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Khums :

Encyclopaedia of Ismailism by Mumtaz Ali Tajddin

It means fifth part levied on the Muslim soldiers on the ghanima (booty) they received in the battle.

As for the khums, the Koran says: "And know that whatever thing you acquire in war, a fifth (khums) of it is for God and for the Prophet and for the near of kin (ahl al-bayt); and the orphans and needy and travellers" (8: 41)

In the period of the Prophet, when the ghanima (booty) was distributed, each soldier was to pay khums (fifth) from it. The accumulated amount of khums was divided into two parts as follow:-

1st part : God - Prophet - Ahl al-Bayt

2nd part : Orphan - Needy - Traveller

For illustration, suppose a person received 100 dhirams as his share from the ghanima, the taxable khums was 20 dhirams @ 5%. The total khums was divided into two parts. In the first part, 10 dhirams were reserved for God, Prophet and Ahl al-Bayt, and remaining 10 dhirams were allotted for the orphans, needy and travellers. Thus, the shares of God, Prophet and Ahl al-Bayt were deposited in one wallet. In other words, khums in apparent means fifth part, but it becomes tenth part - a rate equal to the ushr. The Prophet said, "Out of what God has given to you nothing is mine but the khums, and that khums is given back to you" (mali ilal khums wal khums maru'ddu fiqhum).

When the jurists codified the Islamic jurisprudence in the period of Imam Muhammad al-Bakir and Imam Jafar Sadik, the followers were taught that the Imams after the Prophet were legitimate receivers of the khums. Soon after the period of Imam Jafar Sadik, the Ismailis paid 10% of their income as khums to the Imam of the time. In Egypt, the institution of khums continued. In Alamut and post-Alamut period, the Ismailis in Iran, Afghanistan and Central Asia called it mal'e wajibat (levied amount) or dah-yak.

The Indian Ismaili Pirs adopted the term dasond in place of ushr and khums. The word dasond is said to have derived from dason (das means ten and an means food). In its frequent usage, the term dason became dasond, meaning tenth part of the food or income. In the old Hindi literature, the word dasvant was in usage in the meaning of tenth part. In Prakrit language, the word dassans or dasa'ns means one-tenth. Later, the word came to be pronounced as daswand, dasawnd or dasond under the same meaning. The Turkish word for the tithe is onda bir or osur.

The tenth part of the income is separated along with 2


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