Had Khums Been Taken from People at the Beginning of Islam?
By: Ayatullah al-Uzma Naser Makarim Shirazi
For answering this question we should say that if purpose of beginning of Islam is the time of Imams (a.s.), then the answer is positive, because as it is understood from previous discussions most of leader Imams (a.s.) not only took the Khums of all kinds of income in their time, but their ordered people emphasizing on paying this Khums, and even they had chosen special deputies and agents for collecting this Khums and people like “Ali ibn Mahzyar” and “Abu Ali ibn Rashid” and like them had this duty.1
And if the purpose of beginning of Islam is specifically the time of Prophet (S) and Amir Al-Mu’mineen (a.s.), then we should say that Khums had been taken in their time from spoils of war and also mines and treasures and diving (gems which gains by diving from the sea) and the proof of this matter has been quoted in Sunan of Beihaghi that in time of Ali (a.s.) a person found a treasure and came to Imam, Imam (a.s.) said: Four fifth of that asset is yours and one fifth (Khums) of that asset is mine.2
And also another matter like this has been quoted in the same book in another Hadith.3
And also in that same book which is one famous resources of Ahlul Sunnah has been quoted that he said: there is Khums in “Rekaz”; people asked that what is Rekaz? He said: Gold and silver which Allah has created from the day of beginning in the earth.4
Also, a detailed Hadith about this matter has been quoted in Wasael Al-Shi’aa from the time of Ali (a.s.) that a person found a “Rekaz” (mine of treasure) in the time of Ali (a.s.) and when his holiness informed about that he told that man: Bring its Khums and hand it over.5
We had some Ahadith in previous discussions that showed Prophet (S) ordered continuously that there is Khums in Soyoob and people should pay its Khums and as we said before “Soyoob” pronounced as “Oyoob” is plural form of “Sayb” pronounced as “Ghayb” in the meaning of mines and treasures and some persons said that it can also consists of any kind of gift and bestowal and by the way we conclude that order of Khums in other than soils of war had been issued in the time of prophet (S) and Prophet had ordered people to give that in his letters.6
But this question remained that if Khums had been taken from all kinds of income in the time of Prophet (S) and Ali (a.s.) or not?
We say in answer to this question that we do not have clear historical evidences about this matter that Khums of all incomes had been taken in the time of Prophet (S) and Ali (a.s.), but this matter makes no problem about this ruling.
Because as we said before, taking and forgiving of this Islamic tax is one of authorities of Islamic government, when government find itself needless or people in trouble it can forgive that but when government has needs and sees the ability of paying in people it can take that, like later Imams who some of them had took Khums and some others had forgave that according to the conditions of people or Bayt Al-Mal.
In the time of Prophet (S) and Ali (a.s.) lots of spoils from battles and also great income from Kharaj lands which their rents had been paid to Bayt Al-Mal had gained by Islamic government; amount of these spoils some times were so much that their Khums could easily solve most of financial problems of Islamic government.
And also sometimes income from Kharaj lands were so much that Bayt Al-Mal had been overflowed by assets and in these conditions there were no need for taking Khums of all incomes and therefore they had forgave it to people practically.
At the beginning of Islam when the need of Bayt Al-Mal was so much to resources of income, conditions of Muslims were so unsettled and weak that paying Khums after Zakat was cumbersome for them, and accordingly Khums had not been taken.
But in the time of other Imams (a.s.) when the Khums of spoils of war and also income of Kharaj lands had been taken by usurper caliphs and Imams had not them, and also people had the ability of paying the Khums of all of their incomes, Imams had taken Khums from them.
Briefly, not taking Khums in the time of Prophet (S) and Ali (a.s.) from all kinds of income is not he reason for nonexistence of this ruling in the program of rulings of Islam.
Mentioning this point is also necessary that it is understood from some letters of Prophet (S) which we quoted before that he had taken Khums from “Anfal” (dead land, pasturages and streams).
And we read in the book “Kanz Al-Ummal7” which if one famous resources of Ahlul Sunnah that he said:
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1. Refer to Ahadith of chapter eight from chapters of “What Khums is obligatory in it”, vol. 6 of Wasael Al-Shi’aa.
2. Sunan of Beihaghi, vol. 4, page 156.
3. Sunan of Beihaghi, vol. 4, page 157.
4. Sunan of Beihaghi, vol. 4, page 152.
5. Wasael Al-Shi’aa, vol. 6, the book of Khums, chapter six, Hadith 1.
6. Refer to the book “Makateeb Al-Rasool”, pages 397 & 405 and also “Usd Al-Ghaba”, section 3, page 38.
7. Kanz Al-Ummal, vol. 7, page 65; and in the book “Makateeb Al-Rasool”, page 365, it has been quoted from other resources.