literally means "one-fifth or 20%". In Islamic legal
terminology, it means "one-fifth of certain items which a
person acquires as wealth, and which must be paid as an
The Quran mentions it in the following verse:
Know that whatever of a thing you
acquire, a fifth of it is for Allah, for the Messenger, for
the near relative, and the orphans, the needy, and the
Extract Inquiries About Shi'a Islam
Sayed Moustafa al-Qazwini
Khums in Islam
Khums is one of the pillars
of Islam which was ordained by Allah and practiced during
the life of the Messenger of Allah. Khums means “onefifth,”and
indicates that one fifth of a person's excess income has to
be dedicated, according to the Quran, for the
following, “And know that whatever profit you make, verily,
one-fifth of it is assigned to Allah and to the Messenger
and to his family and also the orphans, the destitute,and
the wayfarer, if you have believed in Allah, and in that
which We sent down to our servant Muhammad.”
Khums, in brief, means paying
one-fifth of the surplus of one's income after taking away
the expenses of the person and his dependants. It consists
of two equal parts: one being the share of the Imam, meaning
that this part goes for constructing masjids, Islamic
seminaries, Islamic schools, libraries, hospitals or
clinics, orphanages, printing of the Noble Quran, hadith
books, Islamic books and lectures, and others things which
will benefit, defend, or propagate Islam. The second part is
the portion for the poor sayyids (descendants of the
Prophet), since they are banned from receiving zakat
Many historical references
from different schools of thought mention that the khums
existed during the time of the Prophet and was banned during
the time of the first and second caliphs. The
interpretation by the Ahlul Bayt of the word ”ghanimtum” in
the Quran, chapter 8,verse 41 is “everything you
gained”—whether from war, work, trade, or other sources,
since Islam's history testifies that the Prophet took out
one-fifth from the war booty, and also from assets other
than the war booty during peacetime. Other non-Shi'a
scholars have supported this position.
 Noble Quran, 8:41
 Sunan al-Bayhaqi, Vol. 6, “Sahm Dhil
Qurba”; Musnad al-Shafi‘i, “al-Fay’”, 187; Sunan Abu Dawud,
Vol. 18, “al-Khums”; MusnadAhmad ibn Hanbal, Vol. 1, 320;
al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Kanz al-Ummal,Vol. 2, 305; Lisan al-Mizan,
Vol. 6, 148; Huliyat Abu Nu‘aym, Vol. 2, 205;Sahih Muslim,
Vol. 5, 198; Sunan al-Nisa’i, 177 and 178; Tafsir al-Tabari,Vol.
 See for further details: Musnad Ahmad
ibn Hanbal, Vol. 1,314; Sunan ibn Majah, 839
 al-Qadi Abu Yusuf, Kitab al-Kharaj, 25-27
QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
on Vakil (Representative) & Khums payment/ usage
Question: What is the limit that you have allowed your
agents and representatives (wukală’) to utilize for their
personal use from the religious dues that they collect [from
In our ijăzas (authorizations for apportioning the religious
dues), we have mentioned that the authorized person is
allowed to utilize, for example, one-third or half of
whatever he collects of religious dues for the purposes that
have been defined by the shari‘a. This does not mean that
the percentage mentioned [in the ijăza] is especially for
the use of the authorized person himself, because it could
happen at times that the use of that due would not apply to
him at all — for example, if he is a sayyid while the
religious dues that he has collected are from the charity of
non-sayyid or other charities like it.
In the light of this, if the authorized person considers
himself —in keeping with Allăh as the witness in this
matter— eligible for the religious dues in accordance with
the conditions mentioned in the Manual of Islamic Laws —for
example, if he is needy in the religious definition and is
among those who deserve the right of zakăt or sihm-e sădăt
or radd madhălim etc— he is allowed to take from it
according to his need and proportionate to his status and
not more than that.
Similarly, if he is providing general religious services and
strives for upholding the word of Islam, he deserves the
sihm-e Imăm (a.s.) according to the level of his work and
the service that he does for Islam.
But, if he is not spending the religious due that he has
collected, he must utilize the percentage mentioned [in the
ijăza] in its appropriate causes as defined by the shari‘a.
Question: If a person has doubts about the integrity of
a representative of the marja‘ as a result of alleged
misappropriation of religious dues;
(a) Is he allowed to talk about it to other people, even if he is not
certain about the truth of the allegations levelled against
the representative? What if he is certain about them?
(b) Is he allowed to still pay his religious dues to that representative
as long as he is uncertain about his not being trustworthy?
(a) It is not permissible for him [to talk to the others about it]
in both situations. In the second case [of certainty], he
can inform the marja‘ directly in complete confidence about
the real situation so that the marja‘ may take whatever
action he deems appropriate.
(b) He should rather pay his religious dues to a representative who is
known for his integrity and honesty in acting according to
his ijăza, i.e. in using some portion of what he has
collected of it in their appropriate causes as mentioned
earlier and sending the rest to the marja‘.
Question: Is it permissible to use the sihm-e Imăm
without seeking the permission of the marja‘ if a person can
ascertain the need of any kind for its use with which the
Imam (a.s.) would be pleased?
is not permissible; and one cannot attain the approval of
the Imam (a.s.) by using his portion of the khums without
seeking the permission of the most learned marja‘ —in that
it is possible that the marja‘’s permission is part of the
approval of the Imam (a.s.).
Question: Is it permissible to use the sihm-e Imam (a.s.)
in charitable projects while there are tens of thousands of
believers who are in need of bread, cloths, etc.?
In using the sihm-e Imam (a.s.), it is important to consider
the principle of priorities. It is a matter of obligatory
precaution, the determination of “most important vis-ŕ-vis
the more important” should be left to the discretion of
the most learned jurist who is well informed about the
Regarding Claims of Agency (Wikalah)
Alsalam Alaikum Dear Brothers & Sisters
Religious dues are an important pillar in the building
process and advancement of society, and in advancing
educational and strategic projects that will develop the
community. For those reasons the Prophet (saw) said: "Islam
did not stand except for the wealth of Khadija."
But many problems and questions have been emerging regarding
the performance of this worship (such as moving Khums money
to another place, disposing of it personally, turning it
over to non-credible sources, and the like), leading to much
confusion. And, unfortunately, we see some of the believers
failing to recognize these issues or failing to prevent
against them, which may lead some to neglect performing
their religious duty or to the discounting of these worships
on the Day of Judgment. This in turn becomes an obstacle to
the development of religious projects, and to tending to the
needs of the poor and the needy.
To that end, the office of His Eminence Grand Ayatollah
Sayyid Ali al-Sistani has taken the initiative to clarify
the religious rulings regarding the topic, so that it can
help with the progress of the community and to perform its
duty of informing the public.
We ask God Almighty to grant success to the faithful, to
bless them in their work, and to guide our efforts to build
and advance this community.
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful
To the Office of Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Al-Sistani:
May the Peace, Mercy and Blessings of God be upon you.
We kindly ask you to answer the following questions:
1. Assuming that a person was authorized by his eminence,
Sayyid Al-Sistani, to spend the "Imam's share" (sahm-ul-imam)
which is due of the person's khums money:
A. Is it permissible to spend it on any needy person whom
the person wants to help?
Answer: In His Name, the Most High. The person cannot spend it on
anything but securing the basic and necessary needs of
religiously practicing believers, including food, medical
treatment, and the like.
B. Is it permissible to delegate another person in spending
it, by giving the Islamic dues to another person and
authorizing that person to identify those in need as well as
the amount to give them?
Answer: The person is not allowed to do this.
C. Is it permissible to transfer it to another country?
Answer: The person is not allowed to do this unless the person has
eligible relatives in that country.
2. Is a religiously responsible person (one who is
Mukallaf)relieved of the religious responsibility if he/she
paid his/her Islamic dues to a person whom he/she believed
was eligible but then turned out not to be?
Answer: The person is not relieved of the religious responsibility if
he/she fell short in checking out the condition of the
recipient. Rather, as a matter of obligatory precaution (ihtiyat
luzumi), the person is not relieved of the religious
responsibility even if he/she did not fall short in checking
out the condition of the recipient.
3. There are some individuals who claim agency (wakalat) on
behalf of his eminence, Sayyid Al-Sistani, or that they have
an official recommendation and trustworthiness letter (e'temadiyya)
from his office, or that they are connected to you in some
other way. These individuals accept the Islamic dues from
believers and, in return, they do not give them a receipt
issued from his eminence's office. Is one who has to pay
his/her Islamic dues relieved of the religious
responsibility by paying the dues to these individuals?
Answer: The person is not relieved of the religious responsibility by
doing so, and Allah is the Guide.
9 Rabi' ul-Awwal 1433 AH
The Office of Sayyid Sistani
Copy of signed
arabic original is here
circulated by www.Imam-us.org
Guidance of Ayatullah Al Udhama Ali Hussein Seestani on Khums
“It is highly recommended that these (khums)
funds & spent with the clear intention that it
is on behalf of the Imam (AS). It is incumbent
to maintain priority of importance – the more
important ones to be addressed first. In these
times, the most important &a in which Sehme Imam
(AS) can be spent is to establish the correct
practice of religion, propagate the divine
message, spread the teachings of our religion &
to provide & cover for the costs of the learned
people who spend their time in learning. They
have dedicated their lives to teaching the
ignorant, guiding the misled, advising the
Believers, counseling the aggrieved & many more
such activities that contribute to the promotion
of their faith & perfection of their own selves
allowing them to gain proximity to the
Page 411 Rule No. 1265
Sehme Sadaat :There are
conditions for a person to be able to recieve Sehme Sadaat
eg ensuring Sayyed /poor etc. Hence it is better to pay this
amount too to the Representative of your Marja, so that the
responsibility is not on you for this wajib
disbursement.Additionally there appears to be no benefit (
or extra sawab/reward ) of disbursing this by oneself
insufficient clear English content for Khums, an important
obligation. Khums affects other acts of worship & in case we
can help others to fulfill this obligation correctly, It has
great potential to provide the resources required for
One good document explaining all aspects of Khums.
1 A file can be downloaded from
here which contains in
' Word' the foll :-
A starting draft Index (see below) in Word of what this
Khums work should look like
A booklet on Khums By
Moulana Sayyid Muhammad Rizvi.
b) Extracts from Jurisprudence made easy/Contemporary
rulings/Code of Practice for Muslims in the west/Current
legal issues –
by Ayt Sestani (h)
c) Extracts from Islamic laws
book of Ayt Seestani (h)
Notes on Fiqh lectures in Australia on
Khums by Moulana Sadiq Hassan
The intention is to sort this information & collect more
inputs to make one verified; nicely sorted / indexed
searchable document with examples etc which can be used by
the English speaking community to understand all aspects of
this important wajib obligation.
An Excel file can also be downloaded here
- 3 Charts on Assets/loans treatment
- Foreign exchange example
- Shares trading eg
- Trading co sample sheet
- Contracting co. sample sheet
- Manufacturing co. sample sheet
- Salary eg
- Invt /loan sheet
- Open questions
We need help on
- Identification of interested International Momin
Accountants/other institutions/ individuals
- Develop the content thru collaboration
- Verification by Fiqh experts who will view content &
It will be useful if you can consider speaking with Ulamaa or
others to guide this process & seek involvement of suitable
persons for this collaborative work after reviewing the
proposed index given below
Please write to
email@example.com if you can do anything on
this matter, for rewards from HIM
Khums – The Obligatory Islamic Act
Draft Index of proposed Contents
1.2 Things on which Khums is obligatory.
1.3 2 important things – On mixed money and On Surplus.
2 - Why
2.3 Rationally needed - Islamic Economic system that
benefits self & society.
2.4 Importance & effect on other acts of worship.
2.5 Fear of poverty / future–Satans tool
2.6 Fulfillment of the dues to Ahlulbayt
3.2 Surplus = Business net profit + job earnings + other
gains – exempted gains – permissible personal
expenditure – permissible personal savings in kind.
Taqleed –Marajae & Representatives. Some differences
4.3 Zakat & Khums common ground/distinction
4.4 Khums obligation & Charity distinction.
4.5 Year definition /concept -lunar /solar, Date
4.6 Khums not on entire assets
4.7 Usage of item, Unused /Seasonal use material
4.8 Access to own wealth (Ikhtiyar)
4.9 Sadat - Non Sadat defn & responsibility/method to
4.10 Social Status/Needs
4.11 A brief overview - Investment v/s loan v/s reserves
v/s expenditure v/s expense.
4.12 Mukhammas – Khums free
5 - Khums
Payment prior to due date
5.2 Payment in advance- for same /more than
1year.Estimates & Adjustments.
5.3 Payment after due date & in installments.
5.4 Windfalls - Unexpected Incomes
5.5 In the event of Death
6 - The
formula, Surplus = Business net profit + job earnings +
other gains – exempted gains – permissible personal
expenditure – permissible personal savings in kind.
Brief note on surplus. Surplus and not savings.
6.2 Brief note on Business - net profit genuine
6.3 Brief note on Job - earnings genuine statement
6.4 Brief note on Other gains
6.5 Brief note on Exempted gains
6.6 Brief note on Permissible personal expenditure –
What is meant individually by permissible, personal and
6.7 Brief note on Permissible personal savings.
6.8 Brief note on ‘In Kind’ – Not in cash.
6.9 Hajj / dowry – Not exemptions but examples of
permissible savings in kind.
Business - net profit genuine statement
What is meant by net profit?
7.2 What is meant by genuine?
7.3 Closing balance – Opening balances method.
7.4 Treatment for Investment payments, receipts,
Profit/loss on sale
7.5 Business payments in terms of Haram / Israf / Khums
7.6 Income Accrued vs received
7.7 Expenses - Accrued vs paid – consistency
7.8 Deductible - expenditure / expenses?
7.9 Employee Provident fund – Employee/Employer
7.10 Use of capital for expenses / loss
7.12 Invt valuations on khums date & Net worth changes
7.13 Borrowings & Repayments made . Loans given &
7.14 Inventory of balance material available & unused
7.15 Receipt in hand/ at bank & in last mth/day
7.16 Set off of losses
7.17 Increase in Net worth/profit – Mixed vs separable
7.18 Business Income spreadsheet.
8 - Job -
earnings genuine statement
8.2 Employee Provident fund – Employee/Employer
8.3 Salary Earner spreadsheet.
8.4 Investments made, P&L – additions/deductions
8.5 Use of capital for expenses / loss
8.6 Increase in Net worth/profit – Mixed vs separable
8.7 Receipt in hand/ at bank & in last mth/day
8.8 Salary Income & Investments spreadsheet.
Permissible/Non-permissible personal expenditure and
personal savings in kind – statement
Personal V/S Business.
9.2 Useful and not merely used expenditure
9.3 Deductible - expenditure / expenses?
9.4 Accrued vs paid
9.5 Personal payments in terms of Haram/ Israf / Khums
9.6 Personal insurance premium payments –Refundable/Non
9.7 Set off of losses – Permissible/Non-permissible.
9.8 Increase in Networth/profit – Mixed vs separable
9.9 Borrowings & Repayments made . Loans given &
9.10 Advance payments made against delivery of products
or services in the next year.
9.11 Personal cash savings
9.12 Personal savings certificate/shares
9.13 Personal savings like books, house purchase, dowry,
9.14 Statement format in Spreadsheet
Surplus – Final Statement
Closing balance – Opening balances method.
10.2 Applying the Formula.
10.3 Borrowings & Repayments made . Loans given &
10.4 Increase in Networth of personal assets.
10.5 Multiple currencies to common consistent currency
10.6 Surplus spreadsheet.
11 - First
Time Khums payment
11.2 Estimating Past years Khums
11.3 Seeking pardon from representative on legitimate
grounds – Waive off or installment payment.
12 - To
Whom is it to be paid
Payment to Representative /Organizations – Authorization
12.2 No responsibility beyond pyt to authority for
12.3 Use of Sehme Imam/ Sadat based on own judgment
12.4 Obtaining permissions for payment to specific
Frequently Asked Questions
Objections on Khums use by Ulamaa
13.2 Answer to khums only on war booty & only once in
13.3 Answers to Charity vs khums
13.4 Answers to wastage / misuse
13.5 Answers to obligation on Sadat too
13.6 Answers to No eligible person to collect
15.2 Quranic Verses
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