Miscellaneous Issues Related to Khums | Islamic Laws by The Leader Ayatullah Ali Khamenei


Miscellaneous Issues Related to Khums


Q 1026: In 1962, I became a follower of Imam Khomeini (q.) in taqlid and used to forward my khums money to His Holiness. In 1967, while asking about religious tithes and general taxes, he replied that religious tithes are khums and zakat in which general taxes are not included. Now that we are living in the period of Islamic Government, please explain to me my duty regarding religious tithes and general taxes.

A: Although the payment of taxes levered by Islamic Government according to the rules and regulations is obligatory for persons subject to these regulations, and fall within ones annual expenditures of the year of payment, these taxes cannot be considered as two shares of khums. In fact paying khums on the income in excess of ones yearly earnings is an independent obligation.


Q 1027: Can religious tithes be converted into hard currency which has a fixed value, unlike those that always fluctuate in their price? Would this be considered permissible according to Islamic law?

A: A person who is indebted for such tithes is allowed to do this but he should consider its price at the time of payment. However, the attorney of the authority in charge of khums — if he has just the right to collect and deliver the khums — does not have the right to change it from one currency to another. They can only do it if they have a permission to do so. The fluctuation in value does act as a shari justification for the exchange.


Q 1028: There is a cultural institution in which a shop for business has been opened and its capital is obtained from religious tithes so as to provide for the institutions future expenditures. Is it necessary to pay khums on the profits which the business makes? Can the khums be used for the development of the institution?

A: Trading — without the permission of authority in charge of khums — with religious tithes which are allocated to special cases in shar and refraining from spending them in deserving cases is problematic, even when one intends to use the proceeds for a cultural institution. If it happened, the profit has the same rulings as the principal and should be used for the same case. The profit is not subject to khums. Of course, there is no objection to investing the gifts donated to the institution in a trade. The income and the profit are not subject to khums when the institution is the owner of the principal.


Q 1029: If we doubt whether we have paid khums on a particular thing or not — although we are almost sure that we have paid — what is our duty then?

A: If it was subject to khums, you should make sure that its khums has been paid.


Q 1030: Approximately seven years ago, I had to pay an amount of khums. I made mudawarah for the payment with a mujtahid and paid off a part of it. I am indebted for the balance, but at present I am unable to pay it. What is my duty?

A: The fact that you are unable to pay does not discharge your obligatory duty. You are responsible to pay off the debt, whenever you are able, even by installments.


Q 1031: I paid money as khums on something which was not subject to khums, could I consider it as the khums I owe at the moment?

A: If it has already been spent on areas allocated by shar, you cannot count it in the place of the present khums you owe. But if your money is still untouched, you can claim it.


Q 1032: Are khums and zakat obligatory for children who are not mature?

A: Zakat is not obligatory for somebody who is not mature. If he has things on which khums is applicable (like a mine or Halal property mixed with Haram), it is the duty of the childs guardian to take the appropriate khums out except for a profit made by doing business with the childs property or the money the child earns through work upon which it is not obligatory for the guardian to pay khums. But on becoming mature, the child should, as per caution, pay khums on the remaining part.


Q 1033: A person has spent some religious tithes, an Imams (a.) share of khums, and other things — spending of which depends on acquiring permission from one of the mujtahids — for one of the religious institutions, school building, masjid, or a Husayniyyah. Now according to shar, is he allowed to claim back what he spent as his religious tithes, to claim its piece of land, or even try to sell the building of the institution?

A: If this person used his money for a school, etc. after acquiring permission of the person to whom he was obliged to give his religious tithes and with the intention of paying his obligatory religious tithes, he has no right to demand them back or to use them as their owner.