Is it allowed to make Iftar in the Masjid? Someone says its haram to eat in the Masjid in all c

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Is it allowed to make Iftar in the Masjid? Someone says its haram to eat in the Masjid in all circumstances?

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Walaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

It is permitted to eat in the mosque when there is a need or benefit in doing so, and best to avoid it otherwise (i.e. when there is no particular need or benefit).

Abd Allah ibn al-Harith (Allah be pleased with him) said that, “In the time of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) we used to eat bread and meat in the mosque.” [Related by Ibn Maja]

It is also established that a large number of Companions slept at the mosque, for various reasons, and must necessarily have eaten there.

Imam Nawawi stated in his Majmu` Sharh al-Muhadhdhab (2.201):

“There is nothing wrong with eating and drinking in the mosque, or with spreading out food in it, or with washing one’s hands in it.”

Imam Zayla`i said in his Tabyin al-Haqa’iq Sharh Kanz al-Daqa’iq (1.351), one of the more important commentaries in Hanafi fiqh,

“Eating in the mosque is permitted, and the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) used to eat in the mosque even without any pressing need (darura) to do so.”

Shaykh Zada, one of the great Ottoman Hanafi jurists, stated in Majma` al-Anhur, his commentary on Imam Ibrahim al-Halabi’s Multaqa al-Abhur (1.257),

“As for eating and drinking, the sound position is that it is not disliked.”

Some works, including Imam Haskafi’s Durr al-Mukhtar and the Fatawa Hindiyya state that it is disliked to eat in the mosque unless one is in a state of i`tikaf (spiritual retreat). The ulema have mentioned that:

  1. This is understood to refer to a slight dislikedness (karahat tanzih),
  2. Any recognized interest, need, or benefit lifts the dislikedness (just as the intention of i`tikaf does).

However, even in such cases, it is best—as Ibn Abidin and others have stated—to intend i`tikaf (spiritual retreat), as this is valid and recommended even for short periods of time. [cf: Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar, quoting Jami` al-Fatawa]

And Allah alone gives success.

Faraz Rabbani