SIGNIFICANCE OF DASOND: AN ISMAILI PERSPECTIVE FROM THE GINAN ‘ANANT AKHADO’ BY PIR HASAN KABIRDIN
“Aashaji pa(n)chmi baari Dasondni kahiye, te sahuthi moti janoji;
Te ma(n)he tame rahejo hushiyar, to raheso Gurnar ne saath.
(Anant Akhado, verse: 256)”.
Meaning: O’ momin, the fifth window is that of submitting Dasond to your Lord. Be very careful and do not forget that it is the most important of all windows. If you remain regular and consistent in the practice of Dasond; then you will stay with your ‘Gurnar’ in both worlds (this and the next one that is the spiritual world).
Dasond is one of the major religious obligations in an Ismaili Tariqa, and the above ginanic verse is the most important verse on the concept of Dasond from an epic Ginan “Anant Akhado”, written by Pir Hasan Kabirdin. In this Ginan, there are 30 verses out of 500 that have been devoted to the concept of Dasond. This great epic Ginan describes in detail areas such as: What is the meaning of Dasond? How did it come into existence? Why it is important to pay the Dasond? What are the advantages of fulfilling this obligation? What are the disadvantages of not fulfilling such an obligation by human beings, in terms of material and spiritual well being? In this article an attempt has been made to organize these verses into four categories in order to understand its significance, meanings, origin, as well as advantages and disadvantages. This article is written from an Ismaili perspective, as described in the Ginan Anant Akhado. In order to understand this unique obligatory practice, we will take a holistic approach by referring to other Ginans by the Pirs, as well as other devotional literature and Quranic references.
Dasond as an Ancient Practice
Dasond is an ancient religious tradition through which all believers pay a certain percentage of their income in the way of God or for the cause of Allah or as a charity; to show our gratitude for everything that Allah has provided for us. The practice of Dasond is not only prescribed in Islam or Ismailism, but according to the Qur’an, all religions that came before Islam, have made reference to the concept of spending in Allah’s path. For example it is said in the Qur’an about Hazrat Ibrahim and his people; Hazrat Ismail and his people; Hazrat Musa and Hazrat Isa as follows:
For Hazrat Ebrahim and Ismail it was said
“And we made them leaders, guiding (the people) by our command, and reveal we unto them the doing of good, and establishing regular prayers, and the giving of alms, and only unto us they worship” (3: 73).
“Also mentioned in the book (the story of) Ismail…He was enjoining on his people, prayer and charity, and he was most acceptable in the sight of his Lord” (19: 54-55).
For Hazrat Musa it was said:
“Be steadfast in prayer, and practice regular charity” (2:83).
For Hazrat Isa it was ordered:
“And He hath made me blessed where so ever I be, and he hath enjoined on me prayer and charity as long as I live”(19:31).
This is also confirmed in the Farman of Imam Sultan Muhammad Shah where He makes reference to Dasond (Mal-i-Wajibat) and says:
“Mal-i-Wajibat submission is not a new tradition. But it is continuously practiced from ancient times and it is practiced in all religions” (Dar-es-Salaam, 2-8-1945).
This is also evident in our ginanic literature as Sayed Imamshah in his Ginan Moman Chetamni says:
“Eji jetla dhaarm peda karya, te sahu ma(n)he chaliyo vahewar;
Hindu Musalman potani naat ma(n)he diye chhe, potana gur mukhe aahar” (Moman Chtamni: verse 70).
Meaning: Here the Pir says, Dasond is a practice that has been prevalent in all religions. For example, Hindus and Muslims in their own communities submit food as part of the Dasond. Here ‘aahar’ means food.
In the Qur’an, the revealed book of Islam, Allah says:
“And be steadfast in prayers and practice regular charity” (2:43).
Thus, the concept and the practice of Dasond are a form of worshipping or conversing with the Supreme Being, and these are as old as the beginning of human existence. Explaining the process of worship Imam Sultan Mohammad Shah says, “For a primitive man, the natural phenomenons such as rising and setting of Sun, the passage of seasons, the rain and wind, etc., were caused ad controlled by a Supreme Being or by deities for whom they had feelings of awe, wonder and worship”. They communicated with these deities through various prayers, rites, rituals and festivals. Therefore, Dasond is a universal religious practice performed in all religions from the ancient times and still continues.
Meaning of Dasond
The term Dasond literary means ten parts – ‘das’ that is, ten and ‘ond’ means parts. It is also known as ‘daspanti’, meaning tenth part of a whole. It is also referred to as mal-i wajibat by our Imams and Pirs. An equivalent term for Dasond in Islam is Zaqat, which is derived from the Arabic word ‘zaqaa’ meaning to ‘purify’. It also means religious tax or dues. Other terms for zakat are ‘khumms’ and ‘Sadaqah’. In Christianity and Judaism it is called alms and tithe. In this respect Allah in the Quran commanding the Prophet about collecting alms says:
“Take Sadaqah (alms) from their wealth in order to purify them and sanctify them with it. And pray on their behalf verily thy prayers are a source and God is all hearing and all knowing” (9:103).
Similarly Pir Hasan Kabirdin in the Ginan ‘Moman Chetamni’ says:
“Dasond Sahebji ne aaljoji, pachhi jamjo te chokhu dhan re”.
Thus by paying Dasond momin becomes clean and purified, and what ever he eats after submitting the Dasond becomes clean and pure.
In the Ginan ‘Anant Akhado’ Pir described in six verses the meanings and conceptual framework of Dasond, which indicate how Ismailis practice the ritual of Dasond. For example, in the verse 106 Pir says:
Aashaji thud Dasond ne muraj dharm, fal te munivar janoji;
Meaning: O’ momin, Dasond is like the bark of a tree, whereas religion is its roots, and the momins or believers are its fruits. This is also evident from Imam Sultan Mohammad Shah’s Farman in which He says: “Dasond veena dharma no payoj nathi”, that is, without Dasond there is no foundation for religion.
In other verses Pir explains the meaning of Dasond, the amount we are required to give from our income, and who is entitled to receive it from the momins. In the following verses Pir says:
Aashaji gurgat ganga ma(n)he amej betha, partak gurnar awtarji;
Kamavo je tamari rozi, te ma(n)he thi Dasond aalo (348).
Meaning: O’ momin, in the Jamatkhana we are seated as your Lord who has been manifested in a human form. Whatever you earn in your life, give Dasond from that earning to your Lord. Here it is evident that Dasond is to be submitted from one’s income because this is our sustenance which is provided by God. Therefore, as an appreciation we are submitting part of it to in the way of God. But pertinent questions arise such as how much do we pay? To whom we pay, since God has no form and He is not visible to our naked eyes, so where to find God? Answers to these questions are also provided by the Pir as he says in the next verse:
Aashaji Dasond dasmi panti aalo, dosh ma rakho bhari;
Das avtare dasmi panti, emhi Dasond lakhani (349).
Meaning: O’ momin Dasond is prescribed as 10% of your income and he advices that in submitting the Dasond do not cheat or keep debt on your head, because by not paying an accurate amount as your Dasond you are committing a sin and for this you have to give an account on the Day of Judgment. Further he explains that presently God is manifested in a human form and this is His 10th manifestation (Awtar) for each manifestation 1% was prescribed and since this is the 10th one, we pay 10%.
Further, in the following verse, he provides an explanation on who we should pay Dasond to and who is the right authority to accept the Dasond:
Aashaji nar naklanki takhatej betha, tene Dasond aaloji;
Dasond deve te sarge jawe, awar te sarve thotha (350).
Meaning: In the above verse Pir says: ‘nar nakalanki (the Imam of the time) who is seated on the throne (of Imamat), submit Dasond to Him as He is entitled to accept the Dasond from His murids or followers. One who gives Dasond goes to paradise and all others remains out of it.
Therefore, the questions arise who is the Imam and why He is entitled to receive the Dasond? If we examine the history of Islam we will find that during the time of Prophet Muhammad, He had the authority to collect Zakat and booties from the wars that Muslims had won. This was called Khums. He in turn was entitled to distribute this wealth among his followers specially those who were poor, orphans and wayfarers. In this respect the Quran says:
“And know that whatever of war booty that you may gain, verily, one fifth (1/5) of it is assigned to Allah and to Messenger (and also) the orphans, al-masakin (the poor) and the wayfarer… (8:41)
The amount of khums is from the above ayat is understood to be 1/5 of the war booty. This was done as per the guidance received from Allah. After his death the religion of Islam was divided into Sunnis and Shias. Sunnis as per the tradition give 2.5% of their income as Zaqat and distribute that amount as charity among the poor people of the Ummah.
On the other hand the followers of Shia Islam believed in the Prophet’s last command that after him Hazrat Ali, his cousin and son-in law, will be the Mowla of Muslims as He himself was during His time. Thus, Shias paid their Zaqat to Ali the first Shia Imam. Following Ali’s death and after the fifth Imam-Jafar Sadiq, the Shia Islam also divided into two major sects as Shia ithna’asharis and Shia Ismailis. Both these sects paid Zaqat to their respective Imams as both claimed to be the true Imams.
After the first split there were more splits in Shia Islam, of which we Shia Imami Ismaili Nizari Muslims believe in the present and living Imam. So we submit our Dasond to the present living Imam Shah Karim al Husayni Aga Khan, who is our 49th Imam from the progeny of Hazrat Ali and Hazrat bibi Fatima. Though in the ginan, 10% of income is mentioned, however, Ismailis pay 12.5%, of which 10% is for the Imam and 2.5% is for the Pirs who showed us the right path – Satpanth. Presently, both Imamat and Piratan are vested in Imam-e zaman, so 12.5% is submitted to the Imam, who is our nar naklanki – the 10th awtar, and He is entitled to accept our Dasond and distribute according to His Nur – spiritual guidance vested in Him. In this respect Sayed Noor Mohammad Shah Bin Imam Shah in his ginan “Satveni ni Vel” says:
Aath me se ek paisa deve, aisi parte munivar raheve;
Meaning: From eight pennies momins give one penny and they lived their life as per this religious tenet. Thus, according to this, every Ismaili has an obligation to submit 12.5% Dasond to the Imam of the time.
The origin of the Practice of Dasond
Having understood the origin and the process of submitting the Dasond, the most important question that comes up is where and when the practice of the Dasond started? In order to find a suitable answer to this critical question, let us examine the Ginan under review, in which there are many verses that direct us towards an appropriate answer. For example in the following verse (356) Pir says:
Aashaji sunkar ma(n)he thi rachna kidhi,
Tees deen Dasond likhani ji.
Meaning: Pir explains that O’ momin, the entire universe was created by God from nothing. At that moment the time was known as ‘Sunkar’ . The term ‘sunkar’ means nothingness, that is, except God nothing was in existence. Here it is important to note that Allah existed before the creation of this universe and He will continue to remain after the end of this world when everything will come to an end. However, concerning the existence of Dasond Pir says that on this day, that is the day of creation God had written the rule of submitting the Dasond to Him. In another verse (355) Pir says:
Aashaji sunkar ma(n)he tapana kahiye, tee(n)ya Dasond detaji;
Nur nar to tare ekla raheta, ti(n)ya thi hui Dasond.
Meaning: Pir vividly explains that in the early time of ‘sunkar’ there were souls who were constantly doing Ibadat in abundance. During this time these souls were also paying Dasond to their creator. Further, Pir explains that at that time the Lord of the creation was living alone and from that time Dasond has been created by Him. However, the form of Dasond submitted in that period is not indicated by the Pir, but for the purpose of this discussion it is sufficient to know that Dasond came into existence before the creation of this Universe.
Similarly in another verse Pir says that:
Aashaji Kalap joog ma(n)he Dasond hoti, awar na koi vicharji;
Meaning: Even in the first era, which is known as Kalap joog, the practice of Dasond was prevalent. This was the primary purpose of the people of that era and for them no other practice or a ritual was either important or crucial.
In addition there are other verses in which Pir explains how Dasond was originated and how murids were required to submit Dasond. For example, in the verse (368) Pir explains that the progeny of Imam and Pirs, mullahs and dayams all paid Dasond. The first progeny of the Imams and Pirs is known as ‘musale’ who gave Dasond in the form of Ibadat (369). That is their time spent in Ibadat was automatically considered by Allah as their Dasond. Thereafter, those who accepted Satpanth and were called Satpanthi were required to pay Dasond from their income as per the command of their Pir or the Imam. These were the momins who received Allah’s deedar (370). In the verse (371) Pir concludes:
Aashaji peheli Dasond Pire aali, ti(n)ya thi muride aaliji;
Amara vachan je murid na mane, te jashe ghore andhar.
Meaning: First Pir submitted the Dasond followed by the murids.
Thus, here Pir in detail explains, how Dasond started, who paid it first and how this practice was passed on to us. In the sub-continent of India, during the time when Imam was residing in Iran, the office of Piratan was vested in the person known as Pir, who was authorized by the Imam of the time to collect the Dasond from the Jamat. The Pir was required to undertake a long and difficult journey to submit the Dasond to the Imam of the time who lived in Iran at that time. From the above discussion it is evident that the practice of Dasond started in ‘sunkar’ and continued through the time of prophethood and the Imamat in various countries, till todate.
Significance of Submitting Dasond
From the discussion presented above concerning about the meanings, origin, who pays the Dasond and who has an authority to accept the Dasond; it is evident that the practice is not only an ancient one, but it is the most important and significantly critical practice in Islam, Ismailism as well as in other major world religions. This practice was also prevalent in the time of various Awtaras (manifestations of God), that is confirmed by the Hindu scriptures like Vedas, Upnishads, and the Bhagvat Geeta etc. We will now examine, how Pir explains through the Ginan Anant Akhado the significance of Dasond in Ismailism. There are several verses that explicitly explain the deeper understanding about the importance and significance of submitting Dasond to the Imam of the time. First, in the verse 256 Pir says:
“Aashaji pachmi baari Dasondni kahiye, te sahuthi moti janoji;
Te ma(n)he tame rahejo hushiyar, to raheso gurnarne saath.
Meaning: O’ momin, the fifth window is that of submitting Dasond to your Lord. Be very careful and do not forget that it is the most important of all windows. If you remain regular and consistent in the practice of Dasond; then you will stay with your ‘Gurnar’ in both worlds (this and the next one, which is the spiritual world).
Dasond is considered by the Pir as the best of all religious practices as without it no other rites, rituals, prayers and ibadat are accepted by the creator. Why it is considered the best practice? First, as we have seen above the Dasond was created before the creation of this Universe and in the Kalap Joog that is the first era the Dasond was the prime practice and no other practice had such an exalted status and during that time people would not think of any other practice as important or the best one as that of Dasond. Even today, the Dasond is the best religious practice. Secondly, the human being has been given the status of the best creature (Ashraf al Makhlukat) of Allah in this Universe. Therefore, it is inevitable that the best creature of Allah should perform the best deed or the best religious practice, which is the Dasond. In this respect Pir says:
Aashaji mankha avtar ootamaj keetha, ane kiya so ootamaj kamaji
Dasond veena neecha kahewashe, teni sankh na poti aye (105)
Meaning: O’ momin the human form in all creation is the best manifestation created by Allah. Therefore, human beings are expected to do best deeds. However, if human beings fail to perform the practice of Dasond, which has been considered as the best practice, then they will considered lower manifestation like that of animals or vegetations.
Therefore, human beings in failing to submit the Dasond will eradicate their exalted status as the best creature on the earth. Thus, for a man to match his status as the best creation must do the best deed that is, submitting the Dasond. The act of submitting the Dasond will first, assist man not to destroy the glory of the best creation and secondly, it will be his gratitude to Allah for providing sustenance both materially and spiritually. Such act is preferred by our Lord.
Furthermore, in the verse 302 Pir says:
Aashaji namiya khamiya gurji ne bhahave, ane Dasond gurji no aahar;
Daram niyam teni vadj kahiye, gur kahe so aapo hi aap.
Meaning: O’ momin your Lord loves those who are humble and patient. And Dasond is gurji’s food. The gurji himself says that religion and its principles are the fences that keep gurji’s food safe.
In this verse the Pir explains that just as the food is the most important element in the life of a momin; the Dasond is also most important element in Imam’s physical and spiritual life. It is said in the Farman of Imam Sultan Mohammad Shah that Imam uses part of the Dasond for his personal needs such as food, clothing etc. It also provides spiritual energy to the soul of the Imam, which is known as the Universal Soul and we all are created from this soul. Therefore, in the realm of spirituality the Dasond is the food for the Universal Soul. An important question comes to mind as how Dasond can provide spiritual food or energy? The analogy is simple, just as without Dasond no other practices like prayer, Ibadat, zikr have any value, therefore, the Dasond becomes precursor for reaping benefits for all the other practices; in similar way without Dasond the Imam’s soul is deprived of spiritual energy and food too. In this respect Sayed Nur Mohammad Shah Bin Imam Shah in his Ginan Satveni ni vel says:
‘Satpanth sachesu(n) kare vahevar, leta hata narji Dasond aahar’.
Meaning: the Satpanth religion deals with true practices, and the Imams and Pirs were taking their food from the Dasond submitted by the murids. Thus, Dasond provides food for the Imam. Another significance of Dasond as Pir explains in the verse 305 is as follows:
Aashaji dasbandhi sarbandhi shah ku pyari.
Meaning: (Dasbandhi) that is submitting 10th part of your income to the Imam of the time as well as sarbandhi that is putting a turban on the head of the Imam both these actions are preferred by the Imam.
Here one interpretation is that Ismaili believes that the Imam of the time is the King of both worlds-physical and spiritual. Therefore, tying a big turban on Imam’s head has exalted significance and submitting Dasond to the Imam of the time has similar significance as becoming a ‘Sirbandhi’ for Ismaili murids.
Yet further another significant aspect of the submission of Dasond is its accountability on the Day of Judgment as Pir says:
Aashaji shah na deedar takhate bes se, ti(n)ya dasondnu puchhe ji;
Jibrail ti(n)ya puchh wane awe, Dasond weena sarve jootha. (358)
Meaning: On the Day of Judgment God will be seated on the thrown and He will ask about the submission of Dasond. At that time an angel Gabriel (Jibril) will come to each one of us and will ask us whether we have submitted our Dasond or not. Based on this practice we will be judged as a true momin or a false one. Therefore to be a true satpanthi momin we have to submit our Dasond accurately. Imam Ali Shah Datar in this respect says:
“You may perform the bandgi for thousand years but if your submission of Dasond is faulty then your Ibadat or Bandgi will not be accepted by Allah. So be accurate in submitting Dasond, calculate it every day because you will be asked on the Day of Judgment by angel Jibrail about submission of your Dasond” (Farman #9. Mumbai, 1874).
In similar way Pir explains in the verse 155,
Aashaji khara khota na parkha thase, tame muniwar cheti ne chaloji;
Dasond veena mur ukhadi jase, jase te ghor andhar.
Meaning: O’ momin the day God will test true momin from the false ones. So O’ my brothers you should be careful in your religious duties. The roots of your religious beliefs depend on submission of Dasond and without it your beliefs will be uncovered, just like open roots, which will eventually get destroyed and your soul will go into a great darkness.
Similar idea is explained in another verse (106) where by Pir taking the analogy of a tree says:
Aashaji thud Dasond ane muraj dharma, fal te muniwar janoji;
Hal wayeke gatma(n)he guzaro, to poh(n)cho gurnar ne haath.
Meaning: O’ momin Dasond is the foundation that provides necessary support for religion just as the bark of a tree; and momins are the fruits of religion. Here it is obvious that without momin submitting the Dasond the religion will not survive
Both these analogies apply on the one hand to a family and on the other hand to human societies. For example if the head of a family fails to submit the Dasond then his descendants will also fail to do so and gradually they will go astray from a straight path. Similarly, if majority of the people of any society fails to pay the Zaqat, Alms or Tithe as required by the religion they practice, then that society will though progress materially, will fail to progress religiously as well as spiritually. Such society will become a victim of satanic whims, desires and wishes. This is explicitly evident in the modern society in which we live, where religion is not a part of daily life of a family or majority of the population. This is also evident in the Farman in which Imam Sultan Mohammad Shah says:
“Dasond is the main foundation of a religion. Therefore, momin should submit an accurate Dasond. If you pay pure Dasond then only you will remain firm on the path of religion” (Tanatari, South Africa, Farman # 23, 9th June 1946).
Thus, from the above discussion it is evident that religion and Dasond both plays a pivotal role in guiding not only an individual or families, but they become guiding angel for all societies and nations on this earth. This Pir confirms by explaining in the verse (363) in which he says:
Aashaji chhatris karod poora dharmi, shree Islamshah bhetiyaji;
Dasond karan jiv dolawiya, te chaliya chovis ghore andhar.
Meaning: during the time of Imam Islam shah about 360 million individuals accepted Satpanth or Ismailism, of these 240 millions went astray because they failed to understand the significance of Dasond as a precursor for their souls’ salvation. Therefore, they remained in the cycles of birth and death and only 120 million who submitted their Dasond got the salvation for their souls.
Here it is important to take note that there are no two ways of gaining freedom for our souls from the continuous cycles of the birth and death, and the only way is through submitting pure and accurate Dasond to the Imam of the time. Without Dasond we will not be able to return to our origin so we will not reach to our purpose of life because to reach to Fana fi Allah is the only purpose for which we have been given the birth in this world.
Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters in religion and spirituality please note that there is not 5th era or 11th manifestation of Allah has been assigned, as this is the last joog that is Kaljoog and this is the last (10th) manifestation of Allah. This life is our only opportunity to buy freedom for our souls and that is first by paying an accurate and pure Dasond and then performing all obligatory practices and performing regular bandgi. There is no greater significance for a human or a rational soul than getting salvation for the soul, which is going through the cycles of birth and death since our soul has taken birth in human form.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Dasond
In this Ginan there are many verses that indicate benefits of submitting the Dasond and disadvantages of failing to doing so. For example, in the verse 105 Pir says:
Aashaji mankha avtar ootamaj keetha, ane kiya so ootamaj kamaji
Dasond veena neecha kahewashe, teni sankh na poti aye (105).
Meaning: O’ momin the human form in all creation is the best manifestation created by Allah. Therefore, human beings are expected to do best deeds. Dasond on the other hand is the best deed for the human being and without it man’s status will be considered lower and he will loose his exalted status that he or she has in the Universe.
Therefore, if man fails to pay Dasond accurately and regularly from the income he earns; then it lowers his/her status. Here the major question arises ‘what makes human being the best creation of Allah?’ According to Anil Giga “everything in creation has two aspects – physical and spiritual. As a human being we represented the pinnacle within creation. This is because our spiritual aspect is significantly developed; making us the only spices within creation that has free will and choice”. Further, in the verse 256 Pir by way of warning tells us that, be careful in submitting your Dasond because it is the one of the best window to reach to your Lord. So if we fulfill this obligation then we will always be with our Gurnar that is with the Imam of the time. However, to be with him is the choice we have to make because we have the ability to make that choice.
Another important benefit of submitting Dasond is that it is considered as paying through body or mind as we work with our body or mind, and pay Dasond from the income we earn through this work. With paying such pure Dasond Pir says that, it will not only benefit you materially but it will provide you good health in this world and spiritual well being in the next. (Verse 259)
Similarly, in the Ginan ‘Satveni ni Vel’ Sayed Mohammad Shah Bin Imam Shah says:
Dasond ka hai maan ghnera, jo ganit ma na awe bahotara.
Meaning: the benefits and significance of Dasond are very high as well as countless. The blessings of Dasond are so numerous that, no numerical system can count it or it can fit into any mathematical system.
In this respect the Qur’an gives an analogy of corn seeds as follows:
“The parable of those who spend their wealth in the way of God is that of a grin of corn, it grows seven ears and each ear has a hundred grains. God gives manifold increase to whom he wills and Allah is sufficient for His creatures’ needs, All knower” (2:261).
In the verse 370 Pir explaining the most important benefit of submitting Dasond says:
Aashaji araj bandgi kiriya kare, ane sidak su Dasond deveji;
Tabi satpanthi momin kilawe, sohi deedari aap.
Meaning: O’ momin one who performs Ibadat, fulfills all other religious obligations and at the same time submits Dasond to his/her Imam; such momin is known as satpanthi that is one who walks on the right path. Such momin also finds Imam’s illuminated vision and finds himself or herself in the divine presence of the Imam. Thus, the submission of Dasond is pre-cursor to have Nurani deedar and blissfulness of being in the presence of the Lord.
It is numerously indicated in our Ginan literature and in the Farmans that every thing in the Universe has two aspects physical and spiritual or good or bad. Our actions determine breaking of the soul from the cycle of birth and death. One of the most important actions in breaking of these cycles is submission of the Dasond to a rightful authority in our present life. In this respect Pir in the Ginan under review says (457-458):
Aashaji Dasond deta jivaj chute, Paho(n)che sarag duwar;
Bhave sagar na fera chute, jo deve Dasond daan.
Meaning: O’ momin if you give Dasond then you will free your soul from the cycles of the birth and death. In doing this you will also reach to the door of the paradise. By giving Dasond you will be able to cross the ocean of this life that is known as ‘Bhavesagar’
However, without giving the Dasond we will not be able to free our soul and the soul will not undertake the journey of reaching to its origin. Besides after this life there is not a 5th Joog-era for us to free our soul and there is no 11th avatar or 11th manifestation of Allah to free us. This life is our only opportunity to buy our freedom by paying pure and accurate Dasond. Therefore, be aware of the importance of dealing with Dasond. The freedom of soul is known as mugti, nirwana, salvation, ferachute, etc., and this freedom is the most crucial purpose of our lives. There is no other prime and exalted purpose than having merged (Fana Fi Allah) in the Universal soul.
Just like benefits and advantages there are many disadvantages in both the worlds-the physical and spiritual-for not submitting pure Dasond to a rightful Imam or to a rightful authority who has a right to collect and distribute it. For example, Pir says:
Aashaji Dasond fal daynu(n) jano, dil vichari ne chaloji;
Dasond khai je momen hoshe, te hoshe Kawravo ni jodji. (353)
Meaning: in this verse Pir says, Dasond is the fruit of mercy so think deeply about it and act upon it, because those who fail to pay the Dasond are friends of those 100 brothers (Kawravo) who committed numerous sins against their cousins (Pandavo-the five brothers); who were on the true path. Here to be the friends of Kawravos means to be not only on the wrong path but to be against the truth and paying Dasond is the greatest truth, which keeps us on the right path and it keeps us away from evil thoughts and actions.
Further, Pir explains in the verse 354 that:
Aashaji dhandho karwa duniya ma(n)he aviya, leva aap deedarji;
Nav pa(n)ti tame lai ne chalo, dasmi narji ne aaloji.
Meaning: giving Dasond is like doing a business of selling and purchasing. For example, by giving Dasond you are buying the deedar of your Imam, and for this reason you have taken the birth in this world. Pir further explains that it is like a contract of sale and purchase in which you keep 90% of your income for your own livelihood and pay 10% to your Imam for his personal needs, and in return you will get illuminated vision (the deedar) of your Imam or you will see illuminated light of God. Without submission of Dasond none of these can be achieved by a human being.
In similar manner Pir in the verse 357 says:
Aashaji Dasond deve ane sidke raheve, ehi moman sachaji;
Aado marag teone nahi, ne bhetiya shah na deedar.
Meaning: O’ momin one who is regular in submitting pure Dasond is known as true believer. He or she will never go astray and leave the straight path. Such person will have Imam’s Deedar.
Similarly Pir says in the verse 359 that one who gives Dasond and lives righteously will never be in trouble, and he will never leave the straight path, because he has the wealth of Dasond. Imam Ali Shah Datar’s Farman in this respect explicitly says:
Submission of pure Dasond from the pure wealth is considered as Ibadat for the wealth. (Farman # 7, Mumbai. 1872).
For those who do not submit their Dasond or pays God’s share from their income, Pir warn them in many verses. For example, in the verses 359-365 he explains in detail:
Aashaji kiriya kidhi and dharm-e chaliya, saati hua apaarji;
Saat sarag ma te jiv pohoto, pan ooncho te nahi jaye ji.
Meaning: there is one who followed the religion very carefully; he or she is known as true person. Such soul will reach to the paradise but will not elevate to a higher state of Fana fi Allah. Since he failed to submit the Dasond his soul was not freed from the cycles of death and birth.
Similarly the Pir says in the verse 360 by explaining the same concept that is one who did not paid his Dasond but performed all the duties, however, he did not get the deedar of his Lord, which is known as the deficiency of luminous vision. He further says in the verse 361 that first pay pure Dasond and then perform all the duties and obligations of religion then you will get the full benefits of both practices and the rituals.
Further Pir says in the verse 362:
Aashaji Dasond na deve gur ne na mane, te Nar kiyan thaki pameji;
Dasond veena te ookhadi jashe, te jashe chovees karod manhe.
Meaning: O momin one who fails to give Dasond and also fails to believe in the Imam of the time or the divine guide, then how can he find the true Imam or true Nar? Without Dasond he will loose his belief in true religion and he will join those 240 millions who accepted Ismailism in the time of Imam Islam shah but lost their opportunity to free their souls as they fail to understand importance of Dasond and fail to pay Dasond. (Verse 363).
Further in the next three verses 365-367 Pir explicitly gives warning and disadvantages of not submitting the Dasond. For example, in the verse 365 he says: without Dasond the tree of religion will not survive and so does the fruits. Because if the roots are dry then the fruits will also get dry and it will get dry through and through. He further explains that no one likes dry fruits because by eating such fruits the mouth will become sour. It is like drinking salty water by which no one can quench his or her thirst. Here through the analogy of tree Pir tells us that the Dasond is the water that nourishes the tree of religion, and without such nourishment the religion including its various aspects will not survive. Meaning due to various other rites, rituals, prayers and ceremonies the tree of religion and its fruits, which are momins; will progress materially, but will fail to progress spiritually.
In addition, Pir says in the verse 367:
Aashaji kupatre daan khara jano, Dasond veena nahi laveji;
Kalarmanhe jem mehaj varse, tenu dhan na thai.
Meaning: O’ Momin you can not give your Dasond or charity to unworthy person as it will not bear any fruits. It is like the rain comes at the time when the season of planting seeds is over then there will not be any harvesting.
In similar manner if Dasond is given to a person who is not a rightful Imam or from the progeny of Hazrat Ali and the Prophet Mohammad then it will not bring any benefits and at the same time you are not off the hook of paying the Dasond. Therefore, not only paying pure Dasond is mandatory but it is also important to be paid to a true Imam of the time who has a right to collect and distribute as per divine guidance vested in him.
In conclusion, I would like to quote an important verse from the Ginan ‘Satveni ni vel’ composed by Syed Noormohammad Shah Bin Imam Shah who says:
Je koi Dasond na deve joog ma(n)he, Ooska haal eyu(n) thaya;
Baki nav panti howe lakadi, Dasmi narji ki aag tapani.
Navpanti ku jalakar deve, dasmi aap sab aagaj howe.
Meaning: O’ Momin, in this world if someone fails to pay Dasond then his or her situation is in which 90 % of income which one should have kept it for his own use becomes dry sticks or dry branches and 10% becomes a spark that burns 90% of income.
Here the moral of a lesson is that if you think you are saving 10% of your income but in reality this 10% act as a spark and burns everything you have. Therefore, momins do not play with the spark of fire that will burn down your 100% of earnings and without it all your prayers, Ibadat, bandgi, charity, good deeds and zikr will not bear any fruits what so ever. Hence you will also loose the spiritual benefits of all good deeds, prayers, bandgi, du’a, zikr, fasting, Hajj and charity. By submitting 10% you will not become poor materially or spiritually. Infect, by paying 10% you will be saving 90% of your earnings and at the same time you will gain the benefit of getting 125000 times more in this world as well as in the next one too. This is explicitly confirmed by the Pir in the verse 459.
Aashaji fal pake falaj leve, te gur bramaji ke hatheji;
Ek fal na savalakh lesho, lesho shahji ke hath.
Meaning: O momin, when fruits of your Dasond is ripped then you will get your fruits from the hands of your Gur Brahma ji – who is Prophet Mohammad. And by giving one part you will gain 125,000 parts. That you will get from the hands of your Shahji – the Imam of the time.
Further, we Ismailis submit Dasond or Mal i wajibat to the Imam of the time. Dasond is the rightful share of Allah, submitted to the Imam and He has complete authority to utilize it in any form. We pay 12.5%, of these 10% is for the Imam of the time and 2.5% is for the Pir who converted us and showed the right path. Presently, both Imamat and Piratan is vested in the Mowlana Hazar Imam Shah Karim al Husayni, so we submit 12.5% to Him.
In addition, O’ momin remember that by submitting Allah’s right we become clean and purified and the purified soul gets enlightened and elevated because the purity of soul depends upon the purity of body, that depends on the purity of goods and wealth from which it is gained, and the purity of wealth depends on our submission of pure Dasond with free will and love to the Imam of the time. Thus, without performing this duty no one on this earth can free his or her soul from the continuous cycles of birth and death. It is confirmed by Imam Sultan Mohammad Shah’s Farman, which we must follow accurately and diligently, as he says:
“Those Momin who says his du’a and pays pure Dasond then he gets divine vision and he reaches to its original destiny” (Karachi, 9th Feb. 1950).
 Imam Sultan Mohammad Shah. The Memoirs of Aga Khan World Enough and Time. London: Cassell and company. 1954:169.
 Sayed Noor Mohammad Shah Bin Imam Shah. “Satveni ni Vel., Part 2, p.5.
 In this respect Imam Ali Shah Datar explicitly says in his Farmans “the Ibadat for the pure wealth or income is submitting pure and accurate Dasond from it. There is no salvation without submission of Dasond. If you fail to pay Dasond then the Ibadat will become useless. In the same Farman he says “if you submit total Dasond then you will have Imam’s deedar. Dasond is Allah’s right and you have promised to pay His right. This is Allah’s debt on you so obey my farmans and pay pure Dasond and be happy. (Farman 6, Bombay . 1928)
 Sayed Nur Mohammad Shah Bin Imam Shah. “Satveni ni vel”, part II, p.17.
 The term ‘Sirbandhi’ was also used as submitting to the Imam everything that one possessed as a Dasond and starting with one pair of clothing that must be paid from the income after the ‘sirbandhi’ has been accepted by the Imam of the time. Presently this practice is not encouraged by Hazir Imam. Further, Pir had weaved 500 yards long cloth and wrote on it the Ginan of Anant Akhado and this was presented to the Imam Islamshah and tied up as a turban on his head. This is also known as Sarbandhi.
 Anil Giga. The Invisible Way. Pittsburge, PA.: Sterling House Publisher Inc. 2007:57.
 Sayed Nur Mohammad Shah Bin Imam Shah. “Satveni ni vel”, part II, p.66.
 The Kawravos were 100 brothers and Pandavos were five brothers and they were cousins. A great war known as ‘Mahabhrata’ took place between the Kawravos and Pandavos as a result of Kawravo’s evil acts and sins against Pandavo. This war in Hinduism is considered a greatest war between the good and evils and between the truth and falsehood that was fought for 18 days and eventually the truth prevailed and the Pandavos won the war. All brothers of Kawravos and their army and supporters died in this war.
 Sayed Nur Mohammad Shah Bin Imam Shah. “Satveni ni vel”, part I, p.67.