Preference in Paying Khums and Zakat
Question :

Is it permissible for me to give preference to practicing believers especially men having a beard and women observing hijab in giving alms, Khums, Zakat?

Answer :

It is not permissible to pay Zakat and Khums to the consumer of wine, and it is permissible to pay it to sinners if they are needy. Based on compulsory precaution, it is not permissible to pay the committer of major sins which are worse than consuming wine, such as not performing the prayers.

How to know if Someone is a Sayyid
Question :

What are the ways to know if someone is a Sayyid? And what are the consequences in the Islamic sharia of being a Sayyid?

Answer :

Sayyids are the descendants of Hashim bin Abd Manaf. Such linage is proven by knowledge, by the witness of two adil people or by it being so widely-known that it leads to being confident about it. The religious effects of being a Sayyid are the eligibility to collect the Sayyid’s share from the khums in the case of poverty; and the prohibition to collect the Zakat from a non Sayyid.

Question : Is it justified that I pay Khums tax on my income every year, while I also have to pay taxes throughout the year to the Government?
Answer : The government collects tax for their own purposes and objectives, whereas the khums is a tax legislated in the Sharia taken on the yearly profits that remains after deducting the yearly expenses. The khums is legislated for specific goals which the Holy Legislator intended. Those goals are totally different from the uses of the government imposed taxes. It is natural then for the duty-bound individual to be obligated by the Sharia to pay khums regardless of whether he is paying other taxes or not.
Question : I have been working and I was not able to make any savings from my earning, except that in the month of Dhil-Qa’dah I saved some money and I anticipate saving some money the following months too. Will I pay my religious dues for the Islamic year (Muharram-Dhil-Hijjah) even if I only just started to save some money, or will I pay them when a year passes from obtaining the savings (i.e. next Dhil-Qa’dah)?
Answer : If the beginning of Muharram is the first day of your khums fiscal year then khums is payable at the end of Dhil-Hijjah, even if you started saving in Dhil-Qa’dah and did not save anything before that.
The khums fiscal year begins when one gains any money in his life, even when he was a child. If you know that day then this is when you pay khums on any profit that remains unspent, even if you received the money days before this date. If you do not know that day exactly, then you should refer to the religious authority, i.e. the marji that you follow or his agents, to determine a day to be the start of your khums fiscal year.
Question : A man gave khums from 40,000 Rubles net income one year. During the following year, he spent the remaining amount on his expenses. At the end of that year, he had a net income of 150,000 Rubles. Will khums be liable on the 150,000 Rubles or is 40,000 Rubles exempted from it?
Answer : There is no khums on the money from which khums was already paid, i.e. the 32,000 Rubles (which is 40,000 minus 8,000 khums). So khums will be paid from 118,000 (which is 150,000 minus 32,000).
Question : Is there any khums on the money which is deposited into accounts for business purposes?
Answer : The said money is an income, and it is therefore liable for khums at the year-end in the usual manner, if khums has not already been paid from it.
Question : I opened a savings account in the bank in my name. This is a family savings account where everyone in my family will contribute to it and put money in until it accumulates. Seeing as it is not only my money but belongs to the family, who is it that will have to pay the khums for this?
Answer : It is obligatory to pay the khums from your own money, not from the money of other people. If the money is mixed with the money of others, it does not effect this obligation, so it is better for each person to keep account of his share.
Question : If I have £100 on which khums is due on, and I put aside £20 from it as khums to pay it at the end of the year, am I not allowed to spend the remaining £80 before the £20 is paid?
Answer : When it is possible to pay the khums to whoever deserves it or to the agent, one should hasten to do so. One can use the rest of the money whether he paid the khums or not.
Question : If one is saving money to pay off the house they are living in by investing that money to increase the amount over several years to pay for their home faster, does that person pay khums on those savings?
Answer : On the khums fiscal year-end, khums does not apply on the amount that he paid for the debt. Khums is applicable on the amounts that he saved to pay the debt in coming years.
Question : I work for a retail company in the West, and they pay my wages directly into my bank account. This money has never been withdrawn by me and has sat in my account since it was transferred. I do transfer a part of it into another savings account through the internet every month. After a year of transferring, but never withdrawing and holding the money physically, will this money be subject to Khums, and is Hajj obligatory on me if there is enough in the savings account to cover Hajj costs?
Answer : If you work in a state establishment and your salary is transferred directly to a state-owned bank, then the laws of Khums and Hajj do not apply on the salary. They both apply after you withdraw the amount from the bank. Both conditions must be present (working for the state and the bank being owned by the state) in order for this ruling to apply.
If one of the two conditions are not fulfilled, like if you work for a private establishment or the amount if transferred to a private bank, or both of them are not present, the regular laws of Khums and Hajj apply. i.e. if the amount adds up to be sufficient to cover the cost of Hajj, it becomes obligatory. Likewise, Khums has to be paid from the unused portion of it at the end of the Khums fiscal year.
Question : Does His Eminence give his followers in Russia the general right to use Sahm-ul-Imam on their own accord?
Answer : There is no general permission to the devotees, whether they are in Russia or not, to spend the share of the Imam (peace be upon him) without the consent of the office of his Eminence or his agents.
Khums Exemptions
Question : If I am saving money over several years and investing it in stocks, for my three daughters’ future college education and marriages, do I need to pay khums on those savings and earnings from those investments?
Answer : Yes, Khums is applicable based on the said scenario.
Question : What does one do if he cannot remember the price of a book that he bought? It is been a year and khums is due on it.
Answer : The khums is payable based on its value on the day khums becomes applicable on it.
Khums and other
Question : If a person acts on precaution rather than following one particular marji’, to whom should he pay khums?
Answer : He should give the khums to the Marji’ – or the Marji’s agent – who he trusts to spend it in the way mandated by the Sharia.
Question : I started working on December last year, and got my first pay around January this year. I tried saving since then but did not have much and I am not sure if any money remained for a full year or not. I began saving again last year in August and now I do have savings. Shall I consider August as my Khums year-end or January?
Answer : The beginning of the khums fiscal year is the day one makes a profit, even when he was a child. Based on this, it does not matter when you started your work.
Since you do not know this day, you should set the khums fiscal year by reconciliation (Musalahah) with the Marja’ or his agent.
Question : If I invest money into the stock market or mutual funds (a collection of stocks) and keep my money in those investments for many years, do I have to pay khums on any gains even if I do not remove the money from the investments? Or do I just pay khums when I remove the money if I keep that money for over a year?
Answer : It is obligatory to pay Khums on the increase in the value of the shares if this increase reflects the increase in profits made by the company, or the increase in the wealth and capital of the company, or similar reasons.
If the value of the shares increase due to incidental or arbitrary factors, such as war, increase in demand of the company products, speculation, etc. then this does not obligate khums.
If the owner of the shares sells them with a profit, Khums is payable on the profit.
Question : If I lived in a house for many years and then I sell the house, are the proceeds of the sale subject to khums?
Answer : If the price paid for the sold house is more than the price paid when you purchased it, then the profit will be added to his income for that year which will be subject to Khums after the deductions of expenses. If the sale price for the house is less than the purchase price then the proceeds of the house are not subject to Khums.
Question : If a person is poor can we give the share of the Imam from the Khums to his children?
Answer : It is permissible to spend the Share of the Imam (Sahmul-Imam) to fulfill the necessities of destitute believers, after referring to the Marja or his agents.
Question : I work as an employee in a Government office in India, and some amount from our monthly salary is paid towards a Pension Fund. This amount remains in their custody and at the disposal of the Government. When the employee retires, the money with interest will be paid back to him. If the employee at some point during his service requires some money from his Pension Fund, it is paid to him with the condition that he pays it back within a specific timeframe. Now the question is: if the employee, during his service period, withdraws some amount from his Pension Fund account, has he to pay the Khums of this amount immediately considering that it has been there for more than a year? What is the ruling on the amount which he redeposits into this account?
Answer : Khums does not apply to the portion that the government deducts from the salary of the individual. Khums is applicable on withdrawn amounts at the khums fiscal year-end, not immediately. Khums is also applicable on the amount that is redeposited, and is payable when the Khums fiscal year ends.
Question : If a person has not paid Khums yet, and meanwhile he performs obligatory Hajj, will his Hajj be valid?
Answer : His pilgrimage is valid. He must hasten to pay Khums.