Bīrūnī, Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad, Alberuni's India (v. 2)

(London :  Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner & Co.,  1910.)



Jump to page:

Table of Contents

  Page 149  

(    149    )



It is obligatory with them every day to give alms as
much as possible. They do not let money become a
year or even a month old, for this would be a draft on
an unknown future, of which a man does not know
whether he reaches it or not.

With regard to that which he earns by the crops or
from the cattle, he is bound first to pay to the ruler of
the country the tax which attaches to the soil or the
pasture-ground. Further, he pays him one-sixth of the
income in recognition of the protection which he affords
to the subjects, their property, and their families. The
same obligation rests also on the common people, but
they will always lie and cheat in the declarations about
their property. Further, trading businesses, too, pay a
tribute for the same reason. Only the Brahmans are
exempt from all these taxes.

As to the way in which the remainder of the income,
after the taxes have been deducted, is to be employed,
there are different opinions. Some destine one-ninth of
it for alms. For they divide it into three parts. One of
them^ is kept in reserve to guarantee the heart against
anxiety. The second is spent on trade to bring profit,
and one-third of the third portion (i.e. one-ninth of the
whole) is spent on alms, whilst the two other thirds are
spent according to the same rule.

Others divide this income into four portions.    One-
  Page 149