Madinat al-Muslimeen Community

*


Login with username, password and session length

From the news...

All the world's a kabob truck.


Pages: [1]   Go Down
Print
Author Topic: I Saw a Muslim Woman Begging on the Street Corner  (Read 2778 times)
Tabriz
Sis
Jr. Member
*

Reputation Power: 7
Tabriz has no influence :(
Gender: Female
Posts: 54


« on: Nov 12, 2008 09:00 AM »


Assalamu alykum,

What's up ya'll? I haven't been on here for a while. Many many new names. I felt really rotten about how I was scammed and wanted to let everyone know, so that if you ever witness such a thing you will be more thoughtful about it than I was.

On my way to lunch from work, I noticed a lady walking towards the intersection and bus stop. She had a scarf on and a long shirt with a long skirt. I had noticed her before walking in that very same direction before. I was in my car and the traffic was at a stop because of a red light. The woman pulled out a sign from her purse and held it up as she slowly walked up and down. I was too far away to read what it said and when the light turned green I pulled along with the flow of traffic, and then the light was red again. There she was, two cars ahead of me, going up to the windows and holding the sign close to the windows for poeple to read. Then she walked towards me and to my horror I saw that she was begging for food and she had three kids!!

The light turned green again, and I motioned for her to come over to the parking lot of HEB, which was right behind the bus stop. I rolled down my window and asked her if she was Muslim. She said yes with an accent. Arab? I asked. "No. Albanian."

Why are you begging? Where's your family? Where's your husband?

No family. Have been here for a year. Husband can't find job.

What kind of work is he looking for?

Anything.

So I make a call to my mom and tell her to immediately start making calls and asking people to look for a job for this man. Anything, so the wife won't have to beg anymore.

Where's your husband now? Looking for a job.

Where are your kids? At school.

"Sister I need $700 for my rent."

"I thought you needed food. I don't have any money. My mom's pretty good at finding people jobs, she'll find something for your husband."

"The rent is due tomorrow."

I said ok let's exchange numbers and I will call you tomorrow and visit you with my mom and let's see what can do for you.

So we exchanged phone numbers.

I asked her where do you live? She said "around here." I asked her how did she expects me to come to her aprtment. She said her husband would call her.

I asked her what other language she spoke besides English, (which was broken and hard to understand), she said "Albanian." I was thinking in my head, cool, I didn't know Albanian was a language.

So do you need food, I asked her. (I was hungry myself, as I had no breakfast and I wanted to grab a sandwich.)

She said "Yes." I told her I can't give her money for the food since I don't have cash on me, but I am willing to let her take all the groceries she needs from HEB on my credit card. So we go inside. The first thing she pickes are bananas and grapes, while hesitating. I tried to smile as big as I could, I mean really stretched my lips, so she would feel at ease and told her she can take whatever she wants.

She filled her basket to the max, until she could fill no more and stuff was falling off off. She even bought diapers and wipes and detergent. That freaked me out.

Where's your baby?

With husband.

I thought...hmmm...wasn't he looking for work?

What's your kids names?

Lukas, Mathew and Natalie.

Me thinking: huh

What's your husband's name?

Mario.

Me thinking: Maybe in Albania Muslims keep non-Arabic names. If the name doesn't have a negative meaning then it's cool. Plus, names are a part of culture and their culture is Eastern European. Oh and her name is Hernania.

But I was still unesy with Mario. I thought to myself perhaps she married a convert or that he was an Italian Muslim and they met in Albania and fell in love while he was touring there... And besides none of my business. I just didn't want a Muslim woman, and a Muslim woman who is visibly Muslim, to be begging on the streets.

I know there are poor Muslims in America but I had never seen one beg. I was embarassed and felt very ashamed that she was begging.

I did ask her if she had gone to the Mosque for help. She said yes, she did but they said they would help but never did. I asked her for the name of the mosque but she didn't know the name.

The bill came out to be $177 dollars and some cents worth of groceries. I felt reassured that Lukas, Natalie and Mathew would not be going to sleep hungry at night.

I asked her how she would get all those groceries home and she said her husband would come pick her up anytime now. I hugged her and said Salams and drove back to work, still hungry, because my 1 hour lunch was over.

I called Hernania, the first thing Saturday morning, the next day. There was no such a number. I waited till yesterday for Hernania to call me.

Hey Hernania, there's a job waiting for Mario. And lots of cute clothes that my daughter hadn't worn yet that I was going to gift you.

Next time I see a homeless person begging for money or food, I am going to do what everyone else does, ignore. That's right. Ignore, wether Muslim or not. Most of them are scammers and and lazy. I bet they make a lot of more money than I do. If I had $700 dollars with me, I would have given it to her. Fortunately, I also couldn't find my banking card. My daughter had pulled it out of my wallett when she was fishing around for lipstick and had stuck it under the pillow.


Go to a soup kitchen, go to the government. Get help. Stop begging on the street. Go to the mosque and ask for a Zakat fund.

Thanks a lot Hernania. You are probably thinking I must be feeling pretty stupid. Yeah, well... I am feeling pretty stupid. And I don't have gas money until Friday!






Halima
Sis
Hero Member
*

Reputation Power: 39
Halima is working their way up :)Halima is working their way up :)Halima is working their way up :)
Gender: Female
Posts: 1714



« Reply #1 on: Nov 12, 2008 09:44 AM »

That was mean!  And Shameful!

But Allah SWT will reward you for your kindness.


The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
Fozia
Sis
Hero Member
*

Reputation Power: 124
Fozia is awe-inspiring mA!Fozia is awe-inspiring mA!Fozia is awe-inspiring mA!Fozia is awe-inspiring mA!Fozia is awe-inspiring mA!Fozia is awe-inspiring mA!Fozia is awe-inspiring mA!Fozia is awe-inspiring mA!Fozia is awe-inspiring mA!Fozia is awe-inspiring mA!Fozia is awe-inspiring mA!Fozia is awe-inspiring mA!
Gender: Female
Posts: 2658



« Reply #2 on: Nov 12, 2008 10:37 AM »

salam


Awww dont feel stupid, I've given money to poor people before who it turns out prolly werent poor.

We do it in good faith, its not for you to feel bad. May Allah give you huge barakah.

Dont change, be a little more cautious but dont change.


Wassalaam

And when My servants question thee concerning Me, then surely I am nigh. I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he crieth unto Me. So let them hear My call and let them trust in Me, in order that they may be led aright. Surah 2  Verse 186
rahma
Sis
Hero Member
*

Reputation Power: 73
rahma has a powerful personality :)rahma has a powerful personality :)rahma has a powerful personality :)rahma has a powerful personality :)rahma has a powerful personality :)rahma has a powerful personality :)rahma has a powerful personality :)
Gender: Female
Posts: 543



« Reply #3 on: Nov 12, 2008 12:15 PM »

Wow.

Sister Tabriz, bummer story.

But, please don't let this turn you bitter.

The next beggar you see might REALLY need the help.  Even if you're scammed 10 times, the 11th person might be the one in dire need.

May Allah reward you for your kindness.
lucid
Bro
Sr. Member
*

Reputation Power: 15
lucid has no influence :(
Gender: Male
Posts: 387



« Reply #4 on: Nov 12, 2008 12:49 PM »

assalamualaikum

you shouldn't undo your extreme act of kindness by bitterness and mean spiritedness.

you should have known about women like these.  they are often gypsies.  you see them all the time in london.  they hang out before friday prayer near regent's park mosque.  some are muslims, some not, (i guess).

you should know that there are many, many Albanian women in the sex trade -- women who either sell themselves or beg on the street.  it is bitter reality that everybody knows about. 

most likely though she is part of a romanian or albanian caravan, and they go from city to city either robbing people or begging.  but other than that they are harmless, and back home they are reallllllly, reallllllly treated badly.

when you give money to someone as zakah, or charity -- the intention should be to do something right.  if it helps them then great, but if they scam you, well,....,who really cares, you did the right thing.  and doing the right thing betters society and purifies you and your wealth.

there is a prophetic story i am sure you know -- a man gave charity to a woman begging on the street.  when his friends/family found out, they lambasted him.  she was a prostitute!  how could he give money to such a lowlife, they screamed.  but that money helped turn the woman away from prostitution.  has there ever been money better spent?!

anyhow, as muslims we are supposed to give and give, and give some more to such an extent that the left hand doesn't know what the right is doing.  (the left metaphorically prevents the right from giving).  whether that money is wasted or used wisely is not our problem.  our responsibility is only to give as much we can.

one final thing, you should not be bitter about somebody much poorer than you cheating you or taking advantage of you.  you will recall that one the people who most vigorously spread rumours of Aisha's (ra) alleged infidelity was a relative of Abu Bakr.  when Abu Bakr (ra) found out, he became very upset.  it turns out that Abu Bakr (ra) had been regularly giving charity to that relative.  however, after this betrayal, he angrily stopped, feeling cheated and taken advantage of, albeit by someone very, very poor. 

what happened next?  something amazing.  abu bakr was rebuked by none other than a new revelation in the quran.  he was told to be less tight-minded toward his destitute relative (who had since acknowledged his idiocy) and told to resume his charity.

in anycase, you have done a wonderful thing, although something outrageously naive.  don't be upset.  worse things have happened.  (for example i once gave money to a woman to buy a piece of land.  little did idiot me know that this would erupt in a family feud and her murder by her husband).

frankly speaking, i am only writing this post, so the message gets through to myself.  i live in a muslim country.  everyday, on every street corner i see women and street children begging.  after friday prayer the beggars just swarm you.  however, as in most muslim countries, people here are very, very, very, very, very, very hardhearted.  they just tell beggers to get lost or bugger off. get a job!, they scream.  such poverty would not be tolerated in non-muslim countries, but here muslims are just too small minded to give a damn.  maybe that's why allah has kept these small minded muslim countries very small indeed....





xina6143
Sis
Newbie
*

Reputation Power: 0
xina6143 has no influence :(
Gender: Female
Posts: 16



« Reply #5 on: Nov 12, 2008 05:47 PM »

 >:(Ugh that is horrible Ive experienced the same thing its made me want to give up sometimes but like others have said you cant let that make you stop helping people because there are really people out there who do need help. Allah will reward you for your good intentions.
blackrose
Sis
Hero Member
*

Reputation Power: 3
blackrose has no influence :(
Gender: Female
Posts: 1649



« Reply #6 on: Nov 12, 2008 10:25 PM »

salaam

I dont know why you are upset. Maybe she really doesnt have a phone number and maybe she did lie about her family. I would be scared to tell any info about myself also to a stranger. Thats normal. Anyway if she did lie about everything it does not mean that she wasnt hungry or she didnt need cash. you didnt giver her cash, you brought her food ! SubhanAllah. rich or poor we are always rewarded for feeding other people.
And remember you are rewarded for your intentions so plz continue to do and act as you did because you dont know when someone is really in need.

JazakAllahu kair for all that info Lucid
salma
Sis
Newbie
*

Reputation Power: 0
salma has no influence :(
Gender: Female
Posts: 24


« Reply #7 on: Nov 13, 2008 12:08 AM »

Salaamalikum,
Something similar happened to us few weeks ago, (in Houston). We saw this "hijabbed" lady at a corner asking for help as she had chronic pain and needed work and money for medicines. We saw her and turned the car into the nearest parking lot and I approached her and said Salaamalikum, in a very broken english she replied salaam and that's all I got out of her, she did not understand anything. I handed her some money and went away.
We later asked the family we were visiting in that area if this was usual thing in that area? and guess what...YES!
Oh well, me and my huband discussed it and reminded ourselves we did it for the sake of Allah. pinkhijabisis
Blessedgrandma
Sis
Hero Member
*

Reputation Power: 6
Blessedgrandma has no influence :(
Gender: Female
Posts: 625



« Reply #8 on: Nov 13, 2008 04:06 AM »

I so agree with everyone above, why be angry or not help another?
You did what was on your heart to do, and it may be a test for all you know.
Maybe she didn't have a phone, maybe she is a fake.
Look at it this way, what was your responsibility and duty?
To help another, right? This is between you and Allah.
What was this woman's responsibility?
Being honest with you, right? This is between her and Allah.
Have joy in your heart you did what you felt was right and leave this woman's
duties between her and Allah cause we're not the judge right?
I wonder if we lose a blessing when we help someone and regret it later?
Tabriz
Sis
Jr. Member
*

Reputation Power: 7
Tabriz has no influence :(
Gender: Female
Posts: 54


« Reply #9 on: Nov 13, 2008 04:22 AM »

Salma,

I'm in Houston too! Which part of town did you see her in? If wonder if this is the same lady....?

I have been on the lookout for her every since. Lol.

And for the rest of you, I appreciate what you are trying to get across to me.


salma
Sis
Newbie
*

Reputation Power: 0
salma has no influence :(
Gender: Female
Posts: 24


« Reply #10 on: Nov 13, 2008 02:30 PM »

Westheimer area.
She had a cardboard with all the stuff written on it, after I gave her some money and was leaving i saw some other bearded older men approaching her, I guess there are lots of helpful Muslims in Houston.
Tabriz
Sis
Jr. Member
*

Reputation Power: 7
Tabriz has no influence :(
Gender: Female
Posts: 54


« Reply #11 on: Nov 17, 2008 01:29 AM »

Assalamu alykum,

Salma, That's the same area I was in! It's got to be the same woman. Well I know now that with so many people willing to help her she still wants to do this, then oh well. I guess that's her "job."

I once saw a documentary on beggars, with reporters going undercover on them, and it was a real eye-opener. These people were getting in their nice cars and driving home and when confronted by the cameras, they said it's easier than working and they chose their own hours.

To each our own way.

Blessedgrandma
Sis
Hero Member
*

Reputation Power: 6
Blessedgrandma has no influence :(
Gender: Female
Posts: 625



« Reply #12 on: Nov 19, 2008 02:09 AM »

This begging on streets is a common thing in my state, especially right off interstate exit ramps.
It bothers my heart not to give, but I can't give to everyone of them.
Besides, I don't want them using money for beer or cigarettes.
It's amazing, one must have a lot of guts or no shame to stand on a corner with a sign.
It truly amazes me. However I can't say what I would and would not do if I had hungry children at home, so no judgment passed here but goodness what guts something life that would take.
Faizah
Sis
Sr. Member
*

Reputation Power: 3
Faizah has no influence :(
Gender: Female
Posts: 365



« Reply #13 on: Nov 20, 2008 12:44 AM »

It is often difficult to know for certain if someone is genuinely in need or is simply begging as a profession and so do we let compassion be our guide or do we let our skeptical minds take the lead?  Despite my "hard" exterior I'm a softy at heart and if I believe children are involved I'll give.  What we must bear in mind is that we shouldn't give to the detriment of ourselves or our families in our quest to help another.

In my area it seems to more often be men out begging.  Some no doubt either are recovering addicts or may even have some mild developmental issues but even that doesn't mean they aren't in genuine need.  There used to be one that was always downtown and it seemed that several times a week he would ask; I got to the point where I would just keep a dollar in my pocket just in case because I won't go digging in my purse out on the street; that's asking to get robbed. 

I remember once giving a small amount of money to someone who said he was in need and thought nothing of going inside of my house and locking the door.  Well a few weeks later at 5AM there's this loud knock at my door.  Now as a woman alone (with children) I was shaken out of my sleep and scared.  But also got bold and went to the door figuring that as long as it was locked then I had some measure of protection (okay that and the knife I keep right near the front door).  It was this same guy asking for money claiming he didn't have anything for his children to eat that morning.  I offered him an box of cereal I had bought the day before and he claimed he had that (hmmm nothing to eat huh) and that he would need milk.  Fine I opened the door a bit and gave him a few dollars to go buy some and told him it wasn't necessary to return the money; all the while with my hand actually on the knife handle in case he tried something stupid.  No I don't like knives but I will protect myself and my kids rather than live in fear.  I never saw him again which is fine by me.  Besides "playing it forward" I believe gives both the original giver and recipient greater blessings when the recipient in turn becomes a giver to another.

There also used to be another guy who always stood at the exit road to a local supermarket mall complex begging.  If he caught me at the light I'd give him a dollar until I found out that he was actually wealthy and owned rental apartments and was scamming people.  Haven't seen him in over a year so I guess when the money well dried up from everyone he found a different location. 

Then there's always the occassional person that is apparently stranded in the area with no money to get back home.  I always wonder how does one only purchase a one-way ticket or only have enough bus fare for a single trip.  I don't care if you are in the area because of the promise of a job you always keep money to get back home or just don't come because if the job doesn't manifest you are stuck.

I may have that giving heart but I just won't spend a lot of money on a total stranger nor would I expect a total stranger to spend a large sum of money on me if I were ever in need.

Fa'izah
jannah
Administrator
Hero Member
*****

Reputation Power: 277
jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!
Gender: Female
Posts: 7131


I heart the Madina


WWW
« Reply #14 on: Nov 22, 2008 06:32 AM »

wsalam,

One time I met a Muslim girl at a store that I knew when she was a lot younger. I knew that she wasn't practicing and had a lot of struggles in her life. We never had any proof and she never said but we always suspected her family abused her in some way. So at the store she started telling me that she got thrown out of college (where she had a full scholarship) for bad grades, and that her parents threw her out and her aunts called her a wh*** because one time she went with this guy somewhere and he forced her to have relations. I mean she kept going and I was really in shock. She had a change of clothes in her bag and was wearing a low cut shirt. So then this weird Arab guy comes over and asks 'where some stores are?...u know a lot of stores like a mall?' and he kept looking at her...so I was like uhm there's a mall down the street about 4 miles etc.. so he says ok and goes to the register and gets directions, looks at the girl and just leaves. I mean at this point the shadyness is too much and my instincts are screaming that there's something wrong here. So then she says she hasn't eaten and is soo hungry and needs some money. So I brought her to some place to eat and gave her 20 bux. The story gets even more twisted and longer but suffice it to say, she's had problems in the past and she was supposed to meet an Imam in the community to get help from him but she never showed up. So I don't know 20 bux is going to do nothing for her. If she actually went to the Imam and laid out her problems we were ready to give her a few hundred for a months rent, but she never did. If I see her again I just don't know what I could do. I always think it's better to refer someone to an organization to help because they can help in-depth and holistically and follow up. But now I don't know.
Blessedgrandma
Sis
Hero Member
*

Reputation Power: 6
Blessedgrandma has no influence :(
Gender: Female
Posts: 625



« Reply #15 on: Nov 22, 2008 08:44 PM »

Referring people to organizations sometimes isn't the answer either.
Some will help, some won't. Some are already low due to helping many.
Today I got a call from another Islamic center about the sister I wish to see get help (Inshallah)
The others were kind and made referrals or helped, but this one seened kind of stern toward me.
Sometimes it is pride that makes some not go for help, but at other times it is the response they 'know'
they may get.
I felt so weird when I got off the phone, I guess I'm not very politically correct in my speaking.
Maybe I give to much information. Although respectful in my speaking, I think this
brother thought I gave to much information.
Others ask for information. One never knows what kind of response they'll get.
It's kind of sad. Those who really need help sometimes won't ask for it.
May Allah give us compassion and wisdom to know who to deal with such situations
in the future. hijabisis
Pages: [1]   Go Up
Print
 
Jump to: