Answered by Mohammed Tosir Miah
I work at a Darul Uloom. Students get a detention on Saturday after Madressa for 1 hour, for not completing their Hifz class targets for the week. They have to pay £2.00 towards this detention. With the money, gifts are bought for the students who read the most items/make the most progress in each class. Is it permissible to take money in this way? This detention is also called ‘Extra Tuition’.
There are three main categories under which a Qadhi (Islamic Judge) can convict a person for a crime and then the penalty for that crime takes place.
For the purpose of this discussion we will look at tazeer. Tazeer is where there is no prescribed punishment from the Shariah. It is left upon the government or the Qadhi to impose a penalty for this crime. Sometimes the Qadhi may apply a stern tazeer such as death to deter people from copying the crime. Tazeer can also include whipping the criminal with sticks and a belt though this should not be more than 39 whips. (Ashraful Hidayah p.736 v.6)
The same way a criminal can be lashed for committing crimes where there are no prescribed punishment from the Shariah, similarly, the concept of taking money from people as a punishment falls under the ambit of Tazeer in Islam. This is known as Tazeer Bil Maal. (Fatawa Darul Uloom Deoband)
According to the majority of the scholars including Imam Abu Hanifa Tazeer Bil Maal is not allowed in Islam. However, Imam Ahmad and Imam Abu Yusuf are of the view that it is permissible. Contemporary Hanafi scholars have preferred the view of Imam Abu Yusuf and have allowed the concept of implementing monetary fines or penalty on an individual who steps out of line with the Shariah. (Taqrir Tirmizi p.119 v.2)
However, the concept of Tazeer Bil Maal should be used only in the situation where a person is breaking the laws of the country he is residing in or by breaking the laws of the Shariah. An Islamic institution should not be implementing such rules, which according to the majority of the scholars in Islam is unlawful.
At the same time I do understand the need of certain Islamic institutions to be stern with students and parents when it comes to learning their lessons or completing their targets to maintain the smooth running of the institution. Therefore, the best solution which I humbly recommend will be for the institution to charge a monetary fine for those students who do not reach their targets with the intention to caution them and then after a few days return their money back or with their permission put the money into the scheme you mentioned above in buying gifts for them. (Fatawa Darul Uloom Deoband p.249 v.11)
Only Allah Knows Best
Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham.