Cii News | 10 Rajab 1437/18 April 2016

With the month of Ramadan upon our doorsteps, the Jamiatul Ulama Kwazulu Natal has called for important discussions to be convened on the state of begging in the Muslim community.

The Holy Month is associated with a general spirit of giving and generosity amongst Muslims, but, of late, it has also come to represent, for some, an open season for begging.

“This is something we need to address on the media level, in Masaajid, via the Imams, and generally in our communities, because almost on a daily basis, we receive calls to rectify the situation,” Moulana Abdullah Khan of the Jamiat told Cii Radio.

The aalim said public concerns revolved the authenticity of those begging, what established organisations could do to assist those genuinely in need, and the spectacle created by beggars who often were found donning Muslim garb.

“On investigation, it is often found that many beggars are simply wearing Muslim garb, and they are in reality non Muslim. Or they may have just learned some aspects of Muslim greetings and phrases,” he reported.

“To what extent do we render assistance, how do we decipher whether someone is requiring assistance or not, are we violating the Command of Allah SWT by not giving, are we not creating a society of beggars by continuously engaging in hand-outs – these are the various dilemmas people on the ground are communicating to us,” Moulana Khan said.

The public generosity of Muslims, especially during Ramadan, he added, should not serve the ignoble purpose of fomenting a culture of begging.

Intimating that there were so easy solutions to the problem, Moulana said the Jamiat was determined to embark on various Masjid programmes to engage with Imams and community members on the concerns, as well as to develop potential strategies to deal with the phenomenon.

“These are very serious questions that we are seeking guidance for, from our seniors and the Ulama. Insha Allah we can find, together with the community a solution and try to eradicate this bane of begging that has become to rife in the community,” he added.