Am I a Criminal?

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By Furqan Hameed Khan

Begging has become one of the most organized businesses in Pakistan run by Mafia. Street begging is at its peak. Its ratio is alarming. Young men, women and mostly children are recruited, trained and relocated to do this job. They earn approx. Rs. 250-300 a day, give most of it to their mafia bosses and bring the remaining amount to their homes. These mafia hooligans kidnap children, make them handicapped and train them to beg. I’m going to tell you something related to me.
On a blessed morning of 14 August, when Independence Day celebrations were taking place, while returning home after observing the celebrations in my city, I saw a beggar with a baby of about one year old in his arms. He was feeding that angel something with his fingers, maybe something alcoholic or some drug type. A suspicious activity, undoubtedly, because the moment he saw me he stopped the activity. I drove further and stopped near him, pulled down side door glass and asked him, “Yeh bachcha tumhara hay?” (Is this your child?) I could clearly see that the baby didn’t belong to him because he appeared far better than that cursed man. The kid was so fair and the man was as tan as cuckoo. When I asked him he got astonished and started to act as he was deaf and dumb. He was trying to tell me that the baby was hungry, his mother had died and asked me for some money. Well, the man’s act was clearly fake; he was not such a good actor. I was thinking to grab the baby and go away but other vehicles came behind me and started honking. I hurriedly ignited the engine put my car in first gear and drove away. On the way I kept thinking could I have done anything to save the baby? What, after all, could I have done? A bit further far from that street, I stopped and started to think again if I should go back or not. I stayed there for about 7 minutes, but don’t know why I didn’t go back but headed towards my home. From that day till now I regret not going back. Why didn’t I think about the future of that angel? I consider myself a criminal. I contributed in destroying a life, I increased a termite, it was no less than a crime. On that day I realized not all Pakistan is independent. These children are not independent, their families are not independent, these mafia thugs are tearing down our state.  This state is not the one that Quaid-e-Azam gave us. It is our duty to contribute in its development and prosperity. We have to pull out this disease by its roots, so that it will never even think of piling up again.
Well, on serious note, there are some questions which should be answered by me and by all of you. Why do we pretend to be Herculean in front of our friends and if we really are, why do we get scared of a serious situation? Why is it necessary to have superpowers to save someone’s life? Why we are not united against the evil in this land? Why are we divided in sects, in the cast and creed system? Why do we think a hundred times before helping someone in need? Why do we just let it go?
Our government has lots of other work to do. We have to remove this disease. Stop giving money to beggars in the name of Allah. Give those who are really needy but never ask for any assistance. Help them. Start from today look around. DO NOT, do not give even a single rupee to anyone who begs you, however needy he looks. You won’t get any ajr for helping them, instead, you will be committing a sin. Remember the story of the person who came to Rasoolullah صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم asking him for money. Rasoolullah صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم sold his begging bowl to a sahabi and asked him to buy an axe with the money. When he did, Rasoolullah fixed the handle and told him to earn his living by cutting wood. The man returned after some time to tell Rasoolullah صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم that he was now happy and content.
Wipe out this menace from our country before it is too late.