24.04.2005 Regional News

Muslims asked to contribute to 'Zakat' fund

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Kumasi, April 24, GNA - Alhaji Amen Bonsu, Second Deputy National Imam of the Ghana Muslim Mission, has called on Muslim organisations and individuals to contribute to the 'Zakat' fund to support poor and needy Muslims.

He said this was very crucial due to the influx of many beggars especially Muslims in the streets which has become a source of worry to many people.

In an interview with the GNA in Kumasi on Friday on "Islam and Begging", Alhaji Bonsu said Islam accepts almsgiving but abhors begging in public.

''If begging is to be practised at all in Islam, it must be done in a dignified manner and not in a professional way.''

Alhaji Bonsu, who is the Managing Director of Amen Scientific Herbal Clinic, said certain categories of people are publicly allowed to beg in Islam and these include newly converted Muslims, people in bondage, wayfarers and those in debt. He said professional begging is morally not a good way of making a living and urged people, even those with disabilities, to desist from it.

Alhaji Bonsu said professional beggars with their guides on the streets have become a nuisance to the public, making it difficult for people to help the needy and the poor.

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