Ruling on Installing Central Heating Units for Imam`s and Mu`azin`s Residence from Donations made to Mosque
What is the ruling of Sharia on installing central heating units for the mosque`s Imam`s and Mu`azin`s residence from donations collected to the benefit of the mosque?
All perfect praise be to Allah the Lord of the Worlds. May His peace and blessings be upon Prophet Mohammad and upon all his family and companions.
In principle, whatever amounts are collected by the donations committee for covering the expenses of mosque repairs should be spent for this purpose alone since this money is endowed for the benefit of the mosque itself and the condition of the endower is considerable so long as it doesn`t violate Sharia.
In terms of the beneficiary, whatever is endowed in favor of a mosque is divided into two types:
First: Objects pertaining to the mosque itself, such as the furniture, electrical equipment, central heating and books.
The administrator of the Waqf (Endowment), which is the Ministry of Awqaf, should execute the condition of the Waqif (Endower) in this matter:
If the endower stipulated that the revenue of the Waqf should be spent to the benefit of the mosque at all times, then the Waqf administrator may buy whatever objects the mosque needs, conduct needed repairs and restorations, then save the surplus for that same purpose. If the endower or donor stipulated that the revenue should be spent on construction only, such as building the minaret, doors, windows and the like, then it should be dedicated to this purpose only.
Second: What is endowed to the benefit of the people in charge of the mosque, such as the residence for the Imam, Mu`azin or servant:
If the donor or endower stipulated that the revenue of the Waqf should be spent in favor of those in charge of the mosque, then it should be spent on the residence of the Imam, the Mu`azin or the servant, whether for restoration or else.
In conclusion, it isn`t permissible to install central heating units to the mosque`s Imam`s and Mu`azin`s residence from the funds raised for repairs and restorations-as stated in the above question-because they are dedicated for the mosque itself and may not be spent on anything else.
However, if the funds were raised in favor of the people in charge of the mosque, then it is permissible to spend them on maintaining the residence of the Imam or Mu`azin, for installing central heating units or electrical wirings. This is provided that the Waqf administrator (Ministry of Awqaf represented by the committee in charge of the mosque ) approves of that. It is worth pointing that installing central heating costs the Ministry a great deal of money, thus this too requires the permission of the latter. And Allah the Almighty knows best.
In commentary on the above Fatwa, some Imams have called and told us (Iftaa` Department) that the committee in charge of mosque affairs doesn`t clarify to donors that it is raising funds for the mosque itself or its utilities, such as the Imam`s residence. Is it permissible to use part of these donations to spend on the residence of Imam or Mu`azin as it is part of the mosque and not the private property of the Imam himself. People tend to give donations to the mosque committee to spend them in different channels of charity.
Based on what some of the Imams have stated, the matter is in the hands of the mosque committee as it is delegated to act on behalf of the Waqf administrator. It should observe the best interest of the mosque and its utilities. We recommend that the committee tell the people to donate for "The benefits of the mosque", because part of this is spending on the residence of the Imam. And Allah the Almighty knows best.