Q. There is a nearby community (adminstration of the masjid) who has or is going to sell the current masjid to the Christians for the purpose of building a new masjid in an area where the people on the adminstration committee can conveniently attend the masjid. What is the ruling in the light of the Quran and Sunnah? It has been rumoured that the current adminstration has been issued a fatwa that the selling of the masjid is permissible and Allah knows best, I will have to investigate that more. What should the people of that community do and what can nearby communities do for this happening?
A. The Masjid is the house of Allah and hence cannot be sold to anyone. Once a Masjid has been built as a Masjid, then it remains a Masjid and cannot be used for anything else. It is clear that by being sold to the Christians, the name and purpose will also change. This is a grave wrong which is totally Haraam in Islam.
In the incident quoted, there are two grave wrongs which would take place. First is that of ‘selling a Masjid’ which is not allowed at all. And secondly, transferring it to the care of non-Muslims.
The people of the community as well as the nearby communities should come together to stop this transaction from taking place. They should try all means and ways that are permitted and acceptable to the laws of the country they are living in to prevent the Masjid from being sold. If these people who wish to sell are bent upon their intentions and do not wish to desist from their acts, then the Muslims should come together to purchase the Masjid which is being sold. In this state, at least one good will be accomplished and that is the fact that the Masjid will not go into the hands of the non-Muslims.
Although the selling and buying of a Masjid is not permitted, in this case Muslims will have to purchase it to stop a grave wrong from taking place. If through this act, they are able to avoid the Masjid from going into the hands of the Christians, then they would be greatly rewarded by Allah.
And Allah knows best.
Mufti Waseem Khan