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Building Masjids, restoring them

Q: Some scholars permit people to spend Zakah (obligatory charity) money on building Masjids (Mosques), hospitals, and charitable organizations. Other scholars even permit spending Zakah money on sports clubs, and cultural and sports associations which have no Islamic orientation.

A: It is not permissible to spend Zakah money on building Masjids, hospitals, and charitable organizations. The decree, which has been issued by the Council of Senior Scholars in (Part No. 10; Page No. 40)  the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in this regard, states:After reviewing the views of the religious scholars which were gathered by the Permanent Committee regarding the meaning of ...and for Allâh’s Cause which is included in the Ayah (Qur'anic verse) determining the channels of Zakah, and after studying the proofs and discussing the view maintaining that "for Allah's Cause" refers to Mujahids (those fighting in the Cause of Allah), especially the equipment they need, similarly, reviewing the interpretation of those who expanded the Ayah and did not limit its meaning to the Mujahids, thus they include Masjids and barrages construction, education improvement, the Da`wah activities carried out by Du`ah (callers to Islam) as well as other righteous deeds, the members of the Council have considered taking the views of the Mufassirs (exegetes of the Qur'an), scholars of Hadith, and Fuqaha' (Muslim jurists) i.e. Jumhur (dominant majority of scholars). According to these views, the meaning of Allah's saying, ...and for Allâh’s Cause related in the Ayah determining Zakah channels refers to the Mujahids and the equipment they require. If there are no Mujahids, Zakah should be spent on its other channels. It is not permissible to be spent on the public facilities such as building Masjids, barrages, etc., unless there is no channel available of the eight kinds stated in the Ayah. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions. (Part No. 10; Page No. 41) May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.