Word on the street: Begging during Ramadan
Public opinion on the streets of Muscat
Do you think begging increases during Ramadan? Do you think those who beg are genuinely poor?
Yousef Ali al Shiadi
Yes, begging increases during Ramadan, especially in places such as mosques, markets and petrol stations. Beggars try and exploit people’s emotions as they know this is the holy month and people engage in more charitable activities. Not many who indulge in begging are genuinely poor but just trying to make a quick buck.
Samir al Zadjali
Retd govt employee
Begging increases during Ramadan. Most beggars come from outside the sultanate. They are not poor, but take the holy month as a time to earn more.
Begging is a cause of concern during Ramadan. There are many reasons for it. Some people start begging probably because of poverty, hardships or unemployment at that time. But, when they start getting money easily they make begging their profession.
Mohammed Ali Khan
Many people take advantage of the holy month as it is the time when people are a lot more considerate and willing to do charity. We can’t say all those who beg fake misery, as there are some genuine cases as well who need help.
Yes, Ramadan is a good time for beggars to be a little bold and go out more often than other times. But we need to be careful, before giving anyone money and try getting some information about them to confirm if it is a genuine case.
It is a fact that begging goes up during Ramadan as people are more tolerant towards such activities. Most of the cases, I feel, are genuine but there are some who only want to make a quick buck. Then, there are also those who might be poor but they feel it is easier to make money through begging rather than getting a job.
How do you think begging can be dealt with?
Rachna Shankar Jha
The best way to curtail begging is by warning those who end up giving alms. If you stop giving, there will be no one around begging. Stringent rules should be introduced against those who give alms. Government should keep a check on those who enter the country and end up begging. They should try and find out how he was issued a visa.
Begging should be curtailed in all ways. It is not right to beg or give alms. There are enough charitable organisations that help those who are underprivileged. The ones who beg, do it because of habit. If the government brings in some stringent rules, it might get curtailed.
We have all heard stories of beggars maintaining multiple bank accounts. So one should remember that all beggars that one sees are not actually needy. They do it as a habit or to make a quick and easy buck. The government should be very careful when issuing visas to curtail begging.
Stricter laws will help in dealing with the menace of begging. There are laws in place of course, but you still find people begging at various places in the city. Authorities should round them up whenever they are caught begging.
Private sector employee
I have never paid cash to anyone who has come begging for money. I offer to buy them food and water on many occasions, but just as they refuse, I politely tell them that I will be of no further help as I will not give cash. Those who are approached by beggars, should avoid giving money. This is one way in which the problem can be dealt with.
The authorities in the country are doing their best to curb it. But if citizens and expatriates indulge in ‘helping’ the beggars, then no amount of fine or punishment will stop people from begging. They know they will still get help with fake tragic stories.
Do you plan to do any charity work during Ramadan? How?
Muhammad Wasil Khan
Yes, we do lots of charity work such as donating food in mosques and labour camps. Ramadan is the month of giving and feeding and it is a very important aspect of our religion.
Ali al Aufi
During Ramadan, I donate money to poor people in Oman and also in Africa. This year, I sent money to Africa because there are so many poor people there. It is always good to give your zakat during Ramadan because it is the month of giving.
Assistant finance manager
Ramadan is a good time to give zakat. It is the time when more good deeds are done especially charitable work. I try to feed the poor during this time. Fasting reminds us there are so many people who don’t have enough food to eat.
Fathiya Salim al Saadi
Yes, I believe every Muslim is aware of the importance of doing charitable work throughout the year and especially during Ramadan. Fasting makes us appreciate what we might otherwise take for granted. This encourages people to do charitable acts. One should avoid publicising what one does for charity.
Sami Mansoor al Amri
Motor claims officer
As one of the five pillars of Islam is zakat, or giving alms, which has to be done every year, many people choose the holy month for charitable acts. With social media, choosing a cause or verifying the authenticity of an organisation is easier. However, Islam also teaches us not to boast about our charitable acts.
Mohamed Appas Abdul Jabbar
According to Islam in addition to giving money in charity, it is also important to praise God and refrain from doing unlawful activities. Helping a disabled and bringing a smile on someone’s face are also acts of charity. We should strive to do all of these.