13 April, 2024

4 Shawwal, 1445 H

"Silence saves you from regret"

- Imam Ali (as) -


Core Curriculum

Section 1 - God, Religion and Islam: An Introduction
  • Topic 1.1 - God, Allah and Religion

  • Topic 1.2 - What is “Religion” and What’s the Point of it Anyways?

  • Topic 1.3 - Introduction to Islam

  • Topic 1.4 - A Brief Introduction to the Prophet Muhammad (s), the Prophet of Islam

Section 2 - Foundations of Islam - Theology
  • Topic 2.1 - Satan, Jinns and Angels: Their Influence in the World

  • Topic 2.2 - The Islamic Concept of the Nafs: Battling the Human Ego

  • Topic 2.3 - The Sharīʿa: Purpose and Practice

  • Topic 2.4 - Nubuwwa: The Purpose of Prophethood in Islam

  • Topic 2.5 - Tawhīd: The Unity and Oneness of God in Islam

  • Topic 2.6 - The Usūl al-Dīn: The Fundamental Beliefs of Islam

  • Topic 2.7 - Adala: Divine Justice in Islam

  • Topic 2.8 - Entering Islam: The Shahada

  • Topic 2.9 - Maʿād: The Day of Judgment in Islam

  • Topic 2.10 - Imāmah or divinely guided leadership in Islam after the Prophet Muhammad.

Section 3 - Foundations of Islam - Obligatory Acts
  • Topic 3.1 - Accepting Islam: Putting Faith into Action

  • Topic 3.2 - The Furūʿ al-Dīn: The Fundamental Practices of Islam

  • Topic 3.3 - Salāt: Obligatory Ritual Prayers in Islam

  • Topic 3.4 - Fasting in Islam, its Purpose, Dos and Don’ts

  • Topic 3.5 - The Hajj Pilgrimage

  • Topic 3.6 - The Purpose of Zakat and Khums in Islamic Law

  • Topic 3.7 - Jihād in Islamic Law and Spirituality

  • Topic 3.8 - Commanding the Good and Forbidding Evil in Islam

  • Topic 3.9 - Tawalla and Tabarra, its Basics and Purpose

  • Topic 3.10 - The Five Categories of Islamic Law

  • Topic 3.11 - Niyya: Religious Intention as the Foundation of Islamic Practice

  • Topic 3.12 - Ritual Purity in Islamic Law: Understanding Tahāra and Najāsa

  • Topic 3.13 - Other Obligatory and Forbidden Acts in Islam

Section 4 - Prophethood in Islam
  • Topic 4.1 - A Brief Biography of the Prophet Muhammad (s): The Prophet’s Childhood (PART I of III)

  • Topic 4.2 - Bio: The Prophet Muhammad as a Prophet of God (PART II of III)

  • Topic 4.3 - A Brief Biography of the Prophet Muhammad (s): The Prophet’s Character (PART III of III)

  • Topic 4.4 - The Prophet Muhammad (s) as Messenger and Teacher

  • Topic 4.5 - The Prophet and his Relationships

  • Topic 4.6 - The Prophet’s Sunnah and Hadith

  • Topic 4.7 - Ghadīr and Arafah: The Two Last Sermons of the Prophet

  • Topic 4.8 - Jesus and Mary in Islam

Section 5 - The Qur'an and Hadith
  • Topic 5.1 - Islam and Other Religions

  • Topic 5.2 - What is the Qur’an? A Short Introduction to Islam’s Holy Book

  • Topic 5.3 - The Structure of the Holy Qur’an

  • Topic 5.4 - The Quran and Islamic law

  • Topic 5.5 - The Qur’an, Allah and Humankind

  • Topic 5.6 - Hadith and Sunnah, difference and variations

  • Topic 5.7 - The Reliability of Hadiths

  • Topic 5.8 - A Reflection on Verses of the Holy Qur’an

  • Topic 5.9 - Hadith al-Thaqalayn

  • Topic 5.10 - Imam Ali (as) and Nahj al-Balagha.

  • Topic 5.11 - Taqlid and Tawḍih Al Masail Genre of Literature

Section 6 - Measuring Good and Bad in Islam
  • Topic 6.1 - Guidance According to Islam

  • Topic 6.2 - Life and Death in Islam

  • Topic 6.3 - Heaven and Hell in Islam

  • Topic 6.4 - The Effects of Our Actions in this World

  • Topic 6.5 - The Gray Areas of Islamic Law and Morality

  • Topic 6.6 - Benefits of Islamic Law in this World

  • Topic 6.7 - Good and Bad Deeds: The Spiritual Consequences of our Choices

  • Topic 6.8 - The Effect of Culture and Environment in Shaping our Religious Choices

  • Topic 6.9 - Fate and the Consequences of our Choices in Islam

  • Topic 6.10 - Trivializing the Harām

  • Topic 6.11 - Sinning Against Others and their Delayed Punishment

  • Topic 6.12 - The Three Kinds of Rights in Islam

  • Topic 6.13 - Major Sins in Islam

  • Topic 6.14 - Repentance and Forgiveness of Sins in Islam

  • Topic 6.15 - Kufr in Islam

  • Topic 6.16 - Why Allah Allows People to Sin

Section 7 - The Legacy of the Prophet Muhammad (s) and his Ahl al-Bayt (as)
  • Topic 7.1 - Islam and Knowledge: the Importance of Islamic Education

  • Topic 7.2 - The Ahl al-Kisa

  • Topic 7.3 - Imamah in the Qur’an

  • Topic 7.4 - Fatima al-Zahrah (as)

  • Topic 7.5 - A Brief Look at the Lives of the Imams (Imam al-Hasan until Imam Muhammad al-Baqir)

  • Topic 7.6 - A Brief Look at the Lives of the Imams (Imam Jafar al-Sadiq until Imam Hasan al-Askari)

  • Topic 7.7 - A Brief Look at the Life and Importance of Imam al-Mahdi (aj)

  • Topic 7.8 - Salawat and Atonement in Islam

  • Topic 7.9 - The Companions (Sahaba) of the Prophet According to the Qur’an

  • Topic 7.10 - Clerical Hierarchies in Muslim Communities

  • Topic 7.11 - Mosques in Islam

  • Topic 7.12 - The Philosophy of Karbala and Majalis

  • Topic 7.13 - A Brief Biography of Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib (as)

  • Topic 7.14 - The Battle of Karbala: A Brief History

Section 8 - Islamic Relationships, Sects and Conflicts
  • Topic 8.1 - Islam and Rights

  • Topic 8.2 - Islam and Religious Conflicts

  • Topic 8.3 - Major Sects of Islam

  • Topic 8.4 - Sunnism and Shi’ism, beginnings and historical developments.

  • Topic 8.5 - Misconceptions about Shi’ism


Special Topics

Section 9 - Independent Topics
  • Topic 9.1 - Muslim Converts – Welcome to Islam!

  • Topic 9.2 - Basic Dos and Don’ts of Being a Muslim

  • Topic 9.3 - Halal Food and Zabiha

  • Topic 9.4 - Modesty in Islam

  • Topic 9.5 - Family, Parents and Marriage in Islam

  • Topic 9.6 - Marriage in Islam

  • Topic 9.7 - Islam and Sex

  • Topic 9.8 - Women’s Menstruation in Islam

  • Topic 9.9 - Music, Alcohol, Drugs and Pork in Islam

  • Topic 9.10 - Islam and Science

  • Topic 9.11 - A Reading List of Islamic Knowledge

  • Topic 9.12 - Islam and Sufism

  • Topic 9.13 - Ritual Prayers and Supplications in Islam

  • Topic 9.14 - Death & Burial Rituals in Islam

  • Topic 9.15 - The Battle of Armageddon: An Islamic View

  • Topic 9.16 - The Muslim Calendar

  • Topic 9.17 - Muslims and non-Muslims in the Shariah

  • Topic 9.18 - A Timeline of Major Events in Islamic History

  • Topic 9.19 - Introducing the Qur’an: Why it is the way it is

  • Topic 9.20 - The School of Imam Jafar al-Sadiq

  • Topic 9.21 - Major Fields in Islamic Studies

  • Topic 9.22 - The Caliphate in Sunni and Shia Islam

  • Topic 9.23 - The Spread of Islam: After the Prophet until the Ottoman Empire

  • Topic 9.24 - Islam, Racism and Anti-Semitism

Section 10 - Islam, Religion, and Modern Controversies
  • Topic 10.1 - Modern Fallacies about God: where Theists and Atheists Agree

  • Topic 10.2 - Tawhīd: The Muslim God according to the Prophet Muhammad and the Ahl al-Bayt (as)

  • Topic 10.3 - God’s Existence: The Argument From Being (Wujūd)

  • Topic 10.4 - God’s Existence: The Kalam Cosmological Argument

  • Topic 10.5 - God’s Existence: The Argument From Design

  • Topic 10.6 - The Problem of Evil, Suffering and Pain

  • Topic 10.7 - Why did God Create Us? The Purpose of our Creation

  • Topic 10.8 - Why Humans Need Religion according to Islam

  • Topic 10.9 - Jahl and Spiritual Ignorance in Islam

  • Topic 10.10 - Faith in Islam: Belief without Evidence?

  • Topic 10.11 - Do Non-Muslims Go to Hell?

The Purpose of Zakat and Khums in Islamic Law


The two obligatory forms of charity in Islam, zakat and khums, are part of the furūʿ al-dīn in Islamic law. These are meant to help the poor and sustain religious institutions at a grassroots level. 



Bismillāhir Rahmānir Rahīm, As-salāmu ʿAlaykum wa rahmatullāhi wa barakātuh. Peace be upon you brothers and sisters. 


Welcome back to the Muslim Converts Channel! Islam is a religion that is totally comprehensive, meaning that it covers all the aspects of our spiritual and worldly needs. 


For religion to be useful, it needs to address our worldly needs. Our spiritual lives are deeply connected with the everyday problems that we face. On the personal level, these include having roofs over our heads, food to eat, taking care of our kids and so on and so forth. How we fair in our personal lives affects how we lead our spiritual lives. Imam Ali (as) once said:  


“when poverty comes through the front door, faith leaves from the back door” 


A possible meaning behind this wise saying is that when we are overwhelmed with poverty and hunger, there is little else we can think about, including our religious duties and responsibilities towards God. Obviously this doesn’t apply to everyone as many people increase in faith when faced with hardship. But this doesn’t deny the fact that a lot of people lose faith when things don’t go well. 


Similarly, our social and communal institutions are also directly connected to our religious lives. These institutions include the Mosques, schools, religious centers, religious program networks like Satellite TV channels, seminaries where clerics are trained and so on and so forth.  


One thing that our personal lives and social or communal institutions have in common is that they need money or some kind of financing to sustain them. Without money, there is no roof over our heads, without money, there is no food in our bellies. Without money, there are no religious centers or programs.  


Given the importance of financial and material resources in our religious lives, and ultimately our salvation, Islam has devised a system of obligatory charity to help address this fundamental human problem.  


The fourth and fifth aspect of the furu al-din are zakat and khums. In this lesson, we will go over the importance of each of these forms of  charity in Islam, their differences and the distinct role they play in sustaining the Muslim community. 




And We made them leaders guiding by Our command. And We inspired to them the doing of good deeds, establishment of prayer, and giving of zakat; and they were worshippers of Us. (Chapter 21, verse 73 of the Holy Qur’an) 


Zakat in the furūʿ al-dīn is an obligatory form of charity. Just as salāt is an obligation we have towards God, zakat in a way is an obligation that we have towards God’s creation. 


It is obligatory because it is a right that the poor have on those who are more fortunate. In other words, zakat is principally designed to help those who suffer from severe poverty. Zakat is also there to help people free themselves from slavery, or those who cannot provide for themselves because they are drowning in debt.  


Zakat cannot be paid with modern currencies in Islamic law as taught by the Prophet Muhammad (s) and his Ahl al-Bayt (as). Zakat is usually paid from tangible items from one’s “sitting” assets like gold or silver. Other items may include wheat and barley, and also live stock like camels, cows and sheep. One usually pays 2.5% from this income. 


A separate zakat is also obligatory at the end of Ramadan when one marks the end of the month’s long fast. This kind of zakat, unlike the one that is extracted from one’s sitting income is payable in modern currencies like the dollar.  


As zakat is generally geared towards helping the poor, khums (which literally means 1/5th) is generally geared towards helping Muslim institutions. Indeed, khums may be used to help the poor and the less fortunate, but it is more expansive and for this reason, its tax rate is higher.  


Khums can be paid through modern currencies. It is to be paid on the following: 


  1.  Savings at the end of the year. After deducing one’s expenditures on maintaining one’s family, one has to pay 1/5th, that is, 20% of one’s final sitting income in Khums. 
  2. Mining income 
  3. If lawful and unlawful money gets mixed up. 
  4. Anything taken from the sea (like pearls) 
  5. War booty 
  6. If a Muslim purchases land from a non-Muslim who is living in a Muslim country. 20% of the value of the land goes into khums.  


Khums was originally meant to be offered to the Messenger of Allah (s) or an Infallible Imām. Since our last Imām is in occultation, Islamic law permits Muslims to pay their khums to a just marjaʿ (a high ranking scholar of law that is a source of legal emulation) or legitimate Muslim organization that collects on behalf of a scholar.  


The money gained from khums today is what funds Mosques and their respective programs, Islamic schools, live religious events, feeding the community during special religious days, paying the salary of a resident ʿālim, etc.  


As zakat mainly helps the poor, khums, in addition to helping the poor, helps keep alive and expand organizations that help the Muslim community stay together and participate in religious institutions and events.  


Probably the greatest benefit of paying khums to private sources is that it helps the Muslim community become independent from governments. Often enough, many Mosques and communities are at the mercy of governments as it is their major source of income.  


What this does is that it creates a large group of scholars and religious leaders who unfortunately become subservient and servile to the powers that be! The benefit of khums, despite its relatively high tax rate, is that it helps keep the Muslim community financially, and by extension, religiously independent from governments.  


Until Next Time, Thank you for watching. As-salāmu ʿAlaykum wa rahmatullāhi wa barakātuh 


1/5th tax one pays on one’s sitting income 


2.5% tax on one’s sitting tangible income 


A high ranking scholar of law that is a source of legal emulation 


What is Khums?

Khums is the 1/5th tax one must pay on one’s final sitting income after one’s total expenses. 


What is Zakat?

Zakat is a 2.5% tax one pays from one’s tangible income (like gold and silver) and it is generally meant to help the poor


What is khums money usually used for?

Khums is usually used to fund Muslim organizations and institutions like Mosques, religious programs or seminaries.


Who do I pay khums to?

A Muslim center that has been approved for khums collection by a Marjaʿ


Can I pay zakat in dollars?


Prophet Muhammad
Messenger of Allah
Ahl al-Bayt
less fortunate
more fortunate
Imam ʿAlī
Islamic law
spiritual lives
furu al-din

Bayt al-Mal and the Distribution of Zakat by Mahmood Namazi 

Zakat in Shia Fiqh by Muhammad Rizvi 

Khums by Muhammad Rizvi 

Khums – A support for Financial Independence by Naser Makarem Shirazi