Q1: I would like to calculate my religious tax (khums) up until now. Is there a formula, which I can use to work out the amount?
A1: If you earn money by any means such as trade, industry, or even teaching, provided it exceeds your annual expenses for maintaining yourself and your family, you should pay khums on it (ie. that money which is extra, or left over and not spent throughout one year).
Q2: Greetings and compliments to His Eminence, Grand Ayatollah Fazel Lankarani (May Allah grant him long life).
Respectfully, we would like to state that in some cases your Muqalledin (followers) fail to meet you in person (for paying their religious dues) so they refer to clerics in the districts and towns and calculate their properties with them. It so happens that sometimes they pay their dues but do not receive your receipt sheet or in some cases the clerics give their own receipt sheets or bring receipt sheets from other Marjas (religious authorities). Is paying of religious dues in such manner allowed? Is he who pays his dues in this manner absolved? What is the responsibility of your Muqalledin?
May Allah prolong your life.
A group of your followers
A2: With greetings and compliments. Keeping in view that the Hawzas (religious seminaries) of Isfahan and Khurasan and more than three hundred smaller Hawzas maintain part of their livelihood with monthly salaries which they are receiving from me and given that the amount of the salary of the Islamic Seminary of Qom which is more than the salaries given by other seminaries, the entire salary of a student received from the offices of all the Jurisprudents does not exceed a hundred thousand Tumans in spite of thirty years of study background in the seminary. In view of the economic inflation which is unfortunately dominating our population, inappropriate giveaways and incorrect compromising are not consented by God, the Holy Prophet and Imams (a.s.). If individuals, who are my followers, pay their obligatory religious dues without receiving my receipt sheet, it would not be sufficient on their part and they are not absolved.
Q3: I sold my house for $1000. I bought another house in another city worth $500. In this way, I have saved $500 to further my studies abroad. I will not touch this amount unless I start my studies abroad in the coming years. Is it obligatory on me to pay zakat and khums on this amount at the end of the year?
A3: On the condition that you were resident at your home for one year before you sold it, you do not need to pay khums on it. If you bought the new home with money on which khums has been paid, then the said amount is not subject to khums. You must pay khums at the end of the year if you bought that home with money on which no khums has been paid.
Q4: What is your opinion on purchases of impermissible items music, movies, magazines, books, alcohol, drugs, etc
does a person need to pay Khums on these sorts of things since he is not permitted to spend money on these items?
A4: Buying and selling of the said things are not permissible.
Q5: A person who is saving money for the following things is he absolved from the Khums for these specific issues if he has no other way to acquire them through permitted means?
o Purchase of a car which he needs for his life;
o Purchase of a house (saving money for a down-payment to reduce interest);
o Purchase of gifts for his wife to be;
o Performance of Hajj.
A5: As for purchase of a car or a house, if there is no other way other than saving money, Khums does not become liable. Money saved for gifts and perforamnce of Hajj are liable to Khums.
Q6: Does the person who is in debt to the banks and others however has savings from his work after one year but does not pay the creditors back have to pay khums on his savings or must he first pay off his creditors? In some instances, it is not possible (according to Western laws) to pay back loans to the bank early as they charge you a penalty for this.
A6: First of all, he must pay khums of the savings, then he can pay off the debts.
Q7: I am 50 years old and I have been living and working here in USA since 1973. I would like to calculate my Khums up to now. Is there a formula I can use to figure out how much I owe? Also, I need to know to whom and how should I send this money.
A7: (Seeing) your attentiveness to obeying Allah's command (make) us very happy. Insh Allah, may Allah give you more success. In regards to your question, the general rule regarding Khums is that if one, through his occupation, even if it is teaching and educating, makes a profit and if a year passes on that profit and you do not spend it for your living expenses, you must give one fifth of that, as Khums, to the Marja'-e- Taqlid. (This is) so that if can be spent in the ways specified by the religion like running the various Hawzah Ilmiyyah (the Islamic Seminary). These days, in the Howza Ilmiyya of Qom there are about forty thousand seminary students studying the religious sciences, with no sort of financial dependence on the government, and are only supported through khums or like helping the poor or building schools or mosques when necessary. Determining which one is necessary is the duty of the Marja-e- Taqlid.
Based on this, if you have money left over from your annual income, which a year has passed on and you have not spent for your living expenses, you must give the Khums of that, however, if your entire income was spent on necessary living expenses, i.e. expenses, in accordance with your social position, you do not owe any Khums.
Q8: Should I pay Khoms on borrowed money?
A8: If you pay back the debt out of your own earnings and the borrowed money remains or becomes part of your capital, you have to pay Khoms (one fifth). But if the borrowed money has been spent for your living, there is no Khoms for it.
Q1: Can I touch or kiss my fiance?
A1: You cannot do so insofar as you have not contracted marriage.
Q2: Is it permissible to show affection for one's wife in public, for example to kiss her or hold her hand?
A2: There is no problem in doing so especially in showing affection but other acts such as those mentioned in your message had better be done in private.
Q1: I have been instructed to ask for your fatwa on learning Al-Qur'an under the instruction of brothers. Of course I am an English-- speaking sister who has been trying to learn to read Al-Qur'an for years. In the past, some of them have been brothers. Recently I found an online site where sisters from around the world study under the instruction of a brother from Egypt and two sisters whom he gives instructions. Today I was told it was haraam for sisters to recite with torteil with brothers listening. The same brother asked that I ask you for your fatwa regarding this issue.
A1: As a general rule, to recite the Holy Quran or some other text with such a voice which leads to corruption and excites men, in a place where they can hear their voice, even through a means of communication (telephone, radio, etc) is not permissible. But if the instruction of the Holy Quran does not necessitate reciting in a beautiful voice, it has no objection. By the voice which was explained above is permissible.
Q2: What is the stand on giving a non-Muslim the Qur`an for him or her to learn about the Qur`an and our faith if it is Arabic text?
A2: If the Quran is not made Najis or disprespected by them, there is no problem.
Q3: I would like to know, what is our belief about Quran: Was it created, as
Mutahzilites claim, or is it eternal as Sunnis claim?
A3: The Holy Quran is the word of Allah, the Most High and His creation and it is only the Lord who is eternal and post-eternal. It is better for you, through referring to the Quranic commentaries and pondering over the verses of the Quran, to benefit from its sublime teachings and not to delve into these issues.
Q4: I cannot read the Holy Quran in Arabic. My question is can I read a translation of the Quran and get the reward of reading the Quran itself?
A4: Listening to the recitation of the Holy Quran has reward (Sawab) for you but reciting it has more reward. It has been recommend in traditions and narratives of the Ahlul-bayt (a.s.) as well as in the Quran that you as a reader should contemplate over and comprehend the meanings of the verses of the Holy Quran. However, if you cannot recite the Quran, listening to it will also have reward for you.
Q1: What is the Kaffara for breaking one's fast intentionally?
A1: One who has broken his fast intentionally he must, in addition to making up the qadha of that day, must fast for two months the first thirty one days in a row. Or he must feed 60 poor Momins to their fill or he must give 750 grams of wheat to each one of them. If none of these is possible for him, he is free to either fast for eighteen days or feed as many poor people as he can. If he cannot do this also, he must ask Allah for forgiveness even if he has to say "Astaghferullah" once. And it is an obligatory precaution that if he is able later, he must give the kaffarah. Of course, the kaffarah is obligatory in the case that his ignorance was not due to his own negligence in learning the rulings. However, if he has grown up in a place that without his own choice, he was unaware of the rulings, then it is obligatory that he must make up that day only.
Q2: If a person breaks his oath, what is the penalty?
A2: If a person takes an oath that he will perform an act (e.g. that he will fast) or will refrain from doing an act (e.g. that he will not smoke), but does not intentionally act according to his oath, he should give Kaffarah for it, which means he should set a slave free, or should fully feed ten indigent persons, or should provide them with clothes. And if he is not able to perform these acts, he should fast for three consecutive days.