Rafed English

Khums, Treasure, Mine, and Ḥalāl Mixed With Ḥarām Property

Q 887: What is your opinion concerning buried treasure that someone finds on his own land?
A: If he does not suspect that the found treasure belonged to the previous owner of the land, it belongs to him, and he must pay khums on it if it exceeds 20 golden dinars in the case of gold, 200 silver dirhams in the case of silver, or the price of any of them with respect to other kinds of treasure. This is if no one prevents him from retaining what he has found. But if the government or others prevent him and forcibly seize it, and what remains with him out of what he had found is equal to the value of the aforementioned threshold then khums applies only to that. Otherwise he is not liable to khums for what was seized from him.

Q 888: If a number of one hundred year old silver coins are found in a building owned by someone, do these coins belong to the current owner of building, for example the purchaser, or the legal heir?
A: Its rule is the same as the one pertaining to treasure, mentioned under the previous question.

Q 889: Our question is as follows:
Certainly the payment of khums on extracted minerals is obligatory at the present time, as our major mujtahids consider the obligation of khums on minerals one of the conceded rulings. Considering that the government’s mere spending of the minerals’ proceeds for Muslim citizenry does not remove the obligation to pay khums, what is the ruling with respect to these minerals. Mining is either carried out primarily by the government and then its income spent on the citizens, in which case it is like a person who extracts the minerals and gives as a gift or as charity to another person. However, it is included in the generality of the proofs regarding khums, as there is no ground for limiting their application. Or the government extracts the minerals as the people’s agent, and in reality it is the people who are the extractors and in this case paying khums is obligatory for the principal. Or the government extracts the minerals through its guardianship over the people in which case the extractor is the guardian itself or, as in the case of being people’s agent, the people are considered as the actual extractor. In any case, there is no proof for excluding the extracted minerals from the general rule of khums when the quantity of mined minerals reaches the threshold, unlike the earnings, which may be spent or given as gift, counted as part of the annual expense and consequently exempted from khums. What is your opinion concerning this important issue?
A: Among the conditions for minerals to be subject to khums are: a) mining is done by a person, or persons in partnership; b) every person’s share reaches the threshold, and; c) the extracted minerals are counted as their own. As the minerals extracted by the government are not privately owned by any person or persons, rather they are property of a public purpose, the condition for liability to khums is absent. On this basis, there are no grounds for the state and the government to be liable for their khums and this is not an exception to the obligation of khums on minerals. However, the minerals that are extracted by a certain person, or persons in partnerships, are liable for khums when the share of each of them, after deducting the extraction and refining expenses, reaches the thresholds, i.e. 20 dinars, 200 dirhams or the equivalent.

Q 890: If ḥarām property gets mixed with a person’s own property, what is the rule concerning such property and how can it be made ḥalāl? And what must they do if they know it is ḥarām or do not know it?
A: If they are certain of the existence of ḥarām property within their assets, but do not know the precise amount and cannot identify its owner, the way to make it ḥalāl is to pay its khums. But if there is a doubt that their property is mixed with ḥarām, then they are liable to nothing.

Q 891: Before the beginning of my khums year, I lent someone some money, and the said person intended to invest that money and distribute its profits equally between us. This money is not at my disposal at the present and I have not paid its khums, what is your opinion in this regard?
A: If you lent the money and you cannot receive it before the end of your khums year, you are not presently liable to pay its khums, rather you should pay it at the time you receive it. But in this case, you have no right to receive any amount of the profit made by the borrower’s business, and if you demand anything from him, it is counted as ribā which is prohibited. But if you had given him the money as silent partnership, then you would have a share in the profits according to the agreement. Then you are required to pay khums on the capital.

Q 892: I am a bank employee. To start my job, I deposited 500,000 tumans in the bank (of course, this money is kept in my name in a long-term savings account and I receive its interest every month). Is it obligatory to pay khums on this money, considering that this money has been deposited with the bank for four years?
A: The deposited money is not subject to khums as long as you are not able to withdraw it. But its interest — after the deduction of yearly ma’ūnah — is subject to khums.

Q 893: The banks have a method for depositing money which makes it inaccessible to the depositor. It is in fact kept in one’s bank account with a particular method of computation. Is khums applicable to that money?
A: If the money deposited in the bank was part of one’s annual earnings and one is able to withdraw it from the bank at the end of his khums year, then paying its khums is obligatory for him at the end of the year.

Q 894: Is khums obligatory for the house tenant or the landlord on the money that the tenant deposits with the landlord?
A: If the money is from the annual earnings of the tenant then its khums is obligatory for the tenant after the landlord returns it and the landlord, who takes it as a loan, is not liable for its khums.

Q 895: For several years the government has not paid its employees their salary. Will it be considered as income of the khums year in which they receive it so that they should calculate its khums at the end of that year or it is not subject to khums at all?
A: This money would be considered as part of the annual income of the year of receipt, and its excess over the year’s ma’ūnah is liable for khums.

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