Answered by: Maulana Mohammed Kamran Abid
Can anyone shed some clarification regarding Masjid membership fees? Is it an appropriate way to generate funds?
بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْم
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
The Masjid is an endowment for the general Muslim community that regularly attend the masjid. Every Muslim is rightful to use the Masjid facility for their spiritual growth.
Membership fees fall in the category of Nafal Sadaqah that is given to the Masjid. Nafal Sadaqah cannot be imposed. The Messenger of Allah (saw) said, “The wealth of a Muslim is not permissible except with their good pleasure.”. From this Hadith of the Prophet (saw) we understand that Membership fees cannot be imposed on the Member. If the Membership fees are given from the Member’s own will for the sake of Allah, then it would be permissible. Nafal Sadaqah cannot be given in exchange of any worldly item or worldly benefit. Therefore, it would not be permissible for a Masjid to generate funds through Membership fees.
Only Allah knows best
Written by Maulana Mohammed Kamran Abid
Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham
 (Ahmad, Bayhaqi, at-Darul Qutni)
 [كِتَابُ الْهِبَةِ]
(قَوْلُهُ وَجْهُ الْمُنَاسَبَةِ ظَاهِرٌ) لِأَنَّ مَا قَبْلَهَا تَمْلِيكُ الْمَنْفَعَةِ بِلَا عِوَضٍ وَهِيَ تَمْلِيكُ الْعَيْنِ كَذَلِكَ قَوْلُهُ (مَجَّانًا) زَادَ ابْنُ الْكَمَالِ لِلْحَالِ لِإِخْرَاجِ الْوَصِيَّةِ (قَوْلُهُ: بِلَا عِوَضٍ) أَيْ بِلَا شَرْطِ عِوَضٍ فَهُوَ عَلَى حَذْفِ مُضَافٍ
(Raddul al-Muhtaar, vol. 5, pg. 687, Darul Fikr Beirut)