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Can Our Zakah Go Towards Rent of a Mosque?

05 June, 2021
Q As-salamu `alaykum. We are Muslim students living in a small dorm in America, and there is a hired mosque inside it. Is it permissible to give the money of zakah to pay the rent for that mosque, especially because the donations collected from the Muslim students there are not enough? Jazakum Allah khayran.


Wa `alaykum As-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

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

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

In this fatwa:

There is nothing wrong to pay a portion of the zakah money to pay the rent of the mosque to serve the Muslim community. According to the case in point, taking a portion of the zakah money is necessary because the donations are not enough.

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Responding to the question, Sheikh Ja`far At-Talhawi, a prominent Al-Azhar scholar, states:

Using Zakah Money to Pay Rent on a Mosque

First, it is permissible that you dedicate part of the zakah money to cover the costs required for renting that mosque and preparing it for practicing the Islamic rituals. This actually falls within the category known as fi sabil illah or “in the cause of Allah”. We read in the Quran:

{The alms are only for the poor and the needy, and those who collect them, and those whose hearts are to be reconciled, and to free the captives and the debtors, and for the cause of Allah, and (for) the wayfarers; a duty imposed by Allah. Allah is knower, Wise.} (At-Tawbah 9:60)

Second, maintaining such places (of worship) whether through building or hiring them is a sign of iman (faith). Allah Almighty says:

{The mosques of Allah shall be visited and maintained by such as believe in Allah and the Last Day, establish regular prayers, and practise regular charity, and fear none (at all) except Allah. It is they who are expected to be on true guidance.} (At-Tawbah 9:18)

📚 Read Also: Can Zakah Be Given to Construct Mosques and Islamic Centers?

Third, maintaining the mosques of Allah (`imarah) denotes two things:

1– The acts involved in establishing and repairing a place for worship, and this includes hiring a place to use as a mosque.

2– Regularly attending and visiting places of worship to observe prayer therein, as the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said; “When you see a man regularly attends to mosques, confess to his iman (faith).” (Ahmad, At-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, Ibn Khuzaymah, Ibn Hibban and Al-Hakim)

Allah Almighty knows best.

Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.