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Building churches and temples in Muslim lands

Answered as per Shafi'i Fiqh by Seekersguidance.org

Question: Is it permissible to build churches and temples in Muslim lands?


Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner,

Thank you for your important question.

“Non-Muslims are allowed to live in Muslim countries and enjoy religious freedom. This means that they have the right to fix and re-build their churches and temples. According to many scholars, it also means that they have the right to build new churches and temples when there is a need for more space. (Minah al Jalil, al Illish; Al Fiqh al Islami wa Adillatuhu, Zuhayli)”

That said, it is not permissible for Muslims to finance such buildings, or design or build them. (Al Fiqh al Islami wa Adillatuhu, Zuhayli) It would also be impermissible to promote or lobby for the building of places when it is not done purely in the spirit of giving non-Muslims their rights.

Please also see: Re: Jizya – Content: Answers

Before criticizing decision-makers in any Muslim country, we have to be honest and ask whether or not the Muslim state in question really has the political liberty to apply Islam as it would really like.

If it does, we should make a noise and try to guide the decision-makers in the right direction. If it does not have the political freedom to enforce Islam law and apply Islam as it should be applied, we have to be a bit forgiving and think the best of our fellow Muslims.

I pray this helps.

[Ustadh] Farid

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies, he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years he has developed a masterful ability to craft lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language

This answer was collected from Seekersguidance.org. It’s an online learning platform overseen by Sheikh Faraz Rabbani. All courses are free. They also have in-person classes in Canada.

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