Poor with deceptive
Q460 :In reality, we are needy people, but our sense
of honor prevents us from asking others for help, although helping the
needy is a requirement of Islam.
A460 : In the Qur'an, Allah praises those poor
people who conduct themselves with honor giving the impression of being
well off and who do not ask other people to give them anything of what
they have. These people are praised in the middle of a passage which
encourages the Muslim community to be liberal with its money, giving to
the poor and the needy and promises good reward for such charity.
Furthermore, the believers are strongly encouraged to keep their
charitable action secret, so as not to embarrass the recipients of
charity. The praise comes in verse 273 of surah 2 entitled, "The Cow".
Your attitude is certainly commendable. You have to remember that it is
not permissible for a Muslim to beg, except in very limited cases. Once
a man came to the Prophet asking him for charity. The Prophet asked
him whether he had any article of clothing or furniture in his home.
The man was very poor and he had a couple of articles which could not
fetch anything. The Prophet nevertheless asked him to bring them over.
The Prophet asked his companions whether any of them would like to buy
those two articles. One person bought them for a small amount. The
Prophet divided the money in two halves, giving the man one half to buy
food for his children. With the other, he told him to buy an ax and a
rope. Then he told him to go to the nearby mountain and collect
firewood. When he has made a bundle, he should take it to the market
and sell it. The man was to continue with this type of work for a
fortnight, during which he should not come to see the Prophet. At the
end of this period, the man came wearing a new dress and told the
Prophet that he has been able to save a little amount of money. The
Prophet said: "It is far better for any one of you to take an ax and go
to the mountain to collect firewood than to ask people for charity,
whether they give him what he asks for or decline to give it." Having
said that, I should add that the Muslim community should look after the
poor and needy people. The onus is on rich people to pay their zakah
and find deserving people to whom they should give it. This is indeed
something which should be undertaken by the Islamic state. When there
is no central authority to collect zakah and distribute it among its
beneficiaries, then individual Muslims should pay their zakah.
Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )