Refutation: Chunda: A Money Making Machine?

Another little gem in the arsenal of the ”Misinformation Experts” is that they openly allege that the Ahmadis, such as myself, are obliged to pay various un-islamic taxes and subscription fees which are in turn fraudulently and dishonestly pocketed by the administrators!

A good starting point here would be to ask ”Where is the evidence of this?” I could easily, for example,  say that everybody with the name ”Henry” is fraudulent – please forgive me if you are called Henry – and that would be about as factual as the above. Again, yet another problem regarding the simple and, obviously, unimportant issue of ”evidence.”

Another clearly worrying aspect of this anti-Ahmadi discourse, is the lack of appreciation its architects have for Islamic history. The Holy Prophet (sall Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) always admonished his followers to spend in the way of Almighty Allah. He would often make requests for money to be collected for any campaign or other need of the community. In addition to this, he would ask his followers to give money to those in need such as the ”Ashab al-Suffah” and foreign visitors to Madinah or Makkah who had little to no provisions.

From amongst the companions of the Holy Prophet (sall Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), we are blessed with Hadrat Abu Bakr (radi Allahu ‘anhu) as the example ”par-excellence” of a Muslim who gave in the way of Almighty Allah. As is famously known, he once gave his entire wealth for the cause of Almighty Allah. I suppose the Quraysh and the Jews of Madinah must have scoffed at this, wondering how the Muslims could be duped into giving so much to the ”Money-making Machine” called Islam (astaghfir Allah min kulli thanbin wa atubu ilayh)! Sound familiar – hmmm??? It was always the example of the Companions (radi Allahu ‘anhum) to not be content with simply fulfilling their obligatory financial commitments. Rather, their zeal to please Almighty Allah caused them to spend in His blessed way to such an extent that their own financial situation became akin to that of a needy person they were helping (see, for example, the financial sacrifices the Ansar made under the institution of ”akhuwwah”). Much in the same way, they were never content with praying only five times a day and would offer so many supplementary prayers that they would sometimes suffer from physical ailments as a result.

Indeed, this noble practice was one of the highest illustrations of love for their fellow mankind. They were certainly not dupes, but engaged in attaining their human share of Almighty Allah’s attribute of al-Wudud (the Most Loving One). Their love for one another meant that in the blink of an eye they would forego their wealth and become poor in order to benefit others. No other community or people can match the example of the Companions in this regard. For they were taught at the very hand of the great al-Mu’allim (teacher), Hadrat Muhammad (sall Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam).

These are the very instructions of the noble Qur’an, teachings of Muhammad (sall Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and example of his Companions (radi Allahu ‘anhum) which have spurred me on as an Ahmadi Muslim to imbibe within myself the spirit of financial sacrifice. My obligation as a Muslim to help my fellow brother is one so clearly established in Islam that there is no need to further discuss this matter. How sad is it then, that there are people, MUSLIMS, who would have me content with limiting my financial sacrifice to the absolute minimum expected of me. Shame on them!

Furthermore, The financial sacrifices of Ahmadis are almost always coupled with the free physical sacrifice of their time and expertise. Ahmadi doctors, teachers, plumbers, lawyers, electricians, engineers etc., all spend much of their personal time helping others and often dedicate a portion of their lives (i.e., 6 months – 1 year)  to offer others their expertise free of charge. Indeed, many qualified Ahmadis dedicate their entire lives to the service of mankind for the sake of Almighty Allah. And yes, many non-Ahmadi Muslims similarly dedicate their time and money to helping others for the sake of Almighty Allah; but I am not standing here telling them they are dupes – I applaud them and say ”Barak Allahu Feekum.”

If the above sacrifices are objectionable to Islam, then I call upon the complainant to prove to me from the Qur’an and Sunnah that this is the case. It is my experience, as an Ahmadi Muslim, that great sacrifice is always rewarded manifestly by Almighty Allah, both spiritually and financially. There should be no surprise in this matter as Almighty Allah has clearly stated in the Holy Qur’an:

”Believe in Allah and His Messenger, and spend in the way of Allah out of that to which He has made you heirs. And those of you who believe and spend will have a great reward.” (Q.57:8)

Those who are consumed by this world and the temptation of greed have lost sight of the true reality; they believe that their wealth is their own achievement. On this point, O Complainant of my meagre financial sacrifices as an Ahmadi Muslim,  you must reflect upon the following guidance of Almighty Allah:

”And why is it that you spend not in the way of Allah, while to Allah belongs the heritage of the heavens and the earth?”  (Q.57:11)

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25 thoughts on “Refutation: Chunda: A Money Making Machine?

  1. There is a simple distinction which people should understand.

    It is that by refusing to pay Zakaah, which is Fard upon all Muslims who are liable to pay it, a person ceases to be a Muslim, as Zakaah is one of the five pillars of Islam. One cannot refuse to hold on to any of these five pillars and still remain a true Muslim.

    On the other hand, refusal to pay Chanda or any contribution apart from Zakaah within the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at will NOT render a person a non-Muslim. Such a person will continue to be an Ahmadi Muslim by faith, but will, however, forfeit their right to be a member of the Ahmadiyya MOVEMENT. The Movement is there to propagate the true Islam based on the guidance of the Imam al-Mahdi (a.s.). Anyone who refuses to contribute to this Movement according to the organisation’s requests will cease to have anything to do with the Movement.

    So, whenever the term “obligatory” has been applied in Ahmadiyya literature to Chanda, it has always meant “waajib” – mandatory – and NOT Fard in the sense that Zakaah is.

    So, to recapitulate, one can still be considered a Muslim by faith, though a weak one indeed, if one refuses to pay Chanda to the Jama’at despite being able to do so.

    But one is no longer a Muslim by faith if one refuses to pay Zakaah despite being able to do so.

  2. 1. Chanda has not ever been, neither is it now, obligatory (fard) for an Ahmadi Muslim. This is a misrepresentation.
    2. You said that the way Chanda is collected today is Haram. This is a bold statement with no proof. It might sound good to some, but the reality is that it is your statement which has no basis in the Shari’ah and not the way it is collected today. The reality is that many levies and taxes have been made mandatory (not fard) upon Muslims over the centuries. Prove each of those wrong before turning to Ahmadiyya as they existed first.

  3. Salaam,

    I wish to make the following points to help clarify the matter:

    (1) The only financial responsibility that is obligatory in Islam is Zakat, as obligated by Allah and His Messenger (s.a.w.). No one has the right to change the rates of Zakat. Hadhrat Masih-e-Maud (a.s.) made no change from this.

    (2) Chanda itself is not haram, as people have mentioned already, but the way the administration in the Jama’at collects it today is certainly haram and not in accordance with the teachings of Hadhrat Masih-e-Maud (a.s.). He writes in Fateh-Islam:

    “Those who would give something every month, it will be up to them to do so regularly and without reminders. Let them treat it as a duty they owe to God, dereliction of which they should not permit to themselves. Those who would give in lump sum are also welcome. But must be remembered that what is really intended is that this work should continue without interruption. Lovers of faith should therefore promise and send monthly donations, such as are within their means. And they should do so regularly by the month, unless they are prevented by some accidental circumstance. Those who have the means and feel so persuaded could send ad hoc donations in addition to the monthly donations.

    And you who are my friends, my dear ones, green branches of the tree that is me who with the Mercy of God have joined me in Baiat and are ready to give your lives, your leisure, your properties in the cause: I know that you will gratefully agree to any measure of sacrifice that I propose to you. Yet I do not wish to prescribe anything of my own accord. This, because I want that your sacrifices should be your free sacrifices – not made at my behest.”

    So if Hadhrat Masih-e-Maud (a.s.) specifically says he will not set a mandatory rate, then who in his Jama’at dare do so in confrontation with him?

    (3) The rate set by Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih II (r.a.) was not meant to be obligatory and since it is not part of the Shariah, therefore it can be changed in accordance with the needs of the time. My opinion is that he intended it to be a guide for the members in case they wanted to budget some money for the sake of the Jama’at (I think back then there were 16 anna in one rupee or something).

    It was not meant to be collected as an obligatory tax as is being done today and Khalifa II (r.a.) did not intend for it to take precendence over Zakat like it has today. [deleted – unsubstantiated]

    (4) Al-Wasiyyat was a divinely-inspired scheme and we as Ahmadis have faith in it. It too is voluntary and the rates set (between 1/10 and 1/3) are within the Shariah (e.g., the most you can give in inheritance for the sake of Islam is 1/3).

    Peace on those who follow the true guidance.

    Ws

  4. Could someone please point me towards the quotes in the Promised Messiah’s writings or how the inference was made (perhaps by the 2nd khalifa) on the rate of chanda aam being 1/16th? I’ve been going through the book ‘An Introduction to Financial Sacrifice’ but couldn’t quite pinpoint the origins of the rate…there was some mention of an ‘anna’ and rupee. If anyone knows please let me know. Jazakallah

  5. AA

    Wow talk about manipulating information. As you have read the book you should have come across these points.

    “Chanda ‘Am – Chanda ‘Am is the basic and compulsory Chanda which the Promised Messiah as has made obligatory upon every earning Ahmadi, man and woman, and is to be paid at the rate of 1/16th on the total income from all sources.

    2. Such Ahmadis as are incapable of paying at the prescribed rate on accounts of their lack of means or for any other reasons, can seek concession from Hadrat Khalifatul Masih by stating their circumstances.”
“

    “6. Application for concession must be sent through local Jama‘at with National Amir’s recommendation to Wakalat Mal London and should be addressed to Hadrat Khalifatul Masih. Such application cannot be withheld even if the national or local Jama‘at does not agree with the request.” ”

    IV) EXEMPTIONS A Chanda payer’s Income includes every kind of income. However, any allowance received by an employee, which he cannot spend at his sole discretion, is exempt from inclusion into his/her income. Similarly, Government’s dues, viz. taxes, local rates, land revenue, compulsory insurance etc., which are levied under Government orders may be deducted from Income. Likewise, Uniform allowance, Educational allowance for children, are exempt for the purposes of Chanda. Note: House rent and miscellaneous expenses of
    similar nature are not allowed to be deducted from Income for purposes of Chanda.

  6. No, you enter into a contract as a member of a community that adds benefit to your life through tangible investment – millions of pounds on Mosques in the UK being one of many examples. To fulfil contracts is Fard – not chanda, per say. You are trying to make a quite legal contractual agreement into something which the Qur’an dissaproves of (i.e., not fulfilling contracts). Furthermore, your contractual obligation is set on the premise that you can afford to fulfil it and if you cannot then it is put aside – no debt accrues, though you still benefit from the services – and you pay at whatever rate you can once you are placed into better financial circumstances by Almighty Allah.

    Lastly, no one has to pay anything – there is not legal obligation to be an Ahmadi Muslim, or non-Ahmadi Muslim for that matter.

  7. What part of “obligatory” did you not get?

    Read again: it says you have to pay chanda on the debt/loan that you took out. In Islam you don’t pay zakah if you are in debt.

    The point is that people are forced to make this contract/covenant. It is after all obligatory.

  8. Good, so you have read ‘an introduction to financial sacrifice.’ Then you will have read the first 20 pages or so, all filled with evidence for the importance and blessings of financial sacrifice, and spending in the way of Allah. You will have read page 12 where the Promised Messiah (as) says if someone can only afford to donate one rupee, then make it one rupee, as long as it is regular as opposed to a one-off impulsive payment after a long period of negligence.

    Now replace the word ‘chanda’ in your last sentence with the word ‘financial sacrifices’…..

    Yeah, I agree with that statement too. Subhanallah!

  9. Where is the word ”Fard” used? Baseless argument.

    Chanda on income after paying back the loan or debt, what is the issue? Baseless point.

    The Qur’an states ”Fulfil your contracts / covenants (Awfu bil-‘Uqud).” The point here is about fulfilling your contracts / covenants. Argue with Almighty Allah about that one.

  10. That is not entirely true now, is it?

    http://www.khuddam.org.uk/departments/maal/calculator/

    Do the caculations and it will clearly state that chanda is obligatory. Chanda aam, Jalsa chanda, Khuddam chanda and Ijtema chanda are obligatory. So from the £1000 you are earning monthly, £100 will go to Ahmadiyya. That’s 10% while Allah (SWT) only asks for 2.5%.

    Even if you are unemployed or in debt you have to pay chanda:

    “II. a. CHANDA ON LOAN/DEBT If a member has no source of income and his livelihood depends solely on loan/debt, then he would pay Chanda even on such a loan/debt. However, when he pays back his loan/debt, he will pay his Chanda on his Income after deducting the amount of loan/debt, he has paid back.” (An Introduction to Financial Sacrifice, p.36)

    In Islam you don’t pay any zakah if you are in debt. And only if your income is above a certain amount does zakah become obligatory for you.

    Your second khalifa Mirza Bashiruddin said:

    “Remember, achieving the budget is no favour to me, or
    to the Movement, or to Allah Almighty. He who gives
    something to serve Allah’s religion, in fact enters into a
    covenant with Him and is, for that reason, answerable to
    Him, and the deficiency left in his budget remains an
    arrear against him. If he does not pay the amount he
    owes, and is presented before Allah, he will be ordered
    to go and make his payment in the Hell.” (An Introduction to Financial Sacrifice, p.61)

    If you do not pay your chanda you go to hell.

  11. You can’t ‘catch’ people not praying. Similarly, you can’t ‘catch’ people not fasting, or professing the oneness of Allah. Financial sacrifice is something that can be monitored quite easily.

    Also, I find your attitude really defensive and not conducive to how a Muslim should be thinking regarding financial sacrifice. You question why the jamaat enforces collections, as if it is a bad thing. In my opinion it is a sign of the high expectations Hadhrat Masih Maud (as) had of his jamaat – that not only would we be adhering the the very basics that our Master the Holy Prophet (saw) defined for us, but that this jamaat would go the extra mile and try to attain greater spiritual heights by making further financial sacrifices in the name of Allah (swt).

    Yes, Zakaat is compulsory, and we as Muslims endeavour to fulfil our obligations in that respect. But the Holy Quran mentions the importance of spending in the way of Allah aside from Zakaat countless times, over and over again (Al Baqarah v 262 is my favourite). Do you think the Holy Prophet (saw) was content with paying the basic Zakaat only? He was the perfect model of financial sacrifice: in normal days he was known as the most generous, and during Ramadan it is said he (saw) would spend in the way of Allah like rainwater. To my mind, that fact that this level of financial sacrifice is now made compulsory in the jamaat is just a testament to the truthfulness of our community and the high level of expectations on our part.

    You give the example of financial sacrifice being monitored in the jamaat, but the same thing is observed for women with regards to the hijab. An Ahmadi Muslim women who does not observe appropriate hijab, despite being repeatedly advised to, would also have restrictions placed on her. What benefit do the jamaat receive from doing this? None. It is only for our own spiritual benefit.

    I think it’s important to know where our money is going when we spend it. That’s why I make a point of finding out exactly what the different chandas mean by speaking to my finance secretary and local Sadr – if there is anything I am unhappy with (which has happened in the past) I have had the opportunity to raise it with someone, and they have provided me with a satisfactory answer, alhamdolillah. Maybe this is something you should consider investigating, rather than avoiding to pay and therefore missing out on rewards from Allah (swt). Also, the financial breakdown and budget for the year is usually discussed at the Shura (it was for Lajna this year anyway…) so you can get a breakdown of what is being spent where, and delegates can vote against it if they are unhappy with anything.

    Lastly, I’d like to leave you with a saying of the Holy Prophet (saw) which sums up how I believe our approach to financial sacrifice and spending in the way of Allah should be i.e. always be enthusiastic to give to as many causes as possible:

    “Asma’ bint Abu Bakr reported Allah’s Messenger as saying, “Do not calculate when spending in the way of Allah, or Allah will give you in the same manner, but spend as much as you can” [Muslim, Book 5, Number 2243]

  12. Sister, I feel that you are confusing different things here. Salat and Zakat are parts the fundamentals of faith which we know to be fard. These matters are stressed in the Jama’at over and over. In fact, no issue has been stressed more by my beloved Hudur (ayyadahu Allah ta’ala bi-nasrihi al-‘aziz) with the exception of Tawhid. You are also incorrect in saying that not praying has not resulted in certain consequences, I know the opposite to be true. Zakat is paid by Ahmadis, stressed in various Khutbas and articles (do an alislam word search), and the Jama’at both collects and assists people in calculating Zakat.

    Chanda cannot be compared to these two, or any of the other pillars of Islam (not in a specific sense anyway). The Nizam aspect of the Jama’at presents Ahmadi Muslims with the opportunity to be part of a community which offers many services and intiatives to both outsiders and the members / families themselves. To benefit from all of the various services the Jama’at offers to its members requires all of us as a community, as brothers and sisters, to chip in. What we contribute is relative to what we earn and so the poor pay less and the rich pay more. If everyone is doing there part and someone cannot, due to their circumstances, then there are straight forward ways for people to become exempt until their circumstances change.

    There does not ever have to be a reason for anyone to ever be removed from the Nizam. Appreciate that we all pay towards something we believe in and that we appreciate each other for pushing forward together towards this goal. If you cannot pay then there is no issue and no duty upon you. If your financial capacity is only £1 a month, then so be it – who is going to have any issue with you. I certainly won’t.

    In response to your question: ‘Why not leave the matter between an Ahmadi and Allah?’ That is not how a community that has overheads runs. If you want to have a Mosque and a person inside the Mosque to teach your kids and a body of youth to guide your kids towards serving mankind and spiritual knowledge and local, regional and national events, then that costs. Such costs are not paid for by everyone simply saying: lets just pay whenever and whatever. As another person commented, we do not want a situation where we cannot hold any events and the only events, buildings and activities we do hold are because of us sending people from door to door with with tin cans.

    Lastly, as I have written already, there are many instances in history where each adult in a state or community was required to pay a fixed amount for the social and infrastructure benefits of the wider society. The wheel was not invented by the Ahmadis and piles of books have been written on this subject.. (by Muslims and non-Muslims).

  13. If I find that that Hadhrat Masih Maud (as) is true, then I will pay chanda and do as he says happily. Unfortunately, because I am unsure of his writings at the moment, I therefore have doubt. This means I am not happy about paying Chanda Aam and being “pressured into voluntary promises” for Waqfe Jadid and Tekrike Jadid (as none of these three go to the poor like Sadqa and Zakat prescribed before Ahmadiyya started). The Promised Messiah has made Aam compulsory. Fair enough if we believe him.
    The thing I find difficult to grasp is why does the jamaat ENFORCE the collections? Why not leave the matter between an Ahmadi and Allah? After all the jamaat does not track whether or not we have paid Zakat on our Assets and Zakat is a compulsory five pillar of Islam. So say if I decided to stop paying, why is it that the jamaat would want to have me expelled from the jamaat and distribute my name on a memo for announcement at meetings that I have no connection with the jamaat? Surely the Salat is also compulsory, but we wouldn’t expect this attitude if we caught people not praying Namaz now would we?

  14. Dear brother, I would have; but the point here is not to point out technical faults in Hadeeth collection but to make people understand that questioning that which they do not know and then calling it proof is not a reasonable way. Reasonable method is to hit an ideology at its base and destroy it there.
    However, if you wish to learn about that specific question that you refered to, you can always contact me at mtshahahmadi@gmail.com

  15. @^: There are several unbelievable Ahadeeth in Sahi Bukhari … in case you don’t know, please inform me and I’ll let you know.
    As far as Chanda from unemployed is concerned, ahmadisister is a bit uninformed… you don’t need to write a letter to anybody. You are unemployed, nobody will come to take alms from you. Letter-writing is for those who are employed and still find it difficult to give chanda then they can write and get exemption.
    The basic question is, don’t you have any strong proof against the basis of Ahmadiyyat? Why do you have to indulge in matters of zan and malign personalities to reach your purpose? Is there not a single irrefutable verse in the Quran that proves Ahmadiyyat false?

  16. [APOLOGIES – This went straight to spam for some reason]

    @ ahmadisister

    Have you read the ahadith in terms of Wassaya???? Muhammad (saw) strongly discouraged it!!!!!! Ahmadis dont tell its membership about this. Nor did [Hadrat] Mirza [Ghulam Ahmad] [as] reference it in his book “The Will”.

  17. If that happened to your father then it was completely wrong that no one helped him. Though mistakes do happen, it is the general principle of any alms-giving in the Jama’at that if you cannot afford to give anything then you simply explain this to our beloved Hudur (aba) and you need not pay anything – or whatever is within your means. Nevertheless, your father will not have lost out in the sight of Almighty Allah. I pray that Almighty Allah blesses him for his noble sacrifice.

  18. @ Tariq

    Have you read the statements of Mahmud Ahmad in terms of Chanda??? Do you understand the amount of pressure that he put on people to pay??

    I grew up a poor Ahmadi in the USA (which is extremely rare). When I found that Mirza Tahir Ahmad received [deleted as this is speculation]…I was sick to my stomach.

    What sacrifices did these people make? I was poooor and we were still giving chanda. My dad even went broke and the jamaaat never came to help.

    And…..since you dont know… Muhammad (saw) discouraged any type of wasiyyat that would deprive relatives of their inheritance. Have u ever read that hadith??? Do i have to give you a reference? Search Bukhari under the book of Wassaya.

  19. Chanda wasiyyat is not a “compulsory” chanda per se… infact, no chanda is compulsory like taxation is (contrary to what “the cult” people would make one believe).
    For subscribing to the code of Wasiyyat, a person avows to go the extra mile, make some extra effort in the way of God. The chanda is only a part of a complete code of life, but unfortunately the materialistic people would see “cash only”.

  20. You can please reply it here.

    I know that in Islam charity is encourage but here we are talking about enforced one and the one which is punishable as well.

    and the grave thing for heaven … pay and get grave which give heaven hmmm

  21. Xiaahmad, thank you for your question. Chanda (1/16) and al-Wasiyyat (1/10 – 1/3) have, unfortunately, been the cause of much confusion amongst some none Ahmadis and so I thank you for asking about them. I will endeavor to write a post answering your question as soon as possible. Wassalamu ‘Alaikum

  22. Can you please tell us where in Islam

    this Compulsory Chanda of 1/16
    or 1/10 to 1/3 if u have subscribe for Grave for Heavens

    are mentioned?
    and that if person does not pay those they are answerable in hell?

  23. Jazak Allah Khayr al-Jazaa’ to you and the other brothers / sisters for reading and commenting. May everyone’s efforts enable others to see the beautiful Islam Ahmadiyya that we know rather than the misrepresentations out there.

  24. Jazak’Allah. Very enlightening. May Allah award you for your efforts and keep us Ahmadis always spending in the way Allah. Ameen!

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