Masjid property

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by

Answered by Sidi Suheil Laher

I got a very complicated question and i apologize before hand. Some background: We have a large muslim community, with majority of them being immigrants from pakistan and their offspring. But sadly our local masjid has had many political issues as to who should be on the Masjid Committee. While arguing regarding this, Education has been forgotten about. So a group of Brothers and Sisters have started tajwid and Islamic studies classes (in english) for the younger generation. The issue is, the masjid has purchased a house which is joined to the masjid, but not actually considered part of the masjid. When these brothers and sister approached the committee about running these classes in the house, there was no objection. The brothers refused to work under the committee until they sorted out their issues amongst themselves. But now people have started saying that we have no right to be there, (these people are not officially part of the committee). The question is since we run these classes under the roof of the masjid, the income we receive does that rightly belong to the Masjid? this income pays the teachers and resources which we need, e.g books, pen and the rest is banked and used to pay for talks by visiting scholars etc.. The house is currently need of urgent repairs, but the committee doesn’t seem to be bothered and the remaining of the community don’t use this house often (apart from funerals and langars). If any repair work is needed should we be paying it or should the Masjid pay for it. Our long term plan is to operate under the Masjid, but there are so many political issues, that we just don’t want to get involved.
So just to summarise: Any income we receive for the classes, does this technically belong to the Masjid or is it rightfully ours? (this income will be invested back into the community for education and dawah) Should the repair work be done by us, seeing that we use the facility more than others in the community (though we couldn’t actually afford to pay for it all and have paid for repair work in the past) 

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

wa`alaykum as-salam wa-rahmatullah
1. Since you obtained the permission of the mosque committee in using the building, you do have the right to be there.
2. I would suggest that you sit down with the mosque committee and try to work out an  agreement whereby you would pay rental fees for use of the property. (Note that you should also pay for the electricity, water and heat that you use in the building, unless this is mutually agreed as being subsumed in the rental fees.) This rent that you pay would go into the masjid funds, and whatever income remains with you thereafter, you could spend as you see appropriate. As for repairs to the house, if they are a result of your ongoing, normal use of the property, then you should pay for them. If the damage was pre-existing, then technically it would not be your responsibility to cover its costs. However, given the fact that the property belongs to the masjid and hence to the community, it would be meritorious for you to contribute to such repairs.
And Allah knows best.

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