In Islam, it is not allowed a Muslim to stay idle, doing nothing, not even on the ruse of having devoted his life to worship of Allah. Charity is encouraged in Islam but Muslims are not permitted in faith to depend on charity if they are able to earn enough for sustenance of self and family through their own efforts. The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said "The charity is allowed (halal) to neither the rich nor the able-bodied" (as reported by Al-Tirmidhi). It is a matter of great pity, though, that dependence on charity is rampant in Pakistani Muslims today and in the holy month of Ramadan in particular, they seem to infest our cities like locust. According to Initiator Human Development Foundation (IHDF), there are normally around one million beggars in the city of Karachi. In holy month of Ramadan, they receive approximately Rs. 1000 each a day from citizens. If you crunch the numbers, you can easily say that beggary is a whole industry working in this city. It has been reported in newspapers that professional beggars have purchased road signals and important traffic corridors of cities. If any new beggars come on 'their' stipulated zone, they are prepared to even beat them up. -S. WAJAHAT HASAN, Karachi, September 25.