Answered by: Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Assalamu Alaikum. Dear Mufti.
Regarding a certain circumstance, an official fatwa of your Iftaa is requested.
It regards the following situation:
A local mosque in my city has every month fixed costs of approx. 2000 Euro’s (costs such as electricity, water, etc.)
To cover these costs the standing committee of the mosque has let build a building the opposite of the mosque (which is thus at the same terrain as the mosque) which is used as a coffee-shop/cafe/tea-house.
To be clear, it is a place where; music is played, cigarettes are sold. At that place people are; smoking cigarettes, watching tv (such as football games, music-clips, etc.), playing gamble-cards for drinks/toasts.
The income of this place is used for the payment of the monthly costs of the mosque.
At the daily salaat times, the coffee-shop/cafe/tea-house is not closed, rather it’s still running and most people of it are not coming to offer their salaats. Even in the Ramadaan during Tarawih prayers the place is open and occupied (while there are not even 2 lines of people in the masjid)
Please give an official fatwa to this situation. Also, we need to know whether we can pray in such a mosque and behind such mosques imam.
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Firstly, we need to determine whether anything haraam or anything non-Islamic is being sold in this café or not.
If nothing haraam or anything non-Islamic is being sold like music cassettes, CDs, alcohol, etc. then it will be permissible for the Masjid to take the income and use it for the expenses of the Masjid.
You mention that cigarettes are being sold in the café. Smoking is considered to be Makruh Tahrimi however, Mufti Rashid Ahmad Ludhyanwi (RA) in his Ahsanul Fatawa has written that it is permissible to sell cigarettes and the income gained is considered lawful. (Ahsanul Fatawa p.495 v.6)
If anything haraam is being sold in the café and the haraam items do not constitute the majority of the cafés income i.e. the majority of the cafés income is lawful and only a small percentage is from haraam sales then again it is permissible for the Masjid to use the income as rulings are given on the greater part. (Li Al-Aksar Hukm Al-Kul) (Fatawa Rahimiyah p.157 v.2 & Fatawa Mahmoodiyah p.491 v.1)
If the majority of the income of the café is haraam then without a doubt it will not be permissible for the Masjid to take it and use it for their expenses and it will be considered Makruh Tahrimi to read salah in such a mosque. (Fatawa Mahmoodiyah p.138 v.10)
The details in the question sent seem to indicate that no haraam items are being sold in the café to make the income unlawful. You mention that music is being played and people are watching TV, this would not alter the ruling of the lawfulness of the income unless the customers pay to listen to the music and watch TV (generally, this does not tend to happen). Similarly, the cards they play and get free drinks and toast depends on whether this scheme produces the main income of the café for it to be considered unlawful.
Finally, the owners of the café should be told not to play music or have the TV on whether in the month of Ramadhan or outside the month of Ramadhan.
Only Allah Knows Best
Written by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham