| Regarding Claims of Agency (Wikalah) |
Alsalam Alaikum Dear Brothers & Sisters
Religious dues are an important pillar in the building process and advancement of society, and in advancing educational and strategic projects that will develop the community. For those reasons the Prophet (saw) said: "Islam did not stand except for the wealth of Khadija."
But many problems and questions have been emerging regarding the performance of this worship (such as moving Khums money to another place, disposing of it personally, turning it over to non-credible sources, and the like), leading to much confusion. And, unfortunately, we see some of the believers failing to recognize these issues or failing to prevent against them, which may lead some to neglect performing their religious duty or to the discounting of these worships on the Day of Judgment. This in turn becomes an obstacle to the development of religious projects, and to tending to the needs of the poor and the needy.
To that end, the office of His Eminence Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali al-Sistani has taken the initiative to clarify the religious rulings regarding the topic, so that it can help with the progress of the community and to perform its duty of informing the public.
We ask God Almighty to grant success to the faithful, to bless them in their work, and to guide our efforts to build and advance this community.
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful
To the Office of Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Al-Sistani:
May the Peace, Mercy and Blessings of God be upon you.
We kindly ask you to answer the following questions:
1. Assuming that a person was authorized by his eminence, Sayyid Al-Sistani, to spend the "Imam's share" (sahm-ul-imam) which is due of the person's khums money:
A. Is it permissible to spend it on any needy person whom the person wants to help?
Answer: In His Name, the Most High. The person cannot spend it on anything but securing the basic and necessary needs of religiously practicing believers, including food, medical treatment, and the like.
B. Is it permissible to delegate another person in spending it, by giving the Islamic dues to another person and authorizing that person to identify those in need as well as the amount to give them?
Answer: The person is not allowed to do this.
C. Is it permissible to transfer it to another country?
Answer: The person is not allowed to do this unless the person has eligible relatives in that country.
2. Is a religiously responsible person (one who is Mukallaf)relieved of the religious responsibility if he/she paid his/her Islamic dues to a person whom he/she believed was eligible but then turned out not to be?
Answer: The person is not relieved of the religious responsibility if he/she fell short in checking out the condition of the recipient. Rather, as a matter of obligatory precaution (ihtiyat luzumi), the person is not relieved of the religious responsibility even if he/she did not fall short in checking out the condition of the recipient.
3. There are some individuals who claim agency (wakalat) on behalf of his eminence, Sayyid Al-Sistani, or that they have an official recommendation and trustworthiness letter (e'temadiyya) from his office, or that they are connected to you in some other way. These individuals accept the Islamic dues from believers and, in return, they do not give them a receipt issued from his eminence's office. Is one who has to pay his/her Islamic dues relieved of the religious responsibility by paying the dues to these individuals?
Answer: The person is not relieved of the religious responsibility by doing so, and Allah is the Guide.
9 Rabi' ul-Awwal 1433 AH
The Office of Sayyid Sistani
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