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Question & Answer » Khums

1 Question: Some governments and some companies in non-Muslim as well as Muslim countries deposit the salaries of their employees directly into their accounts in the banks. The employee does not get the money in his hand, although he can withdraw it whenever he wants. Now, if the statement of his account shows that the money has surpassed his annual expenses, is khums obligatory on it?
Answer: Khums is obligatory in what has surpassed his annual needs, except in the case of a government employee in a Muslim state that deposits his salary into a state or private bank. In the latter case, khums would not be obligatory on the salary that has been deposited in the bank until he [physically] takes possession of it. Then the salary will be included in his income of that year and khums will become obligatory on what is in excess to that year’s expenses.
2 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.?
Answer: In using the Sahm-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-à-vis the more important” should be left to the discretion of the most learned jurist who is well informed about the general situation.
3 Question: Some governments are committed to providing housing for the needy under specific circumstances. Is it permissible for a Muslim to buy a house in which he resides for a short time (so that he will not be liable for khums [on that house]), and then he gives it out on rent so he can then go and live in a house subsidized by the government?
Answer: Khums is not waived from a house just by living in it for a short while without actually being in need of it, as has been presumed in the question.
4 Question: Is it permissible to use the Sahm-e Imãm (a.s.) 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?
Answer: It 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.).
5 Question: If a person acquires wealth without having worked for it , like, if someone gives him a gift, and that wealth exceeds his own annual expenses, does he have to pay Khums from the excess.
Answer: Yes, it is obligatory to pay Khums from it, if a year runs over it.
6 Question: What is the difference between Khums and Zakat?
Answer: Both are obligatory; Khums is on the surplus to annual expenses. If your income exceeds the annual expenses of yourself and your family, Khums (20%) should be paid from the excess. As for Zakat, it is payable on cattle, crops and silver, raisins and dates in accordance to the Islamic rulings.
7 Question: Is it obligatory for a woman to pay Khums on the cash amount that she receives from her husband as Mahr (dowry)?
Answer: It is not obligatory.
8 Question: Can we give out of Sahm-e-Imam , as a donation to a hospital, that totally runs on charitable donations and is a non-profit making organization?
Can I give my Sahm-e Imam to a local mosque for its reconstruction and renovation?
Answer: You can spend the portion with permission from a Marja’ Taqlid or with permission from his representative (Wakil).
9 Question: I am sayed and my brother is poor. He needs money to support his family and children. Can I give him my Sahm-e Sadat from my khums?
Answer: Generally, it is permissible to give him Sahm-e Sadat.
10 Question: Can I give Khums to my parents?
Answer: It is not permissible as they are your Wajibun-Nafaqa; i.e. it is obligatory for you to provide for their food, clothing and medical expenses, if they do not have a source of income.
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