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In the Name of God بسم الله

How Fair Is The System Of Khums Today?

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  • Veteran Member

Salaams,

 

This is something that's been on my mind recently and I'd like to hear what others have to say about it.  As Shias, we are required to pay 20% khums on our annual income after expenses. A sizeable amount compared other other Islamic taxes.  Of that, half goes towards supporting the religious centers of learning, building mosques, and other charitable causes.  The other half goes to needy sayyids.  At the same time, we are not obligated to pay zakat on our income per the rulings of most scholars today.  Zakat as most of you know is on certain non-monetary things like cattle, sheep, gold, and silver.  Khums on the other hand is on all forms of wealth and income.  So say a person makes $100000/year and manages to save $40000 of it.  He would then owe $8000 in khums but no zakat is due.

 

This strikes me as being somewhat unbalanced.  We effectively pay 10% of our income to needy sayyids, but what about the needy amongst non-sayyids?  Considering that they aren't even receiving the 2.5% zakat that was intended for the poor at large, if we only paid wajib alms, technically they would receive next to nothing.  It seems the amount we're required to give in charity to sayyids is disproportionally larger than what's doled out to non-sayyids especially when there are a lot more of them.  I know some people will point to sadaqa and other charity that non-sayyids receive but sayyids can also receive mustahib alms so that's really a moot point.  Besides, mustahib charity is just that and a person isn't obligated to give it.

 

Another question might be raised here, do the needy amongst the sayyids even need half of the khums?  When I think about it, 20% of the wealth of the entire ummah is a HUGE sum of money.  Certainly there is a share in it that belongs to the sayyids, but you will very likely wind up with a large surplus.  It's interesting that even the late Imam Khomeini wondered the same thing in his book Hukumati Islamia:

 

 

 

For example, khums is a huge source of income that accrues to the treasury and represents one item in the budget. According to our Shi'i school of thought, khums is to be levied in an equitable manner on all agricultural and commercial profits and all natural resources whether above or below the ground - in short, on all forms of wealth and income. It applies equally to the green grocer with his stall outside this mosque and to the shipping or mining magnate. They must all pay one-fifth of their surplus income, after customary expenses are deducted, to the Islamic ruler so that it enters the treasury. It is obvious that such a huge income serves the purpose of administering the Islamic state and meeting all its financial needs. If we were to calculate one-fifth of the surplus income of all the Muslim countries (or of the whole world, should it enter the fold of Islam), it would become fully apparent that the purpose for the imposition of such a tax is not merely the upkeep of the sayyids33 or the religious scholars, but on the contrary, something far more significant - namely, meeting the financial needs of the great organs and institutions of government. If an Islamic government is achieved, it will have to be administered on the basis of the taxes that Islam has established - khums, zakat (this, of course, would not represent an appreciable sum)34 jizya, and kharaj. 



How could the sayyids ever need so vast a budget? The khums of the bazaar of Baghdad would be enough for the needs of the sayyids and the upkeep of the religious teaching institution, as well as the poor of the Islamic world, quite apart from the khums of the bazaars of Tehran, Istanbul, Cairo, and other cities. The provision of such a huge budget must obviously be for the purpose of forming a government and administering the Islamic lands. It was established with the aim of providing for the needs of the people, for public services relating .to health, education, defense, and economic development. Further, in accordance with the procedures laid down by Islam for the collection, preservation, and expenditure of this income, all forms of usurpation and embezzlement of public wealth have been forbidden, so that the head of state and all those entrusted with responsibility for conducting public affairs (i.e., members of the government) have no privileges over the ordinary citizen in benefiting from the public income and wealth; all have an equal share. 




Now, should we cast this huge treasury into the ocean, or bury it until the Imam returns, or just spend it on fifty sayyids a day until they have all eaten their fill? Let us suppose we give all this money to 500,000 sayyids; they would not know what to do with it. We all know that the sayyids and the poor have a claim on the public treasury only to the extent required for subsistence. The budget of the Islamic state is constructed in such a way that every source of income is allocated to specific types of expenditures. Zakat, voluntary contributions and charitable donations, and khums are all levied and spent separately. There is a hadith to the effect that at the end of the year, sayyids must return any surplus from what they have received to the Islamic ruler, just as the ruler must aid them if they are in need.

 

 

Now before anyone accuses me of being anti-sayyid or anti-khums (I'm neither and duly pay my share every year) - I understand the reason why khums was instituted in the first place.  The Prophet (saw) established zakat (required) sadawa, kharaj, and jizaya for the poor and didn't take a single dirham for him and his family.  This was to avoid accusations of conflict of interest.  So Allah ÓÈÍÇäå æÊÚÇáì instituted khums to provide a share for the needy amongst the Prophet's descendants.  Back then it made sense because zakat and other charity were actively collected from all Muslims and along with khums, this provided a means existed to aid all needy Muslims.  But today it appears that with zakat becoming all but obsolete, perhaps the maraje need to reexamine the laws of zakat and khums to ensure that charity is distributed equally and equitably to all needy momins.

 

Thoughts?

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  • Veteran Member

^

 

Sure, but it would be the same as paying zakat on currency.  As long as both zakat and khums are being collected, it will bring parity to alms distribution.  Given that the banking system across the word uses paper money and won't be returning to gold & silver anytime soon, it would be easier to make zakat on currency wajib.

 

The late Ayatullah Fadlullah was the only marja who recognized this and ruled zakat payable on all forms of money.  Hopefully with time, other scholars will do the same and bring the Islamic taxation rules up to date.

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  • Advanced Member

Salamun alaykum

 

I am glad you are seeking the answer of your question and that is valuable.

 

To have a short answer of your question I mention that sadaqa (which is for poor people) is harām for sayyeds so the half of khums is reserved for them instead.

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  • Advanced Member

Salaams,

 

This is something that's been on my mind recently and I'd like to hear what others have to say about it.  As Shias, we are required to pay 20% khums on our annual income after expenses. A sizeable amount compared other other Islamic taxes.  Of that, half goes towards supporting the religious centers of learning, building mosques, and other charitable causes.  The other half goes to needy sayyids.  At the same time, we are not obligated to pay zakat on our income per the rulings of most scholars today.  Zakat as most of you know is on certain non-monetary things like cattle, sheep, gold, and silver.  Khums on the other hand is on all forms of wealth and income.  So say a person makes $100000/year and manages to save $40000 of it.  He would then owe $8000 in khums but no zakat is due.

 

This strikes me as being somewhat unbalanced.  We effectively pay 10% of our income to needy sayyids, but what about the needy amongst non-sayyids?  Considering that they aren't even receiving the 2.5% zakat that was intended for the poor at large, if we only paid wajib alms, technically they would receive next to nothing.  It seems the amount we're required to give in charity to sayyids is disproportionally larger than what's doled out to non-sayyids especially when there are a lot more of them.  I know some people will point to sadaqa and other charity that non-sayyids receive but sayyids can also receive mustahib alms so that's really a moot point.  Besides, mustahib charity is just that and a person isn't obligated to give it.

 

Another question might be raised here, do the needy amongst the sayyids even need half of the khums?  When I think about it, 20% of the wealth of the entire ummah is a HUGE sum of money.  Certainly there is a share in it that belongs to the sayyids, but you will very likely wind up with a large surplus.  It's interesting that even the late Imam Khomeini wondered the same thing in his book Hukumati Islamia:

 

 

 

 

Now before anyone accuses me of being anti-sayyid or anti-khums (I'm neither and duly pay my share every year) - I understand the reason why khums was instituted in the first place.  The Prophet (saw) established zakat (required) sadawa, kharaj, and jizaya for the poor and didn't take a single dirham for him and his family.  This was to avoid accusations of conflict of interest.  So Allah ÓÈÍÇäå æÊÚÇáì instituted khums to provide a share for the needy amongst the Prophet's descendants.  Back then it made sense because zakat and other charity were actively collected from all Muslims and along with khums, this provided a means existed to aid all needy Muslims.  But today it appears that with zakat becoming all but obsolete, perhaps the maraje need to reexamine the laws of zakat and khums to ensure that charity is distributed equally and equitably to all needy momins.

 

Thoughts?

 

Salaam brother,

Your question is a difficult question and made me think and ask others for a couple of days. Eventually this is the answer that I found, and I find it quite acceptable. Share any further question.

 

First of all, not all of Maraji and ulama have this ruling that exactly half of the khums should be passed to sayyids. Some say that it must be given to the Wali and he is the responsible of contributing it to its owners, with the ratio that he finds appropriate.

Likewise, not all of maraji and ulama have the same ruling about zakat being on only those 9 types of goods.There are some who say that it should be given from any type of property.

 

Anyway, most of the ulama have this famous ruling about khums and zakat. But what is important about khums is that it should be completely paid to the marja and it can’t be paid directly to the sayyids. Considering that we realized that the mentioned ruling about the half of khums isn’t absolute. It applies as long as there is a needy sayyid available. And in case there is no needy sayyid, the marja will decide how to spend the rest of it.

 

What you quoted from Imam Khomeini also refers to this same meaning. He mentions this point to prove that what could remain of khums is a big amount of properties and there should be an Islamic government for it to make sense.

 

And so that you know that there’s no injustice in this system against the non-sayyids, I heard a hadith from this ‘alim that answered my question. He said that one of the Imams in reply to a question about the ratio of zakat being too small for the poor in the society, said that if the zakat of the people were going to be paid completely, there wouldn't have remained a single poor person on Earth.

 

So to sum up:

1.    The question will not be true according to a few maraji’.

2.    The zakat is already enough for all the poor and needy.

3.    After the need of poor sayyids is paid from khums, it is for marja’ to decide how to use the rest.

 

(As everyone says around here) Hope this helps!  :)

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  • Advanced Member

Here's a radical idea:  should the khums not be replaced by the state tax in the present age? It ultimately serves the same ends. How does it make sense to pay income tax and then khums on top of your dispoable income? You'd hardly have enough money left, rendering yourself endlessly poor.

 

This IS radical but not unheard of. Khums and tax have completely different purposes. Tax is the money that you pay your government for giving you services as a citizen. Khums is the part of one's income that belongs to Allah, his prophet, and the waliy, and also the poor people among the descendants of the prophet, as a reward for providing us with the guidance and helping us with Akhirah which is the main goal of our lives. And this is their part that Allah has given them, and it's not possible to change or dismiss it.

Also it is the key to financial success according to some hadiths.

 

And we have to consider the fact that it is not going to give us a hard time to pay khums, since it is given once a year is one fifth of the money that is left for a person after a complete year of spending his income. So to be exact, it is not one fifth of your income, but way less than that.

 

So, forget it and pay your khums -just like I do- and don't worry about becoming poor, there is always the dua of your Imam after you and that will lead to your success and prosperity.

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This IS radical but not unheard of. Khums and tax have completely different purposes. Tax is the money that you pay your government for giving you services as a citizen. Khums is the part of one's income that belongs to ... and also the poor people among the descendants of the prophet, as a reward for providing us with the guidance and helping us with Akhirah which is the main goal of our lives. 

 

Problem: the under privileged descendants do not provide us with guidance, or help us in our afterlife. It seems rather pointless to arbitrarily treat a minority with special treatment solely due to their lineage. It's like a perpetual inheritance tax that strangers have to pay, which I find highly odd.

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Problem: the under privileged descendants do not provide us with guidance, or help us in our afterlife. It seems rather pointless to arbitrarily treat a minority with special treatment solely due to their lineage. It's like a perpetual inheritance tax that strangers have to pay, which I find highly odd.

 

I explained in post #6 that not all of khums goes to the poor sayyids. They only get the money as long as they are in need, just the way other poor people get the money from zakat.

The only difference is that the family of our prophet get to have their help from a difference source, in order to pay more respect to the prophet.

 

The rest of khums, of course, goes to the Imam or his substitute, to be spent on empowering religion and religious government.

Still problem?

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • Veteran Member

Bro. Salman Haqiqi,

 

Thanks for your informative responses in this thread.  The part about the excess from Sahm-e-Sadaat being reappropriated by the marja for other causes makes sense and is along the lines of what Ayatullah Makarem Shirazi says in his book:

 

http://www.al-islam.org/180-questions-about-islam-vol-1-practical-laws-makarim-shirazi/khums

Thirdly, if the share of the sadat, which is one half of the khums, happens to exceed the needs of the sadat actually present, this surplus should be put into the public treasury to be put to other uses. On the contrary, if that portion is insufficient to fulfil their requirements then they must be provided for, either from the public treasury or from the zakat.

 

 

 

So this is what should happen in theory, but how does it work in practice?  Some of the widely followed maraje in the world like Sistani and Kahmenei have collected billions of dollars in khums.  Does anyone even know how much of the sahm-e-sadaat is actually given to the needy and what's done with the leftover funds?  I suppose that highlights one of the problems with the system of khums in place today.  There is no transparency or accounting for where the money goes or how its spent.

 

You mentioned that the non-sayyids amongst the poor receive their money from zakat but this is again something that for the most part doesn't exist today.  Zakat, as understood by ulema today, is not levied on wealth - but on cattle, crops, and gold/silver currency.  Consequently most people end up paying nothing in zakat leaving little to no means of assistance for the majority of the poor in the ummah unless they resort to receiving zakat from the Sunnis.  It's hard to believe that zakat - a pillar of our faith and the second most important ibadat after prayer - has all but become obsolete today.

 

Again, our ulema need to do something to correct this imbalance.  Updating the laws of zakat to include cash, just like we do with khums, would be a start.  Transparency in the collection and expenditure of khums would help bring to light how the funds are being used today and where they might be best allocated.

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  • Advanced Member

Salam;

I think Both KHums as well as Zakat  are to be paid by Ummah to keep balance between poor and wealthy, and what is associated to these two has nothing to do with taxes, this is another case one should not confused it with Neither KHums nor Zakat.

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  • Advanced Member

Bro. Salman Haqiqi,

 

Thanks for your informative responses in this thread.  The part about the excess from Sahm-e-Sadaat being reappropriated by the marja for other causes makes sense and is along the lines of what Ayatullah Makarem Shirazi says in his book:

 

 

 

So this is what should happen in theory, but how does it work in practice?  Some of the widely followed maraje in the world like Sistani and Kahmenei have collected billions of dollars in khums.  Does anyone even know how much of the sahm-e-sadaat is actually given to the needy and what's done with the leftover funds?  I suppose that highlights one of the problems with the system of khums in place today.  There is no transparency or accounting for where the money goes or how its spent.

 

You mentioned that the non-sayyids amongst the poor receive their money from zakat but this is again something that for the most part doesn't exist today.  Zakat, as understood by ulema today, is not levied on wealth - but on cattle, crops, and gold/silver currency.  Consequently most people end up paying nothing in zakat leaving little to no means of assistance for the majority of the poor in the ummah unless they resort to receiving zakat from the Sunnis.  It's hard to believe that zakat - a pillar of our faith and the second most important ibadat after prayer - has all but become obsolete today.

 

Again, our ulema need to do something to correct this imbalance.  Updating the laws of zakat to include cash, just like we do with khums, would be a start.  Transparency in the collection and expenditure of khums would help bring to light how the funds are being used today and where they might be best allocated.

 

Salam brother,

Thank you for your kind words. 

 

About the transparency of khums payment, I can think of two reasons for it being applied: 

  1. Maraji' before becoming a marja', spend a long term of teaching and studying which is accompanied by a strict surveillance by their students and colleagues, and when they are approved by them, they start to be followed -- and it's the beginning of being a marja'.
  2. This surveillance gets more and more strict by others as well and they get unknowingly checked about how they use the money they receive. 

And don't worry, they try to pay as many sayyids as possible, although it's not always easy to locate poor sayyids, especially out of Iran and Iraq.

 

And about zakat, I have to say, that although not many of people can pay it nowadays, the people who pay it pay it big! They sometimes pay hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of goods and sometimes millions. So we shouldn't think that because farming and keeping cattle and sheep is not a common job, it means that it does not exist anymore.

 

And to correct the imbalance, we have to pay our obligatory payments, and encourage others to do so. Allah Himself has so much that will balance the sources for sayyids.

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  • Advanced Member

salamun alaykum

 

lets get some facts straight

first of all, the maraje are doing us a favour in taking the burdens of khums off our shoulders

secondly, only sehm al-imam a.s. has to be paid to them or their wukala

sehm al-sadah can be paid directly to sayyids who are poor, and that is mainly what happens around the world, and there are still poor sayyids around

thirdly, a lot of sehm al-imam a.s. is paid to the poor and destitute.

fourthly, there are two types of zakat: zakat al-maal and zakat al-fitrah, and the latter is paid by many sayyids and non-sayyids alike, and this money goes for the feeding of many poor people, as well as other shar'i funds like fidya and kaffara.

sixthly, please do not be so presumptious about the usage of khums

finally, transparency is not required when the money isnt yours. transparency is only if its your money in the hands of people who you dont trust. we are not 'investing' money with them. if you dont trust the system dont pay the money, and its less burden on them. you can do as you please with it and be answerable to Allah.

also, the perception of the lack of zakat payment amongst the shias is really exaggerated. there are plenty of people who pay zakat, and they are paid directly to the poor and needy in locality or amongst relatives.

 

we should only be concerned with whats on our shoulders.

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My personal experience, my family along with the entire community of sayyids became refugees after the Taliban took over Afghanistan and we fled to Pakistan, we barely had enough to eat, i remember going to bed hungry sometimes when i was around 6 or 7 years old. but I don't remember any one of us receiving khums. even though my father was the judge, teacher and protector of our community, my uncles were all teachers and everyone came to them for guidance on Islamic laws, instead of receiving khums my father had to go to Iran and began his own trade with which he helped all the needy in our community.

 

So from my experience even sayyids aren't receiving their share, other wise not a single sayyid would be in poverty. as for zakat, what my brother said, if the Muslim community give 10% of their annual income there won't be any poor muslims.

 

The reason why I live in the UK now is because the Islamic countries are too poor to give refugees a place to stay, even if they are Muslims and sayyids.

 

So, rest assured the khums you are giving is being used in a smart manner rather than giving it to the sayyids to spend.

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  • 1 year later...
  • Advanced Member

If khoms by any mean is meant to be paid to Poor helpless Sayeds in today's world it would be another reason for me to stay from the Shia faith.

In times of war and political struggle thousand years ago it would probably meant something but in today's world the only thing this means is that Shia faith is putting difference among men. People are separated between tribal affiliation. And when a religion separates between men today based on their ethnic lineage this will be a show stopper. No disrespect to others only my own character would not allow me to go along with such a system.

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If khoms by any mean is meant to be paid to Poor helpless Sayeds in today's world it would be another reason for me to stay from the Shia faith.

In times of war and political struggle thousand years ago it would probably meant something but in today's world the only thing this means is that Shia faith is putting difference among men. People are separated between tribal affiliation. And when a religion separates between men today based on their ethnic lineage this will be a show stopper. No disrespect to others only my own character would not allow me to go along with such a system.

Sayeds are forbidden from taking Zakat, would you also like to start giving Zakat to them instead of Khoms? this is just playing with Allah's laws.

 

The Qur'an is the same for all ages, so don't say then and now. 

 

The Khoms is not a bunch of money for Sayeds to feast upon, hardly any one takes it and most of it is used by the Scholars for things like Hawza, providing free education for both Sayeds and non Sayeds.

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The money collected from Khums is far far more than the money collected from zakat. 

 

For example, look at the wealthy business men who are millionaires and billionaires. They are the ones that literally have amassed the wealth of a country. Each and everyone of them have to according to Sharia must pay 20% of their income surplus to Khums, of which 50% goes Sayiids. Now imagine how many of the are entitled to pay Zakat? very very few. Cause they haven't amassed cattle, silver and gold, rather they've amassed money.

 

So just imagine, 10% of their income surplus going to Sayiids, while the non-Sayids who are far far greater in number than Sayids, get almost no Zakat. As Ayatollah Khomeini (ra) has been quoted in the posts above, "The khums of the bazaar of Baghdad would be enough for the needs of the sayyids and the upkeep of the religious teaching institution..."

 

Logically it quiet obviously looks unfair.

 

So any knowledgeable brother out there who can explain this?

 

What would you say to a sunni or non-muslim asking this question?

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I think there is an obvious problem in the way zakat, which as has been pointed out is a pillar of our faith, has become virtually obsolete (to anyone who isn't a farmer or a wholesaler) by the switch to paper currency. I made a thread about a related point once, but didn't really get any satisfying responses either: http://www.shiachat.com/forum/topic/235003617-should-an-islamic-state-use-paper-money/

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So just imagine, 10% of their income surplus going to Sayiids, while the non-Sayids who are far far greater in number than Sayids, get almost no Zakat. As Ayatollah Khomeini (ra) has been quoted in the posts above, "The khums of the bazaar of Baghdad would be enough for the needs of the sayyids and the upkeep of the religious teaching institution..."

 

the zakat paid by the natural resources of Iran is also enough to feed the poor of the whole world, now imagine the Zakat of the Saudi oil. Zakat isn't just obligatory on an individual farmer, it is obligatory upon every natural extract from the earth. 

 

Now, the Khoms which is paid by the few Mo'mineen are not making the Sayyid rich, hardly any Sayyid takes Khoms unless he is in poverty (in such a poverty if he was non sayed he would have received Zakat).

 

So the Khoms is spent on institutions such as the Hawza, funding the Mujtahids, Talaba, and many others. It is not a Sayyid only thing. I or any of my family have hardly ever received Khoms but we were in poverty for a very long time, for years.

 

So the real problem is not Khoms, its mismanagement and people not paying what is obligatory on them. If just 1 Islamic country pays its Zakat then there would not be poverty in the Islamic Ummah, Imagine 10% of the Saudi oil or 10% of Iran's natural resources.

 

Khoms on the other hand is paid by individuals, such as small shop owners or traders, large corporations do not pay Khoms.

 

So I don't see how you assume that it is unfair, since most people or businesses don't even pay their khoms.

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Sayeds are forbidden from taking Zakat, would you also like to start giving Zakat to them instead of Khoms? this is just playing with Allah's laws.

 

The Qur'an is the same for all ages, so don't say then and now. 

 

The Khoms is not a bunch of money for Sayeds to feast upon, hardly any one takes it and most of it is used by the Scholars for things like Hawza, providing free education for both Sayeds and non Sayeds.

 

Is khoms or atleast a part of Khoms meant to go to Sayeds?

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The money collected from Khums is far far more than the money collected from zakat. 

 

For example, look at the wealthy business men who are millionaires and billionaires. They are the ones that literally have amassed the wealth of a country. Each and everyone of them have to according to Sharia must pay 20% of their income surplus to Khums, of which 50% goes Sayiids. Now imagine how many of the are entitled to pay Zakat? very very few. Cause they haven't amassed cattle, silver and gold, rather they've amassed money.

 

So just imagine, 10% of their income surplus going to Sayiids, while the non-Sayids who are far far greater in number than Sayids, get almost no Zakat. As Ayatollah Khomeini (ra) has been quoted in the posts above, "The khums of the bazaar of Baghdad would be enough for the needs of the sayyids and the upkeep of the religious teaching institution..."

 

Logically it quiet obviously looks unfair.

 

So any knowledgeable brother out there who can explain this?

 

What would you say to a sunni or non-muslim asking this question?

Brother instead of finding answer to tell our sunni brothers we must ask ourselves if we were neither Sunni nor Shia and wanted to become Muslim would KHoms seem fair? You are seeking the truth I hope like I am. For many years I was on forums defending Shia today i am on the opposite side trying to find logic in Shia sect however I am having very very difficult time.

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Here's a radical idea:  should the khums not be replaced by the state tax in the present age? It ultimately serves the same ends. How does it make sense to pay income tax and then khums on top of your dispoable income? You'd hardly have enough money left, rendering yourself endlessly poor.

 

Because most of the money we pay in tax, at least in Federal Tax, goes to prop up dictators and oppressive regimes around the world. 

It doesn't go to poor people, or sayyids, or to roads, schools, hospitals, etc. 

Only a small portion goes to those things

 

The State of Israel, composed mostly of rich jews from the world, gets 8 million per day

The Dictatorship of Sisi in Egypt, gets almost that much, Then the fat useless Al Saud family, Gulf dictators like Al Khalifa family in Bahrain,Then there's the part that goes into the NSA black hole(to spy on the American people and commit other illegal acts), the billions on unnecessary military equipment, corporate welfare, etc. 

 

In the Khums system, the 1/2 is for the poor,orphans,ibna Sabil, etc. It says this in the Quran.

The money that is left over after these people are taken care of goes to Mosques, Islamic Activities, etc

The other is for the poor sayyids because they can't receive Sadaqa.(charity)

 

There are many hadith that I have read to the effect of 'If even 10% of the muslims actually paid their Khums and Zakat, there would be no poor people'. Either sayyid or non sayyid. Meaning that even now, only a very small portion of the muslims who are due to pay their Khums and Zakat actually pay it, or pay it in the amount that they are supposed to pay. 

 

The only reform I think is needed is for 

1) Those who are eligible to pay Khums and Zakat actuall pay it and 

2) Pay it to the marjaa' or representative of the marjaa' that you know are trustworthy. 

 

Many muslims who live in the West are used to the Western Government style of taxes, i.e. we force you to pay tax otherwise we will put you in prison, seize your assets, etc. In other words, we will threaten you and make your life miserable until you pay. In the Islamic system (true Islamic system) there are no threats (as far as consequences in this life anyway). 'There is no compulsion in religion'.

 

If when you walked into the masjid, they presented you with a bill, and if you didn't pay they would take your car in the parking lot, (like what Western Government do), then maybe more people would pay, but also these people (who gave you the bill) would be violating the religion of Islam. 

 

The only threat in this life is that if you don't pay, then know that there will be poverty and other negative things associated with that poverty, and you are partially responsible for that. 

Edited by Abu Hadi
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Salaams,

 

One must realize that when a mujtahid gives a ruling, then they must support it from the Qur'an, the ahadith, and other sources of the shariah. They cannot bring in their own opinions in the derivation of laws. Therefore comparing of khums and zakaat is wrong because both of these obligations have been derived from a mujtahid's research of the sources surrounding the issue.

 

With Zakaat, most shia mujtahideen have said that it is wajib only on the said number of items, whatever they may be. By saying that one thing is unbalanced does not mean that one can go about changing the whole system of deriving laws. Its the same thing with the moon sighting rulings. A mujtahid cannot change their rulings, which was based on their research of the sources of shariah, based off of sentiments of having a unified Eid date. In the same way, a Mujtahid cannot change their rulings about zakaat, in which they have spent years researching the sources of shariah regarding the matter, based off of sentiments that it is unbalanced with khums. 

 

It is a very noble thing that people have concerns over the well-being of others. But one cannot forget that zakaat may be obligatory only on a few items, but sadaqa has always been very highly recommended and there is no limit to what one can give in sadaqa. One must also remember that with zakaat, the sadaat, are also prohibited from receiving sadaqa, but non-sadaat do not have that same prohibition from receiving an amount from the sehmul Imam portion of the khums if it has been allowed by the marja. 

 

All-in-all, what I am trying to say is that it is inappropriate to compare different obligations. No one says that fasting should be obligatory every single day just because salaat is obligatory everyday. From the sources of shariah (Quran, Ahadith, etc...) fasting is obligatory only in Ramadhan. Similarly, from the sources of shariah, zakaat is wajib only on certain items. If one sincerely has concerns about others, then they should try to do something help those in need. 

 

Wsalaam

  

     

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Half of Khoms is for Sayyids, the Other half for the Imam of our time, Imam Mahdi.

In that case then I think Khomes is a very unfair and cruel system. 

 
If you were to tell a Non Muslim about this system they would be upset and consider this a scam even sent to jail for this evil practice.
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The money collected from Khums is far far more than the money collected from zakat. 

 

For example, look at the wealthy business men who are millionaires and billionaires. They are the ones that literally have amassed the wealth of a country. Each and everyone of them have to according to Sharia must pay 20% of their income surplus to Khums, of which 50% goes Sayiids. Now imagine how many of the are entitled to pay Zakat? very very few. Cause they haven't amassed cattle, silver and gold, rather they've amassed money.

 

So just imagine, 10% of their income surplus going to Sayiids, while the non-Sayids who are far far greater in number than Sayids, get almost no Zakat. As Ayatollah Khomeini (ra) has been quoted in the posts above, "The khums of the bazaar of Baghdad would be enough for the needs of the sayyids and the upkeep of the religious teaching institution..."

 

Logically it quiet obviously looks unfair.

 

So any knowledgeable brother out there who can explain this?

 

What would you say to a sunni or non-muslim asking this question?

Brother, As you know the Shia  Sayeds have misused the poor simple minded Shia people in so many ways, to top it of then there is the Khoms. Why in the right mind would you be part of this system?  In reality you are helping to harm your own people.

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The money collected from Khums is far far more than the money collected from zakat. 

 

For example, look at the wealthy business men who are millionaires and billionaires. They are the ones that literally have amassed the wealth of a country. Each and everyone of them have to according to Sharia must pay 20% of their income surplus to Khums, of which 50% goes Sayiids. Now imagine how many of the are entitled to pay Zakat? very very few. Cause they haven't amassed cattle, silver and gold, rather they've amassed money.

 

So just imagine, 10% of their income surplus going to Sayiids, while the non-Sayids who are far far greater in number than Sayids, get almost no Zakat. As Ayatollah Khomeini (ra) has been quoted in the posts above, "The khums of the bazaar of Baghdad would be enough for the needs of the sayyids and the upkeep of the religious teaching institution..."

 

Logically it quiet obviously looks unfair.

 

So any knowledgeable brother out there who can explain this?

 

What would you say to a sunni or non-muslim asking this question?

 

 

Personally, I would like to know how the khums money being collected today is being distributed.  Consider the ruling of Ayatullah Makarem Shirazi I posted above, about how the end of the year surplus from the sayyids half of khums  is rolled into the general treasury, which I presume can be used for any charitable purpose.  That leads me to wonder how much of that money remains each year that's then reutilized for other things.

 

We know the coffers of some of the top maraje today, namely Ayatullahs Sistani and Khamenei, are filled with over a billion dollars, much of it coming from khums.  Because they do not release numbers, we can only speculate how the money is being spent.  We know that the half of khums belonging to the Imam (as), can and is being utilized for  myriad different purposes around the world (building mosques, running the seminaries, feeding the poor, etc).  But I don't think the sayyid portion is as extensively utilized and I would venture a guess that there is a huge surplus remaining that remains from it.  If the maraje allow that surplus to be reutilized for other things amongst them, helping the needy non-sayyids then I think that would create some parity.  

 

Unfortunately we are not privy to these details so we can only trust that they are distributing the khums and other charity in an equitable manner.  IMO, if we had a functioning zakat system - meaning paying 2.5% on our income ju- alongside khums AND surplus khums were being used to help all needy Muslims that would eliminate many of the issues raised in this thread about equity of khums.

 

Another reason why some transparency in khums expenditures would be a good thing.

 

I think there is an obvious problem in the way zakat, which as has been pointed out is a pillar of our faith, has become virtually obsolete (to anyone who isn't a farmer or a wholesaler) by the switch to paper currency. I made a thread about a related point once, but didn't really get any satisfying responses either: http://www.shiachat.com/forum/topic/235003617-should-an-islamic-state-use-paper-money/

 

I agree. I believe that scholars in the coming generations will have to update the zakat laws because it's fast becoming an obsolete tax.  Some such as the late Ayatullah Fadhlullah did stipulate that zakat applied to paper currency, but it will take some time before this view goes mainstream.

 

 

 

Salaams,

 

One must realize that when a mujtahid gives a ruling, then they must support it from the Qur'an, the ahadith, and other sources of the shariah. They cannot bring in their own opinions in the derivation of laws. Therefore comparing of khums and zakaat is wrong because both of these obligations have been derived from a mujtahid's research of the sources surrounding the issue.

 

With Zakaat, most shia mujtahideen have said that it is wajib only on the said number of items, whatever they may be. By saying that one thing is unbalanced does not mean that one can go about changing the whole system of deriving laws. Its the same thing with the moon sighting rulings. A mujtahid cannot change their rulings, which was based on their research of the sources of shariah, based off of sentiments of having a unified Eid date. In the same way, a Mujtahid cannot change their rulings about zakaat, in which they have spent years researching the sources of shariah regarding the matter, based off of sentiments that it is unbalanced with khums. 

 

It is a very noble thing that people have concerns over the well-being of others. But one cannot forget that zakaat may be obligatory only on a few items, but sadaqa has always been very highly recommended and there is no limit to what one can give in sadaqa. One must also remember that with zakaat, the sadaat, are also prohibited from receiving sadaqa, but non-sadaat do not have that same prohibition from receiving an amount from the sehmul Imam portion of the khums if it has been allowed by the marja. 

 

All-in-all, what I am trying to say is that it is inappropriate to compare different obligations. No one says that fasting should be obligatory every single day just because salaat is obligatory everyday. From the sources of shariah (Quran, Ahadith, etc...) fasting is obligatory only in Ramadhan. Similarly, from the sources of shariah, zakaat is wajib only on certain items. If one sincerely has concerns about others, then they should try to do something help those in need. 

 

Wsalaam

  

     

 

 

I get what you're saying but understand that fiqh is fluid and evolves to changing time and circumstances.  It's apparent that the current fiqhi conception of zakat doesn't work in this day and age.  What use is it to have a tax on an system of currency - gold and silver coins - that most of the world doesn't use anymore?  Did Allah (SWT) only intend for zakat to be paid back in the days when gold/silver currency was in circulation and for sheep/camel/cattle herders?  

 

Khums has been paid on all forms of currency (coinage, paper money, and bank notes) for over 1400 years.  Why did we then decide to restrict zakat to only coins and livestock?

 

Moral of the story is, do not save money! Spend it people, problem solved!

 

Not that easy brother.  What do you do when you need money for big-ticket items like a downpayment on a house, a car, wedding, or college?  Things which require one to save money over time.  Being broke is not a wise option otherwise you may end up becoming a recipient of khums yourself :-)

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I was reading an article about khums lately. Within it, it claims that it is not for Shias to pay as the Imams have waived it. Below is one narration from the article:

 

Imam Al Mahdi (a.s.)’s orders:

In reply to a letter sent to Imam-e-Zamana (a.s.), The Holy Imam (a.s.) says: ‘About Khums, I waive my rights for our Shias and make is permissible for our Shias until the time of my reappearance so that their children are born clean and pious and remain legitimate’.

 

Refs:

Bihar-ul-Anwar, vol 12, pp. 778
Wasail Al Shia, vol. 6, pp. 327, chapter 4, tradition 16.

 

Please read the article here http://www.shiavault.com/books/kashaf-ul-haqaiq/chapters/13-chapter-12-khums and tell me what do you make of it??

Edited by Jaane Ya Ali
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^^

 

I flipped through that book and it looks dubious.  The author seems to be an akhbari who rails against a number of Shia practices like  khums, ijtehad, and taqlid.

 

That hadith is either misquoted or not sahih, because it's well known that khums was collected by the Imam's (as) deputies during the Minor Occultation.  Furthermore that book also claims Imam Muhammad Baqir (as) waived khums for the Shias, which contradicts other hadith from him stating the contrary as well as the later Imams (as) who upheld the institution of khums and collected it from their followers.

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From sitw of Nasheer najafi

Rule no.1755. Khums (the one-fifth levy) is obligatory on the following seven things:

  1. Profit or gain from earnings.
  2. Minerals.
  3. Treasure trove.
  4. Amalgamation of lawful wealth with unlawful wealth.
  5. Gems obtained from sea diving.
  6. Spoils of war.
  7. A land which a Dhimmi (a non-Muslim living under the protection of an Islamic Government) purchases from a Muslim.

According to the 60th verse of chapter Al-Tawbah of the Holy Quran, Zakat can be given to the following eight types of people:

  1. The poor
  2. The destitute
  3. Agents who collect Zakat
  4. Those non-Muslims who are inclined to Islam
  5. Slaves
  6. Those who are indebted and are unable to repay the debt
  7. Stranded travellers
  8. In the way of Allah (“Fee Sabeelillah”)

Rule no.1856. It is obligatory to pay Zakat on the following nine things:

  1. Wheat
  2. Barley
  3. Dates
  4. Raisins
  5. Gold
  6. Silver
  7. Camel
  8. Cow
  9. Sheep (including goat)
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Know that whatever of a thing you acquire, a fifth of it is for Allah, for the Messenger, for the near relative, and the orphans, the needy, and the wayfarer...(8:41)

“And those who hoard up gold and silver and spent it not in God’s way, announce to them a painful chastisement. On the Day of Judgment when it (the gold and silver) shall be heated in the fire of Hell, then shall be branded with it their forehead and their sides and their backs (saying unto them) “this is what you hoarded up for yourselves, therefore taste what you hoarded up”. (Chapter at-Tawbah, verse 34-35)

 

I live in a wellfare state 40% of my earning goes as tax, the money goes towards grants for community oraganisations sucj as mosques, churches, centers, orphanges as well as a very robust wellfare system.

the rest is money you need for your daily life, if thats not true how many people have a mortgage free house? most cant afford land to live on. So i believe my dues are paid

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