Praise be to Allah and peace be upon the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him). I bear witness that there is no god but Allah alone with no partner with Him. I also bear witness that Muhammad is His Servant and Messenger.
Of the reprehensible qualities that the lawgiver warned the people against is begging the people for money. The meaning is to ask the people for their money or needs without necessity or a pressing need because that means lowering one’s dignity to other than Allah.
Allah (Exalted be He) says: “(Charity is) for Fuqarâ’ (the poor), who in Allâh’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 of good, surely, Allâh knows it well.” [Surat Al-Baqarah: 273].
Ibn Kathir said in his Tafsir: “The meaning of the Ayah is: the people who do not persist on begging the people for money and do not beg for unwanted needs. If someone begs the people for money while he does not need it, then he is considered persistent in begging them.”
Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “The poor person is not the one who goes round the people and ask them for a mouthful or two (of meals) or a date or two but the poor is that who has not enough (money) to satisfy his needs and whose condition is not known to others, that others may give him something in charity, and who does not beg of people.”
Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “He who begs the riches of others to increase his own is asking only for live coals, so let him ask a little or much.”
Abu Hamid Al-Ghazaly said: Asking the people for money or needs is prohibited and this is the origin, but it may be permissible for necessity or a dire need because it contains a complaint of Allah (the Exalted). It also shows the lack of Allah’s Grace to His Servants. The asker humiliates himself to other than Allah and harms the asked person. The asked person may give the asker out of shyness or out of hypocrisy, and this is forbidden for the taker.”
The poet said:
The one who asks the people shall be deprived and the one who asks Allah shall not be disappointed.
Another poet said:
Do not ask the people for anything and only ask the One Whose gates are always open.
Allah will be angry with you if you do not ask Him, but the people are always angry when you ask them (for money or need).
The Prophet (peace be upon him) explained that asking for money is not permitted except for three types of people: Qabisah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “Begging is not permissible but for one of the three (classes) of persons: one who has incurred debt, for him begging is permissible till he pays that off, after which he must stop it; a man whose property has been destroyed by a calamity which has smitten him, for him begging is permissible till he gets what will support life, or will provide him reasonable subsistence; and a person who has been smitten by poverty. the genuineness of which is confirmed by three intelligent members of this peoples for him begging is permissible till he gets what will support him, or will provide him subsistence. O Qabisah, besides these three (every other reason) for begging is forbidden, and one who engages in such consumes that what is forbidden.”
Samurah ibn Jundub (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “Begging is a cut that a person inflicts upon his face; except for asking a ruler, or under the stress of circumstances from which there is no escape.”
As-San`any said: “As for asking the Sultan for money, it is not reprehensible because he asks for some of his rights in the Treasury House. There will be no grace or favor from the Sultan to the beggar because the Sultan is an agent. So, it will be like asking one’s agent to give him some of his rights.”
The Prophet (peace be upon him) explained the amount of richness that can prohibit begging. Sahl ibn Al-Handhaliyyah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger (peace be upon him) said: “Anyone begs the people while he or she has what may suffice him or her, he asks for more punishment in Hell-Fire.” The people said: O Messenger of Allah, What is the amount that suffices him or her from begging? He said: “The amount that is enough for lunch and dinner.”
The Prophet (peace be upon him) told the people that although the work is hard, and the money that comes from is few, it is better for a person than begging the people.
Az-Zubayr ibn Al-‘Awwam (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “It is better for anyone of you to take a rope (and cut) and bring a bundle of wood (from the forest) over his back and sell it and Allah will save his face (from the Hell-Fire) because of that, rather than to ask the people who may give him or not.”
The Prophet (peace be upon him) explained that the one who begs people for money or need without necessity or a dire need opens for himself the gate of poverty.
Abu Kabshah Al-Anmary (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “I swear by Allah for three (qualities) which I am going to tell you about. Remember them well: (1) The wealth of a man will not diminish by Sadaqah (charity). (2) Allah augments the honor of a man who endures an oppression patiently. (3) He who opens a gate of begging, Allah opens a gate of poverty (or he said a word similar to it).”
Moreover, the Messenger (peace be upon him) took homage from some of his Companions not to beg for anything from the people. `Awf ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) said: We, nine, eight or seven men, were in the company of the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) and he said: Why don’t you pledge allegiance to the Messenger of Allah? -while we had recently pledged allegiance. So we said: Messenger of Allah, we have already pledged allegiance to you. He again said: Why don’t you pledge allegiance to the Messenger of Allah? And we said: Messenger of Allah, we have already pledged allegiance to you. He again said: Why don’t you pledge allegiance to the Messenger of Allah? We stretched our hands and said: Messenger of Allah. we have already pledged allegiance to you. Now tell (on what things) should we pledge allegiance to you. He said: “I (You must pledgeallegiance) that you would worship Allah only and would not associate with Him anything, (and observe) five prayers, and obey- (and he said one thing in an undertone) -that you would not beg people of anything. (And as a consequence of that) I saw that some of these people did not ask anyone to pick up the whip for them if it fell down.”
Thawban (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “Who will accept one condition and I will guarantee Paradise for him?” Thawban said: I said: I am, O Messenger of Allah. He said: “Do not beg anything from the people.” The sub narrator said: Thawban’s whip would fall while he was riding his camel, but did not ask anyone to give it to him but he used to get down to take it himself.
The Companions (may Allah be pleased with them) used to act according to that Prophetic guidance and do not ask the people for anything from the worldly benefits.
Hakim ibn Hizam (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “(Once) I asked Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) (for something) and he gave it to me. Again I asked and he gave (it to me). Again I asked and he gave (it to me). And then he said, “O Hakim! This property is like a sweet fresh fruit; whoever takes it without greediness, he is blessed in it, and whoever takes it with greediness, he is not blessed in it, and he is like a person who eats but is never satisfied; and the upper (giving) hand is better than the lower (receiving) hand.” Hakim added, “I said to Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him), ‘By Him (Allah) Who sent you with the Truth, I shall never accept anything from anybody after you, till I leave this world.'” Then Abu Bakr (during his caliphate) called Hakim to give him his share from the war booty (like the other companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him)), he refused to accept anything. Then ‘Umar (during his caliphate) called him to give him his share but he refused. On that ‘Umar said, “O Muslims! I would like you to witness that I offered Hakim his share from this booty and he refused to take it.” So Hakim never took anything from anybody after the Prophet (peace be upon him) till he died.
Abu Sa`id Al-Khudry (may Allah be pleased with him) said: Some Ansari persons asked for (something) from Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) and he gave them. They again asked him for (something) and he again gave them. And then they asked him and he gave them again till all that was with him finished. And then he said “If I had anything. I would not keep it away from you. (Remember) Whoever abstains from asking others, Allah will make him contented, and whoever tries to make himself self-sufficient, Allah will make him self-sufficient. And whoever remains patient, Allah will make him patient. Nobody can be given a blessing better and greater than patience.”
Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. May Allah send His peace and blessings upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and his Companions.
 Tafsir Ibn Kathir (324\1).
 Sahih Al-Bukhari (457\1) No. (1476) and Sahih Muslim (719\2) No. (1039).
 Sahih Muslim (720\2) No. (1041).
 Ihya’ `Ulum Ad-Din (223\4) abridged and paraphrased.
 Sahih Muslim (722\2) No. (1044).