Posts Tagged ‘Ahl al-Bayt’

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Fai favors Muhammad’s successors

January 2, 2010

Money Jihad has examined all the major Islamic revenue sources including zakat, sadaqa, ushr, jizya, khums, kharaj, customs duties, ransoms.  But one remains:  the fai.

Fai defined

In classical Islam, wealth taken peaceably from an enemy, either under the terms of a peace settlement or after fighting has ended. Fai was considered the right of the Prophet Muhammad originally. Later it was distributed by the community leaders according to what was considered to be in the best interests of Islam and Muslims. (Oxford Islamic Studies Online)

Or, for a much more vivid definition of fai, Islam Watch offers this:

Consider what it would be like to walk through a dark alley on a quiet night. You are looking back every few minutes, hoping no one is following you. You are close to the next illuminated street, but, almost magically, two tall musclemen block your way and ask for your wallet. You hand them your wallet and give up your wrist watch and the expensive jacket that you bought recently. Yes, you just made your contribution to Fai.  (“Muhammad’s Profession:  Booty Ahoy,” by Sher Khan)

Islam’s legal basis for the fai is similar to that of the kharaj:  “The spoil taken from the people of the towns and assigned by God to his apostle, belongeth to God, and to the apostle, and to his kindred, and to the orphan, and to the poor, and to the wayfarer” (Koran 59:7).

The Hadith are more explicit about the fai, its disbursement to Muhammad’s family, and any amount remaining to go toward holy war:

The properties of Bani An-Nadir which Allah had transferred to His Apostle as Fai Booty were not gained by the Muslims with their horses and camels. The properties therefore, belonged especially to Allah’s Apostle who used to give his family their yearly expenditure and spend what remained thereof on arms and horses to be used in Allah’s Cause.  (Sahih Bukhari, 4.52.153)

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