Q 1: A- Is it permissible
for a person to pay money to be elected as an Imam (the one who leads congregational Prayer) of a Masjid (mosque)?
B- If we know that
an Imam did so, will it be permissible for us to perform the Salah (Prayer) behind him?
Will he be considered a Fasiq (someone flagrantly violating Islamic law)?C- Is it Haram (prohibited) to receive such money? (Part No. 23; Page No. 556) D- Is such money considered Sadaqah (voluntary charity) or a bribe?
It is impermissible for a Muslim to pay money to officials to elect him as an Imam while there are other candidates of better or similar qualifications.
It is Makruh (disliked) for whomever knows that a certain person gave payment to be elected as an Imam to perform Salah behind him, if he has the ability to change the Imam or perform Salah behind a better Imam with no fear of Fitnah (sedition) or harm of any kind. This is because the Imam who gives payment to win the post is considered Fasiq.
It is absolutely Haram (prohibited) to receive money for the purpose mentioned above.
Money which is paid for the concerned purpose is not Sadaqah. Rather, it is a bribe.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.