Can a Mosque Accept Stolen Money?

08 June, 2021
Q As-salamu `alaykum. Dear sheikh, a mosque here in Germany has been given 5000 Euro by a man who wanted to give up his sinful way of life. He had stolen this money from a kind of casino or gambling center. Now, our brothers in the mosque want to know what to do with the money. May Allah Almighty reward you for your help.


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:

1- Stealing, robbery, and gambling are totally forbidden in Islam. So, every Muslim must refrain from that in order not to expose himself to Allah’s anger.

2- The stolen money should not be spent on mosques, Islamic centers, etc. Rather, it can be spent on public services or general benefits of the society.

In his response to your question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and an Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states:

A person who has stolen money from such sources must get rid of it immediately. He cannot use it to benefit himself, his family, or his dependents, nor it can be given to mosques or Islamic centers for their use. Rather, it must be given away in entirety to a public charity or hospital, or to refugees, etc.

It is equally important for him to repent of his sins, and the repentance is not complete unless he gives away all the ill-gotten money. He also needs to fulfill the requisites of repentance. Repentance proper entails the following steps:

1- Feeling deep remorse for the sin he or she has committed.

2- Refraining from it and all of its associations and leads altogether.

3- Resolving never to do it again.

4- And finally, following it up by doing as many good deeds as he or she can and leading a righteous life.

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, A body nurtured by ill-gotten income is a worthy fuel of hell-fire.” Allah says, “O mankind! Partake of what is lawful and good on earth, and follow not Satan’s footsteps: for, verily, he is your open foe.” (Al-Baqarah 2:168)

“O Messengers! Partake of the good and pure things of the earth, and do righteous deeds: verily, I have full knowledge of all that you do.” (Al-Mu’minun 23:51)

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Allah is Pure, and He accepts only that which is pure.” (Muslim)

In order to illustrate this point, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) mentioned the case of a person who appears in the holy sites, in a disheveled state due to long journey, and supplicates, calling out to Allah, “Lord! Lord!” However, how would Allah answer his prayer when his entire body is nurtured by that which is haram, his food is from haram and his clothes are from haram and he is entirely nurtured by haram!” (Muslim)

In conclusion, it is important to give away the entire amount in charity for the causes mentioned above.

Allah Almighty knows best.

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