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SA to all,

I am in a bit of dilemma.

I give to charity regularly, be it donating online or giving some money or buying some food for the homeless on the streets. I work in Central London so I come across a few.

I am not stingy or anything and have no problem with giving to charity. After all the wealth we earn is from Allah ÓÈÍÇäå æÊÚÇáì and we should use it to do His ÓÈÍÇäå æÊÚÇáì duties on earth and of course mirror the sunnah of our Prophet (pbuh) and the Infallibles (as) in giving to the most needy.

My dilemma is that twice a women has come up to me, claiming to be pregnant, has lost her oyster card (travel pass for London tube for those from abroad etc. who may not be familiar). She first came up to me 2 months ago and again today.

First she says, she lost her oyster card, then talks about needing money for a ticket back to Bulgaria to go back to her father, then mentions needing money for a hostel. I just found it too fishy. So on the first occasions I refused. On this occasion, I also refused but bought her some food instead. I was really close to going to the cash machine, taking out £30 and giving it to her as that apparently was enough for one night in a hostel.

Money is not the issue, rather I just have a bad feeling that this was a scam so i settled on buying her some food and then I went back to work (i was on lunch break).

I feel really bad that i refused her but my heart was telling me its something dodgy. The reason I felt bad is that I keep remembering hadiths from the Imams/Prophet saying "when a beggar comes to you their pride is already broken, don't hurt them more by refusing etc." (can't remember exact wording)

I even offered to her that i can call the police/charity who can help her out. Perhaps a charity can take her in but strangely she didn't accept that. 

I gave the food and I walked off. Then i observed her from a window in my work building. She gave the food to another random lady distributing free magazines and kept the drink for herself. Which made me think more- that if you are a beggar and homeless why would you give food given to you away? Surely you are hungry?

I suppose my question is what (whoever is reading this) do? Have you ever had this situation? How have you balanced the moral and islamic obligation to looking after the needy vs not getting scammed

Jzk

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