One of the more affluent people in the area decided to go for Hajj, but he was told that he had to give Khumus before going, otherwise his Hajj would not be valid!
He calculated the amount he needed to pay as Khumus and it turned out to be one million Riyals; so, he postponed his trip and said he would go for Hajj the next year. The next year, after calculating his wealth again he found the Khumus to be the same large amount, and so he delayed his Hajj again. After a number of years, he went for Hajj and when he was asked about the amount of Khumus that he had to pay, he replied, “I went to Sheikh so-and-so and he said to me ‘Give me one hundred thousand and go for Hajj!’”
Are there seasonal mark-downs on devotional worship or is this simply deception? By Allah, if he distributed his Khumus among the destitute of al Qatif, not a single needy person would remain. If this wealth would be used in public welfare projects or to eradicate youth unemployment, everyone would have some job. Unfortunately, these people are only looking after their own interests; what happens to the broader society is no concern of theirs.
I was once having a chat with a relative of mine who runs a huge business project of her own. The conversation eventually led to the issue of Khumus. She said that her father forces her to pay Khumus to the Sheikh, and she said, “Why should I give it to the Sheikh when my relatives and neighbours are living below the poverty line? Why should I not give it to the poor directly?”
It appears there are middle-men in everything, even between the donor and the poor. Perhaps the Sheikh would like to invest the money of the needy only to give it to them on the Day of Judgement, the day when they will rush towards him to take his good deeds and unburden themselves of their evil deeds and hand them over to him!
وَقَاتِلُوهُمْ حَتَّىٰ لَا تَكُونَ فِتْنَةٌ وَيَكُونَ الدِّينُ كُلُّهُ لِلَّهِ ۚ فَإِنِ انتَهَوْا فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ بِمَا يَعْمَلُونَ بَصِيرٌ وَإِن تَوَلَّوْا فَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّهَ مَوْلَاكُمْ ۚ نِعْمَ الْمَوْلَىٰ وَنِعْمَ النَّصِيرُ وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّمَا غَنِمْتُم مِّن شَيْءٍ فَأَنَّ لِلَّهِ خُمُسَهُ وَلِلرَّسُولِ وَلِذِي الْقُرْبَىٰ وَالْيَتَامَىٰ وَالْمَسَاكِينِ وَابْنِ السَّبِيلِ إِن كُنتُمْ آمَنتُم بِاللَّهِ وَمَا أَنزَلْنَا عَلَىٰ عَبْدِنَا يَوْمَ الْفُرْقَانِ يَوْمَ الْتَقَى الْجَمْعَانِ ۗ وَاللَّهُ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ إِذْ أَنتُم بِالْعُدْوَةِ الدُّنْيَا وَهُم بِالْعُدْوَةِ الْقُصْوَىٰ وَالرَّكْبُ أَسْفَلَ مِنكُمْ ۚ وَلَوْ تَوَاعَدتُّمْ لَاخْتَلَفْتُمْ فِي الْمِيعَادِ ۙ وَلَٰكِن لِّيَقْضِيَ اللَّهُ أَمْرًا كَانَ مَفْعُولًا لِّيَهْلِكَ مَنْ هَلَكَ عَن بَيِّنَةٍ وَيَحْيَىٰ مَنْ حَيَّ عَن بَيِّنَةٍ ۗ وَإِنَّ اللَّهَ لَسَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ
So, fight them until there is no persecution, and religion is for Allah alone. If they then desist then Allah is surely All-Seeing of what they do. And if they turn away then know that it is Allah who is your Patron. How commendable is Allah as a patron and as a helper! Know that whatever spoils you gain (in war), then one fifth of it is for Allah and His Messenger, and for those of kin, the orphans, the destitute, and the wayfarer, if indeed you believe in Allah and all of what we have sent down on Our slave (the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) on the Day of Distinction, the day that both forces encountered one another. Allah is powerful over everything. (Remember) when you were on the nearest end of the valley and they were on the farthest one, and the caravan was below you. Had you mutually appointed the time and place of the battle, you would have disagreed about the appointment. However, (it occurred in this manner) so that Allah may accomplish what was destined to be done, so that whoever was to perish may perish knowingly, and whoever was to live may live knowingly. And Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing.
The verses preceding and succeeding the verse of Khumus speak about war, and the spoils of war taken from the disbelievers. By what stretch of the imagine did these fellows arrive at the rule that the Khumus must be collected from the wealth of the Muslims?
They have conveniently interpreted the word of Allah in a way that serves their own interest, far as it may be from the truth. They made the Qur’an fragments, holding onto the verses that serve their needs, forgetting the rest.
Another point to consider is that the categories of Sheikh or Marja’ have not been allocated a share of the Khumus. So even if one assumed that Khumus were obligatory, why do the Sheikhs and Marja’s receive it? Why is it not given directly to its rightful recipients?
One of my colleagues mentioned that he met Sheikh ‘Ali Al Muhsin at his home in Saihat and asked him about the Khumus, and regarding the proof that it must be given to the clergy. The Sheikh replied by saying that the matter is simply, “Like this!”
Perhaps the honourable sheikhs expect society to pay them Jizyah too! Jizyah is taken from the disbelievers; not from the Muslims. That being said, even Jizyah is less than Khumus. Why do we take an insignificant sum from the non-Muslims and seize 20 percent of the Muslim’s wealth? If it was argued that this is Jizyah, then we ought to understand that Jizyah is taken from non-Muslims in return for Muslim protection. When Muslims are unable to protect them, they are not obligated to give anything. Accordingly, what protection do the sheikhs afford us?
What have they done in combatting corruption that has become so widespread? What have they done to deal with armed robbers? Where are they when it comes to the armed violence that has spread in such an unpleasant way? Where are they when it comes to the armed gangs that cruise through the streets on their motorcycles? Have the incidents of murder in our community of al Qatif not increased in an alarming way?
Was the youngster Muhammad Turki Faraj not killed in his car in the suburb of Shukr Allah in Awamiyyah on the 9th of Muharram?
Where are they in terms of dealing with the rampant drug trade that is affecting our own children in middle and secondary school? What have they done in curbing the systemic growth of institutionalized corruption?
Most of the welfare and social initiatives in al Qatif are managed and organized by people who are otherwise from the laity, not the clergy. The clergy is only concerned with continuing the ceremonial traditions which have erroneously been associated with religious practice. In maintaining the status quo, they can insulate themselves and secure a steady flow of income into their accounts.
The reality that morals and values are at the brink of collapse under the barrage of atheism and promiscuity is of little or no concern to them as long as their income is secure. Society can go to hell, for all they care. All they really care for is the steady stream of the Khumus into their pockets!
The great intellectual and thinker, ‘Ali Shari’ati, in his discussion on these types of people, says:
The representative of the Imam exists, obviously. However, his existence is not for the sake of jihad or any such cause. Instead, it is simply to gather religious funds and taxes, and to collect the share of the hidden Imam. As for commanding good and forbidding evil, these are two responsibilities that are forgone except in individual capacities, and on matters of personal conduct, through brotherly advices, in terms of the benefits of good actions and the harms of evil actions.
 Surah al Anfal: 39-42.
 Al Tashayyu’ al ‘Alawi wa al Tashayyu’ al Safawi, pg. 262.Back to top