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Home » Worship and Jurisprudence » Masjid Rulings

The ruling on taking away some part of the Masjid in order to expand the House of the Imam

We have an extremely large Masjid that is considered the largest Masjid in the land with the exception of the biggest congregational Masjids. However, the congregation of it (our Masjid) is small. Next to the Masjid, on the southern side, is a house that has been donated for the imam of the Masjid. This house is very small and not suitable to reside in its current condition nor is it suitable to be rented out. Most of the time it remains locked due to lack of anyone wanting to rent it because of its smallness and its lack of suitableness. Is it possible to take a small portion from the southern part of the Masjid and add it to the house so that it may become desirable for usage without causing any harm to it? Rather, the vastness of the Masjid and this situation expose it to becoming dirty. Also it should be kept in mind that the person who donated the Masjid and the house is the same person, and there is no doubt that in his donating the house he intended it for the Imam. This was to fulfill the Imam's need and ease matters for him in his coming and going. So, what do you all think? Please give us a ruling and may you be rewarded.

It is not permissible to take anything away from the area of the Masjid and add it to the mentioned house. This is because the fundamental principle regarding religious donations (Awqaf) is that they must remain the way that they were (when donated). Thus no one should take liberties concerning the original trust (Waqf)by converting it from that which is superior (i.e., a Masjid) to that which is inferior (i.e., a house). If the house is not suitable for residents, then maybe the matter can be referred to the (Islamic) court so that the issue can be looked into and whatever is necessary may be carried out from the Islamic standpoint according to their regulations. The success is with Allah. May Allah send blessings and peace upon our prophet Muhammad, his family and his companions.

Permanent Committee for Research and Verdicts
Fatawa Islamiyah, Vol.3, p.g 49,50, DARUSSALAM.
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