Subject: RE: Akika/ Khums Assalamu-alaikum Burhan, Jazakallah for reply to my query on Aqeeka. I look forward to reading on the subject on the website. I have read the text on Khums. I would like you to comment on the version given on the website: http://www.al-islam.org/beliefs/practices/khums.html#1 Khuda Hafiz
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Khums literally means 1/5th in Arabic, which is equal to 20%. In the Holy Quran, the Khums is a commandment for the distribution of booty collected by the muslims in wars with the ‘Kaafirs’.
Allah says in the Holy Quran, Chapter 8 Surah Anfaal (and Anfaal by the way means war-booty itself!) aayat 41: And know whatever spoils of war you have got, a fifth of these is for Allah and His Messenger, and for the relatives and the orphans, and the needy and the wayfarers.
Allow me to give you small description of what used to happen during the war when its booties were collected, in the days of jahiliyaa (before Islam). Whenever a war was fought, the people who won the battle, would collect the war booty of the defeated army, like their weapons, shields, horses, camels, food, etc. or anything else they could lay their hands on. And the way the war-booty was distributed in the days before the Prophet (saws), was, whoever got his hands on the booty, it belonged to him.
Thus after the first and most important battle of Islam, the Battle of Badr, where the muslims got a lot of war-booty from the victory at Badr, the question of the distribution of the war-booty arose and thus the Surah Anfal was revealed by Allah. In the very first Aayat, Allah says, that the war-booty belongs only to Allah and His Messenger ... Thus everybody who believed in Allah and the Last Day, were told to deposit all the war-booty they had collected from the battlefield, with the Prophet (saws) and then the above aayat regarding the distribution of ‘Khums’ was revealed. Therefore, the Prophet (saws) kept 20% and the rest 80% was distributed evenly between the soldiers who fought in the war.
The Prophet (saws) said in an authentic narration: “Even the 20% of the war-booty that is kept by me (saws), I distribute it to the poor and needy and give that all back to you, and keep very little for myself, if any.”
I hope that clarifies the khums issue... The Khums was a 20% cut from the war-booty, and even this the Prophet (saws) distributed to the poor and the needy. But today there is no war, and thus there is no question of the collection of war-booty. To collect ‘Khums’ from Muslims is absolutely absurd in todays times!!
Ref: Our Comments on the version of Khums on the website.
Our first and foremost guide to Islam is the text and manual of the Holy Quran, which are the direct commandments of our Lord and Creator. The brother who wrote the article has given several examples from the books of history of Islam as evidence for the calculation, collection and distribution of ‘khums’, but not from the Holy Quran. Khums is only mentioned in the Holy Quran in Chapter 8 Surah Anfaal, which was revealed immediately after the Battle of Badr, which was two years after the migration of the Messenger of Allah (saws). ‘Anfaal’ itself means ‘war booty’, and after the muslims won the war, the question of the distribution of the war-booty arose, and this is when Allah revealed these commandments of the distribution of war-booty.
The writer of the article has tried to prove that the collection for khums is for all times, and even given his version of how to calculate it, and how to collect it, and how to distribute it, but here he has not given any evidence from the Quran and Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (saws). What Allah has made obligatory for the muslims as a purification tax is ‘zakaat’ and nothing else, and that too at 2.5% of the net worth of an individual. Other than that, no payment is obligatory on a regular basis. A muslim can give as much non-obligatory charity or ‘sadaqa’ as he wants, and Allah has Himself exhorted the believers to do so, and promised them a generous reward in this world, and especially in the Hereafter.
Allah has mentioned the concept of ‘zakaat’ or obligatory tax in excess of 25 times in the Holy Quran, and the Messenger of Allah (saws) counted ‘zakaat’ as a pillar of the foundation of Islam, along with the all important ‘salaah’. Allah normally mentions ‘salaah’ and ‘zakaat’ together in the Holy Quran to show its importance and significance in the life of a muslim. The Quran must always be understood in context, and no one can take one aayah and give it any fantastic meaning to suit his desires. We must first and foremost see how did the Messenger of Allah (saws) understand the particular aayah and how did he teach his companions and the believers to implement it. It is evident from the context of the Holy Quran and the traditions of the Messenger of Allah (saws), that ‘khums’ was always collected and distributed as ‘war-booty’ and never from the normal earnings of the believers.
Allah has made the religion of Islam easy and clear to follow, but some unscrupulous people, in their greed and malice, have tried to misguide the common believers, by taking one word or one sentence of the Holy Quran, out of context, and then expanding that word or sentence of the Quran into their own theory to swindle the believers of their hard-earned money and enrich themselves! The people who are known to enforce the collection of ‘khums’ from their followers are either the Aga Khans of the Ismaeli and the Syedna of the Dawoodi Bohra sects. Both these group of leaders have amassed enormous wealth from their unsuspecting followers, in return for promises of ‘barakah’ in this world, and the ultimate promise of ‘shafaa’ (or intercession) in the Court of Allah on the Day of Judgment! May Allah take full retribution from these people who make false promises to the believers, in return for a miserable paltry gain in the life of this world. These are they who have sold their Hereafter for some paltry coins of this world!
Allah says about these kinds of people in The Holy Quran Chapter 2 Surah Baqarah aayat 174: "Indeed those, who conceal the commands that Allah has send down in His book and barter them away for paltry worldly gains, fill their bellies with Fire!! Allah will not speak to them on the Day of Resurrection, nor will He regard them as pure, and there is a painful torment for them".
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 2 Surah Baqarah verse 159: Those who conceal the clear (Revelations) and Guidance We have sent down, after We have made it clear for the people in the Book, on them shall be Allah’s ‘laanah’ and the ‘laanah’ of those who are entitled to curse!
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 2 Surah Baqarah verse 79: Then woe to those who write The Book with their own hands, and then say, “This is from Allah”, so that they might gain some paltry worldly price. This writing of their hands will bring woe to them, and what they gain thereby will lead to their ruin!
My beloved brother, we urge you to read and understand the Glorious Quran yourself from any available translation, so that you can recognize these unscrupulous people who misguide people from the Truth that Allah has revealed, in order to enrich themselves in this world. Once you have the basic understanding of the Holy Quran, no one, absolutely no one, will be able to misguide you in the matter of the deen. May Allah open your and our hearts to the understanding of the Glorious Quran. May Allah help us, guide us, and forgive us our sins. May Allah guide you and us to the Siraat al Mustaqeem.
May Allah guide you and us to read and understand the simple and plain words of the Glorious Quran. May Allah increase our knowledge from the Holy Quran. May Allah guide us to the Siraat al Mustaqeem.
May Allah guide you and us all to the Siraat al-Mustaqeem
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah’s Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.
Your brother and well wisher in Islam,