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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Encouraging Beggars

Q: We receive on average 8 beggars a day at our house and we always give them something to eat or some change because I understand it is our duty to do so. Recently three of our neighbors mentioned to us that we should stop encouraging begging by giving them and that in future these beggars will steal from us and the surrounding homes because they know what is happening in our area/street. On the one hand I must give the beggars and on the other hand are the rights of the neighbors. What should we do?

A: Although Shari'ah encourages giving the needy, it also grants one the right of security and protection. If you truly feel that they can become a threat to you and your neighbours, then stop giving them and discourage them from coming to your door. If among them there are those who are genuinely in need and you feel that they will not be a threat because of old age, etc., do not stop giving them.
Moulana Yusuf Laher
Mufti Siraj Saheb adds: It has been reliably learnt and also experienced that the small children that come for bread are actually not in real need. Their motive is to check out the houses and inform would-be burglars. It has happened on more than one occasion that a child slipped into the house while the housewife went inside to fetch bread. This kid hid somewhere and when night fell, opened the door to allow bigger thieves inside. Needless to say, they ransacked the entire house. Thanks to Allah they never touched the sleeping occupants. Under these circumstances, Shari'ah will permit one turning these kids away and refusing to give them any handouts.

Checked and approved by:
Mufti Siraj Desai