Home Fatawa Part one The one-fifth tax levy (Khums)

The one-fifth tax levy (Khums)

The khums is a financial duty that is carried out with the intention of qorbah to God; in comparison to zakat, it is obligatory on all possessions except the woman’s dowry and any expected inheritance. The name khums is derived from the ratio one in five (i.e. 20%). In this introduction, we shall explain the conditions that make the khums obligatory and some of its general rulings.

686. For the khums to become applicable, the following conditions must exist:

First and second: Buloogh and sanity, so khums is not obligatory on the possessions of young children until they reach buloogh (the Islamic legal age), nor on the possessions of the insane person until he becomes sane if his insanity is constant; however if his insanity strikes him only sporadically, khums becomes obligatory on him; the last ruling also applies to the person who repeatedly falls unconscious. That said, an exception to this is the young child’s possession of money mixed with forbidden/unlawful money, in which case the guardian has to pay its khums even if before he reaches buloogh.

Third: Islam, so khums is not obligatory on the non-Muslim during the period when he is a non-Muslim, except if a thimmi person (a non-Muslim in a Muslim country) buys land from a Muslim, he has to pay khums on it.

Fourth: Threshold in some possessions, such as treasures and minerals, not others, as will be explained.

Fifth: Ownership to a person, so khums is not obligatory on possessions owned by a party such as the state, institutions, the mosque etc.

Khums is obligatory on possessions owned by a person even if it is owned by many persons.

687.It is not conditional for the khums to be applicable that the possession is present with the owner - the only thing here is that the owner of a possession that he expects to have returned to him has the choice between paying the khums when the possession is still not with him and waiting until he gets it back; however, khums is not obligatory on possessions that are unlikely to return to its owner unless they do return to him, in which case the khums becomes obligatory.

688.There is no difference in the khums obligation between men and women, nor between the person who is earning and producing independently and others, if the conditions of obligation are met.