Rafed English

How is the Sihmu 'l-Imam Used?

Adopted from the Book : "Khums; An Islamic Tax" by : Sayyid Mohammad Rizvi

The mujtahid spends the sihmu 'lImam in the way which he thinks will be agreeable to the Present Imam Muhammad alMandi ( upon whom be peace ). The most important causes for which the sihmu 'lImam is used presently are the following:

1. providing the necessary expenses of the poor and needy Shia Ithnd`Asharis; it may also be used by the mujtahid during natural disasters like earthquake, famine, war, etc;

2. propagating the religion of Islam to the believers as well as the non-believers;

3. providing the household and academic ex­penses of the `ulama' ( the religious scholars ) who dedicate their life and efforts in teaching and preaching the religion of Islam to the people.

4. providing the expenditure of religious establishments, religious schools, teachers and students.

I would not be wrong in saying that most of the sihmu 'lImam does not even reach to the mujtahids themselves, rather it is used, with their permission, in various parts of the SIT ah world. Many, if not most, religious and charitable works being done by the Shiahs in the West today are from sihmu 'l-Imam. (However, whether it is known or acknowledged by the public and those who use it, is a different story!)

As an example for item No. 4 above, allow me to mention the Hawza `Ilmiyya ( religious education center ) of Qum, Iran. In early 1980's there were at least fifteen thousand students and teachers in that Hawza. All are financed collectively by the leading mujtahids of our time. Even if we count fifty dollars 'monthly scholarship for the fifteen thousand students and teachers, the total monthly budget comes to seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars. The revenue for this budget is khums and various others charities and endowment funds.

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