International Journal of
Sociology and Anthropology

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Sociol. Anthropol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2006-988X
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJSA
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 305


Begging and almsgiving in Nigeria: The Islamic perspective

Ogunkan, David Victor
Department of Urban and Regional Planning, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso, Oyo state, Nigeria.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 21 January 2011
  •  Published: 30 April 2011



This study is provoked by the widespread belief held by general populace that begging in Nigeria is an Islamic phenomenon. Scholars, media, and general public believe that Islamic religious injunctions encourage, promote or at least condone begging. They attribute the thriving of begging in Nigeria to Islamic faith. Against this background, this study investigated the relationship between Islam and begging. It examined the principles, procedures, and modalities provided by Islam on how to earn a living. These are supported and authenticated by Holy Quran with proper interpretation of Hadith of the Holy Prophet. The study revealed that, although Islam made it obligatory for every Muslim to give alms (in form of Zakat and sadaqa), it does not in anyway support begging. The study also unravelled the historical- cum- cultural precedent to their prevalent in the Northern Nigeria. It concluded, however, that begging is not in any way embedded in Islamic injunctions but admitted that the practise of some Muslims in Nigeria makes begging to appear to be part of Islamic culture. The study, therefore, suggested the crackdown on some cultural elements that made begging to be perceived as Islamic phenomenon.


Key words: Begging, almsgiving, Islam, almaijiri, mabarata.