The Permissibility of Asking the People to Aid in the Building of a Masjid or Other Than That for a Genuine Need

In the name of Allaah, the Most Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy

COLLECTING SADAQAH 
Should it Lead to Division and Warning?

Let us bring forth an example of an issue in our times where the scholars may have taken variant views, whilst agreeing in its origin of permissibility.

This in essence is a lesson for those over zealous youth who treat the genuine differences in ijtihaad of the scholars or slightly variant views in the branches of Deen just as they treat the sects of bid’ah! This new current that has tried to impose itself upon the Salafis whereby they regard anyone who does not agree with them to be upon hizbiyyah, imitating al-Ikhwaan al-Muslimoon and thus must be warned against openly and abandoned. And this is, first and foremost a trait of the followers of the deviant Yahyaa al-Hajooree of Yemen,  the leader of the sect known as the Hajaawirah – may Allaah guide them. They claim that it is impermissible to openly raise funds for the establishment and expansion of the Masaajid of Salafiyyah, as this is “hizbiyyah” (blameworthy partisanship).

What follows proves that asking for Sadaqah for the building of a Masjid for the worship of Allaah alone or its expansion is established textually.

 

The Permissibility of Asking the People to Aid in the Building of a Masjid or Other Than That for a Genuine Need

And Allaah, the Most High, knows best if in this affair there is any true differing amongst ahlul-‘Ilm, except in some details of how this sadaqah is to be collected, such as the permissibility or otherwise of collection boxes within the Masjid.

There has recently arisen a group of youth (Hajaawirah and those deceived by them) who misinterpret and misunderstand the texts related to Sadaqah and use those texts to declare other Salafis to be deviants and upon the path of hizbiyyah.

They know full well that these Salafis do not seek and have never sought Sadaqah from the people for their own personal needs, rather they encourage the people to give in charity for Allaah’s cause for the establishment of a Masjid or other than that.

The issue of asking Muslims to help build a Masjid for Allaah’s sake or to expand an existing Masjid or other than that, that will bring about a benefit for the Muslims generally is something for which there is ample evidence in the Book and the Sunnah – many of these evidences are general encouragements to give in the cause of Allaah, the Most High, but some are also very specific.

These evidences are used by many of the Scholars to permit the people to collect funds for the general Muslims, whether it be for a Masjid or its expansion, or for a well from where the Muslims may obtain water, or for the benefit of the poor Muslims and those in poverty. Here are just some of the more specific proofs:

 

POINT OF EVIDENCE: 
The Messenger (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam) Encouraged the People to give Sadaqah for the Expansion of the Masjid an-Nabawi – A Specific Cause! 
And this is not ‘Demeaning the Da’wah’, nor ‘Blameworthy Begging’.

On an occasion Uthmaan bin Affaan (radhi Allaahu ‘anhu) stood in the Masjid and said:

“Is ‘Ali here? Is az-Zubair here? Is Talhah here? Is Sa’d here?” They replied: “Yes.” Uthmaan said: I adjure you by Allaah besides whom there is none worthy of worthy of worship! Are you aware that the Messenger of Allaah (salallaahu ýalaihi wassallam) said: “Whoever buys the land of the tribe of so-and-so, Allaah will surely forgive him.” So I bought it – then I came to the Prophet (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam) and told him, and he said:“Add it to the Masjid and the reward for it will be yours.” So they (i.e. Ali, Talhah, Zubair and Sa’d – may Allaah pleased with all) said: “Yes”

This is part of a lengthy hadeeth that shall be quoted again below, inshaallaah. It is Reported by Imaam an-Nasaa’ee (rahimahullaah), no. 3636; Chapter: Waqful-Masajid – Endowment for the Mosques. Authenticated by the Imaam and Muhaddith Al-Albaanee (rahimahullaah) who said: Saheeh.

ii) In a different wording of the above hadeeth, there occurs the wording: The Messenger (salallaahu alaihi wassallam) said:

“Whoever buys the land of the tribe of so-and-so, Allaah will forgive him.” Uthmaan (radhi Allaahu ‘anhu) said: “I bought it for twenty or twenty five thousand! Then I came to the Messenger (salallaahu alaihi wassallam) and told him.” He said: “Add it to our Masjid and reward of it will be yours.”
[An-Nasaa’ee, no. 3637. Al-Albaanee said: Saheeh]

iii) In another wording which makes clear the intent, Uthmaan (radhi Allaahu ‘anhu) said: Are you aware that the Masjid became too constricted and small for the people and the Messenger of Allaah (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam) said:

“Who will buy the plot of the family of so-and-so and add it to the Masjid in return for a better plot in Paradise?” Uthmaan (radhi Allaahu ‘anhu) said: “I bought it with my capital wealth and I added it to the Masjid.”
[An-Nasaa’ee, no. 3638. Al-Albaanee said: Saheeh].

And there several more ahaadeeth of this nature reported with similar wordings collected in the Sunan. And these words of the Messenger (salallaahu alaihi wassallam) were not due to any personal gain, as he was far removed from such characteristics, but rather for the sake of Allaah, the Most High, and for the general benefit of the Muslims. This is not to be considered demeaning and forbidden and blameworthy begging. And this is the understanding of many of our Scholars in line with the texts.

 

Allaamah al-Fawzaan Concerning the Usage of Donation Boxes and Collecting Funds for a Masjid in Need

Ash-Shaikh al-‘Allaamah Saalih bin Fawzaan (hafidhahullaah) was asked:

“May Allah give you good, this question comes by way of the internet from America, the question is: What is the ruling on placing donation boxes inside the Masjid in order to collect money to cover the Masjid’s bills and expenses, keeping in mind that the Muslims in America do not receive financial assistance from the government rather they only depend upon Allah and then they depend on the money they collect?

The noble Shaikh answered:

“The door of donations is wide, if there is a need for donations to the Masjid for renovations of the Masjid or building a Masjid or those things which will benefit the Masjid and there are not enough funds to cover the expenses except by way of donations then there is nothing wrong with this. And this is from cooperating upon piety and righteousness.”

[Taken from a translation on salafitalk.net by one of the contributors. Source: http://saif30.af.org.sa/node/101 ]

Some of the ahaadeeth quoted above from the third Caliph Uthmaan (radhi Allaahu ‘anhu) make mention of other statements of Prophet (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam) whereby the Companions would donate for the general benefit of the Muslims for other than a Masjid:

“Whoever buys the well of Roomah, Allaah will forgive him.” Uthmaan (radhi Allaahu ‘anhu) said: So I came to Allaah’s Messenger (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam) and said: “I have bought the well of Roomah”. So he said: “Give it to provide water for the Muslims and the reward for it will be yours.” The hadeeth continues to state: “Whoever equips the army of al’Usrah, Allaah will forgive him.” Uthmaan (radhi Allaahu ‘anhu) said: “So I equipped them so that they were not even lacking a rope or a bridle.” [An-Nasaa’ee, no. 3636. Al-Albaanee said: Saheeh]

 

Shaikh Ibn Uthaimeen’s Letter of Recommendation and Encouragement for the Purpose of Building a Masjid

Below is a letter written by ash-Shaikh al-Faqeeh al-Allaamah Ibn Uthaimeen (rahimahullaah) encouraging people to give money for the building of a Masjid (vol. 18, page 286 of his Fatawa):

Encouragement to Give in Charity for the Building of Mosques

In the name of Allaah, Most Merciful, Bestower of Mercy.

All praise is due to Allaah. The salutations and peace be upon our Prophet, the seal of the Prophets and the Imaam of the pious; and upon his family and his Companions, and those who follow them precisely till the Day of Resurrection. To proceed:…

Indeed the mosques are from the most excellent of affairs for which wealth is donated, and for which the reward is perpetual, for indeed its reward is continuous, varied and manifold. This is because the Muslims worship Allaah within them (the Mosques) by way of the Salaat and other than that. In it is the worshiper, and the one who recites Qurýaan, and the one who studies knowledge and other than this. The Muslims benefit by way of them by seeking shade from the heat and comfort from the cold.

For this reason the Prophet (salallaahu alaihi wassallam) encouraged with the building of them. Bukhaaree, Muslim and other than them narrate from the hadeeth of the Ameer al-Mu’mineen ‘Uthmaan bin ‘Affaan (radhi’Allaahu ‘anhu): I heard Allaah’s Messenger (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam) saying:

“Whoever build a Masjid, then Allaah will build for him it’s like in Jannah.”

And in a wording:

“Allaah will build for him a house in Jannah.”

So the recompense is immense and the reward is great, a house in the [eternal] Abode of Blissful Dwelling, in proximity of the Merciful Lord, in the Abode wherein the bliss will not come to an end and nor will its people ever perish.

Indeed in the district of (…), one of the areas of the city of (…), there is a need for the building of a Masjid so that its people may establish within it the congregational prayer, and actualise and fulfil the benefits that were cited earlier. They are in need of the assistance of their Muslim brothers to share with them in the reward and recompense, and to aid them upon this important and honourable affair.

So I address the call to my Muslim brothers that they contribute and partake in the building of this Masjid from the generosity of their souls, whether it be small or great, and whoever does good to the weight of an atom shall see it.

And may Allaah grant success to all due to what is in it of goodness and righteousness.

Written by Muhammad bin Saalih al-Uthaimeen.

So this is not “disgracing the da’wah” or “blameworthy begging” nor is it a resembling of the hizbies or the Ikhwaan al-Muslimeen. Rather it is cooperation upon righteousness and piety, not for any personal gain, but for seeking the Face of Allaah. And is common for a Scholar to pen down a recommendation in favour of a group of ahlus-Sunnah asking the people to aid them in the establishment of a Masjid or Markaz, and this is not a sign of hizbiyyah, not from near or far.

Questions to Shaikhul-Islaam Ibn Baaz (rahimahullaah) and the Permanent Committee regarding collection boxes:

Shaikhul-Islaam Ibn Baaz (rahimahullaah) was asked:

“What is your ruling on the charity boxes that are placed in Masjids to collect money to be spent on poor students, and so on? Can we put Zakah money in these boxes?”

Answer:

“Allah (may He be Praised and Exalted) shows the categories of people who have the right to receive Zakah in this Ayah (at-Tawbah:60):

“As-Sadaqaat (here it means Zakaat ) are only for the Fuqara (poor), and Al-Masakin (the poor) and those employed to collect (the funds), and to attract the hearts of those who have been inclined (towards Islam), and to free the captives, and for those in debt, and for Allah’s Cause, and for the wayfarer (a traveler who is cut off from everything); a duty imposed by Allah. And Allah is All-Knower, All-Wise.”

The charity boxes placed in Masjids are usually used for the benefit of the Masjid, but those who serve these Masjids or seek knowledge there are not included in the eight categories. So it is not permitted to put any Zakah in these boxes.

However, it is permissible to help the people who benefit from these boxes with money other than the obligatory Zakah, as Allah (may He be Praised and Exalted) says:

“Help you one another in virtue, righteousness and piety.” (Qur’aan 5:2) and He also says: “And do good that you may be successful.” (Qur’an 22:77)

May Allah grant us success! May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions!”

Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta’: Shaykh ‘Abdul-‘Azeez ibn Baz, Shaykh ‘Abdul-‘Azeez Aal ash-Shaykh, Shaykh ‘Abdullah Ghudayyan, Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzan, Shaykh Bakr Abu Zayd.

[Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta’ – Vol. No. 9; Page No. 454; Source: alifta.com]

 

A question was posed by the Markaz as-Salafi, Manchester UK, to ash-Shaikh al-Allaamah Zaid al-Madkhalee (hafidhahullaah) as follows:

“Is it permissible to place a box close to the entrance of the mosque for the collection of donations from the congregation and is it permissible to place a box in the mosque so that the congregation are able to put forward questions and suggestions?”

Answer:

“It is permissible to place a box close to the mosque for the collection of donations with conditions:

The first: The one carrying this out this is upon the methodology of the pious predecessors, ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah.

The second: The objective behind the collection of donations is known- and this objective is to be the carrying out of pure good, like the buying of land to build a mosque or school upon it, or the assistance of the stricken from the poor Muslims known for their clinging to the Sunnah, and that this is to be known and clear to the public.

And beware that the collection of donations is not exploited for personal gains or for affairs that harm the religion and the society, and the brothers are to know – the ones who asked the question and are intent upon setting up this box – that Allah is observant over everything and He will hold accountable every individual upon his actions from goodness and evil. So it is upon them to characterize themselves with the characteristics of truthfulness with Allah and with the slaves of Allah (i.e. the people) and seek the reward with Allah, the Mighty and Majestic. And the placing of boxes differs in accordance with differing countries, so if the group – the questioners – are in an Islamic country, then they must obtain permission from the relevant authority that has been specified to issue permissions or refusals, and if they are in a non-Islamic country and the questioners are aware that there is no objection from the government or objection posing danger to them, so if it like that i.e. the state does not object and the possibility of any danger to the group is non-existent, then there is no objection in placing the box and in proceeding with that which they have resolved upon.

As for that which is connected to the placing of a box which questions are placed within to be answered then that which I see is that you pursue a route other than this and that is the collection of questions and directing them to the scholars.”

[Recorded source and translation: Markaz as-Salafi, Manchester, UK: salaficentre.co.uk]

The noble Scholar, ash-Shaikh Muhammad ibn Haadee al-Madkhalee (hafidhahullaah) on collection boxes and collecting for a need:

“There are brothers who have set up collection boxes in the Masjid to collect funds for those in need – so some others have complained about collecting those funds in the Masjid, and they make mention of the fact that the paper money on the pounds and coins have faces, and they have made an issue of that. So the brothers initially were covering the money, and now they are asking can we put a box in the Masjid for the collection of those funds?”

He answered:

“This is a good question and likewise beneficial – yes, the placing of a box in the masjid for the collection of charity so that the destitute is aided, and likewise the poor person, the one in need, the one afflicted by a tragedy affecting his wealth or his home or his family – then all of this is considered from the excellent charitable deeds – i.e. the usage of these, a box that is placed there for the people to donate money into.However it is obligatory upon the ones who establishes that collection box that they are honest people, people of truthfulness and Religion and that they are trustworthy, so that this wealth is not spent except upon the one who is deserving – and there is no flattery or impressing of anyone in the Religion of Allaah, the Blessed and Most High. As for the affair of the pounds and coins that have upon them images then that does not harm, for indeed it is hidden [in the box], and there is no harm in that.”

[Source: ad-Dawrah al-‘Ilmiyyah with al-Maktabah as-Salafiyyah, Madeenah, 1431H. Recording source: salafitalk.net]

The Muhaddith of Yemen, the Allaamah and Mujaahid, Muqbil bin Haadee al-Waadi’ee (rahimahullaah)

Finally the Muhaddith of Yemen, the Allaamah and Mujaahid, Muqbil bin Haadee al-Waadi’ee (rahimahullaah) himself encouraged the people of Sunnah to cooperate with ahlus-Sunnah even in terms of financial aid as well as religion, and this in no way whatsoever is to be considered as “disgracing the da’wah”:

“Dated 1st of Rabee ath-Thaanee 1419 after Hijrah.

Our Brothers for the sake of Allaah, the Salafees, the brothers at al-Maktabah as-Salafiyyah and Islamic Centre in the city of Birmingham in Britain are mentioned with righteousness and love for the Sunnah and calling to it and making war against innovations and hizbiyyah (partisanship).

I hope that our brothers from Ahl us-Sunnah agree to co-operate with them financially* and spiritually for they are deserving of that

Verily, Allaah supports His slave as long as he is in support of his brother. May Allaah protect them, for they are facing the call of Christianity and Atheism and the call to nakedness and unveiling as well as the calls of innovation and hizbiyyah. And they protect their brothers from slipping into corruption, calamity and innovations and other than that from the various types of misguidance. May Allaah grant success for all that He loves and is pleased with.

(Shaikh) Abu Abdur-Rahmaan Muqbil ibn Haadee al-Waad’iee from Sa’dah in Yemen”

[Original document: Salafi Publications, Archives]

* Of course this does not mean that the Shaikh (rahimahullaah) is approving of donation boxes and the like, but it is a clear statement of recommendation that Salafi Publications be aided financially in their da’wah efforts by ahlus-Sunnah.

 

All of these Prophetic texts and scholarly rulings show the permissibility of encouraging the people to donate sadaqah for the general and specific benefit of the Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah, seeking by way of that the reward of Allaah and His Paradise. So how can the one who encourages the people to give sadaqah due to the need of a Masjid for the Salafis or the expansion of an existing one be considered to be upon hizbiyyah in light of the above Prophetic texts and scholarly rulings!? How can it be said these brothers who are known to be upon Salafiyyah and Sunnah, who have been connected to the Scholars for twenty years and remained close to them throughout this period and have received praise and commendations from them, whose number it is difficult to enumerate have taken the path of hizbiyyah?!

These are the same ahlus-Sunnah who have been described with unveiling the calls of innovation and hizbiyyah till this day. There are those amongst some ignorant youth who have labeled a Masjid of ahlus-Sunnah that has within it a collection box to be a masjid of hizbiyyah that they refuse to acknowledge to be upon Salafiyyah. It is upon them to leave off this exaggeration in understanding and learn how to understand differing so that ahlus-Sunnah remain united upon the usool and recognise differences can occur in the furoo’ where there is room for ijtihaad.

Unfortunately, some deluded youth, new to knowledge and Salafiyyah fail to understand this affair as it should be understood. They are not versed in the etiquettes of differing, and assume by default that their opinion is always correct, and that whoever opposes their opinion has deviated from the Salafi Manhaj. If they find one who differs with what they have gathered of opinions, they automatically accuse him of resembling the people of hizbiyyah and bid’ah, they call for that person to be abandoned and label him to be astray.

What they fail to understand is the following important points as it relates to sadaqah and donations:

ONE: When the people of hizbiyyah call people to donate to them and their organisations, they do so by taking that as a goal of their da’wah. They do not disseminate beneficial knowledge, rather they travel from one place to another only to gather wealth for their hizb and use it misguide the Ummah. The Salafiyyoon regard the establishment of tawheed and the sound ‘aqeedah to be the most important affair of Deen, and this was the purpose of the sending of the Prophets and Messengers – that none but Allaah is worshipped, that He is obeyed in whatever He has commanded and forbidden, in accordance to the Book and the Sunnah upon the understanding of the Salaf.

TWO: The people of hizbiyyah utilise whatever they are given to establish bid’ah and misguidance. They use the donations of the people to fight against the Manhaj of the Messenger (salallaahu alaihi wassallam) and his Companions. The people of Sunnah utilize sadaqah to establish the da’watus-Salafiyyah, to feed the poor, to build Salafi Masaajid and so on.

THREE: The people of hizbiyyah use their wealth to divide and split the Ummah upon the false and restricted walaa’ and baraa’ (allegiance and enmity) based upon principles they have innovated for themselves. They will give to whoever supports their bid’ah and their hizb, and they will withhold from giving to those who oppose them and differ with them. In this manner they increase their numbers by the usage of wealth, and not by calling to path of Allaah and His Messenger (salallaahu alaihi wassallam). The people of Sunnah love for the sake of Allaah, they hate for the sake of Allaah, they give for the sake of Allaah and they withhold for the sake of Allaah. They are guided in all their affairs by the principles established in the Book and the Sunnah.

FOUR: The people of hizbiyyah gather and utilise the wealth of the people to gain the Dunyah for themselves, to become wealthy upon the wealth of the people – they are treacherous. The people of Sunnah utilise the wealth in those areas for which it was collected. So if was collected for the purpose of building a Masjid, then it is used to build a Masjid. If it was collected to feed the poor, then the poor are fed and so on. They do not seek wealth to line their own pockets!

FIVE: The people of hizbiyyah utilise the sadaqah of the people to establish political supremacy – they make their goal the pursuit of political power – so they use the sadaqah and zakaat of the people to enter into and promote democracy and democratic candidacy. They gather the zakat of the people and utilise it in other than the areas specified and singled out on the Qur’aan and purified Sunnah. They may use it install one of their leaders into power by spending sadaqah on election campaigns (or organising mass demonstrations), or to remove those who they despise from power – all of this in accordance with the manhaj of al-Ikhwaan al-Muslimoon. Ahlus-Sunnah do not collect or receive sadaqah except that they spend in the cause of Allaah, as Allaah and His Messenger (salallaahu alaihi wassallam) have specified in the texts. Ahlus-Sunnah are far removed from devious political machinations! Walhamdulillaah!

SIX: The people who desire the Dunyah seek sadaqah whether they have a need or no need – they seek habitually for no purpose even if all their needs are fulfilled. They are the blameworthy beggars! The people of truth and sincerity do not ask of the people for any self gain unless they have desperate need and they are in poverty not able to survive otherwise, in which case they are excused, as has been mentioned by the scholars, such as Ibn Uthaimeen (rahimahullaah). The believers work with their own hands to provide for their families and children, but if they are not able to fulfil their needs, they may ask only to fulfil their needs – and the righteous believers give generously as an act of worship. The people of Imaan also encourage others to give in sadaqah, not for themselves as they are sufficed, but rather for the poor, the needy, the destitute, for the cause of Allaah, for the Houses of Allaah and so on. And this is reported in the Qur’aan and from Allaah’s Messenger (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam) in hundreds of authentic ahaadeeth!

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