Islam is the religion with the complete code of conducts to live with. It explains how a person who is a Muslim should worship and obey the rules and regulations empowered by Allah. All these rules and regulations are mentioned in the Holy Quran. Muslims have to offer Salat (Namaz) 5 times per day, fast during the month of Ramzan, offer Hajj once in a lifetime and give zakat and khums.
In this article, we are going to explain the concept of khums and zakat in Islam. Khums and Zakat can be understood by one common terminology i.e. charity. But both have a difference in between them. One by one we will explain it to our readers.
In the Holy Quran Allah Narrates,
“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 and the needy and they wayfarer ….. (Qur’an 8:41)”
The charity which is given as the fifth part or 20% of belongings is quoted as khums. Khums is eligible for seven different things.
- The profit of income.
- The legal wealth which is mixed up with illegal wealth.
- Mines and minerals.
- Precious stones obtained by diving in the sea.
- The land which a non-musim buys from Muslim in Islamic territory.
- Spoils of war
The khums which is paid about 20% of anything which is mentioned above has to be delivered to its real entitled. The khums should be given to one of the six entities. Those entities are mentioned below.
- His messenger.
- Relatives of messenger.
- The person who is away from home.
- Spoils of war
The portion of Allah and His prophet Muhammad (PBUH) should be transferred to the rest of the Imams. While 11 imams are martyred then the first 3 portions should be given to Imam Mehdi ajf. Since we have no access to Imam Mehdi ajf, in this current situation we can give this amount to the religious scholar who can spend this amount on theological schools and religious matters. If the religious scholar doesn’t have any source of income than he can spend a portion of that amount for his ordinary livings. For the last 3 entities, it can be directly spent on needy people, religious scholars cannot receive this amount. These needy people should be decedents of the Holy Prophet (PBUH).
Like khums zakat also lies in the category of charity. There are major differences in between them. Like Khums is calculated about 20%, here zakat is calculated only 2.5% of savings. Zakat is discussed at many places in the Quran. The famous ayat about zakat was revealed when Imam Ali A.S gave zakat in the position of ruku.
“Your master is only Allah, His Messenger, and those who believe: those who establish the prayer and pay the zakat while they are in ruku‘.” (5:55)
Zakat is obligatory on 9 things.
- Coins: gold & silver.
- Cattle: cow, sheep, goat, camels.
- Crops: wheat, barley, dates & raisins
It is important to mention that zakat is not applicable to currency notes in shia school of thought while others practice it.
How is zakat eligible and to whom we can donate zakat? Let’s discuss this point. According to Surah Tobah Allah has defined 8 categories who can receive zakat.
“Alms are for the poor and the needy, and those employed to administer the (funds); for those whose hearts have been (recently) reconciled (to Truth); for those in bondage and in debt; in the cause of Allah; and for the wayfarer: (thus is it) ordained by Allah, and Allah is full of knowledge and wisdom.” (9-60).
The scholars have interpreted the categories from the following verse as mentioned below.
- The one who don’t have means of live (Fuqra).
- The one who cannot afford basic needs. (Miskeen).
- The one who has just converted to Islam.
- The one who has debts on him.
- The one who is fighting for the cause of Islam.
- Travellers who cannot afford.
- The zakat collectors.
- To free the one from slavery.
Zakat can be given to anyone according to the categories mentioned above excluding one’s own parents, children, grandparents, spouse and decadents of Holy Prophet (PBUH).
Zakat and khums are charitable worships. Allah has made them obligatory for Muslims so that people who are living a hard life and they are unable to get basic needs, it’s our duty to help them. Helping others is the best way to get close to Allah.