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14 November 2019 / 16. Rabi-Ul-Awwal 1441


Khums is a compulsory (wajib) religious obligation for Shia Muslims.


Khums” literally means “one-fifth” and, in Islamic law, it refers to a religious tax which is payable on a several things – the most common of which is your profit from earnings.


As a result, every year you must pay 20% of your total earnings, subtracting your expenses and other eligible outgoings. This will make up your yearly khums payment, which will then be allocated into two equal parts.


One half is given to the Imam (as) of the time; this is called “Sehme Imam” (the portion for the Imam (af)). In the absence of the Imam (as), this part must either be given to a Marja Taqlid (i.e. a high religious authority who can be followed in matters of Islamic law), or it must be spent on purposes that he authorises.


The other portion is given to sayyids (descendants of the Prophet (saw)) who are poor, orphans, or stranded travellers. This is called “Sehme Sadat” (the portion for sayyids).


Khums payments can only be paid to those individuals or organisations who have been given permission (ijaza) to collect it.


The World Federation is proud to have permission from His Eminence al-Sayyid Ali al-Sistani (may God protect him) to collect khums payments on his behalf and to disperse the Sehme Imam part on religious projects, such as our fantastic children’s education and teacher training programmes.



Khums must be paid annually. It can be paid in line with your personal financial year or on a specific date that you set. The date of your khums payments can be based on either the lunar (Hijri) or solar (Gregorian) calendar. You can make your full khums payment, or either of the Sehm payments, online by visiting our donate portal and searching “khums”.


Alternatively, you can make your khums payment through your local Jamaat who will process your payment and transfer it to The World Federation through our regional member federations.


Through The World Federation, you can fulfil your duty and pay your khums with confidence. And with our zero% admin policy, you can be sure that your payment will only be used for projects that can be financed by khums. 


Watch our video which provides a breakdown of this compulsory pillar of Islam.


If you’ve never fulfilled this religious obligation before or need help understanding what’s eligible, why we pay it, when to start, who to pay, and where it goes, then we can help you through our Khums Guide.

Khums becomes obligatory (wajib) on seven things, the most common being profit from earnings. It is important that it is paid on time and accurately calculated.


You can view the detailed laws pertaining to profits from earnings in Islamic Laws, the third edition of a high-quality translation of the Tawdih al-Masa’il of His Eminence al-Sayyid Ali al-Sistani (may God protect him). Read about these laws here.


To purchase a must-have copy of the latest edition of Islamic Laws, visit the WF Shop.

You can also download our Khums App, which will instantaneously help you calculate your khums liabilities, set reminders for the future, and take payments to fulfil this beautiful and benevolent obligation.


Find out more about the app here or download it now from the Google and Apple app stores.

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