Question: Is it permissible to receive a financial gift for teaching the Qur’an? If one does receive such a gift, must they give it away in charity?
In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate,
It is permissible to take compensation for teaching the Qur’an, whether it be in the form of a gift, an honorarium, or a salary. This is the ruling taken by many scholars, and it is the less strict of the two opinions [Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]
Therefore, you are not obliged to give away the money in charity, however, if you are not in need of the money, charity is a door to great reward.
It is only prohibited to take compensation for the mere recitation of the Qur’an or any action which is personally obligatory on you. [Ibid.]
The Stricter Opinion
Many of the early scholars did not allow taking any compensation for anything considered to be an act of worship. [Ibid.]
The Wisdom of The Less Strict Opinion
There are many factors that lead to the less strict opinion to have great profundity and practicality in our times. According to the strict position, if one wished to teach the Qur’an, they would need to seek their provision elsewhere. Due to this, the amount of time they can devote to teaching is exponentially less. This leads to many harms, such as a lack of Islamic teachers, which then leads to the loss of Islamic and Qur’anic knowledge.
Sincerity In One’s Actions
Despite the permissibility of taking wages or compensation for teaching the Qur’an, if one does not need to do so, refraining is more cautious as is clear from the stricter opinion of the early scholars.
However, in the case that one needs the compensation or that the compensation facilitates them being free to engage in such teaching more often, one intention should be that the wage is in exchange for their time and not specifically for the imparting of knowledge.
Hope this helps
Allah knows best
[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani