The concept of “Syeds/Sayyeds”

The concept of “Syeds/Sayyeds”

It is an extremely common religious practice among the Shia communities, that the descendents of the Prophet (pbuh) through his daughter Fatima and her husband Imam Ali (as), are regarded as a special class and are called “sayyeds” (i.e. master/leader).

The proponents of this practice argue by bringing forward the  Shia fiqhi (jurisprudential) view of zakat (obligatory charity) being haram on “Sayyeds”, and khums being halal on them instead, to prove that the “sayyeds” are a special category. 

We shall now examine if classical Shia fiqh sources actually support this claim.

Zakat is Haram for Bani Hashim NOT just descendants of Fatima(as)

Al Hidayah by Shaikh Sadooq, Page 176
وقد فضل الله بني هاشم بتحريم الزكاة عليهم
And Allah (swt) has graced the Bani Hashim with zakat being haram for them.

Al Muqniah by Shaikh Mufid, Page 243
وتحرم الزكاة الواجبة علي بني هاشم جميعا من ولد أمير المؤمنين علي بن أبي طالب عليه السلام، وجعفر، وعقيل، والعباس رضي الله عنهم
Zakat is haram for all the Bani Hashim, from the progeny of Imam Ali (as), Ja’far b. abi Talib, Aqil b. abi Talib, and Abbas b. Abdul Muttalib, may Allah (swt) be pleased with them.

Mukhtalif al Shia by Allama Hilli, Volume 3 Page 218
وفي المبسوط: الصدقة المفروضة محرمة على النبي – صلى الله عليه وآله – وآله وهم ولد هاشم، ولا يوجد هاشمي إلا من ولد أبي طالب العلويين والعقيليين والجعفريين، ومن ولد عباس بن عبد المطلب، ومن أولاد الحارث بن عبد المطلب، ويوجد من أولاد أبي لهب أيضا,  وهذا الأخير أصوب
Shaikh Tusi wrote in al Mabsoot (Volume 1 Page 259): “Zakat is haram for the Prophet (pbuh) and his family, which is the progeny of Hashim. The Hashimids (the progeny of Hashim) are not found but among the progeny of Abu Talib, which includes the progeny of Imam Ali (as), Aqil b. abi Talib, and Ja’far b. abi Talib, and the progeny of Abbas b. Abdul Muttalib, as well as the descendents of Harith b.Abdul Muttalib. The descendents of Abu Lahab* are also included.” And this is the most correct view.

*Note: As can be seen, the prohibition of zakat is for all the Bani Hashim (the progeny of Hashim), including the progeny of Abu Lahab, and there is no special category for the progeny of Imam Ali (as) exclusively through Fatima only. Also, as can be seen, the Bani Hashim have not been denoted any special title such as “Sayyed” (master/leader) in Shia fiqh texts.

The above texts have covered the issue of zakat, now let us see the issue of khums.

Khums is allowed for Bani Hashim NOT just descendants of Fatima(as)

Mukhtalif al Shia by Allama Hilli, Volume 3 Page330
مسألة: المشهور أن المراد باليتامى والمساكين وابن السبيل في آية الخمس من قرابة النبي – صلى الله عليه وآله – من بني هاشم خاصة، ذهب إليه الشيخان، وابن أبي عقيل، وأبو الصلاح، وباقي فقهائنا
It is popular among our scholars that what is meant by the orphans, the poor ones, and the wayfarer, in the verse of khums (8:41), among the kindred of the Prophet(pbuh), are those exclusively from the Bani Hashim. Among those who advocated this view are Shaikh Mufid, Shaikh Tusi, ibn abi Aqil, Abu Salah, and other scholars.

*Note: As can seen, the ruling is the same with regards to khums as well, in that the ruling applies to all the Bani Hashim, not just the children of Fatima, and neither is any special title (such as Sayyed) denoted for the Bani Hashim.

{Courtesy Shia blog “realtashayyu”}



[Ex-Shia] Brother Ebn Hussein Al-Irani Said: The Sayyed business is a BIG PHAT lie, especially in non-arab countries, ESPECIALLY in Asia. According to all sources there are so many “Naqvis, Alawis, Rizvis” that it is biologically impossible that any of the Imams had so much offspring. There are researches(example) on the internet about that 99% of Pakistani, Indian and Iranian and even Iraqi “Sayyeds” have no FAMILY TREE whatsoever, heck most Asians don’t even know the name of their great-great-great grandfather, yet in Arabia it is basic knowledge for every tribe, and the Ahl Al-Bayt in ARAB countries are WELL KNOWN with DOCUMENTED family trees. Also in the Sunni world there was less fraud i.e. people who were Sayyeds did not have privileges like a Rafidi (let alone Rafidi Ayatollat) would have if he was a Sayyed. We find in history books, THOUSANDS of Iranians claimed suddenly to be Sayyeds after the invasion of the Safavids (people who put green banners on their houses or wore green shawls were “identified” as Sayyeds).


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