How Islam Views Begging

Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, states: “The fundamental attitude of Islam towards man’s position in the world is that Allah the Almighty has made the earth for his benefit. He has given him control over it. Then it becomes man’s duty to profit from this favour and to exert himself to seek Allah’s bounties throughout the earth.
It is not permitted for a Muslim to stay idle doing nothing to make a living on the pretext of devoting his life to worship or putting trust in Allah. He should know that the sky never rains gold or silver. Also, it is not permissible for him to depend on charity while he is able to earn a sufficient subsistence for himself and his family through his own efforts. In this regard, the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, says: “Charity is Halal (lawful) neither for the rich nor for the able bodied.” (Reported by At-Tirmidhi)
The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, has made it Haram for a Muslim to beg money from others without dire necessity, thus losing his honor and dignity. He says: “He who begs without need is like a person holding a burning piece of coal in his hand.” (Reported by Al-Bayhaqi and by Ibn Khuzaymah)
He also says: “Anyone who begs from people in order to increase his wealth will have his face scratched on the Day of Resurrection, and will eat burning stones from Hell; so let him reduce it (his punishment) or let him increase it as he pleases.” (Reported by At-Tirmidhi) This means that it is up to him to decrease his punishment by not begging, and vice-versa.
Again, he says: “A person keeps on begging until he meets Allah (on the Day of Resurrection) with no flesh on his face.” (Reported by al-Bukhari and Muslim)
By such strong admonitions, the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, intended to train the Muslim to safeguard his dignity, develop self-reliance, and steer clear of depending on others. As the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, was aware of situations of necessity, he stipulated that if one is forced to seek financial help from the government or from individuals out of dire need, he is blameless. The Prophet, peace and blessings be on him, says: “Begging is similar to scratching the flesh off your face; so if someone wants to save his face he should avoid it, except for asking from the ruler or asking in case of dire need.” (Reported by Abu Dawud and An-Nisa’i)
In his Sahih, Muslim quoted Abu Bishr Qubaysah ibn Al-Makharaf as saying: “I agreed to pay Himalah (an amount of money paid to two quarreling parties to reconcile them) and came to the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be on him, asking for help. Thereupon, the Prophet, peace and blessings be on him, said, ‘Wait until alms (Sadaqah) are brought to us and we will give you from that. Qubaysah,’ (the Prophet went further) ‘asking for money is not permissible except in three cases: for a man who takes it upon himself to pay Himalah, he may seek people’s help until the designated amount is received and then he should stop asking; for a calamity-stricken man who loses his property, it is permissible for him to seek financial assistance until he is able to stand on his own feet; and for a man who is starving, with three reliable persons from his community testifying to that saying ‘Oh, this man has been reduced to hunger!’ It is permissible for him to ask (for charity) until he is able to stand on his own feet.’ Except for these cases, Qubaysah, begging is fire, it is devouring fire.’” (Reported by Abu Dawud and An-Nisai)
Here is the crucial question: Who are the worthy recipients of Sadaqah? It should be given to a Muslim who happens to deserve it. If, however, it is known that he will use it to perpetuate what Allah has forbidden, then he’s not entitled to it. It is preferable that one who pays Sadaqah should give it to the pious, the knowledgeable, and those of a kind disposition.
Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri quotes the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, as saying: “The likeness of a believer and the likeness of belief are similar to the horse that, tied to its post, oscillates around. The believer may forget, but he returns to his belief. Thus, give your food to the righteous people and entrust your favors to the believers.” (Reported by Ahmad)”