Rafed English

Khums; A Charity or Duty?

Adopted from the Book : "Khums; An Islamic Tax" by : Sayyid Mohammad Rizvi

In our evaluation, we judge a person by his deeds. This is so because we, as human beings, cannot know the motives of the doer. But does Allah judge the people in the same way? Allah will not judge the people by looking at their deeds; He will instead judge by looking at their motives. The Qur'an says, "Verily Allah accepts ( the good deeds ) only from the pious people. "( 5:27 )

In the introduction, we mentioned there are two levels by which Islam aims to create and preserve the economic equilibrium in society: individual and col­lective. Under 'individual level,' we talked about charity which is a voluntary good deed. Under 'collective level,' we talked about the taxes which Islam has made obligatory upon the Muslims.

Khums and zakat come under the second category and, therefore, it should never be looked upon as an act of charity. Rather, it is a duty, an obligation which must be fulfilled whether one likes it or not. In fulfilling this obligation, you must train yourself to pay khums and zakat with the intention of seeking the pleasure of Allah. It should be done fi sabili

We must emphasize that doing a deed is one thing but its acceptance or rejection by Allah is something else. The former does not guarantee the latter. It is the motive which will be crucial in acceptance or rejection of one's deed. To use khums, whether on a personal or organizational levels, as a leverage to promote oneself is very detremental to the spirit of khums. I am especially concerned about the emphasis put on accrediting as 'donors' the persons or organizations who give khums for valid Islamic causes. They should take a moment to think whether the sihmu 'lImam which they are giving is owned by themselves or Imam Mahdi ( upon whom be peace )? If it belongs to the latter, then why insist on getting credit for it as the donor? If any acknowledgement is to be made, should it not go to the Imam?

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