A Mother’s Day sucker punch: Winners and losers in the Islamic tax game

May 9, 2010

Not descended from Muhammad?  Sorry, you are not entitled to receive the khums, the 20 percent tax on profits honored by Shia Muslims.  (Beneficiaries of khums revenues are described here.)

Oh wait, you say you are his descendent?  Well in that case, we’ll be happy to transfer our wealth to you via the khums.

Uh oh.  We seem to have a little problem…  You didn’t mention that you were only a descendant of Muhammad through your mom.  You need to be a descendant through your father in order to receive any benefit.

This “wisdom” of the Shia comes to us from the “Al Qaem Youth Society” at fatmiya.net on Apr. 30:

Remember, this advice is not meant for non Fatemi ‘Sadat’ though being Hashemi they also deserve respect but they are not family members of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.). Whenever in doubt, be cautious. Of course, those who are sayyed from mother’s side also deserve respect because they are children of the daughter. Imam Hasan (a.s.) and Imam Husain (a.s.) are prophet’s children because of this relation. People with this type of relations are not entitled to ‘Khums’. According to one reliable tradition from Jamad bin Isa, only those who are sayyed from father’s side are entitled ‘Khums’. Otherwise, they are equal as far respect is concerned. Both should be respected.

Thanks, Islam, for carving up humanity into different classes for eternal discrimination through the jizya against non-Muslims, through the kharaj against non-Arabs, and no khums benefits for non-descendants of Muhammad or his descendants via mothers. 

Happy Mother’s Day!



  1. Your post is inaccurate. Khums is divided into two equal portions, the share of the Imam and the share of the sadat. The share of the Imam is spent on building masjids, islamic seminaries, paying the expenses of seminarians, public works projects, and the poor. The share of the sadat is not for the the desencedents of Muhammad but from the “Hashimi” sayyids or the desencedents of Hashim. These individuals cannot receive the benefit of other tax funds, or charity.

    Kharaj is not a tax on non-Arab Muslims. It is a tax paid by lessees of state owned land.

    • The Koran says, “a fifth part belongeth to God and to the apostle, and to the near of kin, and to orphans, and to the poor, and to the wayfarer, if ye believe in God, and in that which we have sent down to our servant on the day of the victory, the day of the meeting of the Hosts.”

      Are you saying the apostle referred to by the Koran is Hashim, not Muhammad?

      You can read about the kharaj here. Historically, the kharaj was a tax on non-Muslims, then it remained a tax on non-Arab Muslims once they converted.

  2. No I am not implying that Hasim is the apostle. I am informing you that you are incorrect when you state that khums is payable exclusively to descendents of Muhammad

    While sayyid is used to refer to descendents of Muhammad, the particular usage in the context of Khums is broader. In the context of Khums, sayyid refers to descendents of Hashim, which is a broader group of individuals then descendents of Muhammad.

    • Are you saying that the Koran is inaccurate or are you saying that the translation is inaccurate?

      • I am not saying either. I am saying that you are inaccurately limiting the recipients of a particular portion of khums to descendents of the Prophet, when neither the verse cited nor the legal texts on the matter make such a limitation. The verse does not use the word “sayyid” but the phrase, “near of kin.” This phrase is understood to mean descendents of Hashim.

        This is really a technical matter and does not in anyway limit your criticism of Islamic taxes or of Islam generally. I am not arguing with you regarding the points you are making. I am merely trying to provide you with information so that when you do attack my religion you can do so accurately.

  3. Regarding your reference about Kharaj, you refer to an article you wrote. Your point would have been better served if you had referred to the sources you cited in your article. The problem for you is that those sources do not support your contention that kharaj was a tax levied on non-Arab Muslim. They in fact state that while kharaj began as a tax on non-Muslims and was synonymous with jizya, it developed into a tax applicable to state owned land payable by the cultivator without regard to his or her religous idenity. None of the sources you cite mention an exception for Arab cultivators. Your contention that kharaj was a tax payable by non-Arab Muslim is therefore unsupported.

    • Then why did non-Arabs launch tax revolts against the caliph?

      • Your reply does nothing to address the inaccuracy in your article. The articles you cite in your article make tie the taxes to the land in question and not the ethic idenity of the individuals taxed.

        To which tax revolts are you referring? Can you demonstrate that absolutely no Arab Muslims participated in them?

  4. Since you have not specified any tax revolt that do not include any Arabs, I can only assume none exist. The only tax revolts I am familiar with all included Arab Muslims who not only participated in, but in some cases lead the revolts because the taxes were being implamented in a discriminatory manner against non-Arab Muslims.

  5. I just noticed that you “updated” your summary of my posts, by adding the liabelous statement, “dismisses evidences that khums funds Hezbollah.” I had been under the impression that you were making a critical, rational evaluation of Islam. In engaging in sucj yellow “journalism” only underscores your intellectual dishonesty.

  6. You made some good points there. I looked on the net for additional information about the issue and found most individuals will go along with your views on this site.

  7. In my opinion, highly problematic foods like wheat, dairy and sugar should continue to be restricted from a child’s diet until his immune system is fully developed after the onset of puberty. Most people only partially digest gluten while the rest sits in the digestive system and ferments, creating gas, bloating, and cramps. Foods sensitivities or allergic reactions can manifest because of to your body’s autoimmune reaction.

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