Narrated Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhu):
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “The poor person is not the one who asks a morsel or two (of meals) from the others, but the poor is the one who has nothing and is ashamed to beg from others.”
The Arabic word for which “poor” has been used here is miskeen, which means “needy”.
This is to be understood by the giver, in my opinion. The real needy person who deserves to be given is the one who’s ashamed to ask. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give to those who ask of you. Just that those who don’t ask should be paid attention to as well. Also, those who don’t ask are hard to find. It takes effort to identify such deserving people.
This Hadith comes in the tafsir of this ayah:
لِلْفُقَرَاءِ الَّذِينَ أُحْصِرُوا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ لَا يَسْتَطِيعُونَ ضَرْبًا فِي الْأَرْضِ يَحْسَبُهُمُ الْجَاهِلُ أَغْنِيَاءَ مِنَ التَّعَفُّفِ تَعْرِفُهُم بِسِيمَاهُمْ لَا يَسْأَلُونَ النَّاسَ إِلْحَافًا ۗ وَمَا تُنفِقُوا مِنْ خَيْرٍ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ بِهِ عَلِيمٌ
“(Charity is) for Fuqara (the 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.” [Al-Baqarah: 273]
Ibn Kathir comments:
﴿لِلْفُقَرَآءِ الَّذِينَ أُحصِرُواْ فِى سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ﴾
((Charity is) for the poor, who in Allah’s cause are restricted (from travel)) meaning, the migrants who migrated to Allah and His Messenger, resided in Al-Madinah and did not have resources that sufficiently provided them with their needs,
﴿لاَ يَسْتَطِيعُونَ ضَرْبًا فِى الاٌّرْضِ﴾
(And cannot Darban (move about) in the land) meaning, “They cannot travel in the land to seek means of livelihood.” Allah said in other instances ﴿using a variation of the word Darban﴾
﴿وَإِذَا ضَرَبْتُمْ فِى الاٌّرْضِ فَلَيْسَ عَلَيْكُمْ جُنَاحٌ أَن تَقْصُرُواْ مِنَ الصَّلوةِ﴾
(And when you (Muslims) travel in the land, there is no sin on you if you shorten the Salah (the prayer)) ﴿4:101﴾, and,
﴿أَن سَيَكُونُ مِنكُمْ مَّرْضَى وَءَاخَرُونَ يَضْرِبُونَ فِى الاٌّرْضِ يَبْتَغُونَ مِن فَضْلِ اللَّهِ وَءَاخَرُونَ يُقَـتِلُونَ فِى سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ فَاقْرَءُواْ﴾
(He knows that there will be some among you sick, others traveling through the land, seeking of Allah’s bounty, yet others fighting in Allah’s cause) ﴿73:20﴾.
Allah then said,
﴿يَحْسَبُهُمُ الْجَاهِلُ أَغْنِيَآءَ مِنَ التَّعَفُّفِ﴾
(The one who knows them not, thinks that they are rich because of their modesty) meaning, those who do not know their situation think that they are well-off, because they are modest in their clothes and speech. There is a Hadith with this meaning that the Two Sahihs recorded from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allah said,
«لَيْسَ الْمِسْكِينُ بِهذَا الطَّوَّافِ الَّذِي تَرُدُّهُ التَّمْرَةُ وَالتَّمْرَتَانِ، وَاللُّقْمَةُ وَاللُّقْمَتَانِ، وَالْأُكْلَةُ وَالْأُكْلَتَانِ، وَلكِنِ الْمِسْكِينُ الَّذِي لَا يَجِدُ غِنىً يُغْنِيهِ، وَلَا يُفْطَنُ لَهُ فَيُتَصَدَّقَ عَلَيْهِ، وَلَا يَسْأَلُ النَّاسَ شَيْئًا»
(The Miskin (needy) is not he who wanders about and whose need is sufficed by a date or two, a bite or two or a meal or two. Rather, the Miskin is he who neither has enough resources to sustain him, all the while people are unaware of his need so they do not give to him, nor does he ask people for anything.)
Imam Ahmad also recorded this Hadith from Ibn Mas`ud.
(You may know them by their mark) means, “Those who have good minds discover their situation,” just as Allah said in other instances,
﴿سِيمَـهُمْ فِى وُجُوهِهِمْ﴾
(The mark of them (i.e. of their faith) is on their faces) ﴿48:29﴾, and,
﴿وَلَتَعْرِفَنَّهُمْ فِى لَحْنِ الْقَوْلِ﴾
(But surely, you will know them by the tone of their speech!) ﴿47:30﴾. Allah’s statement,
﴿لاَ يَسْـَلُونَ النَّاسَ إِلْحَافًا﴾
(they do not beg of people at all) means, they do not beg and, thus, do not require people to provide them with more than what they actually need. Indeed, those who ask people for help, while having what suffices for their needs, have begged.
Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Sa`id said, “My mother sent me to the Messenger of Allah to ask him for help, but when I came by him I sat down. The Prophet faced me and said to me,
«مَنِ اسْتَغْنَى أَغْنَاهُ اللهُ، وَمَنِ اسْتَعَفَّ أَعَفَّهُ اللهُ، وَمَنِ اسْتَكَفَّ كَفَاهُ اللهُ، وَمَنْ سَأَلَ وَلَهُ قِيمَةُ أُوقِيَّةٍ فَقَدْ أَلْحَف»
(Whoever felt satisfied, then Allah will enrich him. Whoever is modest, Allah will make him decent. Whoever is content, then Allah will suffice for him. Whoever asks people, while having a small amount, he will have begged the people.)
Abu Sa`id said, “I said to myself, `I have a camel, Al-Yaqutah, and indeed, it is worth more than a small amount.’ And I went back without asking the Prophet for anything.” This is the same wording for this Hadith collected by Abu Dawud and An-Nasa’i.
﴿وَمَا تُنفِقُواْ مِنْ خَيْرٍ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ بِهِ عَلِيمٌ﴾
(And whatever you spend in good, surely Allah knows it well) indicates that no charity escapes Him, and He will reward it fully and perfectly on the Day of Resurrection, when it is most desperately needed.
There’s a lesson for the beggars (in the literal sense) here as well. Avoid asking of people. If you uphold your dignity and self-respect, Allah will too. As the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said:
Whoever felt satisfied, then Allah will enrich him. Whoever is modest, Allah will make him decent. Whoever is content, then Allah will suffice for him. Whoever asks people, while having a small amount, he will have begged the people.
One more thing, identifying people’s needs and giving them without their asking is a real talent. Try putting it to use! :)
Narrated ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar (radiallaahu `anhu):
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “A man keeps on asking others for something till he comes on the Day of Resurrection without any piece of flesh on his face.” The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) added, “On the Day of Resurrection, the Sun will come near (to, the people) to such an extent that the sweat will reach up to the middle of the ears, so, when all the people are in that state, they will ask Adam (`alayhissalaam) for help, and then Moses (`alayhissalaam), and then Muhammad (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam).” The sub-narrator added “Muhammad (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) will intercede with Allah to judge amongst the people. He will proceed on till he will hold the ring of the door (of Paradise) and then Allah will exalt him to Maqam Mahmud (the privilege of intercession, etc.). And all the people of the gathering will send their praises to Allah.
This man used to ask of people a lot, even when he was not in need. It’s something undignified. One’s self-respect should keep him from stooping to such a level. So when this person will be brought on the Day of Judgement, his face will be without flesh. It’s to show disgrace and disrespect. If he didn’t practice self-respect in his life in this world, he shall not have it on that day either. Like sin, like punishment.
Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) warns about the Day of Judgement, when the Sun will be so near that people will sweat like crazy. Imagine someone (literally) drowning in his sweat, his sweat reaching up to the middle of his ears. One drop of sweat trickles down my forehead in this world’s summer where the Sun is situated thousands of miles away, and it makes me feel so agitated. I wonder how it would feel to be sweating so profusely that day. May Allah save us from it and give us a place under His Shade on the Day of Judgement.
P.S. did anyone notice today’s date and the Hadith number? Coincidence? I think so! :P
Narrated Ibn ‘Umar (radiallahu `anhu):
I heard Allah’s Apostle (sallallahu `alayhi wasallam) while he was on the pulpit speaking about charity, to abstain from asking others for some financial help and about begging others, saying, “The upper hand is better than the lower hand. The upper hand is that of the giver and the lower (hand) is that of the beggar.”
It is not permissible for anyone to ask people for money when he is not in need or he is able to earn a living. There are certain categories for whom it is permissible to ask of people. They are: the poor person who is destitute, the man who owes a debt, and the one who has been stricken by financial calamity and lost all his wealth. In these cases it is not permissible to ask for more than one needs, on condition that he does not have enough to meet his needs and is not able to earn enough for his livelihood.
The scholars of the Standing Committee said:
It is permissible to ask for people for money, for the one who is in need and does not have enough to suffice him and he is not able to earn a living. He may ask people for as much as will meet his needs only. As for the one who is not in need, or the one who is in need but is able to earn a living, it is not permissible for him to ask and whatever he takes from people in this case is haraam for him, because of the hadeeth of Qabeesah ibn Mukhaariq al-Hilaali (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: It was narrated that Qabeesah ibn Mukhaariq al-Hilaali said: I incurred a debt (in order to reconcile between two parties) and I came to the Messenger of Allaah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) to ask him (for help) with it. He said: “Stay with us until the zakaah comes, and we will order that something be given to you.” Then he said: “O Qabeesah, asking for help is not permissible except in one of three cases: a man who has incurred a debt (in order to reconcile between two parties), for whom it is permissible to ask for help until he has paid it off, then he should refrain; a man who has been stricken by a calamity that has destroyed all his wealth, for whom it is permissible to ask for help until he gets enough to get by – or he gets enough to meet his basic needs; and a man who is stricken by poverty and three men of wisdom among his people acknowledge that So and so has been stricken by poverty, then it becomes permissible for him to ask for help until he gets enough to get by – or to meet his basic needs. Apart from these cases asking for help, O Qabeesah, is haraam and the one who begs is consuming something haraam.” Narrated by Ahmad, Muslim, an-Nasaa’i and Abu Dawood.
And (it is haraam) because of the hadeeth, “Whoever asks of people to accumulate wealth is asking for a live coal” and the hadeeth “Charity is not permissible for a rich person, or for one who is strong and healthy.”
Narrated by the five apart from an-Nasaa’i
So what you should do is advise him, and the scholars should explain this to the people in their Friday khutbahs and otherwise, and in the media.
Repulsing or chiding the beggar is also not allowed because Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): “and do not chide the one who asks for help” [ad-Duha 93:10]. What is referred to here is rebuking him and raising one’s voice against him; this includes both the one who asks for money and the one who asks about shar‘i rulings. But this does not rule out offering guidance to the beggar who is asking wrongfully, and advising him with wisdom and beautiful preaching.
Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz, Shaykh ‘Abdullah ibn Ghadyaan, Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan, Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez Aal ash-Shaykh, Shaykh Bakr Abu Zayd
Fataawa al-Lajnah ad-Daa’imah, 24/377
Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked:
What is the Islamic ruling on begging?
He quoted the hadeeth of Qabeesah that we quoted above, then he said,
In this hadeeth the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) described the permissible kinds of asking; anything other that is haraam. If a person has enough to meet his needs whether it is from the salary of a job, or from trade, or income from some property set aside as a waqf for his benefit by a relative, or real estate, or earnings from a craft such as carpentry or blacksmithing, or from farming and the like, it is haraam for him to beg. But if a person is compelled to do that, there is nothing wrong with him asking for as much as he needs. The same applies to one who incurs a debt in order to reconcile between people, or to spend on his family and children. There is nothing wrong with him asking for help to pay off this debt.
Majmoo‘ Fataawa Ibn Baaz, 14/320
[Taken from IslamQA]