Can sadaqah money be used on building a masjid?


While correcting an answer regarding the use of sadaqat for the construction of mosques, that was given by someone during Deeni-o-Fiqhi-Masail [a programme on MTA International], Hazrat Amirul Momineen, Khalifatul Masih Vaa, in his letter, dated 1 July 2020, to the nazim of Dar-ul-Ifta, said: 

“Someone has sent me the answer you gave during Deeni-o-Fiqhi-Masail regarding the spending of sadaqah funds for the construction of mosques, in which you have given a fatwa in favour of it by arguing from verse 60 of Surah al-Taubah.

“The term sadaqah is used in the Quran and the hadith to refer to Zakat, an obligatory pillar of Islam. In addition to Zakat, this word also denotes other alms given for the help and assistance of the poor and the needy for the sake of Allah. The context of each place would make it clear whether the word used in that place denotes the Islamic pillar of Zakat or other alms. 

“In the aforementioned verse of Surah al-Taubah, sadaqat refers to the zakat funds. Therefore, the fatwa deduced from this verse in favour of spending of sadaqah funds, other than Zakat, on the construction of mosques is invalid because the Promised Messiahas and the Khulafaof Ahmadiyyat have differentiated between Zakat and other sadaqat

“Accordingly, the Promised Messiahas declared that the poor had an exclusive right to sadaqah meat and directed it to be distributed among them alone. However, he did not allow it to be used in the langar khana, although boarding and lodging of travellers is usually arranged there. According to your argument, it would mean that they be allowed this kind of sadaqah meat as they fell under the categories of ‘fi sabeelillah’ [in the way of Allah] and ‘ibn al-sabeel’ [traveller]. 

“Such an argument regarding ‘fi sabeelillah’ and ‘ibn al-sabeel’ may be acceptable in special circumstances but nonetheless, it is the right of the Khalifa of the time to make such an interpretation. If everyone starts creating provisions based on such argumentation, then issues will get distorted. 

“The Promised Messiahas has also allowed the interest earned from banks to be spent on the propagation of Islam, but has merely declared it a temporary permission under the compelling state of Islam’s destitution. However, he has only allowed it to be spent on the publication of literature etc. for the propagation of Islam. He did not allow it to be used for the construction of mosques.

“Thus, in light of these issues, my position, like that of the previous Khulafa of Ahmadiyyat, is that sadaqah money cannot be donated to the mosque fund. Therefore, your fatwa should be according to this.

“If you have any other arguments in support of your position, you may certainly send me your report by way of a scholarly discussion.”

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