Current Legal Issues

    • Religious Dues (Huquq Shari'a)

(Q.83) Is it permissible to set aside sadaqa (legally prescribed alms tax) money with the intent of giving it to the poor and could the said money be exchanged for another?

Setting the money aside per se would not render it as a mustahab (voluntary, and meritorious, act of worship) sadaqa.

(Q.84) Could you grant your followers unrestricted right of receipt of, and disposal over the money of majhoulil malik and all resultant fluctuations, when dealing with banks either owned by the state or those of joint ownership? That is, without resorting to the Marji' or his deputy to making it good. This will make it easy for the believers. May Allah grant you support and glory.

Yes, permission is hereby given to the believers, may Allah grant them success for that which pleases Him, in what they receive, through lawful means, from state-owned institutions or those of joint ownership. They may take ownership of such money on behalf of our clients, from the poor, with the intent of paying it to them [the poor] as sadaqa; then they could take ownership of it. This is insofar as salaries and wages are concerned. As for bank interest and similar revenue, they could take ownership of half of it as outlined in the preceding paragraph, provided the other half is spent, as sadaqa, on devout Muslims, from the poor.

(Q.85) Does dealing with privately owned banks need a permission from the Marji'?

Dealing with privately-banks does not require a permission. Its assets are not considered as majhoulil malik. It is important, though, that one should guard against usury dealings.

(Q.86) If one year elapsed on bank shares, is khums payable? If so, would the khums be levied on the actual value of the shares or on their purchase price?

Khums is payable on the actual value.

(Q.87) A person bought a dress for an occasion. It was left unworn until one year passed. Should khums be payable? Also, what is the ruling on jewellery, when more one than year elapses and it is not used?

If it is generally accepted that the dress is commonly known to be used in identical occasions in years to come, no khums is levied. Otherwise, khums should be payable as a matter of ihtiyat wujubi [luzumi]. Apparently, jewellery is judged by the same standard. Allah is All Knowing.

(Q.88) Is it obligatory to pay khums on household effects bought by the mother for her daughter, on the occasion of the latter's pending marriage, if years pass by until it is used again.

It is not obligatory, if abandoning the gradual building up of such household effects would undermine her social standing, although she might not be able to get it ready in time for her marriage. Allah is All Knowing.

(Q.89) The state gives plots of land free of charge to its citizens to build houses for themselves. Owning the land by the citizens could be achieved only with the provision that they have no right to sell or rent it, and any other right of disposal over it. Once the recipient started building the house to a level of completion estimated at 25%, the state gives a grant to help in completing the building work. One year elapsed after having received the plot of land and the grant from the state, I could not finish the building work. As a result, I could not move in to live there. My questions are as follows:
(a) Is it obligatory to set aside khums on the plot of land granted by the state, with the latter withholding the title deed [for the conditions it stipulated]? It is worth adding that it is difficult to evaluate the land, for there is no precedent to dealing with it.

(a) Withholding the title deed by the state and other conditions attached to the deal are bound to depreciate the price of the land, though, not forcing it out of being valuable at all. It is, therefore, incumbent on you to set aside khums on the land, taking into consideration what has been spent from the grant on it, and acting on the advice of the experts in determining its value.

(b) Is it obligatory to set aside khums on the grant given by the state?

(b) Yes, the khums should be due on what is left of the amount of the grant.

(c) Is it obligatory to set aside khums on the total expenditure of building work, in excess of the grant money?

(c) If the amount spent, more than the grant, warrants the khums by lapse of the year before dispensing with it, payment of its fifth is obligatory. If it was of the profits of the year, payment of khums is obligatory from the same house, by a ratio. Allah is All Knowing.

(Q.90) A person built a house on a plot of land that had already been taxed with khums. The date of his financial year [start of tax year for religious dues] elapsed once or twice. He spent whatever profits he earned on building expenses, noting he does not own any other house. Is paying khums obligatory? If so, should he add up all building expenses and pay khums on the total amount? Also, should they evaluate the property and pay fifth of the value? Should he consider it sufficient to musalaha (mutual agreement between the Marji' or his agent and the follower on matters of religious dues)?

They should evaluate the property and set aside fifth of the value, except for the portion spent during the year they lived in the house, since no khums should be due.

(Q.91) Is there a limit for musalaha? Is it a matter that should be left to the discretion of the Marji'?

[The bottom line is] upholding fairness concerning [the two parties]. That is, he who has the right [of a share in religious dues] and him who is charged with the duty [of paying religious dues] makes it necessary that musalaha is conducted on a ratio of probability (ihtimal).

(Q.92) A person has an appointed date for his [religious] tax year and is accountable before the Agent. The latter makes musalaha with them whereby the Agent receives some specified amount and treats the outstanding amount as debt. What is the approved way of settling such dues? Also, what are the boundaries within which the mukallaf take their time in settling the religious dues, especially, when it is common knowledge that the mukallaf is well off insofar as his business goes and the way with which he spends on himself and his family?

It is not permissible for the mukallaf to delay payment of khums, when they are financially sound and able to pay [religious dues] immediately and without difficulty. The rationale behind carrying the khums [whose payment is due] forward so that it might be paid back , albeit by instalments, is that when the mukallif is unable to pay immediately and the payment constitutes a burden on them. Thus, the amount due be recorded as a debt repayable on a prescribed date. If the mukallif can afford to pay, say in two months' time, this cam mot be extended to three months, and so on. Allah is All Knowing.

(Q.93) What are the shari'i avenues of expenditure of money received by you agents on the basis of explanation for acts of injustice (madhalim) and majhoulil malik?

The avenues of expenditure of religious dues are stated in Rasaa'il Amaliyah. Our agents and those licensed by us to have the right of disposal over such religious dues, as a whole or in part, do so according to our licence and in compliance with the avenues stipulated in the shari'a law, noting that attention is drawn to this matter when the licence is granted.

(Q.94) A person built a house with a government loan, did a musalaha on the fifth [value] of the property and repaid instalments to the bank, noting that the property is not among the family's living expenditure [i.e. apart from the property they live in]. Should he pay khums on the instalments?

As suggested by the question, the khums is related to the property itself. Khums is due on the total value of the property at the end of the tax year [ i.e. the religious one], when the whole loan was repaid, or the ratio of the portion thereof.