Khums, in the Ja'fari Shia tradition, is applied to the business profit, or surplus, of a business income. It is payable at the beginning of the financial year, though this is regarded as being the time at which the amount becomes clear. Ghanima and one-fifth tax of khums applies wherever gain or profit is involved. "Ghanima" has two meanings as mentioned above; the second meaning is illustrated by the common use of the Islamic banking term "al-ghunm bil-ghurm" meaning "gains accompany liability for loss or risk"

In 13th century Shia religion, the khums was divided into two portions. One portion went to the descendants of Muhammad, the other portion was divided equally with one part given to Imam and clergy, while the other part went to the orphaned and poor Muslims. The famous view of contemporary Faqihs is that the Imam's portion (during the Occultation (Islam)) is used in the fields that the Marja' Taqlid has outlined. The Imam would use it in those ways, such as reinforcing Islam and Seminary, promotion of Islam, building mosques in necessary situations, libraries and schools' affairs, assisting old people, and actually all blessing affairs in the order of their priority and their religious significance. Khums became a major source of income and financial independence for the clergy in Shia regions. This practice has continued among Shia Muslims.