Office Of Grand Ayatollah Sayyed M.S.Al-Hakeem


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Khums
Q [1]  Please explain to me briefly what khums is and when it becomes obligatory. Who must I give it to and how often?
Khums is a divinely-ordained obligation. It is the fifth of the yearly income that remains unspent. So, you should determine a specific day to calculate your profits in coordination with the Marja’ or his appointed agent. Every year on this specific day, you calculate the fifth of all the net income that you possess plus the fifth of the worth of the items that were not used during the year.
The khums amount is divided into two equal amounts: one is to be given to needy people amongst the offspring of Hashim – the great-grandfather of the Prophet (peace be upon him) – and the second is to be spent with the coordination of the Marja’ by referring to him or his appointed agent to spend it in the ways of serving the religion and fulfilling the necessities of the believers.
Q [2]  My husband is Sunni, while I am Shia. How should I pay the khums?
You should pay the fifth of the yearly net income that you personally own after accounting for the expenses, plus the khums of any unused items, during the year.
Q [3]  Is it important if the payer of khums to your office is sayyid or not?
It is obligatory on the sayyids and the non-sayyids alike to pay the khums. The qualified Marja’ has the authority over the disposal of khums. It does not matter if the payer is sayyid or not.
Q [4]  Is it justified that I pay Khums tax on my income every year, while I also have to pay taxes throughout the year to the Government?
The government collects tax for their own purposes and objectives, whereas the khums is a tax legislated in the Sharia taken on the yearly profits that remains after deducting the yearly expenses. The khums is legislated for specific goals which the Holy Legislator intended. Those goals are totally different from the uses of the government imposed taxes. It is natural then for the duty-bound individual to be obligated by the Sharia to pay khums regardless of whether he is paying other taxes or not.
Q [5]  Somebody had income from lawful and unlawful sources, like he took interest from the believers. He has stopped doing this now and started practicing the religion. What is his obligation in respect to this money now, considering that he does not know how much he took from who?
If he does not know who he took the interest from, and he cannot determine which part of his wealth is lawful and which part is unlawful, then he should pay the khums from the mixed amount.
Q [6]  Is there any Khums on gifts?
If it remains or some of it till the khums fiscal year unused, then it is subject to khums.

Q [7]  My father bought for me a car as a gift, and he said that he paid khums from the money he used to purchase the car. Does this mean I am exempt from paying khums again on the car?
Whether your father paid khums on the money or not, the car is considered as an income for you. However, if you used it for your personal need then, khums is not due on it. If you did not use it until the end of your khums fiscal year, then it is subject to khums.
Q [8]  Where we live, it is customary for the parents to begin saving money and collecting the dowry of the daughter, such as jewelry, furniture and utensils, many years before the wedding. Is Khums obligatory on such money and items?
The normal rules of Khums still apply in such a case. So, if one purchased the said goods and did not use them for a year, Khums is payable on them. However, if he gave them to his daughter before the end of his khums fiscal year, he does not have to pay khums for them. She has to if they remain unused till her khums fiscal year.
Q [9]  Prior to the recent death of my Christian grandfather, he gave me $5,000. This would have been money I inherited, but he did not leave it to me in his will, to avoid having to pay taxes to the government on it. Must I pay khums on this money?
If your grandfather has given you the mentioned amount of money as a gift while he was alive, then it is an income subject to khums, similar to other earnings. If the money was given to you as a trust that you will own after his death, then it is an inheritance that is not subject to khums.
Q [10]  I am currently unemployed and looking for work. Is khums obligatory on me to pay? Who do I pay it to?
Khums is obligatory once a year. It is on what exceeds the expenses during the year. One should refer to an agent of the marja, and determine a fixed yearly time to pay khums after calculating it.

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