Khums is also an obligatory tax, which is collected from the properties of the rich. Its quantity is one-fifth of the profit of man after all expenses have been paid and it is applicable on seven items:
1. Spoils of war.
2. Minerals, after paying the expenses of taking them out.
3. Treasure trove.
4. Gems obtained from sea diving.
5. Profit or gain from earning, after one has paid his and his family’s expenses from it.
6. A land, which a Zimmi (a non-Muslim living under the protection of Islamic Government) purchases from a Muslim.
7. When lawful (Halaal) wealth is mixed with unlawful (Haraam) and their quantum is not known.
One who obtains any of the above; it is obligatory on him or her to pay its Khums to the religious authority in Islam, so that he may spend it in the ways fixed for it.
The Holy Quran says:
وَاعْلَمُواْ أَنَّمَا غَنِمْتُم مِّن شَىْءٍ فَأَنَّ لِلَّهِ خُمُسَهُ وَلِلرَّسُولِ وَلِذِى الْقُرْبَى وَالْيَتَمَى وَالْمَسَكِينِ وَابْنِ السَّبِيلِ إِن كُنتُمْ ءَامَنتُم بِاللَّهِ وَمَآ أَنزَلْنَا عَلَى عَبْدِنَا يَوْمَ الْفُرْقَانِ يَوْمَ الْتَقَى الْجَمْعَانِ وَ اللَّهُ عَلى كُلِّ شَىْءٍ قَدِيرٌ
“And know that whatever thing you gain, a fifth of it is for Allah and for the Apostle and for the near of kin and the orphans and the needy and the wayfarer, if you believe in Allah and in that which We revealed to Our servant, on the day of distinction, the day on which the two parties met; and Allah has power over all things.” (8:41)
“Whatever thing you gain” literally means that, which a person earns without working for it. In Qamus, it is mentioned that all variations of this word imply: Wealth, which a person obtains without working for it.
Raghib has written that ‘Mughnam’ (gain) is something, which a person gets as booty.
It is mentioned in Al-Munjid that: ‘Ghanimat’ (gain) is a thing, which is confiscated from the enemies through use of force and it basically means ‘income’.
Allamah Tabatabai says: ‘Ghanim’ and ‘Ghaneemat’ (gain) is used in the meaning of earning profits made through business, employment or fighting battles. But in the context of revelation of the verse, it implies war booty.
On the basis of this, although the verse was revealed with regard to the Battle of Badr, it has other implications as well and its meaning is not restricted. Therefore, it includes every kind of income, especially with attention to the term of ‘whatever thing’, as is generally apparent. The same meaning is hinted at in some traditions as well.
Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a) has narrated from his forefathers that the Holy Prophet (s) said in his bequest to Ali Ibne Abi Talib (a): O Ali, Abdul Muttalib, during the period of ignorance, acted on five practices, which Allah, the Mighty and the High, continued in Islam: (till he said) when Abdul Muttalib obtained a treasure trove, he took out Khums from it and donated it to charity; thus Almighty Allah revealed the following verse: “And know that whatever thing you gain, a fifth of it is for Allah…”
Imam Muhammad Baqir (a) wrote to Ali bin Mahziyar: Thus, windfalls and profits of every year are obligatory on them, as Allah, the Mighty and the High has said: “And know that whatever thing you gain, a fifth of it is for Allah and for the Apostle and for the near of kin and the orphans and the needy and the wayfarer, if you believe in Allah and in that which We revealed to Our servant, on the day of distinction, the day on which the two parties met; and Allah has power over all things.”
Thus ‘Ghanaim’ (gains) is the same profit and booty, which a person obtains and it is inheritance, which he receives from strangers and the enemy, who after surrendering to him pays him and also the property, whose owner is unknown.
Samaa-a says: I asked His Eminence, Imam Musa Ibne Ja’far (a) about Khums. He replied: It is on anything, which a person gets, whether it is less or more.
On the basis of this, the ‘obigatori-ness’ of Khums is not restricted to war booties, on the contrary, it is applicable to all incomes, including income from business and salaries.
Disposal of Khums
Disposal of Khums is on the same six instances, which are mentioned in the verse: God, the Messenger of God (s), relatives, orphans, poor and the stranded traveler.
The Messenger of Allah (s) takes three shares from the above six: Share of God, share of Messenger and share of relatives. [Relatives in tradition are interpreted as the infallible Imams as they were relatives of the Messenger of Allah (s)] In this way, he paid for his expenses as well as his family members and whatever remained in excess, he spent it on the common Muslims. He spent the other three shares (Saadaat orphans, poor and stranded travelers) in the proper manner as well, since he was the authority and ruler of Muslims.
It is concluded from traditions that after the Messenger of Allah (s) the total amount of Khums was placed under the charge of Ali Ibne Abi Talib (a) and his eleven descendants, who are successors of the Prophet and lawful rulers of Islam, that they might spend it in the way as the Messenger of Allah (s) used to spend.
Ahmad has narrated from Ahmad Ibne Muhammad Ibne Abu Nasr, who has said the following. “Once a person asked Imam Reza (a) about the words of Allah, the Most Majestic, the Most gracious, “Know that whatever property you may gain, one fifth belongs to God, the Messenger, the kindred…” (8:41) It then was asked, “The portion that belongs to Allah to who does it go?” The Imam (a) said, “It belongs to the Messenger of Allah and whatever belongs to the Messenger of Allah, belongs to the Imam.”
Another question said, “If one of the categories of welfare recipient would be more and the other category less, then how is it dealt with?” The Imam (a) said, “It is left to the discretion of the Imam consider how the Messenger of Allah dealt with such cases. Is it not the case that he used his own discretion and distributed as he considered proper? The Imam would deal with such case in the same way.”
On the basis of this, the total amount of Khums is the right of God, which is related to the wealth of the wealthy and Holy Infallibles (a) spent it in the above manner.
Muhammad Ibne Muslim has narrated from Abu Ja’far, Imam Muhammad Baqir (a) who has said the following with regard to the words of Allah, the Most High. “Know that whatever property you may gain, one fifth belongs to God, the Messenger, the kindred…” (8:41) “It refers to the relatives of the Messenger of Allah. Khums (one fifth) belongs to Allah, the Messenger and to us.”
Imran bin Musa has quoted Imam Musa Ibne Ja’far (a) that he said with regard to the verse of Khums: Share of God is placed at the discretion of the Messenger of Allah (s) and that which belongs to the Messenger of Allah (s) is related to us.
On the basis of this, according to the belief of Imamite Shia, in the present age, Khums has to be paid to the twelfth Imam, His Eminence, Hujjat Ibnul Hasan Askari (a), but regretfully no access is available to his holy being.
Now, the question arises that what is the duty of Khums during the period of occultation of Imam Zamana (a)?
This matter has been studied in detail in books of jurisprudence and different views are explained. Finally, it is concluded that during the period of occultation, Khums should be paid to the Islamic jurisprudent (Faqih), who is having all the necessary qualifications, as he is having authority on Muslims and is the leader of Islamic community. The administration of religious colleges is also under his charge. He spends the amount of Khums in glorifying the word of monotheism, propagating sciences and beliefs of Islam, defense of Islam and Quran, establishment of judiciary and executive of laws of religion, Islamic colleges, fulfilling needs of poor Saadaat, because spending of Khums in these instances will definitely be according to the pleasure of Imam Zamana (a).
 Al-Mizan, Vol. 9, Pg. 89
 Wasailush Shia, Vol. 9, Pg. 496
 Wasailush Shia, Vol. 9, Pg. 501
 Wasailush Shia, Vol. 9, Pg. 503
 A Sayyid or a descendant of Lady Fatima Zahra (s) through Imam Husain (a)
 Al-Kafi, Vol. 1, Pg. 544
 Al-Kafi, Vol. 1, Pg. 539
 Wasailush Shia, Vol. 9, Pg. 516