Usage Of Funds Donated To A Masjid For Social Events

Question

To what extent is a Masjid allowed to use its discretion in spending money that it receives through;

  1. Specific donations for regular Masjid expenses?
  2. General donations through its donation box or PayPal account?

By using its discretion, we mean spending on Muslim community gatherings such as Eid potluck dinner or youth events.

Also, can a Masjid use its funds for dawah purposes or to have BBQ events wherein non-Muslim politicians, civil leaders  and law enforcement officials are primarily invited and hosted.

Answer

1 & 2) The sole purpose of donating to the Masjid is to provide the Masjid with a monetary source that can cover essential needs such as the running expenses of the Masjid, thereby fulfilling the objective of the Masjid which is the worship of Allah Ta’aala, together with upholding the Masjid’s proper sanctity. If the donation is collected generally (through a donation box or PayPal account), the money should be spent in the renovation or construction of the Masjid or similar avenues like paying the electricity and water bill, buying utilities and supplies etc.

If the demand of this avenue has been fulfilled, then the money should be used to pay the remuneration of the Imaam, Khateeb, Muazzin and the Khadims (Janitors). They are the essence and foundation of a Masjid, without their sincere services, the Masjid is nothing but flesh without soul. Allamah Ibn Abedin had revered them by saying قيام شعائره) (“they are the flag bearers of Islam.

Consequently, if there is any surplus of money, this should be spent on other activities of the Masjid such as conducting beneficial programs for the Musallees by arranging prominent scholars to come and deliver talks for the betterment of the Deeni lives of the Musallees and the local Muslim Community. Masjid expenses incurred by virtue of these programs (such as additional electricity and water consumption due to the influx of people coming for such programs) can be covered by these surplus funds. In essence, the surplus funds may be spent for the مصلحة المساجد i.e. for the betterment and promotion of Masjid activities that will create a proclivity in the Musallis for frequenting the Masjid. This could include for example, having male Youth Gatherings with the purpose of educating the youth of their Islamic responsibilities and encouraging them to frequent the Masjid. The surplus money should not be squandered in Eid potluck dinners , BBQ functions and the like, as that is not the objective of the donors when donating their funds to the Masjid.

Regarding the query of specific donations, if the donor earmarked a specific avenue for spending his donation; for example for purchasing carpets for the Masjid, then the donated funds can be used only for this specific purpose. Yes, if the need of the carpets has been already covered by other donations, then the money of this particular donor (who also donated specifically for the carpets) can either be returned to him or alternatively, his permission and consent should be obtained to spend his money in some other expenses of the Masjid, where the funds are still required. In short, it is not permissible to spend it elsewhere without the consent of the donor.

Checked and Approved By:

Mufti Muhammed Saeed Motara Saheb D.B.

References

فَإِنْ انْتَهَتْ عِمَارَتُهُ وَفَضَلَ مِنْ الْغَلَّةِ شَيْءٌ يَبْدَأُ بِمَا هُوَ أَقْرَبُ لِلْعِمَارَةِ وَهُوَ عِمَارَتُهُ الْمَعْنَوِيَّةُ الَّتِي هِيَ ‌قِيَامُ ‌شَعَائِرِهِ قَالَ فِي الْحَاوِي الْقُدْسِيِّ: وَاَلَّذِي يَبْدَأُ بِهِ مِنْ ارْتِفَاعِ الْوَقْفِ أَيْ مِنْ غَلَّتِهِ عِمَارَتُهُ شَرْطُ الْوَاقِفِ أَوَّلًا ثُمَّ مَا هُوَ أَقْرَبُ إلَى الْعِمَارَةِ، وَأَعَمُّ لْمَصْلَحَة
(رد المحتار ج6 ص560)

وَالْحَاصِلُ: أَنَّ الْوَجْهَ يَقْتَضِي أَنَّ مَا كَانَ قَرِيبًا مِنْ الْعِمَارَةِ يُلْحَقُ بِهَا فِي التَّقْدِيمِ عَلَى بَقِيَّةِ الْمُسْتَحِقِّينَ، وَإِنْ شَرَطَ الْوَاقِفُ قِسْمَةَ الرِّيعِ عَلَى الْجَمِيعِ بِالْحِصَّةِ أَوْ جَعَلَ لِلْكُلِّ قَدْرًا وَكَانَ مَا قَدَّرَهُ لِلْإِمَامِ وَنَحْوِهِ لَا يَكْفِيهِ فَيُعْطِي قَدْرَ الْكِفَايَةِ لِئَلَّا يَلْزَمَ تَعْطِيلُ الْمَسْجِدِ، فَيُقَدِّمُ أَوَّلًا الْعِمَارَةَ الضَّرُورِيَّةَ ثُمَّ الْأَهَمَّ فَالْأَهَمَّ مِنْ الْمَصَالِحِ وَالشَّعَائِرِ بِقَدْرِ مَا يُقَوَّمُ بِهِ الْحَالُ، فَإِنْ فَضَلَ شَيْءٌ يُعْطَى لِبَقِيَّةِ الْمُسْتَحِقِّينَ إذْ لَا شَكَّ أَنَّ مُرَادَ الْوَاقِفِ انْتِظَامُ حَالِ مَسْجِدِهِ أَوْ مَدْرَسَتِهِ لَا مُجَرَّدُ انْتِفَاعِ أَهْلِ الْوَقْفِ، وَإِنْ لَزِمَ تَعْطِيلُهُ خِلَافًا لِمَا يُوهِمُهُ كَلَامُ الْحَاوِي الْمَذْكُورِ، وَلَكِنْ يُمْكِنُ إرْجَاعُ الْإِشَارَةِ فِي قَوْلِ الْحَاوِي هَذَا إذَا لَمْ يَكُنْ مُعَيَّنًا إلَخْ إلَى صَدْرِ عِبَارَتِهِ، يَعْنِي أَنَّ الصَّرْفَ إلَى مَا هُوَ أَقْرَبُ إلَى الْعِمَارَةِ كَالْإِمَامِ وَنَحْوِهِ إنَّمَا هُوَ فِيمَا إذَا لَمْ يَكُنْ الْوَقْفُ مُعَيَّنًا عَلَى جَمَاعَةٍ مَعْلُومِينَ كَالْمَسْجِدِ وَالْمَدْرَسَةِ، أَمَّا لَوْ كَانَ مُعَيَّنًا كَالدَّارِ الْمَوْقُوفَةِ عَلَى الذُّرِّيَّةِ أَوْ الْفُقَرَاءِ فَإِنَّهُ بَعْدَ الْعِمَارَةِ يُصْرَفُ الرِّيعُ إلَى مَا عَيَّنَهُ الْوَاقِفُ بِلَا تَقْدِيمٍ لِأَحَدٍ عَلَى أَحَدٍ فَاغْتَنِمْ هَذَا التَّحْرِيرَ (قَوْلُهُ: كَذَلِكَ) أَيْ بِقَدْرِ الْكِفَايَةِ لَا بِقَدْرِ الشَّرْطِ، وَأَمَّا قَوْلُهُ الْآتِي: فَيُعْطُوا الْمَشْرُوطَ وَقَوْلُهُ: فَلَهُمْ أُجْرَةُ عَمَلِهِمْ، فَيَأْتِي الْكَلَامُ فِيهِ (قَوْلُهُ: لِثُبُوتِهِ اقْتِضَاءً) لِأَنَّ قَصْدَ الْوَاقِفِ صَرْفَ الْغَلَّةِ مُؤَبَّدًا وَلَا تَبْقَى دَائِمَةً إلَّا بِالْعِمَارَةِ فَيَثْبُتُ شَرْطُ الْعِمَارَةِ اقْتِضَاءً بَحْرٌ وَمِثْلُهَا مَا هُوَ قَرِيبٌ مِنْهَا كَمَا قَرَّرْنَاهُ آنِفًا
(رد المحتار ج6 ص561)

الذي يبدأ من ارتفاع الوقف عمارته شرط الواقف أم لا، ثم ما هو أقرب إلى العمارة وأعم للمصلحة كالإمام للمسجد والمدرس للمدرسة يصرف إليهم بقدر كفايتهم كذا في السراج والبسط كذلك إلى آخر المصالح هذا إذا لم يكن معينا، فإن كان ‌الوقف ‌معينا على شيء يصرف إليه بعد عمارة البناء كذا في الحاوي القدسي إن قال: جعلت غلتها لفلان سنة أو سنتين ثم بعده للفقراء، وشرط العمارة من الغلة فهنا يؤخر العمارة عن حق صاحب الغلة إلا أن يدخل بتأخير العمارة ضرر بين على الوقف فحينئذ يبدأ في العمارة كذا في الحاوي ويقطع الجهات الموقوف عليها لها إن لم يخف ضرر بين فإن خيف قدم وأما الناظر فإن كان المشروط له من الواقف فهو كأحد المستحقين فإذا قطعوا للعمارة قطع إلا أن يعمل فيأخذ قدر أجرته
(الفتاوي الهندية ج2 ص368)

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