Fatwa: # 17446
Category: Misc. Fiqh
Country: South Africa
Date: 5th February 2009


Is it permissible for a person/s to use a Masjid for Islamic education, eg. Madresa, Islamic School and pay the management/mutawalli of the Masjid a fixed amount of money, like rent?


Is it permissible for a person/s to use a Masjid for Islamic education, eg. Madresa, Islamic School and pay the management/mutawalli of the Masjid a fixed amount of money, like rent?


Person/s A want to run a Madresa/Islamic School/Darul-Uloom but for some reason they do not have their own property so they go into an agreement with Masjid B that Person/s A will use the property of Masjid B for Madresa/Islamic School/Darul-Uloom for the next 10 years and for each year Person/s A will pay $100,000 to Masjid B for each year. Basically it is a 10 year contract of $1,000,000 between the two parties. Is this kind of transaction with a Sharee Masjid permissible? Is this considered ?leasing? the Masjid? Selling the Masjid is not permissible, but how about leasing/renting the Masjid? Would there be a difference in the ruling if the Masjid was managed by 1 individual because he financed the complete project, purchasing the land to construction of the Masjid, from a Masjid that is managed by an elected board?


In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Assalaamu `alaykum waRahmatullahi Wabarakatuh  

We understand from your query that Person A intends to establish a multi functional Islamic institute. However, being unable to obtain his own land, he intends to lease the Masjid property. There are two issues to be explained here:

-          Leasing of a Shar’ee Masjid

-          Leasing of a building on the Masjid property

1. Leasing of a Shar’ee Masjid:

It is not permissible to lease that area which is demarcated as the Masjid. Similarly, the area directly above and below the demarcated area cannot be leased, as it constitutes the Masjid area. Hence, if there are rooms etc above or below the Masjid area, it will not be permissible to lease them, as they constitute part of the Masjid area. The Fuqahaa have stated:

ولا يجوز للقيم أن يجعل شيئا من المسجد مستغلا

“It is not permissible for the custodian of the Masjid to yield profits from anything belonging to the Masjid” (Al-Bahr, vol 5, pg 251, Rasheediyya)


ولا يجوز أخذ الأجرة منه ولا أن يجعل شيئا منه مستغلا

“It is not permissible to accept a rental fee (by hiring the Masjid) and nor is it permissible to yield profits from anything belonging to the Masjid” (Radd Al-Muhtar, vol 4, pg 358, HM Sa’eed)


إن شرط كونه مسجدا أن يكون سفله وعلوه مسجدا

“It is a condition for a Masjid to be regarded a Masjid that the area above and below it also be a Masjid” (Al-Bahr, vol 5, pg 421, Rasheediyya)


(Fatawa Mahmudiyya, vol 14, pg 490/599/617/618, Faruqiyya)


2. Leasing of a building on the Masjid property:

It is permissible to lease a building, classroom, hall etc that exist on the Masjid property as long as it is not within the Shar’ee Masjid area. The monies accrued therefrom could be used for the interests of the Masjid. (Fatawa Rahimiyya, vol 9, pg 107/142, Dar Isha’at)

However, in order to lease the rooms etc on the Masjid property, the following points must be observed:

-          It must be done for the best interest of the Masjid. If leasing the rooms etc on the Masjid property is against the interest of the Masjid, it will not be permissible for the Masjid committee to lease it.

-          If the committee agrees to lease the building to Person A, they should seek a guarantee from him that the sanctity, silence and respect of the Masjid will be maintained and no form of inconvenience will be caused to the Musallis.

-          The lease contract should not be for a long period. If perchance the Masjid needs the building for extension purposes, it would be easily accessible.

In our understanding, since Person A intends to establish a multi functional Islamic Institute, it will be ideal for him to lease a property apart from the Masjid property. Masjid is a place of sanctity, silence and respect. Establishing an institute of such nature on the Masjid property would have some negative implications. However, if a property cannot be located, it will be permissible to lease the Masjid property to Person A, observing the points stated above. Islamic education plays a vital role in nurturing and upbringing our children. The Muslim community should render their full assistance and support in the establishment of such an institute. This is an investment for the future of the community and will accrue great rewards in the hereafter.

And Allah knows best

Wassalam u Alaikum


Checked and Approved by:

Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Darul Iftaa

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