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['Aalim Network QR] Khums

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|       In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the All-Merciful       |\
|  Greeting of Allah be upon Muhammad and the pure members of his House |\

Salam Alaikum

The following questions have been kindly answered by Moulana Rizvi
according to the Risala of Ayatullah Seestani. There are five questions
and answers in sequence. 


Mahmood Kara
The Alim Network


>>> Salam alaykum, brothers.
>>> I am a muqallid of Ayatullah Ali Seestani.
>>> I have a few interrelated questions on the topic of Khums.
>>> My annual date for calculating Khums is coming up in about a month's
>>> time. Up till last year my financial situation was fairly straightforward. 
>>> However, over the past year I have got married and bought a flat on 
>>> mortgage.

Question 1:

>>> 1) Do I have to pay Khums on gifts received on my marriage?
>>> If not, is this so even if I haven't used them at all? What about
>>> gifts to my wife?


Yes, according to Ayatullah Sistani and most present-day mujtahids, it is
ihtiyat wajib (precautionarily obligatory) to pay khums even on gifts that
you receive from others provided you have not used in a year's time. 
(Minhaju 's-Salihiyn, vol. 1, p. 392) 

Question 2:

>>> 2) Do I have to pay Khums on the value of my property? If so, can I
>>> net off the loan against it to determine the net value? Would the
>>> situation change if the flat was no longer our home but was given out
>>> on rent?


Khums is only in what you save after your normal expenses. Buying a house
or a flat for personal use is an legitimage expense and, therefore, there
is no khums on it. (Ibid, p. 395) 

Question 3:

>>> 3) Does the method of determining the savings (in order to calculate
>>> Khums thereon) have to be one of 'cash basis' or 'accruals basis' or
>>> is there a choice? Does one have to be consistent one way or the
>>> other?
>>> NB. By 'cash basis', I mean deducting last year's bank balances from
>>> this year's to arrive at net savings in the year. By 'accruals' basis,
>>> I mean also taking into account known commitments and amounts
>>> recoverable from other people.


The method of determining the savings has to be on 'cash basis' the way
you have described it in your question. Committments and amounts
recoverable from other people is not liable for khums until you have it in
your possession. 

Question 4:

>>> 4) Does the date chosen for Khums initially have to be used every year
>>> or can it be changed? What would be the valid reasons for allowing
>>> this change? Does the year have to be 'Islamic year' or can it be a
>>> fixed date according to the Western calendar (i.e. spanning more than
>>> one Islamic year)?


The date chosen for khums has to be same. However, if you want to change
it, then in that particular year you should calculate the khums twice. For
example, your initial khums date was 1st July and then you decide that you
would like to change it to 31st Dec. In this case, you will calculate your
khums on 1st of July and then again calculate the khums (for the last six
months) on the 31st of Dec. After that, you will always calculate on the
31st of December as your new khums date. 

The khums date does not have to be Islamic; you can base it also on the
Western calendar.

Question 5:

>>> 5) Is it allowed to deliberately change the timing of payments (like
>>> bills) around the Khums calculation date to minimise Khums payable for
>>> the year?  I know this sounds like cheating but I was just wondering
>>> if there is any such provision. 


Yes, you are allowed to time your payments in such a way that you minimize
your khums payable for that year. It is wajib to pay khums on savings; it is
not, however, wajib to save in order to pay khums!

For more detailed rules on khums, you can read or obtain my book "KHUMS: An
Islamic Tax" available from:
                Islamic Education & Information Centre,
                135 Sheppard Avenue East, North York,
                Ontario, Canada    M2N 3A6
                Tel: (416) 223-2162    Fax: (416) 223-2528

Yours in Islam,

Sayyid M. Rizvi

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