Fatwa: # 34558
Category: Jurisprudence and Rulings...
Country: United States
Date: 9th December 2015

Title

A Musjid is Waqf. A Waqf property belongs to Allah (Ta’ala). That includes a Musjid.

Question

Is it permissible to sell a masjid building and purchase a new one because of the congregation is getting too big for the masjid? Please provide the ruling for all four madhab.

Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh

A Musjid is Waqf. A Waqf property belongs to Allah (Ta’ala). That includes a Musjid. 

 

It is a well-established and unanimously accepted principle that a Waqf property cannot be sold or gifted to anyone. This is clearly understood from the following Hadith:

 

حدثنا مسدد حدثنا يزيد بن زريع حدثنا ابن عون عن نافع عن ابن عمر رضي الله عنهما قال أصاب عمر بخيبر أرضا فأتى النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم فقال أصبت أرضا لم أصب مالا قط أنفس منه فكيف تأمرني به قال إن شئت حبست أصلها وتصدقت بها فتصدق عمر أنه لا يباع أصلها ولا يوهب ولا يورث في الفقراء والقربى والرقاب وفي سبيل الله والضيف وابن السبيل لا جناح على من وليها أن يأكل منها بالمعروف أو يطعم صديقا غير متمول فيه

 

Hadhrat Ibn Umar (Radhiyallahu Anhuma) said “In the lifetime of Allah's Messenger (), `Umar gave in charity some of his property, a garden of date-palms. `Umar said, "O Allah's Messenger ()! I have some property which I prize highly and I want to give it in charity." The Prophet; said, "Give it in charity (i.e. as an endowment) with its land and trees on the condition that the land and trees will neither be sold nor given as a present, nor bequeathed, but the fruits are to be spent in charity." So `Umar gave it in charity, and it was for Allah's Cause, the emancipation of slaves, for the poor, for guests, for travellers, and for kinsmen. The person acting as its administrator could eat from it reasonably and fairly, and could let a friend of his eat from it provided he had no intention of becoming wealthy by its means.’’ (Bukhari, Hadeeth # 2620)

 

Therefore, it is not permissible for one to sell the Musjid and use such funds to purchase another property. The trustees of the Musjid should purchase the property next to the Musjid and use such property to expand the Musjid. If that is not possible, then the Musjid trustees and seniors of the community should consult with each other and agree to build another Musjid to accommodate for the growing needs of the Muslim community. However the present Musjid will remain as a Musjid forever until the day of Qiyamah. 

 

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Ismail Desai,

Darul Iftaa

 

Checked and Approved,

Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

 

 

 

 

1 و لو خرب ما حوله و استغني عنه يبقي مسجدا عند الامام و الثاني ابدا الي قيام الساعة و به يفتي فلا يعود ميراثا و لا يجوز نقله و نقل ماله الي مسجد اخر سواء كانوا يصلون فيه او لا (الدر المختار، ص 358، ج 4، كتاب الوقف) 

فتاوي محموديه، ص 359، ج 21، مكتبه محموديه

DISCLAIMER - AskImam.org questions
AskImam.org answers issues pertaining to Shar'ah. Thereafter, these questions and answers are placed for public view on www.askimam.org for educational purposes. However, many of these answers are unique to a particular scenario and cannot be taken as a basis to establish a ruling in another situation or another environment. Askimam.org bears no responsibility with regards to these questions being used out of their intended context.
  • The Shar's ruling herein given is based specifically on the question posed and should be read in conjunction with the question.
  • AskImam.org bears no responsibility to any party who may or may not act on this answer and is being hereby exempted from loss or damage howsoever caused.
  • This answer may not be used as evidence in any Court of Law without prior written consent of AskImam.org.
  • Any or all links provided in our emails, answers and articles are restricted to the specific material being cited. Such referencing should not be taken as an endorsement of other contents of that website.
The Messenger of Allah said, "When Allah wishes good for someone, He bestows upon him the understanding of Deen."
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim]