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Obligatory of paying Khums or Zakat upon Goldsmith

Question 328: Asalamualaikum. Dear Sheikh,If I am a goldsmith ,is it halal/haram for me to give zakat from my earning from such business(i.e.gold)? Thank you

Answer 328: This question has different assumable cases:

1- If gold meets the criterion of being made into coins, and is in currency for transactions, is in one’s possession, and reach the taxable limits, zakat will apply.[1] But if these coins are made into ornaments and used by women as ornaments, e.g., necklaces and bracelets, then zakat will no longer apply.[2]

Note: Zakaat [obligatory charity] must be paid on gold if it reaches the Nisaab [i.e. the minimum amount liable for Zakaah], which is 20 Mithqaal [a measure which equals 70 grams of pure gold, according to most of scholars], this means that one should pay ½ a Mithqaal as Zakaat, i.e., 2.5% of the value of gold. If 4 Mithqaal is added to the previous mentioned value, 2.5% of gold should be paid again as the liable amount of Zakaah.[3]

2- If gold do not meet the criteria mentioned above, like in the case where they aren’t used as currency in transactions, then zakat will not apply. [4] Based on this, since the gold used today isn’t used as currency, zakat does not apply to it.[5]

However, if a khums year passes and you have other required conditions (which have been mentioned in Tawzih al-Masael of maraja’ (ha)), you are just supposed to pay Khums.

For further information in this regards, please refer to the following answer:

Index: Zakat and difference between Sayyid and non-Sayyid holms, answer 040.

Index: How to calculate Khums on a house purchased with Sahm e Sadat, answer 046.

Index: Khums in the Holy Quran and Traditions / Things on which Payment of Khums is Obligatory, answer 043.

Index: Obligatory of paying knums on wife’s dowry, answer 042.

Index: Obligatory of paying Khums on a plot of land you have the intention to sell it, answer 567.

Index: Impermissibility of giving Sadat portion of Khums to a non-Ithna Ashari Sayyid, answer 041.

Index: Khums on household items received from parents, answer 038.

Index: Obligatory of Khums on savings exceeds a person’s expenditures, answer 559.

Index: Zakat of Fitrah, Zakãt al-Abdan (or Zakãt of Bodies), answer 045.

Index: Things on which Payment of Zakàt is Obligatory or Recommended, answer 044.

Index: Zakat of Gold and Silver and its criterion, answer 039.

[1] . An inquiry from the office of the Supreme leader; Imam Khomeini, Tawdih al-Masa’il (annotated), researched and corrected by: Bani Hashemi Khomeini, Sayyid Mohammad Hosein, vol. 2, pp. 128-132, Islamic Publications Press, Qum, eighth edition, 1424 AH.

[2] . Tawzih al-Masael of maraja’ (with annotation of Imam Khomeini (ra)), Vol. 2, Pg. 129.

[3] . Tawdih al-Masa’il (annotated), vol. 2, pg. 131; Sistani and Saafi Golpaygani (inquiry from their offices); Zanjani: “Gold and silver coins used as currency that women use as ornaments, if are still commonly used in transactions as currency, are subject to zakat, but if they aren’t commonly used in transactions as currency, zakat will not apply, but it is still a recommended precaution to pay their zakat as well.” Tawdih al-Masa’il (annotated), vol. 2, pg. 130.

[4] . Tawdih al-Masa’il (annotated), vol. 2, pp. 128-132.

[5] . Makarem Shirazi (inquiry from office).

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Glossary 506: The difference between Mumin and Muslim

Glossary 506: The difference between Mumin and Muslim

Related Code: 506

Glossary 506: Muslim.[1] Tawhid.[2] Shirk.[3] Wilayat.[4] Imaan.[5] Takwini.[6] Tashri’i.[7] Mu’min.[8] Haqqul-nas.[9] Zakat.[10] Ahlul-Bait.[11]

Tableegh.[12] Wali.[13] Tafsir.[14] Imam Baqir.[15] Ali ibn Abi Talib (as).[16]

[1] . Submit. It is one who has absolutely surrendered to Allah and his commands and believes in pure Tawhid (the oneness of God) that isn’t tainted with any Shirk and this is why the Almighty has introduced Prophet Abraham as a true Muslim in the Quran.

[2] . The oneness of God. One of The Five Pillars of Islam (Usule-Din). Testifying that there is no god but Allah.

[3] . The sin of practicing idolatry or polytheism, i.e. the deification or worship of anyone or anything other than the singular God i.e. Allah. Literally, it means ascribing or the establishment of “partners” placed beside Allah.

[4] . Wilayat literally means an administrative division, usually translated as “#province”, or occasionally as “governorate”. The word comes from the Arabic “w-l-y”, “to govern”: a wāli “governor”—governs a wilayah, “that which is governed”. Wilayah is an Arabic word derived from the word (ولی). In Arabic Wilayah means the coming of something right after another, without any space existing in between them. This calls for the closeness and nearness of these two to each other. Wilayah has been used to denote love and friendship, victory and assistance, following and submission, as well as guardianship and leadership. #Guardianship. Having authority.

[5] . Faith, Concept. It denotes a believer’s faith.  By Believing and performing honorable deeds we will be inhabitants of the Garden, in which we will live forever. (Surah al-Baqarah, verse 82.)

[6] . Generative. Wilayah Takwini means guardianship over all things in this world and to have control over them and to be able to render change in them in any way; such power primarily belongs only to Allah (swt), but can also be attributed to the prophets and infallible imams and complete individuals secondarily.

[7] . It is Legislation and Regulation. It realizes that it is merely confined to Allah Almighty because he is the only one aware of all the secrets of the body and soul of us humans. Therefore the right to independently dictate laws is God Almighty’s, even the Prophet (sa) does not attain such privilege. If the term tashri’ is ever associated with the Prophet, what is meant is the ahkam and teachings revealed onto him by angels with the purpose of declaring them to the people.

[8] . Believer, is derived from the word “Amn”, which means to testify, to believe, and have humility and tranquility of the soul. Therefore, the word Mu’min is used to describe the acknowledgers.

[9] . It is a Fiqhi term mentioned in these following chapters: qada (Judging), Shahadat (witness) and Hudud (penance or punishment). The Right of People which it always come beside The Right of Allah (Haqqullah).

[10] . The alms. It is a form of alms-giving treated as a religious tax and/or religious obligation in Islam, which, by Quranic ranking, immediately follows prayer (salat) in importance. “And establish prayers and pay The alms” (Surah al-Baqarah, verses 43-110-177-277 …)

[11] . People of the Household. People of the holy Prophet’s House.

[12] . Propaganda. Delivering. To deliver whatever you have been received in order to convince to encourage people accept what you are saying. In the Holy Quran Allah (SWT) says: “O Messenger, deliver whatever has been sent down to you by your Lord. If you do not do so, you will not have conveyed His message. God will defend you from mankind: God does not guide disbelieving folk”. Surah al-Maedah, verse 67.

[13] . Guardian, Mater.

[14] . Interpretation.

[15] . Imam Muhammad bin ‘Ali bin al-Hussain bin Ali bin Abi Talib (as), the Fifth Shia Imam, succeeding His Father Imam Zayn al-Abidin (as) and succeeded by His son Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (as).

[16] . The Cousin of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). He was Born to Abu Talib and Fatima bint Asad. Imam Ali (as) was the only person born in the Sacred Sanctuary of the Kaaba in Mecca, the Holiest Place in all over the world.  Imam Ali (as) was the First young male who accepted Islam. (Surah Tawbah, verse 100;  Tafsir al-Qurtubi, Vol. 5, Pg. 3075.)

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Zakat of Fitrah, Zakãt al-Abdan (or Zakãt of Bodies)

Question 045: What is Zakat al-Fitrah and on whom its payment is obligatory? Can you also please let me know the commodity for, and the quantity of and the time when Zakãt of Fitrah becomes obligatory Zakät?

Brief Answer 045: At the time of sunset on Eid ul fitr night (i.e. the night preceding Eid day), whoever is adult and sane and is neither unconscious, nor poor, nor the slave of another, he should give, on his own behalf as well as on behalf of all those who are his dependents, about three kilos per head of wheat or barley or dates or raisins or rice or millet etc. It is also sufficient if he pays the price of one of these items in cash. As per obligatory precaution, he should not give from that food which is not staple in his place, even if it be wheat, barley, dates or raisins.[1]

Detailed Answer 045: Zakãt al-Abdan (or Zakãt of Bodies) is also called Fitrah. There are several traditions that have come down on this subject. Here are a few of them.

  1. ‘Who so ever fails to pay Zakãt-i Fitrah runs the risk of meeting (an early) death.”[2]
  2. Verily, Zakãt-i Fitrah complements Fasting in the same way as the Salavat on the Prophet (May Allah send Blessings on him and his Progeny) complements Prayers.[3]

Now, we shall discuss about those on whom its payment is obligatory, its commodity, its quantity, its time and its uses.

Those on Whom Payment of Zakat-i Fitrah is Obligatory:

1:The payment of Zakãt-i Fitrah is obligatory on a person who is Mukallaf, free and rich, in deed or virtually. So it is obligatory neither on a minor, nor on a lunatic, even if he has fits of lunacy periodically, in case he has had a fit of lunacy on the beginning of the night of Eid (al-Fitr). It is also not obligatory on their guardian (or Wali) to pay the Fitrah on their behalf out of their property. Rather, according to the stronger opinion, there is exemption from its payment as regards its payment for a minor or a lunatic even by the person who maintains a minor or a lunatic. Nor is its payment obligatory on one who has been unconscious on the beginning of the night of Eid (al-Fitr). Nor is it obligatory on a slave. Nor is it obligatory on a poor person who has no expenses for himself and his family sufficient for the whole year, indeed and virtually, as a surplus after deducting the debts and other exemptions. It is more cautious to take into consideration the debts the person has to pay during the current year and others. Of course, according to the more cautious opinion, if a person has something surplus from the expenses of a day and night even to the extent of a Sã (a cubic measure of varying magnitude = about 3 kilos), it would be better for him to pay the Fitrah. Rather it is approved even for a poor person to pay the Fitrah in all circumstances even if he revolves a single Sa’ throughout the members of his family until it comes back to himself, and then he should pay it to a stranger (poor person). This is the rule when there is no non-Mukallaf person among the members of his family, otherwise, he should confine the revolving process of the Sä among the Mukallaf members of his family only. If a Wali (or guardian) receives Fitrah from a non-Mukallaf, he should spend it on him alone and none else, and it is not to be paid to anyone else.

2: It is a condition that the above conditions should be there at the beginning of the night of Eid (al-Fitr) i.e., before the beginning of the night even if for a moment, in a way that the person should fulfill all the conditions when the night falls, so that it is not sufficient to possess these qualifications earlier but losing it as the night falls. Likewise, it is not sufficient if a person did not fulfill these conditions earlier, but happens to fulfill them afterwards. So the payment of Fitrah shall be obligatory on a person, for example, who attains the legal maturity (or Bulugh) at the time of the nightfall or he recovers of his lunacy. But it would not be obligatory on a person who attains legal maturity after the fall of night, or one who recovers of his lunacy. Of course, it would be approved to pay the Fit rah if a person attains legal maturity or recovers of his lunacy before noon on the day of (Eid al-Fitr).

3: Payment of Fitrah for himself and for those who are maintained by him is obligatory on person who fulfils all the conditions mentioned above, regardless whether the person maintained is a Muslim or an infidel, free or slave, minor or adult, including even a child born before the sight of the moon for the month of Shawwâl even for a moment. Similarly, everyone who enters the list of persons maintained by him before the sight of the moon for the month of Shawwàl including even a guest, although he may have not eaten anything (in his house), provided he falls under the persons maintained by him, although he may not be treated as a member of his family, contrary to a child born after the sunset. The same rule shall apply to a person who is included among the persons maintained by him after the sunset, so that he shall not be bound to pay their Fitrah. Of course, payment of Fitrah by him for them shall be approved if what is mentioned above takes place before noon on the day of Eid (al-Fitr)

4: A person the payment of whose Fitrah has become obligatory on another person due to his becoming the latter’s guest or being included among those maintained by him shall himself be exempted from its payment, even if he happens to be a rich person and would have fulfilled all the conditions required for the payment of Fitrah had he not been included among those maintained by the other person. Rather, according to the stronger opinion, payment of Fitrah shall be exempted if the host or one having the liability of maintenance happens to be poor while the guests were rich. According to the stronger opinion, the guest should himself pay the Fitrah if he comes to know that the host has not paid it due to forgetfulness or deliberate violation (of the relevant rule), though, according to the stronger opinion, it shall not be obligatory on him to pay his own Fitrah. According to the stronger opinion, payment of Fitrah is obligatory on the guest if he does not fall under the category of those maintained by the host, but the host should not give up caution by also paying the Fitrah for such guest in addition to the one paid by the guest.

5: If a person is away from his family, it shall be obligatory on him to make the payment of the Fitrah for the members of his family, except when he has authorized them to pay it from his own property and they can be relied upon in the matter of payment (of the Fitrah).

6: Apparently the criterion for being a member of one’s family is being included among those maintained by that person and not among those whom he is liable to maintain, though it is to be more cautious to take into consideration either of the two aspects. If the permanent wife of a person is included among those maintained by another, payment of the Fitrah shall be obligatory on that person, and not on her. If the wife does not fall under those who are to be maintained by any one else, payment shall be obligatory on herself provided that she fulfills all the relevant conditions. In case she does not fulfill the relevant conditions, payment of her Fitrah shall not be obligatory on any person. The same rule shall apply to the case of a slave.

7: If a person is to be maintained by two persons, payment of his Fitrah shall be the liability of both, provided that they are capable to do so. In case only one of them is able to maintain the person, it shall be obligatory to pay the Fitrah of his share to the exclusion of that of the other. Caution must not be given up in both the cases.

8: The receipt of Fitrah of a non-Hãshemite by a Hàshemite is forbidden, the criterion in this case being the maintainer and not the person maintained. It is more cautious to observe caution in both the cases.

9: Like all the other cases of Ibädät, in Fitrah too, Niyyat is essential. It is permissible for a person on whom payment of Fitrah is obligatory to pay the Fitrah personally or authorize another to make its payment on his behalf. In such case, it is indispensable for the agent to make the

Niyyat of closeness (to Allah). If the principal authorizes another merely to take the Fitrah to the poor, the former shall be bound to have the Niyyat that what his agent is taking to the poor is the Zakãt (of Fitrah). It is sufficient to have such Niyyat in his heart, and it is not obligatory to bring it to his memory in detail. It is also permissible for a person to authorize another to make the payment of the Fitrah from his own property, and get its payment from him, so that the latter becomes an agent in payment of something from the property of his client. It is also permissible to authorize another to make payment of his Fitrah from his own property voluntarily without demanding its payment from him. Of course, there is difficulty in the permissibility of payment of Fitrah for another voluntarily without being authorized by that person to do so as his agent.

The Commodity for the Zakät of Fitrah:

1: The general rule for the commodity of the Zakãt of Fitrah is what is usually used for food in each community or area, though they may not suffice with it, as wheat, barley and rice used in most of the parts of Iran and Iraq, rice most of the areas of Gilan and its suburbs, dates, cheese and yoghurt are used in Nejd and the plains of Hijãz, though, according to the stronger opinion, it is permissible to pay the Fitrah in the form of (any of) the four grains in all circumstances. If in an area the staple food is maize or the like, it is permissible to pay the Fitrah in the form of maize, as also it is permissible to pay it in the form of (any of) the four grains. In case a particular grain is not the staple food of an area, it is more cautious to pay Fitrah in the form of the four grains. It is also permissible to pay Fitrah in value of the commodity. There is, however, difficulty in the permissibility of the payment of Fitrah in the form of anything else that is not of the same commodity in value; rather, it is not far from being insufficient. It is also a condition to take into consideration the time of payment and the place at the time of paying the value of the commodity of Fitrah

2: It is also a condition in whatever is paid as Fitrah that it must be sound and without any defect, so that it is not permissible to pay it in the form of anything defective, as also it is not permissible to pay it in the form of a commodity mixed with something pardonable. Rather there is difficulty in the permissibility of paying something defective and mixed in value for something sound without defect and unmixed.

3: It is preferable to pay the Fitrah in the form of dates and then in the form of raisins (or currants). Preference is given to the more useful in consideration of the external preferences, as, in case the staple food of a person is wheat of superior quality, it is preferable for him to pay Fitrah also in the form of wheat of a superior quality and not of a lower quality, or in the form of barley.

The Quantity of Zakât of Fitrah:

The quantity of Zakàt of Fitrah is a Sã in case of each foodstuff, including even yoghurt. A Sa = 4 Mudds, which are equal to 9 Iraqi Ratls and 6 Medenese Ratis These 4 Mudds are equal to 614 1/4 Sayrafi Mithqäls. According to the Hiqqah of Najaf, which is equal to 933 1/3 Mithqals, it amounts to 1/2 Hiqqah, 1/2 Waqiyyah (a Waqiyyah being equal to 1/2 Ratl) and 31 Mithqäls minus two grams; while according to the Hiqqah of Istanbul, which is equal to 280 Mithqàls, it amounts to 2 Hiqqahs, 3/4 Waqiyyah and I 3/4 Mithqàls. According to the Shàhi Maund, which is equal to 1280 Mithqals, it amounts to 1/2 Maund minus 25 3/4 Mithqãls. According to the current measure in Kilograms, a Sa = about 3 Kilograms.

The Time When Zakãt of Fitrah Becomes Obligatory:

The time when payment of Fitrah becomes obligatory is the beginning of the night of Eid (al-Fitr) and continues till the noon (of Eid al-Fitr). It is preferable, rather more cautious, to delay the payment of Fitrah upto the day of Eid (al-Fitr). If a person offers the prayers of Eid (al-Fitr) he must not give up the caution by taking out the Zakãt of Fitrah before (offering) his prayers. If the time of payment of the Fitrah has already and he has set aside Fitrah, he must pay it to the person entitled to receive it. In case a person has not already set aside the Fitrah, then, according to the more cautious opinion, its payment shall not drop, and he should make its payment with the intention of seeking closeness (to Allah) without intending the payment being made on its due time or compensatory after the lapse of the due time.

1: It is not permissible to tender the Fitrah before the month of Ramadan, rather, according to the more cautious opinion, in all circumstances. Of course, there is no objection in its payment to a poor person and then accounting it for as Fitrah on the arrival of its time.

2: It is permissible to set aside Fitrah and specify it in the property of special commodities or set aside its value in cash. It is more cautious, rather more according to the guiding principles to confine to cash while setting aside the value of the commodity. If a person sets aside less than what is required, the rule shall be exclusively meant for that part, and the rest, shall remain unseparated. If a person sets aside more than required, then in setting it aside until the separated part is mixed with that belonging to Zakãt of Fitrah, there is difficulty. If, however, a person specifies the Zakãt of Fitrah in a property that is jointly owned by the master and another person, and his portion in it is equal to or less than Zakat, then apparently Zakât may be set aside in this way. If the time for the payment of Zakät of Fitrah has lapsed, but the person has set aside the Zakãt on its due time, it would be permissible for him to delay its payment to the person entitled to receive it, particularly in consideration of some preferences, though he shall be liable in case it is destroyed despite his capacity to pay it and the availability of the person entitled to receive it. On the contrary, if he were not capable, he shall not be held liable except in case of transgression of the rules or omission in the safeguard of the commodity like all other things deposited in trust.

3: lt is more cautious not to shift the commodity specified as Zakãt of Fitrah from one place to another when the person entitled to receive it is also there.

The Uses of Zakãt of Fitrah:

According to the stronger opinion, the uses of Zakãt of Fitrah are identical with those of the Zakat for property, though according to the more cautious opinion, it should be confined to payment to poor Mu’mins (i.e. Shi’ahs) and their children, rather the indigent among them, even if they are not morally sound. It is also permissible to pay the Fitrah to the Mustad’afs (i.e. those who have been rendered weak or poor) from among the opponents (i.e. the Sunnis) in case of unavailability of the Mu’mins (i.e. the Shi’ahs).

It is more cautious not pay to the poor less than a Sa (which is equal to about 3 Kilograms) or its value, even if the number of the poor is such that distributing the Fitrah to all of them in that way is not possible.

It is also permissible to pay several Sa’s (of Fitrah) to a single poor person, father even up to the extent of his yearly expenses.

According to the more cautious opinion Fitrah should not be paid or received more than required for the yearly expenses (of a poor person).

It is approved to pay Fitrah exclusively to the Dhawi al-Arham (relatives on the maternal side), neighbors, those who have migrated from their native places for the sake of (Islamic) faith, jurists, intellectuals, etc. who possess some preferences, and caution must not be given up by not paying Fitrah to one who drinks wine or commits such major sins in public.

It is not permissible to pay Fitrah to a person who spends it in the commission of a sin.[4]

[1] . The official website of the office of Sayyid Sistani (ha), rules concerning Zakat of Fitrah.

[2] . Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 96, Pg. 109.

[3] . Wasael al-Shia, Vol. 6, Pg. 221.

[4] . Tahrir al-Wasilah of Imam Khomeini, Vol. 1, rules concerning ZAKAT OF BODIES (OR FITRAH).

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Things on which Payment of Zakat is Obligatory or Recommended

Question 044: Can you please tell us those things on which payment of zakat is either obligatory or recommend?

Answer 044: Zakãt is obligatory on three cattle, namely, camels, cows and sheep (male and female both), two rich minerals, namely, gold and silver, and four cereals, namely, wheat, barley, dates and raisins (or currants), and it is not obligatory except on these nine items.

Note: some scholars have considered Zakat to be payable on the wealth in business, as a necessary precaution.[1] Some other scholars consider payment of Zakat on invested capital as recommended.[2]

Zakãt is approved on fruits and other things grown on land including even saitwort excluding vegetables or green crops (of grain) like Qatt (a grain eaten by desert people after pounding it), brinjal (or aubergine), cucumber, melon and the like. It is not free from difficulty in declaring payment of Zakät to be approved in case of (other) grains The same is the case with merchandise and mares. As regards horses, ponies and donkeys, Zakãt is not approved in their case.

The followings are rules relating to the nine items (1. Wheat, 2. Barley, 3. Dates, 4. Raisins, 5. Gold, 6. Silver, 7. Camel, 8. Cow, 9. Sheep (including goat).), on which Zakãt is obligatory.

Payment of Zakat on Cattle: There are four conditions for the obligation of Zakat on cattle in addition to those mentioned earlier. They are: the Nisabs (criteria of payment of Zakat), grazing in the pastures, completion of one full year and their not being employed for service.

  1. Nisãbs of Zakat on Camels: There are the following twelve Nisäbs on camels:
  2. One sheep on each unit of 5 camels.
  3. Two sheep on each unit of 10 camels.
  4. Three sheep on each unit of 15 camels.
  5. Four sheep on each unit of 20 camels.
  6. Five sheep on each unit of 25 camels.
  7. One Bint-i Mukhãd on each unit of 26 camels.
  8. One Bint-i Labun on each unit of 36 camels.
  9. One Hiqqah on each unit of 46 camels.
  10. One Jadha’ah on each unit of 6l camels.
  11. Two Bint-i Labun on each unit of 76 camels

11 Two Hiqqah on each unit of 91 camels.

  1. On each unit of 121 camels Zakãt shall be charged in the following way one Hiqqah on each 50 camels, one Bint-i Labun on each 40 camels, which means that it shall be obligatory to charge the Zakãt according to the rates of these numbers wherever applicable. If action cannot be taken without both these numbers, both of them shall be taken into account. One may take into account either or both of them Therefore, one cannot imagine a case where action cannot be taken accordingly; rather, it can be attained in one of the ways in case of groups of ten Of course, in case of a number consisting of units (i. e., numbers from one to nine) lying between two groups of ten, one cannot imagine action on them .So action shall be taken by counting in a way that may take in

all the numbers without taking into account the units So in case of the number being 121 camels, three forties shall be taken into account and three Bint-i Labuns shall be payable as Zakãt.

Again, in case of the number being 130 camels, two forties and one fifty shall be taken into account, and two Bint-i Labuns and one Hiqqah shall be payable as Zakãt. In case there are 140 camels, two fifties and one forty shall be taken into account, and two Hiqqahs and one Bint-i Labun shall be payable as Zakãt In case there are 150 camels, three fifties shall be taken into account, and three Hiqqahs shall be payable as Zakãt Where there are 160 camels, four forties shall be taken into account, and four Bint Labuns shall be payable as Zakãt. Action shall be taken in a similar way until the number reaches 200 camels, when one may account for five forties and pay five Bint-i Labuns, or account for four fifties, and pay four Hiqqahs.

  1. Nisãbs of Zakát on Cows & Buffaloes: There are two Nisabs for cows including buffaloes, one where they are 30 and the other where they are 40. So for each 30 cows one Tabi’ or one Tabi’ah, and for each 40 cows one Musnah shall be paid as Zakãt. Here too the rule should be applied, as far as possible, taking into account the above standard of payment of one Tabi’ or Tabi’ah for each 30 Cows and one Musnah for each 40 cows. There is no Zakãt until the number reaches sixty. When the number reaches sixty one cannot imagine that the rule cannot be applied to groups of ten, when they are accounted for according to thirty – thirty or forty – forty or they may be together (i.e.30-40). So in case of 60 cows, they shall be counted as two thirties, and two Tabi’s shall be paid as Zakät. In case of 70 cows, they shall be accounted for as 30 and 40, and one Tabi’ and one Musnah shall be paid as Zakãt. In case of 80 cows, they shall accounted for as two forties, and two Musnahs shall be paid as Zakat. In case of 90 cows, they shall be accounted for as three thirties, and three Tabi shall be paid as Zakät. In case of 100 cows, they shall be accounted for as two thirties and one forty, and two Tabi’ahs and one Musnah shall be paid as Zakãt. In case of 110 cows, they shall be accounted for as two forties and one thirty. (and two Musnahs and one Tabi’ah shall be paid as Zakat). In case of 120 cows, one may either account for as four thirties or three forties (and make payment accordingly)
  2. Nisãbs of Zakãt on Sheep: There are five Nisãbs of Zakãt on Sheep.
  3. For each unit of 40 sheep – one sheep.
  4. For each unit of 121 sheep – two sheep.
  5. For each unit of 201 sheep – three sheep.
  6. For each unit of 301 sheep – 4 sheep, according to the more cautious opinion The problem is, however, very difficult.
  7. For 400 sheep or above, for each 100 sheep – one sheep, how high so ever the number may be.

Rules Concerning Grazing in Pastures: It is a condition that the cattle (on which payment of Zakãt is obligatory) should have grazed in the pasture throughout the year, so that if it happens to be fed on fodder during the year in a way that according to the custom or tradition it may cease to be called a cattle grazing in the pasture, it shall not be obligatory to pay Zakat on it

Rules Concerning (Completion of a Whole) Year: A year is considered to be complete after the passage of eleven months. Apparently the Zakãt is shifted to its owners (i.e. those who are entitled to receive it) at the start of the twelfth month when it becomes their wavering ownership and its payment becomes obligatory unwaveringly, and so it is not permissible for the owner of the property to make any changes in it which may deprive those entitled to receive it of their right. In case he does, he shall be held responsible for it. Of course, if any of the conditions are not fulfilled unintentionally in a way that the property falls short of the Nisab during the twelfth month, the property shall return to its previous owner, and the obligation for the payment of Zakãt shall be dropped. According to the stronger opinion, twelfth month shall be counted in the first year and not in the second.

Rules Concerning the Last Condition: It is also a condition (for the payment of Zakat) that the cattle (on which Zakãt is to be charged) should not have been employed for service throughout the year. In case they are employed for service, although for a short period of time, no Zakat shall be payable for them, even if they happen to be grazing (in the pasture). The criterion for determining whether they are employed for service is the prevalent or usual practice.

Note: Neither sick cattle shall be accepted as Zakät for healthy cattle, nor shall old cattle for the Zakät of young cattle. Similarly, defective cattle shall also not be accepted as Zakãt for sound cattle, even if they fall under the Nisãb.

Zakät on Gold and Silver: The following are some conditions in addition to the general conditions already understood.

First: Nisäb

I – Nisãb of Zakat on Gold: In case of gold, the Nisãb of Zakat is twenty Dinars, whose Zakãt is ten Qirats which is equal to half a Dinar, and one Dinar is one Shar’i Mithqal which is equal to 3/4th of a Sayrafi Mithqal. So twenty Dinars come to fifteen Sayrafi Mithqals, and its Zakãt amounts to 4/8th of a Mithqal. There shall be no Zakat on less than twenty Dinars of gold, nor if it exceeds a little until the excess reaches four Dinars, and that is equal to three Sayrafi Mithqals whose Zakãt is two Qirats, as one Dinar = 20 Qirãts. The same amount shall be payable for each excess of four Dinars, and there shall be no Zakãt on any amount of gold which is less than four Dinars, but not in the sense that there shall be no Zakãt on it at all, as is the case when gold is less than twenty Dinars, but what is meant by exemption of whatever lies between two Nisabs is whatever exceeds the amount of Nisãb until its reaches another Nisab shall be supposed to belong to the previous one. So the first Nisab of gold begins from twenty Dinars until twenty-four Dinars, and it falls under the first amount of Zakãt that is half a Dinar.

Once the amount reaches twenty-four Dinars, two Qirats shall be added to the amount of Zakãt, and it shall remain so until it reaches twenty-eight Dinars, when another two Qirats shall be added to the amount of Zakãt, and so on.

2 – Nisãb of Zakat on Silver: The Nisãb of Zakãt on Silver is two hundred Dirhams of which Zakãt is five Dirhams. Then on each amount exceeding forty Dirhams, there shall be an addition of one Dirham in the amount of Zakãt, whatever the amount may be. There shall be (initially) no Zakãt on silver of less than two hundred Dirhams, and so also there shall be no Zakãt on an excess of less than forty Dirhams, in the sense already explained under the rules relating to the Zakãt on gold. A Dirham is equal to six Dawaniq, which is equal to half of one-fifth Shar’i Mithqal, as each ten Dirhams are equal to seven Shar’i Mithqals.

Explanation: The general rule in the payment of Zakãt on gold and silver is that when each of them reaches the Nisab i.e. twenty Dinars in case of gold and two hundred Dirhams in case of silver, 1/40th of the amount of gold or silver, as the case may be, shall be paid as Zakãt, and so its owner shall be considered to have paid what was due. If a person pays a bit more than the due amount of Zakãt, there shall be no objection, rather it shall be better and shall add to the beneficence.

Second: For the obligation of payment of Zakãt on a gold or silver coin, it should bear the seal of a king or somebody like him of whatever time or place, belonging to Islam, or a non-believer, with writing on it or without it, even if the writing has been obliterated for some reason. In case a coin of gold or silver does not originally bear a seal or writing, payment of Zakãt shall not be obligatory on it, except when it was in currency, in which case, according to the more cautious opinion, it shall be obligatory to pay Zakát on it. If a coin (of gold or silver) is used, for example, as an ornament for decoration, then it shall not be obligatory to pay Zakãt on it, regardless whether its value exceeds (the limit of Nisäb) or falls short of it, and whether it was used in a way as transaction or not.

Third: Completion of a year. It is also a condition that the whole Nisab should subsist for a full year. If, therefore, during the year it falls short of the required limit or it is changed in substance, etc., or by means of casting, even if in order to escape payment.[3]

For further information in this regards, please refer to following answer:

Index: Zakat of Gold and Silver and its criterion, answer 039.

Index: Zakat and difference between Sayyid and non-Sayyid holms, answer 040.

[1] Tawzih al-Masail (with annotation by Imam Khomeini), vol.2, p. 107, issue No.1853, Grand Ayatollah Sistani: “As an obligatory precaution, upon the wealth in business”.

[2] Ibid. Grand Ayatollah Fazel Lankarani: “It is recommended that Zakat should also be paid from the capital of business, trade and commerce every year”; Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi: “It is recommended that Zakat should also be paid from the capital of business, trade and commerce every year. Similarly, it is recommended to pay Zakat on grains other than wheat, barley, dates and raisins.”

[3] Tawzih al-Masail (with annotation by Imam Khomeini), vol.2, Pg. 107, issue No.1853; Ibid, Pg. 131; Tahrir al-Wasilah, vol.2, Pgs. 614-615, issue No. 5-7; Ibid, Vol. 1, rules concerning “Things on which Payment of Zakàt is Obligatory or Recommended”.

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Khums in the Holy Quran and Traditions / Things on which Payment of Khums is Obligatory

Question 043: What is khums and what is it paid on? Please give examples of things on which Khums is payable?

Answer 043: Khums literally means “one-fifth or 20% (1/5)”. In Islamic legal terminology, it means “one-fifth of certain items which a person earns by means of trade, industry, agricultural work, research or any other ways of earning, like, if he earns some money by working in a government department, and if it exceeds the annual expenses for maintaining himself and his family, he should pay Khums (i.e. 1/5) from the surplus, in accordance with the rules.

Khums (or one-fifth of one’s income) is what has been ordained by Allah, the Exalted for Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), and Prophet’s Dhurriyyat (or Descendants), May Allah increase their blessed number, in place of Zakãt which is considered to be the filth of the people’s hands, (i.e. the dirt of a person’s earnings or belongings), in view of the veneration in which they are held. One who denies its payment, although a Dirham, shall be considered among the perpetrators of oppression on them and usurpers of their rights.[1]

A Tradition has come down from Imam (Jafar) al-Sadiq, our Master, Peace be upon him, which says: “Verily Allah, (and) there is no god but He, when prohibited Sadaqah for us, sent down Khums for us. So Sadaqah is prohibited for us, and Khums which is obligatory and an honour for us is lawful for us.” Similarly, there is another tradition that has come down from the same Imam, Peace be upon, which says: “No human being (lit “slave’ of Allãh) who buys something with (the commodity of) Khums has the right to say ‘O Lord, I have bought it with my own property, unless he is permitted to do so by those entitled to receive Khums.” [2] Likewise, there is a Tradition that has come from Imam Abu Ja’far (i.e. Imam Baqir), saying: “It is not lawful for anyone to buy anything with (the commodity of) Khums , unless our right has reached us[3][4]

Now here is a discussion about the things on which payment of Khums is obligatory, those who are entitled to receive it, and the procedure of its distribution among them, and Anfal (spoils of War).

Khums is one of the mandatory rites of the religion of Islam and it is an essential obligation like Jihad. The importance given by the Quran to the issue of Khums can be understood from the following verse: “And know that out of all the booty that ye may acquire (in war), a fifth share is assigned to Allah, – and to the Messenger, and to near relatives, orphans, the needy, and the wayfarer, – if ye do believe in Allah and in the revelation We sent down …”.[5]

It should be noted that the rules regarding certain important obligations like fasting and Hajj have been given in very few verses of the Holy Qur’an. There are not more than three or four verses about them in the Qur’an. Likewise the Qur’an has not made mention of the obligatory parts or segments of such obligations, their basic elements, conditions etc. that are important. All those details have been relegated to the Prophet (saws) and his righteous successors.

The grand religious authorities (Jurists) relying on Qur’anic verses as well, as traditions have said that Khums is obligatory on the following seven things:

  1. Profit or gain from earning. The Saving after the Yearly Expenses for himself and his Family. The saving may be from the industry, agriculture or business profits or any other earning, even if by occupation of ownerless lands, growth or produce, rise in prices, etc. which fall under the denomination of earning. Caution must not be given up by taking out the Khums on every profit, even if it does not fall under the category of earning as gifts, presents, rewards, unexpected inheritance, or anything owned by an approved Sadaqah, although the absence of application of Khums to other than profits falling under

earnings is not devoid of force, as Khums does not apply to any inheritance, dower or ransom for Khul”, and so caution is better. So also Khums is not applicable to any property owned by payment of Khums or Zakãt, even if it exceeds the yearly expenses.

If, however, the property is kept with the intention of getting profit or growth on it, payment of Khums shall be obligatory on it, but not in all circumstances.

  1. Minerals. The criterion in their case is the prevalent custom. They include the gold, silver, lead, iron, copper, mercury, all kinds of precious stones, coaltar, petroleum, sulphur, brass, antimony, arsenic, salt, bituminous coal, rather, according to the more cautious opinion, including lime (-stone) red stone, clay for washing (head) and the Armenian clay. In case there is doubt as to its being a mineral, there shall be no Khums on it from this consideration. It is a condition in a mineral that, according to the more cautious opinion, after deducting all the relevant expenses on its mining and refining it should amount to twenty Dinars or two hundred Dirhams itself or in value.
  2. Treasure trove (A Hidden Treasure). The criterion for deciding about it is the prevalent custom. When its owner is not known, regardless whether it lies in an area of the infidels, or in an undeveloped land or a wasteland in a Muslim territory, and irrespective of the fact whether it has some vestiges of Islam or not, in all these cases it shall belong to the person who explores it, and he shall be bound to pay Khums on it. Of course, if a person finds a hidden treasure in land belonging to himself after it has been purchased by him or any other way, he should inform about it to the previous owner in case it is likely to belong to him. In case the previous owner has also no knowledge about it, he should inform the owner to whom the land belonged before the previous owner till it reaches a person who is also ignorant of it or who is not likely to own it, then the treasure shall belong to the person who has explored it, and he shall be bound to pay Khums on it, if its value has reached twenty Dinars when it contains gold or two hundred Dirhams when it contains silver, or either of them when it contains something else.
  3. Amalgamation of halal wealth with haram. If a lawful thing is mixed up with unlawful, while there is no knowledge about its owner at all, even if in a limited quantity, likewise without any knowledge about its exact quantity, in that case Khums shall be charged on it. If there is knowledge about its quantity as well as its owner, it shall be returned to the owner, and the person returning it shall not be charged Khums. Rather, if a person knows that it is in a limited quantity, to be more cautious, he should get himself exonerated. If it is not possible, then according to the stronger opinion, he should cast lots. If the person does not know about its owner, or it were in an unlimited quantity, he shall give it in charity with the permission of the ruler (or judge) to any one he likes when he does not suppose it to belong to a particular person. Otherwise, he should not give up caution by giving it in charity to that particular person, provided that he must be one entitled to receive it. Of course, it is of no use to suppose that it belongs to a particular type when it is in a limited quantity. If the person knows about its owner, but is ignorant of its quantity, he should get himself exonerated by means of a conveyance with the owner. According to the more valid opinion, this type of Khums is also to be spent like other types.
  4. Anything found by diving. Everything which is taken by diving like pearls, corals etc which is known to be obtained by diving shall be liable to payment of Khums when its value reaches a Dinar or above, regardless of whether they belong to the same category or not and whether they have been taken out in one attempt or many attempts, so that they shall be merged with one another, and once their total value amounts to one Dinar, payment of Khums shall be obligatory on them.

In case the things are found by a collective effort of several persons, it shall be treated at par with the identical case of minerals.

  1. Spoils of war. Whatever is taken by force, or even by way of stealing and deceit, when they have been during the war, and are included in the affairs of war, or from those who have waged war (against Muslims) and it is lawful to shed their blood or loot their property, make their women and children captives, when the war with them has been waged with the permission of the Imam, regardless of what has been gathered by the army or what has not been occupied by it as the land or the like, according to the more sound opinion. As regards the spoils of war which has been waged without the Imams permission, if it were done in the presence of the Imam and the possibility of obtaining the Imam’s permission, it shall be treated as part of Anfãl (spoils of war). As regards the spoils during the war during the (Twelfth) Imam’s Occultation and without the possibility of obtaining his permission, according to the stronger opinion, payment of Khums shall be obligatory on it, particularly when the war has been waged for invitation to Islam. The same rule shall apply in case of the booty that has been collected from the enemies during defence when they have invaded the areas inhabited by the Muslims, even during the Imãm’s Occultation. The same rule shall apply to what has been collected from the enemies by theft or deceit other than what has already been mentioned.
  2. As commonly held, a land which a zimmi (a non-Muslim living under the protection of Islamic government) purchases from a Muslim. If a Dhimmi purchases a land from a Muslim, he shall be bound to pay Khums for it that will be taken from him forcibly in case he is not ready to pay it willingly, irrespective of its being a farmland, a garden, a house, a public bath (or Hammãm), a shop, a guest house, etc. provided that a sale and purchase transaction has taken place for its land independently. If, however, its concern with the land is secondary, as, for instance, the object sold was a house or a Hammäm, then, according to the stronger opinion, its land shall not be charged Khums. Now, does the obligation for the payment of Khums apply exclusively in case a land is transferred through purchase, or it applies generally to other commutative contracts as well, is a question on which there is hesitation, it would be more cautious to incorporate a stipulation in the commutative contract regarding the amount of Khums of land payable on it, so that it may be enforced in case the payment of Khums (in such cases) is not established. Once the payment of Khums is established in a case, it is not lawful to incorporate a stipulation to drop it .So if a Dhimmi incorporates a stipulation in the commutative contract with a Muslim to the effect that Khums shall not payable by him or that it shall be payable by the seller, it shall be void. Of course, if the Muslim incorporates a stipulation in the agreement that he shall pay the Khums on behalf of the Dhimmi it shall be valid. If the Dhimmi sells it to another Dhimmi or a Muslim, payment of Khums shall not thereby be dropped, as also it shall not drop if the Dhimmi embraces Islam subsequent to purchasing it. According to the more valid opinion, such type of Khums shall be spent like other types of Khums. Of course, according to the more valid opinion, there is neither any Nisab for it, nor any Niyyat even for the ruler, whether at the time of its receipt or at the time of its payment.[6]

However, what is frequently asked about and is an issue faced by most Muslims across the world concerns the first part, profit or gain from earning, about which the jurists say, “If a person earns by means of trade, industry or any other ways of earning, like, if he earns some money by offering prayers and fasting on behalf of a dead person, and if it exceeds the annual expenses for maintaining himself and his family, he should pay Khums from the surplus in accordance with the rules.”[7]

For instance, if an employee receives his first salary at the end of January and spends all his annual income in a regular manner for maintaining himself and his family until the end of the month of January of the next year, Khums is not payable on his income. In case his income exceeds the annual expenses for maintaining himself and his family at the end of January next year (though he may economized and been frugal or for example he has deposited it in his bank account), he should pay 1/5th of it to the office of the Marja (qualified Mujtahid) whom he follows so that he (Marja) will have to spend it for such purposes as deemed appropriate by him.

[1] . Asrar e A’le Muhammad (pbuth), translation of the book Salim, Pg. 683; Tafsir Furat, published in Tehran, Pg. 169, H. 217; Shawahid al-Tanzil, Vol. 1, Pg. 336, H. 345; Amali, Tusi, Vol. 2, Pg. 174, majlis 3, quoted from Imam Sadiq (as) from His faother Imam Sajjad (as).

[2] . Mustadrak al-Wasael, Vol. 7, Pg. 288.

[3] . Ibid, Vol. 4, Pg. 337.

[4] . Tahrir al-Wasilah of Imam Khomeini, Vol. 1, Pg. 334; Ibid, Pg. 395; For more information regarding other traditions  narrated from the Infallibles Imams (pbuth), please refer to: wasael, Vol. 9, Pgs. 484-536-540-541, 337-550-503-483-545 & Ibid, Vol. 10, Pgs. 289-334; Urwat al-Wuthqa, Q. 50,78,80.

[5] . Surah al-Anfal, ayah 41.

[6] . Tahrir al-Wasila of Imam Khomeini (ra), Vol. 1, rules regarding Khums; Tawzih al-Masail, vol. 2, p. 7, issue No. 1751.

[7] . Tawzih al-Masail, vol. 2, p. 7, issue No. 1752.

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Zakat and difference between Sayyid and non-Sayyid holms

Question 040: What is the relevance of differentiating between Sayed holms and Non-Sayyed holms. I have never seen or heard of it until recently? Is one supposed to pay more than the other? There were two holms boxes at Eid prayer. One for Non-Sayyed and the other for Sayyed.

Answer 040: The only difference is that, a person, who is not a Sayyid, cannot give fitra to a Sayyid, and if that Sayyid is his dependent, he cannot give to another Sayyid either.

Whoever is adult, sane and is neither unconscious, nor poor, nor the slave of another. He should give, on his own behalf, as well as on behalf of all those who are his dependents.

The cost is about three kilos per head of Wheat, Barley, Dates, Raisins, Coined Gold & Silver, Camel, Cow, Sheep (including goat).

It is also sufficient if he pays the price of one of these items in cash (it depends on where he lives). This is because the price of such items differ in each country or city you live or which such items we mostly use. As per obligatory precaution, he should not give from that food which is not staple in his place, even if it be wheat, barley, dates or raisins.

“In fact, there are two boxes: Khums box and Zakat box. Each poor person has the right to use only one of the two boxes for his annual expenses.” The Non-Sayyid indigents uses the Zakat box and the Sayyid indigents use the Khums box. The Sayyid indigents do not have the right to use anything from the Zakat property.[1]

According to Sayyid Sistani, it is permissible for a Hashimi to give his sadaqa to another Hashimi or to a non-Hashimi. This includes both Zakat of property and zakat of Fitra. But it is not permissible for a non-Hashimi to give his Sadaqa to a Hashimi. If a Hashimi receives Zakat of property or fitra from a non-Hashimi, it would be forbidden for him to use it, and he who gives it (zakat), his “Zimma” (obligation) would not be discharged. In cases other than those mentioned above it is permissible for a non-Hashimi to give his Sadaqa, atonement, or Fidya of fast (kaffara) or any desirable charity to a Hashimi. Yes, if charity given to a Hashimi is too little an amount of property and it is given with the intention of repulsing calamity and evil, there is Ishkaal (objection) in its being permissible.

Difference between Khums and Zakat: Both are obligatory, but Khums is on gains after exception of expenses of the year and Zakat is on cattle, crops, gold and silver.[2]

[1] . Tafsir Nomouneh, vol.7, pg.183.

[2] . The official website of the office of Sayyid Sistani (ha), rules regarding Zakat.

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Zakat of Gold and Silver and its criterion

Question 039: In Sunni tradition, any pure gold a person possesses, even as given as a gift, one must pay a yearly zakat based on its weight. Does the same tradition apply to the Shia?

Answer 039: If gold or silver meet the criterion of being made into coins, and are in currency for transactions, are in one’s possession, and reach the taxable limits, zakat will apply. If these coins are made into ornaments and used by women as ornaments, (E.g., necklaces and bracelets) then zakat will no longer apply.

If gold or silver do not meet the criteria mentioned above, like in the case where they aren’t used as currency in transactions, then zakat will not apply. Based on this, since the gold used today isn’t used as currency, zakat does not apply to it.

If the gold or jewelry being used isn’t for the woman’s ornamental needs, or exceeds their social status, and a khums year passes, it will be subject to khums.[1]

[1] . An inquiry from the office of the Supreme leader; Imam Khomeini, Tawdih al-Masa’il (annotated), researched and corrected by: Bani Hashemi Khomeini, Sayyid Mohammad Hosein, vol. 2, pp.128-132, Islamic Publications Press, Qum, eighth edition, 1424 AH. Tawdih al-Masa’il (annotated), vol. 2, pg. 131; Sistani and Saafi Golpaygani (inquiry from their offices); Zanjani: “Gold and silver coins used as currency that women use as ornaments, if are still commonly used in transactions as currency, are subject to zakat, but if they aren’t commonly used in transactions as currency, zakat will not apply, but it is still a recommended precaution to pay their zakat as well.” Tawdih al-Masa’il (annotated), vol. 2, pg. 130. Tawdih al-Masa’il (annotated), vol. 2, pp. 128-132. Makarem Shirazi (inquiry from office). Makrem Shirazi, Sistani, and Saafi Golpaygani (inquiries from offices).