Q. 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 at 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 and 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, etc.
The income of this place is used for the payment of the montly costs of the mosque.
At the daily salaat times, the cofee-shop/cafe/tea-house is not closed, rather it is 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).
We need to know whether we can pray in such a mosque and behind such imaam.
A. A Masjid is the house of Allah and it is a sacred and pure place of worship. Hence, monies used for the upkeep and maintenance of it must be generated or achieved from only pure sources. Funds that are Haram (unlawful) or doubtful cannot be used for the upkeep of the Masjid.
Having said this, it can be stated that the monies generated from the coffee shop and tea house are all halal (lawful) and can be used on the Masjid. However, seeing that this cafe has become a means of propagating haram activities such as playing music, selling cigarettes, playing cards and gambling cards for drinks etc., it means that the funds generated from the coffee shop is now mixed with halal and haram earnings, which makes the total sum doubtful.
This being the case, it is our opinion that such funds must not be used to offset the expenses of the Masjid.
As for performing salaah in this Masjid, this is lawful, there is no harm in it. It is also permissible to perform Salaah behind the Imam.
My advice to the management committee of this Masjid is that they should remove all the haram activities. Along with this, they should also close the shop at the times of the compulsory Salaah so as to encourage the Muslim customers to perform their Salaah at the Masjid. As it stands now, the shop has become a means of deterring the Muslims from their compulsory duty of Salaah.
And Allah knows best.
Mufti Waseem Khan
This answer was collected from DarulUloomTT.net, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Waseem Khan from Darul Uloom Trinidad and Tobago.