One of the economic responsibilities of the Muslims is to pay the Khums; which means that on certain items, 1/5 or 20% (of the value of that item) must be paid to a Mujtahid, which will be used for specific purposes.

Issue 384: Khums is Wajib on seven things:

• Profit or gains from earnings

• Minerals

• Treasures

• Spoils of war

• Gems that have been obtained from the sea by diving.

• The Halal wealth which is mixed with Haram wealth.

• The land which a Kafir Dhimmi1 (A non-Muslim living under the protection of the Islamic Government) purchases from a Muslim.

Issue 385: Just like Salat and Fasting, the paying of Khums is one of the Wajibat, and anyone who possesses one of the seven things listed above, must act according to that which will follow (in relation to the paying of Khums).

One of the instances of Khums that include most people in the society is giving Khums on that which exceeds a person and his families’ yearly expenses (benefit/profit from working).

Islam respects a person working and earning, and thus places preference over securing one’s needs over that of paying the Khums. Therefore, one who can secure his (financial) needs from his earnings, if after securing his (financial) needs nothing remains at the end of the year, then Khums will not be obligatory on him.

But, if after calculating all the normal expenses for his life (and the maintenance of his family) according to his (social) status and needs, and without being extravagant or miserly, if something remains at the end of the year, then 1/5 (or 20%) of that which remains must go towards the specified expense (of Khums), and 4/5 (80%) of the amount that is left can be put into one’s savings.

The Rules of Khums

Issue 386: Until Khums has been given on one’s property, one is not allowed to spend from that property, meaning, one is not allowed to eat that food on which Khums has not been taken out on. Similarly, one is not allowed buy things from that money on which Khums has not been taken out on.

Issue 387: If at the end of one year, the provisions or foods such as rice, oil, or tea, that had been purchased from one’s wealth for use during the year remain in excess, then Khums must be paid on them (the excess).

Issue 388: If a Non-Baligh child has some money, and from that money receives a profit, and if this money remains until he becomes Baligh, then after becoming Baligh, he must give the Khums (on that money).

The Spending of Khums

Issue 389: The Khums is to be divided into two portions - half of which is called Sahm Imam az-Zaman (‘a) and must be given to the Mujtahid who is Jam’ al-Sharait or his representative - and the other half must be given to poor Sayyids, Sayyids who are orphaned or a Sayyid who has been stranded on a journey (referred to as Sahm as- Sadat).

  • 1. The Christians, Jews and Zoroastrians that have made a contract with the Islamic ruler that they will pay a certain amount of money in tax, and that they will accept the specific conditions (that are listed in the detailed books of fiqh), are referred to as Kafir Dhimmi, and their lives and properties are protected (in exchange for paying the tax and accepting the conditions).