Question 352: Assalam o alAikum. Who are syed? According the Holy Quran?
I asked this question because of the concept circling in India and Pakistan about Masoom syed and non Masoom syed. As per my understanding Imam Mehdi as is the last know syed of Hazrat Fatima as blood line.
I do not understand the concept of non Masoom syed blood line.
Answer 352: In Arabic, the word ‘Sayyid’ simply means Mister, Honorable and Head. In Islamic terminology, it is an honorific title denoting those who are accepted as descendants of Hashim through the Daughter of the Holy Prophet (pbuh), Hadhrat Fatimah Zahra (sa) and Imam Ali (as).
Those who are descendant of Imam Ali (as) through Hadhrat Abbas (as) or Muhammad Hanafiyyah are respectfully called Sayyid. The same way is for those Hashemis who are accepted as descendant of Ja’far al-Tayyar and Aqil.
Although, those who are descendants of Laday Fatimah Zahra (sa) through their mothers are Sayyid, but the term Sayyid is not exclusively related to the children of Hazrat Zahra (sa), because those who are accepted as descendants of Hashim and His generations are also considered as Sayyid. What the only difference is in regards to some rules like Khums that are considered as haram to those whose mothers are Sayyida, only. This means that those children of Sayyida mothers are surely descendant of the Holy Prophet (pbuh), but a non Sayyid father are referred to as Mirza.
According to this following verse of the Holy Quran “Assert their relationship to their fathers; this is more equitable with Allah” it is prevalent and customary that a childs name and race are followed by his father, however ascribing the child to his mother is certainly true as well.
One of the important thing we should take into consideration is that a child whose mother is sayyida but non Sayyid father is only allowed to use Sadaqa, though Khums is not given to him.
Note: Khums should be divided into two parts. One part is Sehme Sadaat, it should be given to a Sayyid who is poor, or orphan, or who has become stranded without money during his journey. The second part is Sehme Imam (A.S.), and during the present time it should be given to a Mujtahid, who fulfils all conditions, or be spent for such purposes as allowed by that Mujtahid. As an obligatory precaution, that Mujtahid must be Aalam, and well versed in public affairs.
Sayyid and non-Sayyid on the Day of resurrection: 1) There is no difference between Sayyid and non-Sayyid in doing their duties and canonical responsibilities as they are equal without having any superiority over each other. Because, the Holy Quran says: “Surely the most honorable of you with Allah is the one among you most careful (of his duty) Surely Allah is Knowing, Aware”. 2) Sayyids due to their descendant ascribed to the Holy Prophet (pbuh) have more responsibility toward observing their Islamic responsibilities and duties.
For further information in this regards, please refer to the following answer:
Index: The difference between Sayyid and Mirza, answer 562.
Index: Zakat and difference between Sayyid and non-Sayyid holms, answer 040.
Index: Impermissibility of giving Sadat portion of Khums to a non-Ithna Ashari Sayyid, answer 041.
Index: Khums in the Holy Quran and Traditions / Things on which Payment of Khums is Obligatory, answer 043.
 . Qurashi, Sayyid Ali Akbar, Qamous Quran, Vol. 3, Pg. 350, Dar al-Kutub al-Islmaiya, Tehran, sixth edition, 1992; Ṭurayḥī, Fakhr al-Dīn, majma al-Bahrain, Vol. 3, Pg. 71, Murtadhavi Bookstore, Tehran, third edition, 1996; Arabic and Farsi Farhang Abjad, Pg. 507.
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 . Majlesi, Muhammad Baqir Biharul Anwar, vol. 10, Pg. 349, H 9, Al-Wafa Institution, Beirut, 1404 A.H. Tawzih al-Masael of maraja (annotated by Imam Khomeini), Vol. 2, Pg. 89, Q 1009.
 . Surah, al-Ahzab, verse 5.
 . Kulayni, Muhammad bin Yaqoub, al-Kafi, Vol. 1, Pg. 539, H. 4, Dar al-Kutub al-Islamiya, Tehran, 1986; Kulayni, Muhammad bin Yaqoub, al-Kafi, Vol. 1, Pg. 539, H. 4, Dar al-Kutub al-Islamiya, Tehran, 1986; Surah, al-Ahzab, verse 5.
 . The Official Website of Sayyid Sistani (ha), Rules concerning Khums, issue 1843.
 . Surah al-Hujurat, verse 13; Majma’ al-Masael, Vol. 1, Pg. 393.