Is allocating Khums for Sadat Discrimination?

Some people assume that this Islamic tax which consists twenty percent of lots of assets and half of it has been allocated for Sadat (pl. of Sayyid) and children of Prophet (S) is considered as a kind of racial superiority, and it is possible to see partiality for relatives and discrimination in that, and this matter is not compatible with the soul of social justice of Islam and universality and generality of that!

Answer:

Surely, people who think this way had not studied the conditions and characteristics of this Islamic ruling completely, because the complete answer to this question is hidden in these conditions; the explanation of this expression is that:

First of all, half of Khums which is for Sadat of Bani Hashim should be given exclusively to their poor persons, and only as much as they need for one year to live and nothing more than that; therefore only persons who are either superannuated or ill, and orphan children or any other person who has reached a dead end in costs of living in any way.

Therefore, persons who are able to work and potentially or practically can gain an income which cover their costs of living, never can use this part of Khums, and the sentence which is famous among people that: “Sadat take Khums even the chute of their house has been made by from gold!” is nothing more than common talk and has no fundamentals at all.

Secondly, poor and needy persons of Bani Hashim do not have the right to spend anything from “Zakat” and in change they should only use this part of Khums.1

Thirdly, if the share of Sadat which is half of Khums is more than their need, then that amount should be paid to Bayt Al-Mal, as if their need is more than their share from Khums, inevitably they should be paid from Bayt Al-Mal or the share of “Zakat”.2

According to these triple reasons, it clears that in fact no difference had been made between Sadat and other than Sadat in financial matters.

Needy and poor persons of Sadat can cover their costs of living for one year from Zakat but they are deprived from Khums and poor people who are not from Sadat can use Khums, but they do not have the right to use Zakat.

In fact, two sources are available here, source of Khums and source of Zakat, and each of these two groups can only use one of these two resources in equal amount which is the costs of living for one year.

But persons who did not pay attention to these characteristics and conditions assume that more share has been placed for Sadat from Bayt Al-Mal.

The only question that remains is that if there is no difference in result between these two sources then what benefit can this program have?

The answer to this question can also be understood by noticing a matter, and the matter is that there is an important difference between Khums and Zakat and the difference is that Zakat is one of taxes which in fact considers as public assets of Islamic society, therefore its usages should be in this same part, but Khums is one of taxes which is related to Islamic government; it means that costs of Islamic government and its governor should be provided from this source.

Therefore, deprivation of Sadat from public assets (Zakat) in fact is for preventing the relatives of Prophet (S) from this part, in order not to give anybody any excuse that Prophet (S) has dominated his relatives on public assets.

But needy and poor persons of Sadat should also be provided; this matter has been foreseen in Islamic laws in the way that they use the budget of Islamic government not the public budget.

Therefore, not only Khums is a superiority or advantage for Sadat, but it is a kind of putting them aside for public benefits in order that no misdeem can be made.3

In other hand, these cabbalas prove this fact that “Zakat” is not a considerable income which anyone tries to gain that and people use that for gaining blessings, but these are dirty assets because a person had not worked for that and pure and clean assets are those which human works and endeavors for gaining them.

And the main goal is that Zakat reaches people who really deserve it not the ones who are lazy and idle and do not want to work for their living, albeit this is salubrious and completely without obstacle for people who really deserve Zakat and seemingly this expression (Awsakh) is taken from the holy verse (verse 130 of Tawba Sura) “خذ من اموالهم صدقة تطهّرهم” because this verse say that paying Zakat is the cause of purity and we know that in order to pure a thing we should always remove its dirt from it.

It is interesting that this matter has been mentioned it Ahadith of Shi’aa and Ahlul Sunnah; we read in a Hadith from Imam Sadiq (a.s.) that a group of people from Bani Hashim came to Prophet (S) and asked his holiness to launch them in the duty of collection Zakat of four-footed animals and they said we deserve more for this share which Allah has specified for collectors of Zakat; Prophet (S) said: Bani Abdul Muttalib! Zakat is not Halaal (permitted) neither for me nor you, but I promise my intercession in change of this deprivation … you should be satisfied of thing s which Allah and your Prophet have specified for you (and do not deal with Zakat)! They said we got satisfied.4

It is well understood from this Hadith that Bani Hashim had known this matter as a deprivation for themselves and the Prophet (S) promised them the intercession in change.

We read a Hadith in “Sahih of Muslim” which is one of most famous books of Ahlul Sunnah that briefly says “Abbas” and “Rabi’a ibn Harith” came to Prophet (S) and asked him that their sons who were two young persons called “Abdul Muttalib ibn Rabi’a” and “Fazl ibn Abbas” to be the collectors of Zakat and take a share like others in order to provide the costs of their marriages, Prophet (S) denied that and ordered that their means of marriage to be provided from another way and Mahr to be paid from Khums.5

It is also understood from this Hadith which is too long with details that Prophet (S) insisted that prevent their relatives from achieving Zakat (public assets).

It cleared from the things which we said that Khums is not only considered as an advantage for Sadat, but it is a kind of deprivation in order to save public benefits.

  • 1. The proofs of this matter that Bani Hashim dynasty have been prevented from taking Zakat are lots of cabbalas which have been quoted in Shiites’ and Sonnies’ books, and these cabbalas are so much that no place for any kind of doubt will remain, and denying these cabbalas is equal to denying self evidence matters; for information about these cabbalas in Shiite resources you can refer to the book Wasael Al-Shi’aa, vol. 6, chapter 29 from chapters of “people who deserve Zakat”, first, second, third and fourth Hadith.
    And Also chapter 30, first Hadith; chapter 31, third Hadith; chapter 32, third, fifth, sixth, seventh and ninth Hadith; chapter 33, first Hadith and chapter 34, fourth Hadith.
    And for more information about Ahadith of this issue in Sunni resources, you can refer to the book “Sunan of Beihaghi”, vol. 7; the book “Al-Sadaqat”, page 29, chapter “آل محمّد لایعطون من الصّدقات المفروضات” and page 30, chapter “بیان آل محمّد الّذین تحرّم علیهم الصّدقة المفروضة”.
    And Also to the book “Majma’ Al-Zawa’ed”, vol. 2, page 89, chapter “الصّدقة لرسول اللّه و لآله” and the book “Makateeb Al-Rasool”, pages 216, 224, 230 and 432.
    And to the book “Musannaf” by Abdul Razzaq, vol.4, page 50, chapter “لا تحلّ الصّدقة لآل محمّد” which there is lots of cabbalas quoted about this matter.
    And also to the book “Al-Mughani” by Ibn Qudama, p r i n ted in Beirut, vol. 2, page 519, and the book “Sunan of ibn Dawood”, p r i n ted in Beirut, vol. 2, page 45 and other books.
  • 2. Wasael Al-Shi’aa, chapter 3 from chapters of share of Khums, Hadith 1 and 2.
  • 3. It is considerable that in some of Islamic cabbalas like Hadith 2, chapter 29 from chapter of “people who deserve Zakat”, vol. 6 of the book “Wasael Al-Shi’aa”, Zakat has been expressed as “Awsakh” (dirt of people’s hands), and the purpose of this expression is to encourage Bani Hashim to this deprivation that they have and in another side, show people that they should provide their needs with their own efforts as much as they can and they should not impose themselves to Bayt Al-Mal, and only people who have crushed under the pressure of life can be provided in this way.
  • 4. Wasael Al-Shi’aa, vol. 6, page 186.
  • 5. Sahih of Muslim, vol. 2, page 752.