tableegh, students of Deen (Islam); Islamic scholars and the people who mask their poverty behind good attire and who do not ask for help from anyone because begging is below one’s dignity.
It would be apt to mention another hadith here which states that: Hamza, son of Abdullah reported on the authority of his father that Prophet Mohammad (saw) said, “If a man keeps begging from people despite having enough wealth then he will meet Allah (swt) in a sate where there would be no flesh on his face”. (Sahih Muslim).
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