Is it permissible for a person who has memorized the Qur’an to lead people in Salah (Prayer) or recite the Qur’an for the dead in return for a certain amount of money paid in advance?
Reciting the Qur’an is one of the best acts of worship. Acts of worship should be sincerely dedicated to Allah Alone, not intended to gain worldly benefits or prestige. They should be purely devoted to Allah, hoping for His Reward and fearing His Punishment. Allah (Exalted be He) says:
So worship Allâh (Alone) by doing religious deeds sincerely for Allâh’s sake only.
Surely the religion (i.e. the worship and the obedience) is for Allâh only.
And they were commanded not, but that they should worship Allâh, and worship none but Him Alone (abstaining from ascribing partners to Him)
It was reported that
`Umar ibn Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) heard the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him), saying:
Actions depend upon intentions, and every person shall have but that which he has intended. So whoever emigrated for the Sake of Allah and His Messenger, his emigration is for the Sake of Allah and His Messenger, and whoever emigrated for the sake of some worldly gain or a woman to marry, his emigration is for the purpose that he intended.
Accordingly, it is not permissible for a reciter of the Qur’an to receive fees for reciting the Qur’an whether in advance or arrears, and whether it is in Salah or for a dead person. (Part No. 4; Page No. 129) None among the scholars has permitted hiring someone to recite the Qur’an. Imams of Masjids (mosques) and Mu’adhins (callers to Prayer) are not included in this ruling; they may receive fees or salaries from Bayt-ul-Mal (Muslim treasury). They do not receive pay for the sake of recitation or leading Salah, but they receive it in return for devoting their time and efforts to perform this collective duty. The same applies to the caliph or the ruler of Muslims who receives pay for devoting himself and his time to the affairs of the state. ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) used to give the Mujahidin (fighters in the Cause of Allah) and those who had truthful stances in support of Islam from Bayt-ul-Mal, according to their precedence in embracing Islam and the benefits they brought to the Muslim Ummah (nation based on one creed). It is noteworthy that Allah (Exalted be He) has prescribed a portion of Zakah (obligatory charity) to be given to those who dedicate their time to collect it, even if they are rich. This is because they perform a collective Islamic duty that is enjoined upon the entire Ummah. Therefore, they are given this portion whether they are rich or poor for the sake of dedicating their time and being busy with such a mission from earning their own livelihood.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.