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Newsletter for October 2016


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Khums, the Fund of Independence of Bayt Al-Mal

(Opinion of Commentators, Khums in Sunni Cabbalas)

    By Ayatullah Shirazi


Opinion of Commentators

Lots of commentators who have discussed about this verse explicitly confessed that Advantage (غنیمت) has mainly a vast meaning and consists of spoils of war and other than them and generally all that a person could gain without hardship. Even those who consider this verse exclusive to spoils of war confess that there is no such a limitation in its main meaning, but for another reason its meaning has been limited.

“Ghartabi”, famous Sunni commentator, writes below this verse in his interpretation:

“Literally, “advantage” (غنیمت) is the thing that a person or a group of people gain with endeavor … and know that the consensus (of Sunni scholars) is that the meaning of advantage (غنیمت) in the verse “ وَ اعْلَمُوا اَنَّما غَنِمْتُمْ” is assets which reach Muslims by fight and victory over infidels, but it should be considered that this limitation is not in its literal meaning as we said before, but this bond has been set in the common law of religion”.

“Fakhr Raazi” affirms in his interpretation that: “ الغنم الفوز بالشیء (advantage is that a person gains something”. And then after expressing this vast literal meaning adds: “Religious meaning of advantage (غنیمت) (in opinion of Sunni scholars) is spoils of war”.

And also in “Al-Manar” interpretation, the definition of advantage (غنیمت) has been expressed in its vast meaning and it has not been limited to spoils of war, although author believes that according to religious bond the vast meaning of this verse should be limited to spoils of war.

Also it has been mentioned in the interpretation of “Rooh Al-Ma’aani” written by Aloosi, famous Sunni commentator, that:

“Mainly, “غنم” (three word root of غنیمت in Arabic) means any kind of interest and benefit”.

And in “Majma’ Al-Bayan” interpretation first advantage has been interpreted in the meaning of spoils of war, but during the explanation of the meaning of the verse it says:

قال اصحابنا انّ الخمس واجب فى کلّ فائدة تحصل للانسان من المکاسب و ارباح التّجارات، و فى الکنوز و المعادن و الغوص و غیرذلک ممّا هو مذکور فى الکتب، و یمکن ان یستدلّ على ذلک بهذه الایة فانّ فى عرف اللّغة یطلق على جمیع ذلک اسم الغنم و الغنیمة

Shiite scholars believe that Khums is obligatory in any benefit that a person would gain, consisting of it is from business, or from treasure or mine and anything that derives from the sea by diving, and other jobs that has been mentioned in Fiqh books, and it is possible to ratiocinate with this claim about this verse because advantage (غنیمت) implies to all of these in its common meaning”.

It is amazing that some partial persons who seems to have a special mission for poisoning the common thoughts, have tried a funny falsification in their book which have written about Khums in the expression of Majma’ Al-Bayan interpretation; they have mentioned the first part of the expression which guaranties the interpretation of advantage (غنیمت) in the meaning of spoils of war (according to the opinion of some commentators), but they have ignored the explanation about the generality of literal meaning of the word and the meaning of the verse completely and have ascribed a false matter to this great Islamic commentator, maybe they thought they are the only persons who have the book “Majma’ Al-Bayan” and nobody will read that book in order to reveal their lie to everyone and it is strange that they did not perform this betrayal only about this matter, but in other cases anything that might have benefit has been mentioned and anything that might be the opposite direction has been ignored.

Also it has been affirmed in Al-Mizan interpretation according to the words of scientists of literature that advantage (غنیمت) is any benefit that person gains from business, working or the war and although the point for descending of the verse is spoils of war but we know that never the point particularizes the generality of definition.

It is concluded from all that has been said:

The verse of advantage (غنیمت) has a vast meaning and consists of any kind of income, interest and benefit, because literal meaning of this word has a vast meaning and there is no clear proof about particularizing it in hand.

The only thing that some of Sunni commentators refer to, is that the verses before and after this verse are about Jihad and this matter shows that the verse of advantage (غنیمت) points to spoils of war in proportion.

While we know that the reasons of descending or the direction of discussion in Suras never particularize the generality of a verse; and in more clear way, there is no problem in that the meaning of the verse to be a general and overall definition while the reason of descending the verse is one sample of that general and overall concept.

For example, we read in verse 7 of Sura Hashr:

وَمَا آتَاكُمُ الرَّسُولُ فَخُذُوهُ وَمَا نَهَاكُمْ عَنْهُ فَانْتَهُوا

… So take what the Messenger assigns to you, and deny yourselves that which he withholds from you. (59:7)

This verse says a general order about the necessity of obeying Prophet (S), while the case for descending was assets which has been taken under the ownership of Muslims from enemies without war (and the term “فیء” is used for them).

And also in verse 233 of Sura Baqara:

… لَا تُكَلَّفُ نَفْسٌ إِلَّا وُسْعَهَا …

no soul shall have imposed upon it a duty but to the extent of its capacity; .. (2:233)

has been mentioned as a general rule while the case for descending was about paying women who feeding babied and it has been ordered to the father of infant to pay according to his ability; but can reference of the verse to this special matter prevent the generality of this rule (not to do more than the ability)?!

Briefly, this verse has been said among the verses of Jihad but it says: Pay one fifth (Khums) of any income that you gain from any source (which one of them is spoils of war). Specially the relative word ” (any) and the word “شیء” (thing) which are two general and without any bond or condition words emphasize this matter.

Khums in Sunni Cabbalas

Some people say that in none of Islamic cabbalas Khums has been mentioned in a case other than spoils of war and in cabbalas it has been talk about Khums exclusively for spoils of war.

This claim is one of baseless claims and is a sign of ignorance of the person who has said this about Islamic Ahadith, because Khums in other than spoils of war has been mentioned in Sunni cabbalas and also Shiite cabbalas (but in Sunni cabbalas only some parts of Khums have been mentioned, while in Shiite cabbalas all of them have been expressed).

First, we point to a part of Sunni cabbalas which explicitly proves Khums of things other than spoils of war.

These cabbalas have been chosen from famous resources of Ahlul Sunnah which are acceptable for all of them.

A) It has been quoted in “Sunan of Beihaghi” from Abu Harira that Prophet (S) said:

فى الرّکاز الخمس قیل و ما الرّکاز یا رسول اللّه؟ قال الذّهب و الفضّة الّذى خلقه اللّه فى الارض یوم خلقت.

There is Khums in Rekaz, a person who was there asked: What is Rekaz? Prophet (S) answered: “Mines of gold and silver which Allah has been created on earth from the beginning day.

It should be considered that Rekaz (it is pronounced like Ketab) literally means any kind of asset that is placed in earth; and accordingly all mines are called Rekaz; and also all treasures and assets which have been remained in earth from former humans are called Rekaz; and the fact that we see in the Hadith above it has been interpreted to mines of gold and silver is that a kind of clear samples not being exclusive to them.

B) It has been quoted in a Hadith from Anas ibn Malik that: We were in a road with Prophet (S), one of our friends entered to ruins … and he found there a treasure of gold … they weighted that and it was about two hundreds dirhams, Prophet said that it is Rekaz and it is obligatory to pay its Khums.

C) It has been quoted in Sahih of Muslim from Abu Harira that Prophet (S) said: “فی الرّکاز خمس” (there is Khums in Rekaz). The same matter has been also mentioned in Sahih of Bokhari.

It has been affirmed in this Hadith which is one of famous Ahadith among Sonnies that there is Khums in Rekaz and as we said and it is understood from its main root and also it has been affirmed in some famous dictionaries like Qamoos, Rekaz has a vast meaning which consists of any kind of asset that is placed and saved in earth, like mines and treasures of former humans that has been buried in lands; and accordingly, some pf Sunni Faqihs like “Abu Hanifa” affirmed that Khums is obligatory in mines and Nisab (minimum needed level or amount) of Zakat is not a condition in this case.

It has been quoted in the book “Kanz Al-Ummal”, vol. 7, page 65 that Prophet (S) said:

ان لکم بطون الارض و سهولها و تلاع الاودیة و ظهورها، على ان ترعوا نباتها و تشربوا مائها على ان تؤدّوا الخمس 2

Deep inside the earth, fields and inside the valleys and out of them are all in your hands in order to use their plants, drink their water and pay Khums about them.5

There is no doubt that here, the purpose of Khums is not Zakat of sheep, because Zakat of sheep is not one fifth. Therefore, the purpose is to use these lands and pay the Khums of its income.

It has been quoted in a Hadith in the book “Usd Al-Ghaba” that “Masrooq ibn Wael” came to prophet (S) and became Muslim, and he said I like you to send some people to my tribe in order to invite them to Islam, and please write a letter for them, may Allah guide them all. Prophet (S) ordered to write this letter:

بسم الله الرّحمن الرّحیم من محمّد رسول الله الی الاقیال من حضرموت باقام الصّلوة و ایتاء الزٌکوة و الصّدقة علی التیعة و لصاحبها التیمة و فی السّیوب الخمس و فی البعل العشر.

In the name of Allah the Compassionate the Merciful
From Muhammad, prophet of Allah to chieftains of Hadhramut,
Orders them to perform prayer and pay Zakat, Zakat is for animal that pastures in fields and the animal that is taken in house for the need of its owner has not Zakat and Khums is obligatory in “Soyoob” and it is obligatory to pay one tenth in palms which grow without the need of water.

We will discuss soon about the purpose of Soyoob which Khums is obligatory in it.

We read in another Hadith in the book “Al-Aghd Al-Fareed” that Prophet (S) wrote a letter to Wael ibn Hajr Hadhrami: “From Muhammad Prophet of Allah to chieftains of Abahela …” to the point that said: “and there is Khums in Soyoob”.

We read in footnote of the book “Al-Aghd Al-Fareed” after quoting the Hadith above that “Soyoob” is plural form of “Sayb” that means assets which had been remained as treasures from the time of ignorance or mines, because they consider as divine gifts.

But we read in “Qamoos” which is one of famous Arabic dictionaries that: Mainly “Sayb” means any kind of gift and benefaction and “Soyoob” is in the meaning of “Rekaz” (treasures and mines).

If we consider “Sayb” in the meaning of any kind of gift and benefaction and the purpose is divine gift and benefaction, it consists of all incomes and according to that Khums should be paid in all of them; and if we consider it as the exclusive meaning of mines and treasures, it also proves that Khums is obligatory in other than spoils of war and it is not exclusive to spoils of war.



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