Among the businesses which were suggested to be carried out at the mosques' premises are a restaurant, bakery, café, stationery shop, and polyclinic and micro-credit shop.
They aimed at attracting the youths to the places of worship. They wanted mosques to be places for meeting, gathering, official function, weddings, counseling and other matters related to the community.
Please, shed light on this issue from the Shari`ah point of view.
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- While mosques cannot be marketplaces, there is nothing wrong in making use of mosque premises in matters that are of benefit for the community.
2- Holding weddings, counseling, important gatherings, and the like in the mosque are among the messages of the mosque in Islam.
In his response to your question, Sheikh `Abdul-Majeed Subh, a prominent Al-Azhar scholar, states:
It is not permissible to use the mosque as a marketplace for sale and purchase or things like that.
However, if you are referring to the buildings attached to the mosque, there is nothing wrong with making use of such mosque premises in conducting projects for the service of the community.
As for holding weddings, counseling, important gatherings, and the like in the mosque, such matters are absolutely among the messages of the mosque in Islam.
Mosques in Islam
Mosques in Islam can be a place for discussing public matters that concern the Muslim community and state.
In the lifetime of the Prophet (peace be upon him), the mosque was an important place of gatherings that concerned the Muslim community.
It was also a place for all things related to the safety of the Muslim community. Calls for jihad, collecting charities, calling for orphan care, etc. came from the mosque.
Moreover, the eminent Muslim scholar Sheikh Abdel Khaliq Hasan Ash-Shareef adds,
We have to differentiate between the mosque and its premises. The mosque is the place that is prepared for Prayer.
It is not permissible to use the mosque as a marketplace, bakery, restaurant, or the like. However, the mosque has a role to play in teaching the Quran, giving lectures, and religious lessons, etc.
As for the mosque premises, there is nothing wrong in making use of them in matters that are of benefit for the community. There is nothing wrong with using them as restaurants, shops, bakery, etc.
Allah Almighty knows best.
Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.