Précis of Ahadith of Khums

Implication of above Ahadith is clear in many ways, while some of cavillers try to make doubt about their implication by delusive objections and free themselves from these Ahadith.

We mention some of their objections for instance.

1- They say for Hadith of Muhammad ibn Ash’ari (which correctness of its evidence had proved):

کتب بعض اصحابنا الى ابى جعفر الّئانى علیه السلام خبرنى عن الخمس اعلى جمیع ما یستفید الرّجل من قلیل و کثیر من جمیع الضّروب و على الصّناع و کیف ذلک؟ فکتب بخطّه علیه السلام الخمس بعد المؤونة

One of our companions wrote to ninth Imam (a.s.): Inform us that if Khums applies on all the things which a person uses, from few and many from any kind of income and also on artisans? And how should it be paid? Imam wrote with his own handwriting that Khums is after the costs of living.1

It is understood well from this text than asker has had doubt either in generality and quality of Khums and Imam has answered to both questions with one short sentence as it had been common way in writing letters in that time.

When he says Khums is after the costs of living the question about quality which is the second question of asker and also the question about the necessity of Khums in all kinds of income both have been answered.

But with his clearance of the meaning of this cabbala, cavillers sometimes say that answer and question in Hadith are not compatible with each other and it is like a cryptogram, while there is neither a secret nor any doubt in it.

And sometimes they say that what the meaning of “Ma’oona” is?

While in several cabbalas in chapter of Khums which Ma’oona has been mentioned, it has been affirmed that the meaning of Ma’oona is the costs of living of a person; moreover surely the costs of business is not considered because the sentence “ ما یستفید الرّجل” (anything which a man uses) means net profit, and surely net profit achieves after subtracting the costs of business.

And sometimes they say that what the meaning of “الضّروب” is? It seems that they had no knowledge about the word that “الضّروب” means kinds and here it means kinds of businesses and industries and jobs.

It is interesting that is some of next Ahadith they had made another excuse which is for present Imam, but explicitness of above Hadith in generality of the ruling is so much that they did not dare to arise this objection for this Hadith.

2- Abu Ali ibn Rashid who had been one of deputies of Imam Javad (a.s.) and Imam Hadi (a.s.) says:

قلت له امرتنى بالقیام بامرک و اخذ حقّک فاعلمت موالیک بذلک فقال لى بعضهم واىّ شىء حقّه؟ فلم ادرما اجیبه، فقال یجب علیهم الخمس، فقلت ففى اىّ شىء؟ فقال فى امتعتهم و صنایعهم، قلت و التّاجر علیه و الصّانع بیده، فقال اذا امکنهم بعد مؤونتهم.

I told him (Imam (a.s.)) you have ordered me to manage your tasks, and take your right; I told this to your friends, some of them said: what is the right of Imam? I didn’t know what to say. Imam (a.s.) said Khums is obligatory for them, I said in what thing? He said in goods and products, I said persons who do business and build something with their hands? He said yes if after paying costs of living any possibility remains for them.2

Cavilers animadvert to this Hadith with all explicitness that it have; sometimes they say that this Hadith is pronominal (Muzmara) it means that the name of Imam has not been mentioned explicitly and it has been expressed only by pronoun.

And sometimes they say how it is possible that existence of such a right had been hidden from deputy of Imam and his Shiites; but the answer for both objections of cavilers is clear, because moreover that “Abu Ali ibn Rashid” had been the deputy and one of exclusive agents of ninth and tenth Imam (a.s.), when such a person says that I wrote him that you have ordered me to take your right, there is no doubt that the addressee of the letter had been surely Imam (a.s.).

And it is amazing that these cavilers have expressed explicitly the deputation of forenamed person from Imam (a.s.), but because obstinate persons are forgetful like liars, they had denied the matter completely in some lines after that.

Furthermore, content of cabbala testifies that the addressee of this letter could not be any person other than Imam (a.s.), because what right can ordinary people have on goods, products and wages of people?!

Is it possible that someone other than Imam (a.s.) have such a right? But when a person wants to be obstinate he can deny the sunlight of the day and darkness of the night.

And the reason for the matter how is it possible that deputy and companions of Imam (a.s.) do not know about the quality of this issue is clear.

Because as we will explain completely later, in some times which Shiite were under the pressure Imams (a.s.) forgave the Khums or part of it and practically Khums had forgot for a period of time, therefore when conditions were normal and Khums had to be taken, lots of Shiites were uninformed about the quality of that and it is not a strange or unusual matter.

Also today, there are lots of people who have not enough knowledge about the issues of the Khums, even oppositions who object this much about that have limited information about Khums.


کتب الیه ابراهیم بن محمّد الهمدانى اقرأنى على کتاب ابیک فیمـا اوجبه على اصحاب الضّیاع انه اوجب علیهم نصف السّدس بعد المؤونة، بانّه لیس على من لم یقم ضیعته بمؤونته نصف السّدس، و لاغیر ذلک، فاختلف من قبلنا فى ذلک فقالوا: یجب على الضّیاع الخمس بعد المؤونة، مؤونة الضّیعة و خراجها، لا مؤونة الرّجل و عیاله فکتب: و قرء على بن مهزیار علیه الخمس بعد مؤونته و مؤونة عیاله و بعد خراج السّلطان

Ibrahim ibn Muhammad Hamedani wrote to Imam (a.s.) that: Ali (Ibn Mahzyar) read the letter of your father for me that it had been ordered in the letter that owners of water and land should pay one twelfth of their income after subtracting their costs to his holiness, but persons who their water and estates do not suffice their costs, this is not obligatory for them, neither one twelfth nor other than that; people who are here with me have disagreement and discussion about this matter, they say that Khums of income is obligatory on water and land, and this is after subtracting the costs of water and land themselves and their tribute, not the costs of person himself and his wife and children.

“Imam wrote his answer and Ali ibn Mahzyar also saw the letter that, Khums is necessary for this person after subtracting the cost of living of him and his wife and children and after subtracting the tribute of government”.

It has been ordered explicitly in this Hadith which its evidence is completely reliable that people have to pat the Khums from surplus of their income from lands after subtracting the costs of living and as you see former Imam (a.s.) had not taken more than one twelfth, according to what we said before, because some of Imams (a.s.) forgave all or a part of Khums to Shiites due to conditions of their time in order that Shiites not be under pressure.3

4- Two of reliable Hadith tellers “Ahmad ibn Muhammad” and “Abdullah ibn Muhammad” quote from Ali ibn Mahzyar who was one of deputies of Imam Javad and Imam Hadi (a.s.) that ninth Imam, Imam Javad (a.s.), had been wrote to him in a letter, and we read this letter in the way to Mecca, that:

“The thing which I necessitate only in this year, year 220, by the reason which I do not want to explain in order not to be broadcasted and Allah willing I will explain some of that for you in near future, is that my friends whom I ask for their expedience from Allah or some of them have failed to do their obligatory duty, I knew that and I wanted to purify them with the thing which I had done this year in Khums; almighty Allah has said that take alms from their assets and purify them by that and pray for them, that your pray is the cause of their peace and Allah is hearing and wise.

Don’t they know that Allah is who accepts repentance from their servants and takes alms from him and Allah is acceptor of repentance and merciful, and say (prophet) act and Allah and his prophet and believer will soon see your act and soon you will return to whom that is informed about hidden and apparent and informs you about what you have done.

But I did not necessitate this matter for them every year and I do not necessitate other than Zakat which Allah has necessitated for them, and only this year I necessitated Khums in gold and silver which one year have past on them, but I did not necessitate that in living appliance and dish and four-footed animals and servants and not in benefit of business and not in agricultural land, except the land that I will explain for you and this is a kind of rebate from me for my friends and forgiveness about them in change of those which Sultan depredates from their assets.

But Khums is obligatory in advantages and benefits every year, Allah says know that anything that you take as an advantage, one fifth (Khums) of that is for Allah and Prophet and close persons (Sadat; pl. of Sayyid and Sayyida) and orphans and needed persons and suspended travelers; if you have believed on Allah and what we had descended to our servant on the day of distinction (day of battle of Badr), the day that two armies confronted (and army of Islam won), and Allah has powerful over all things.

But advantages and benefits, may god bless you, are incomes which a person gains and benefits that he takes and considerable prize that some people give a person and heritage that he had not expected except from father or child and also like an enemy who surrenders and his assets is taken, and also an amount of money that is found and its owner is unknown and all that have reached my friends from the assets of debauchee Khorramian Tribe4:

Because I had informed that great amount of assets had been reached to a group of my friends, anyone who has something from those assets give it to my deputy, and anyone who is away tries to send it although after a while (it reaches) because the intention of believer is better than his act.

But the thing that I necessitate from agricultural land and cereals is half of one sixth (one twelfth) from persons who their agricultural income covers their costs, but a person who his agricultural income dos not cover his costs half of one sixth is not upon him and nothing other than that”.5

Some matters are understood from this Hadith:

First is the necessity of Khums in all benefits and incomes, and compatibility of verse of advantage (غنیمت) with that and interpretation of advantage (غنیمت) in its vast meaning that means any kind of income which has been mentioned below the Hadith.

Another one is the necessity of an extraordinary Islamic tax equal to Khums for a specific year, the year 220, because of extraordinary conditions that have happened for Imam and Shiites, and as it is understood from history (and also a Hadith which has been mentioned in Kafi) it was the same year that Mu’tasim had invited his holiness to Baghdad and kept his eyes on his holiness respectfully. Surely, in that year Imam and Shiites of Baghdad had extraordinary condition and Imam had to organize the conditions of Shiite needed people and specially Shiites of Bani Hashim, and he had no choice other than taking this extraordinary Khums from them.

This matter is not exclusive to Imam, and if conditions are too much hard that Khums does not suffice the costs, governor can raise the tax for rich people in order to save the benefits of Muslims, also it is possible that Zakat which answers to all needs in ordinary conditions according to explicit cabbalas could not suffice alone; for example when all Muslims were in danger of attack of enemies and Islamic armies need more money, at this time Islamic governors can ask for extraordinary amounts of money for solving the problem, as an Islamic necessity.

It is interesting that Imam had necessitated this extraordinary tax on gold and silver which one year had passed them.

People who are familiar with Islamic Fiqh and especially Shiite Fiqh and had studied the authorities of governor know that Islamic government or its governor had special authorities for these conditions.

Therefore, this extraordinary Khums which had been temporary has no relation with general ruling of Khums on incomes.

But obstinate caviler who has no knowledge about this matter had been amazed that how it is possible to take two kinds of Khums from people, unaware that one of them is the permanent law of Islam and the other is temporary ruling and related to authorities of Islamic governor, and according to what had been said there is no doubt remaining about the meaning of Hadith.

And it is interesting that obstinate caviler has arisen several objections to this Hadith which any of them is more amazing than the other and is the sign of extremity of his honesty and vastness of his knowledge and impartiality and integrity (?)!!

Now pay attention to some of their samples:

1- He says that Hadith tellers who had quoted from Ali ibn Mahzyar are unknown persons and are not famous in Rijal books.

While “Ahmad ibn Muhammad” who is one of these two Hadith tellers (and even without any need to another Hadith teller the evidence and document of this Hadith is compete, because both two teller have quoted the Hadith from Ali ibn Mahzyar horizontally) is “Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Isa” who is one of most famous persons of Shiite Rijal and is from reliable, famous and accredited persons and his name has been mentioned in all Rijal books.

But maybe caviler never had referred to Rijal books about this matter and has shot a bullet in the darkness with the hope that people have no time for referring to Rijal books and his lie will never been revealed or he referred but did not understand and idiomatically he has mistaken deliberately.

The reason for that “Ahmad ibn Muhammad” is the same as “Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Eisa” is that the person who quoted from him is “Muhammad ibn Hassan Saffar” the author of the famous book “Basa’ir Al-Darajat”, and we know that Muhammad ibn Hassan Saffar is one of students of Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Eisa.

He says: It has been mentioned in Hadith that lots of assets of “Khorramian” had been gained by companions of Imam, while final defeat of them had happened in the year 221, one year after the date which has been mentioned in this Hadith and “Babak Khorram-Din” the dynast of “Khorramian” had been defeated after the year 221.

We don’t know that if he had thought that nobody knows about the history of Khorramian? And nobody will refer to history?

We read in Tabari history6 that in this year lots of people of Iran converted to the faith of Babak Khorram-Din, and Mu’tasim Abbasi sent a great army to them, and in the same year sixty thousand of followers of Babak had been killed, and the others escaped to the Roman countries.

It is interesting that caviler quotes explicitly from Tabari history in his text about the incidents of “the year 219”, that commander of an army which had been sent from Baghdad to repress Khorramian, “entered Baghdad with a number of captives of Khorramian in 11th of Jamada El Oula of the year 219 and it is said that one thousands of them had been killed”.7

Obviously in such a battle with this number of killed people lots of spoils had been gained by worriers and we cannot ignore this truth even we act like people who know nothing about that.

The text that mentioned before is not exclusive to Tabari history, but also the same expression has been mentioned in complete history of Ibn Athir that: “Ishaq ibn Ibrahim (commander of army of Baghdad) entered Baghdad with a large number of captives of Khorramian in Jamada El Oula”.8 (Notice that it has been emphasized on the phrase “a large number”.)

And we know that in that time they sold the infidel war captives as slaves or freed them by taking ransom and naturally lots of money had been gained by people of Baghdad in this way.

More amazing is that it has been written in the dictionary of Dehkhoda under the word “Babak Khorram-Din” quoted from “the selected of Hamdullah Mostofi” that: “Ishaq ibn Ibrahim enteredBaghdad in Jamada El Oula and there were a large group of Khorram-Dinan captives with him”.9

And while caviler had Dehkhoda dictionary in his hands by testify of his explicit words, but he acted as he is deaf and did not pay any attention to these explicit evidences that show lots of assets had gained by Muslims as spoils from “Khorram-Dinan” before the year 220. (Damn obstinacy! That what results it has!)

By the way, this objection to Hadith of Ali ibn Mahzyar is more instable than cobweb.

3- He says that how Imam Javad (a.s.) could have connection with his friends and send them letters when he was under observation in Baghdad?

But maybe he has forgotten that Imam Javad (a.s.) had acme to Baghdad by invitation of Mu’tasim, he was neither in prison nor so much limited that cannot contact people, as this matter has been affirmed in “Mir’at Al-Oqool”, vol. 6, page 95.

We read about Imam Hassan Askari (a.s.) who was under strong observation in Samarra that he was partly in touch with his friends by letters, and surely violence of Mutawakkil Abbasi about Imam Askari (a.s.) was harsher than severity of Mu’tasim about Imam Javad (a.s.).

We read in the book “Rijal Kashi” that: “Imam Askari (a.s.) wrote a letter to Ishaq ibn Ismael and expressed lots of matters in that letter”.10

And we read in the book “History of Qom” that “Ahmad ibn Ishaq” went to Samarra in pilgrimage of Hajj and went to Imam Hassan Askari (a.s.).11

Therefore, being under observation of those superiors had never prevented them from contacting with people.

Moreover, if Imam Javad (a.s.) had been in conditions that could not write letter to Shiites, how could Ali ibn Mahzyar dare to say, in the same date, such a false statement that everyone knew about it?

4- Another objection that he made, in his assumption, to Hadith is that how could Imam legislate and say that I ordain an extra Khums on you in that special year, while we know that legislation is only exclusive to Allah and Prophet (S) can only announce that and the duty of Imam (a.s.) is to maintain and propagate the religion, not legislation or canonization and making new laws.

But this caviler has forgotten a clear point because of his limited knowledge that there are lots of differences between “legislation” and “order of governor”; Islamic government and the leader of this government [Imam (a.s.)] have the right to issue special orders temporarily in extraordinary cases, and order all people to perform a special duty, consisting of financial or non-financial matters, or prohibit a Halaal (permitted) matter temporarily for some special goals; this authority is not only exclusive to Imam (a.s.) and Faqihs and religious governors also have this right, and the extraordinary conditions of prohibiting tobacco by Ayatollah Shirazi, in that special conditions that the goal of this order was to fight economical corruption of Britain, is one of its example’ and this is one of the signs of motivity and formative attributes and liveliness of Islamic laws that had gave such authorities to Islamic government and religious governors for special and emergency conditions and therefore as soon as that extraordinary condition is ended, that order also invalidates and it is not like main laws of Islam which are eternal and infinite.

Accordingly, we see that Imam (a.s.) says about the first Khums: “This is exclusive for this year and it has a reason which I do not want to explain because of some conditions. (Surely, this is the extraordinary condition which has happened for Shiites about financial issues by entering Imam to Baghdad)”. But he says about the second Khums: “This law is forever and Muslims should pay it every year”. It was so good that this caviler did not go to judge alone, And at least contacted with a knowledgeable person to hear the answers of his question, in order not to waste the time of himself and the others.

From this matter it clears that why Imam (a.s.) had necessitated the first Khums which had been extraordinary in gold and silver which one year had past them. Because as we said issuing this ruling was by using the authorities of religious governor and this should follow the amount of needs.

Imam had observed that the extraordinary need which had happened to Shiites had been covered by this much of Khums; therefore he had limited that to this amount.

More funny of all is that this caviler has assumed that there is a contradiction between beginning and the end of this cabbala, in the beginning he says that I take Khums only from gold and silver and at the end he denies his words.

While there is no contradiction, the only problem here is the ignorance of caviler, because as we said before that Khums in the beginning of cabbala is temporary and extraordinary and had issued by the authorities of religious governor and another Khums is at the end of cabbala is one of permanent and eternal Islamic laws.

And if we see that he had referred to the verse of advantage in the second part, it is according to the same reason.

More amazingly, Imam has interpreted advantage ( غنیمت) clearly by its vast meaning, and has known it consisting of all incomes, but again caviler has acted as he is completely deaf and has ignored all of that.


Another objection or we should better say excuse, which has been said about this Hadith and it is another evidence of insufficiency of caviler’s knowledge is that he says: “Imam Javad (a.s.) had past away in the year 219, how it is possible that he had issues this order in the year 220 as it has been mentioned in the text of Hadith?”

The answer to this objection clears by referring to famous historical texts of Shi’aa and famous Hadith books, because “Sheikh Mufid” affirms in the book “Irshad” in hagiography of Imam Javad (a.s.) that his holiness had past away in the year 220.

It is written in the book “Usul Al-Kafi”:

ولد فى شهر رمضان من سنة 195 و قبض فى سنة 220 فى آخر ذى القعدة

He was born in Ramadan in the year 195 and past away in ends of Zul Qa"da the year 220.12

And it is written in the book “Kashf Al-Qumma” that, his holiness went to Baghdad in the year 220 and he past away in ends of Zul Qa’da in the same year.

And according to the quote of the book “Muntakhab” from the books “Doroos” and “A’lam Al-Wara” and “Managheb” and “Ithbat Al-Wasiyyat” by Mas’oodi, all these books have mentioned the year 220 as the date of departure of his holiness and also his departure has been mentioned the year 220 in the book “Wafiyat Al-A’yan” and expressing the date of departure of his holiness in the year 219 considers as a weak evidenced expression.

The year of departure of his holiness also has been mentioned the year 220 in the book “Tarikh Mawaleed and Wafiyat Ahlul Bayt Al-Nabi” by “Ibn Khashab” (according to the quote of Bahar).

Therefore, it is strongly logical that we say his holiness has past away in the ends of the year 220, and few months before had issued that order.

Indeed it is amazing that as person ignores all of these famous books and only refers to a weak cabbala that expresses the date of departure of his holiness in the year 219; could this act have a reason other than ignorance or evil intention?!

It clears from the things which we said that the cabbala of “Ali ibn Mahzyar” is one of cabbalas that has no place for objection about its evidence or implication, and objections which have arisen about this mostly have been due to lack of knowledge or obstinacy and partiality.


5- Another cabbala which is considerable about the evidence and also implication and proves Khums in all incomes is the cabbala of “Sama’a ibn Mehran” from Imam “Mousa ibn Ja’far” (a.s.):

قال سألت ابالحسن عن الخمس فقال فى کلّ ما افاد النّاس من قلیل او کثیر

I asked Imam Mousa ibn Ja’far about Khums; he said Khums is all benefits that people gain from little to many.13

But unfortunately that caviler assumed that he can invalidate this Hadith by delusive objections:

Sometimes he says that Sama’a had past away in the time of Imam Sadiq (a.s.) and how could he quote a Hadith from Imam Mousa ibn Ja’far (a.s.).

While scholars of Rijal have affirmed that he has quoted several cabbalas from Imam Mousa ibn Ja’far (a.s.) and today these cabbalas are available in our Hadith books.

Moreover, scholars of Rijal said that “Sama’a” had been Vaghefi beside his truthfulness and reliability; it means that he was one of persons who had stopped about leadership after Imam Mousa ibn Ja’far (a.s.), how it is possible that a person to be Vaghefi and die in the time of Imam Sadiq (a.s.)? It is funny that caviler himself has confessed that Sama’a had been Vaghefi and still says that he had died in the time of Imam Sadiq (a.s.).

Maybe he didn’t notice the meaning of the word Vaghefi, unless how it is possible that a person expression such a contradiction?

Yes, it is said in a weak cabbala that Sama’a had past away in the time of Imam Sadiq (a.s.) but as the late Allame Ardabili has written in the book “Jame’ Al-Rovat” in the biography of Sama’a this cabbala is from fabricated ones.

But if maybe there is no expression more explicit than this cabbala in implication about the generality of Khums, this caviler says:

“Asker had asked Imam from Khums, it is not clear that which kind of Khums he had asked about; is it from spoils that people should pay its Khums from anything that they gain or is it the Khums of mines and treasures and diving into the sea and like them, or benefits of businesses and industries”.

But while the word “Khums” has been mentioned in question in its definite way and Imam has said in the answer explicitly that Khums is obligatory in all the things that gives benefit to people from little to many, we do not know that where could this person find these baseless possibilities, and how he connected them to this Hadith and he did not thought that if anyone see his writing, that person will blame him for this obstinacy.

  • 1. Hadith 1, chapter 8, from chapters of Khums in Wasael Al-Shi’aa, vol. 6.
  • 2. Hadith 3, chapter 8, from chapters of Khums in Wasael Al-Shi’aa, vol. 6.
  • 3. Fourth Hadith, chapter 8 in Wasael Al-Shi’aa, vol. 6.
  • 4. They were a group of people called Khorramiyya or Khorram-Dinan who believed in reincarnation and pornography (considering Haraam acts as Halaal).
  • 5. Fifth Hadith from chapter eight of Wasael Al-Shi’aa, vol. 6, page 349.
  • 6. Printed Leyden publishing company, vol. 11, page 1165, in incidents of the year 218, two years before the issue of above order by Imam (a.s.)
  • 7. Tabari history, vol. 7, page 224, printed in Cairo
  • 8. Complete history of Ibn Athir, vol. 5, page 233, printed in Dar Al-Ketab Al-Arabiyya.
  • 9. Dehkhoda dictionary, under the word “Babak Khorram-Din”, page 11.
  • 10. Rijal Kashi, page 449.
  • 11. According to quote of Bahar Al-Anvar, vol. 50, page 322.
  • 12. Usul Al-Kafi, vol. 1, page 492.
  • 13. Wasael Al-Shi’aa, vol. 6, page 350.