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KHUMS. The khums ("fifth") as a tax developed in very early Islam and was based on the principle that one-fifth of war booty taken by Muslims belonged to the prophet Muhammad. It was used for the benefit of the holy family as well as some categories of the indigent. Later on, it was interpreted as an Islamic tax on profits of various sorts beyond expenditures. In Sunni Islam this tax was less important than in the Shi’i branch; for instance, Hanafis could give the khums, but it was used primar ...more

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