Managing Charity & Dues

A third core function of I.M.A.M., and one of the most requested by the North American community, is the Managing of Charity & Dues, specifically:

  • Accepting Khums and other religious dues
  • Assisting Islamic Institutions in obtaining permission for accepting and utilizing Khums
  • Distribution of charity and dues for religious needs and development in the North American community

Charity & Dues – Online Resources:

Charity & Dues – An Overview

Paying Charity & Dues

I.M.A.M., the official liaison office of the grand authority in the holy city of Najaf, offers a fast, simple, and secure way for the faithful to pay their religious dues online, from the comfort of their home. Donors are immediately provided with an official religious receipt, which satisfies the Islamic criteria and absolves the contributor of any further religious responsibility.

Presently, I.M.A.M. manages charity and dues associated with the following:

General Donations
A highly recommended and favored kind of worship is a donation that is given in the sake of Allah. Since donations are optional, not mandatory, they are used to serve the general needs of Islam and Muslims. Click here to learn more.

Khums (including allocations to authorized organizations and causes)
Khums is an Islamic income tax, which is 1/5 (20%) of the remaining of yearly income, after all legitimate expenses have been paid. Click here to learn more.

My Orphans – Khums Donation
For those individuals who wish to allocate their khums contributions toward Orphan causes in the United States and obtain the required religious receipt. Click here to learn more.

Feeding the Fasting
Everyone is invited to provide iftar for local needy people who are fasting in the blessed month of Ramadhan. You can provide a full meal to a needy fasting person who is otherwise not able to provide iftar for themselves, and earn spiritual rewards. Click here to learn more.

Fidyah is with regards to fasting only. It is a form of compensation for not being able to fast during the holy month of Ramadhan, due to illness or pregnancy, by feeding needy persons. Click here to learn more.

Kaffarah (for oath and fasting)
A penalty for one’s sins that applies to the breaking of one’s oath or alternatively for the intentional breaking of one’s fast during the holy month of Ramadhan without a valid reason. Click here to learn more.

A promise made to God that an act (i.e. prayer of thanks, giving a donation or paying a specified sum of money, holding a religious celebration, or basically anything pertaining to a religious matter) will be performed or fulfilled if one receives what he or she has wished for. Click here to learn more.

Sadaqah is a charity that is given to rid and keep away evil and mishaps, for curing of the sick, for blessings and good fortune, it is generally given to the poor or anyone in need. It is a highly recommended act in Islam. Click here to learn more.

According to the Ahl al-bayt school of thought, zakat is required to be paid by farmers who grow wheat, barley, dates, and raisins above certain amounts, and by farmers who raise more than a certain number of camels, cows, sheep, and goats. Click here to learn more.

Zakat al-Fitrah
This type of Zakat should be set aside on the eve of Eid al-Fitr and paid on the day itself, which marks the end of the Month of Ramadhan and is the first day of the month of Shawwal. Click here to learn more.Rad al-Madhalim
Seizing or using the property of another person without their permission is considered a usurpation (ghasb). Therefore, it is obligatory for the usurper to repent to God and to restore or reimburse what they have usurped to the rightful owner. Click here to learn more.

For more information on making a charitable donation or paying religious dues, click here.

Applying for Financial Assistance

I.M.A.M. provides aid in the form of limited grants to secure basic needs such as food, clothing, medicine, and vital utilities for individuals and/or their families.

Presently, I.M.A.M. is able to offer financial assistance to Muslims, living in the United States, who are in need and considered the head of his or her household. Non Muslim individuals in need will be supported in cases of emergencies or special circumstances. For more information about obtaining financial assistance from I.M.A.M., click here.

Viewing and Locating Khums Authorized Organizations

Believers are encouraged to support their local Islamic centers. These institutions serve and educate communities across North America. To this end, I.M.A.M. offers a helpful tool to view and or locate Khums authorized organizations throughout the United States and Canada. Upon locating a center, khums payments made through I.M.A.M. may be allocated to an authorized organization of your choosing.

To view/locate a khums authorized organization near you click here

Applying for Khums Authorization (Qualifying non-profits only)

I.M.A.M. also has special permission from the religious authority to grant authorization (in writing) to Islamic centers and organizations to collect khums. Upon successful consideration of the khums authorization application, the applying Islamic center or organization would also be added to I.M.A.M.’s list (mentioned above).

For more information on how to apply for khums authorization, click here.

Financial Assistance for Shia Non-Profit Organizations in the United States

Shia Muslim Institutions that wish to request financial assistance may do so by completing the required form and submitting the necessary supporting documents.

For more information on how to apply for financial assistance for Shia Non-Profit Organizations, click here.

Where Does I.M.A.M. Spend Funds?

The Almighty Has said, “… and proclaim the blessings of your Lord.” [93:11]

I.M.A.M. receives various religious dues, charitable donations, unconditional gifts, nongovernmental contributions, and other financial allocations throughout the year. However, these funds are not fixed; they fluctuate from time to time depending on the economic conditions of the country, the circumstances of the believers, and their financial and economic situations. In any case, the association’s management deems it important to inform all donors, supporters, and even the general believers who are interested in an overview of how it uses its financial resources and where it allocates them.

There are a number of expenditures that the association’s management prioritizes for spending, and sometimes these priorities change depending on economic conditions and urgent situations. Among these expenditures are:

1. Specific Expenditures: There are some religious dues that cannot be used except for their specific purposes, like fidya (expiation), kaffarat (penalties) for feeding the needy, and fees for qada (past religious obligations), like prayers and fasting on behalf of the deceased. Such dues are allocated entirely for their purposes. 

2. Orphan funds: This includes khums. These funds are directed entirely to orphans. They are sent through officially registered institutions and organizations in the United States to six countries: Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, and of course the United States, although the number in the latter is very limited. I.M.A.M. bears the full cost and management of this category.

3. Approximately 50% of khums is directed to Islamic centers and schools across the United States, including those authorized by the Religious Authority to collect and spend khums, or those facing crises or critical situations that require immediate assistance. I.M.A.M. funds them so that they can remain open and continue to provide services to the believers.

4. Half of the khums collected through active scholars involved in preaching and community service are used to cover some of their activity expenses and basic needs. 

5. Assistance is provided to needy individuals within and outside the state of Michigan to relieve them and help cover some of their essential needs such asr medical bills, surgeries, necessary car repairs,  providing food vouchers, and clothing. 

6. Contributing in relief missions and helping in urgent and unexpected hardships. 

7. Supporting projects for training religious preachers in their respective languages, such as the  Mufid Seminary, and intellectual, religious heritage projects like the Online Shia Encyclopedia (work in progress).

8. Supporting educational,  religious programs and initiatives carried out by believing youth in different places, especially in universities, academies, and colleges. This includes the preparation, printing, and distribution of religious, jurisprudential, and intellectual books needed by the new Muslim generation, as well as non-Muslims. 

9. Covering or supporting important intellectual, religious, and social conferences, seminars, and events that contribute to strengthening unity in the Shia community and promoting Shi’ism in the West.

10. Maintaining the project of digital Shia religious awareness with advanced search capabilities to provide up-to-date information to those seeking religious knowledge. This is done by offering articles, blogs, data, books, booklets, and sources. I.M.A.M.’s website is among the advanced websites in this field, known for its advanced technical capabilities, seamless services, and accessibility to necessary information. This project involves a network of sub-sites and social media platforms, continuously updated with accurate and error-free content, along with artistic, Islamic-styled details. The project is supported by a full team of experienced and creative individuals.

11. Covering the expenses of religious and intellectual trips for religious scholars and academics, including scholars from religious seminaries, to meet believers in various states, institutions, universities, and religious and denominational representatives. This also applies to Western intellectuals who visit religious seminaries and places in Iraq to correct their understanding of Shi’ism for the Western world and beyond.

12. Covering the salaries and dues of full-time religious scholars who dedicate their time to teaching, educating, and answering religious questions through various means, including phone calls, emails, letters from prisons, and office visits. These services are provided in four languages: English, Arabic, Persian, and Urdu.

13. Covering the salaries and dues of religious scholars who spend substantial time and effort, sometimes months, resolving family and social disputes, providing advice, counseling, and mediation services, in four languages: English, Arabic, Persian, and Urdu.

14. Covering the necessary expenses of the association, including employee and contractor salaries, volunteer appreciation gifts, utility bills (electricity, gas, water, cleaning, and maintenance), non-exempt taxes, insurance, legal matters, and more.

Note: I.M.A.M. does not conduct annual or semi-annual fundraisers, as is common in other Islamic centers, schools, and associations, out of respect for the religious authority and the religious seminary. Additionally, I.M.A.M. does not provide excessive amounts of food and hospitality in its public events, rather only to the extent of hospitality. Esteemed guests and dignitaries are hosted through resources and donations that are other than those of religious dues.