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 that the mosque imams receiving a salary for leading people in Prayer and delivering Friday sermon,
Answering your question about mosque imam taking salaries, Dr. Anwar Dabbour, Professor of Shari`ah at the Faculty of Law, Cairo University, states:
There is nothing wrong with the imam who delivers the khutbah (sermon) in a Mosque obtaining a salary from either the Mosque board or from the government.
Islamic organization should support mosque imams in order to enable them to meet their requirements as well as family responsibilities.
Thus, there is nothing wrong in obtaining a salary for teaching people matters pertaining to what is lawful and what is prohibited. Although the person who does that should preferably refrain from seeking a worldly gain.
It has become clear now that there is nothing wrong that the imam receiving a salary for leading people in Prayer and delivering khutbahs, especially if he is financially straitened and is appointed by a governmental organization in such a Mosque. This is really the case in most Arab and Muslim countries.
Some scholars draw an analogy between the point in question and obtaining money for teaching the Quran.
They argue that, if we say that the money obtained by the mosque imams and the one who teaches people the Quran is haram, then many people will stop teaching others the Quran, which is a great loss.
Allah Almighty knows best.
Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.