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Islam is a holistic religion, not only does it provide spiritual guidance, it outlines every aspect of life including financial responsibilities that every Muslim must uphold. One of these financial responsibilities is Khums. Often the topic of Khums is seen as one which is very daunting and hard to understand. For this reason we have prepared this post with 7 key questions and answers about Khums!

1. Khums in Islam?
Khums is a twenty percent obligatory Islamic tax on some items that we own, payable under specific conditions.

2. What does the Qu’ran say about Khums?
In the Holy Qur’an, Khums is referred to with its derivative ‘خُمُسَهُ’ which literally translates as one-fifth.
“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 wayfarer” (8:41).

3. What are the financial gains that are liable for Khums?
Essentially, all forms of income whether they be through work or inheritance are liable. They include net savings, haram and halal wealth, buried treasure, minerals, spoils of war, and gems obtained from sea diving. Interestingly, some financial gains are only paid for Khums if unused for a year. These include inheritance, items such as clothing, household goods/provisions and property and savings that have not been used for a year. Of course, in the modern world, some of these categories occur more than others, for example, it is more likely that you will have unused clothing or household goods in comparison to finding buried treasure.

4. Who should pay Khums?
Every individual Muslim who has reached the age of puberty and is of sound mind. For minors, it becomes the parents’ or guardians’ duty to pay it.

5. When to pay Khums?
There are 2 ways a Muslim can pay Khums. First, they can pay Khums upon gaining a financial benefit immediately, meaning to pay Khums on things you think will be more than what you need once you own them.
The second, which might be easier, is to fix an annual date as the Khums annual date. On this date, one should pay Khums on the surplus of what one has for the preceding year.

6. How is Khums calculated?
In order to understand how Khums is calculated we have divided life’s expenditures into major categories: food, clothing and furniture, property, cash and debts.
Food: Whatever foodstuff exists in your possession, which is unused and which has a monetary value should be counted.
Clothing and furniture: Consider your unused or extra items acquired during the last year, and one-fifth of them should be paid as Khums.
Property: If you require, for example, two cars and you own three, you have to pay Khums for the third car. Or if you have a house that suffices your need, but you have purchased another home, the latter is considered a surplus of your needs and the Khums should be paid on it.
Cash: One-fifth of all money that is saved and is at hand needs to be paid as Khums.
Debts and loans: If your money is lent to someone else, after one year Khums becomes due on it.

Use our Khums Calculator to help you with this step!

7. How is Khums paid?
After calculating the items on which Khums should be paid, there are two ways to pay Khums: First way is to give one-fifth of the commodity itself. So for example, if you have 5 kilos of rice, pay 1 kilo as Khums. The second way is to pay the cash equivalent according to the market value. So instead of giving the one kilo of rice, you pay its cash equivalent.
Keep in mind, Khums is a matter which you should double-check with your Marja. Your Marja will also let you know where you can donate your Khums. The Zahra Trust has Khums Ijaza from Ayatullah Sistani, Ayatullah Basheer Hussain Najafi, Ayatullah Ishaq al Fayadh and Ayatullah Sayed Al Hakim, meaning if you are a muqallid of any of these Maraja you can pay your khums to The Zahra Trust who will allocate the funds accordingly.

Follow any of these Maraja? Donate your khums now!