Narrating a Hadith in which some signs of Qiyaamah are mentioned, Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu) said:
“The dunya will be pursued with deeds of the Aakhirah.” “Deeds of the Aakhira” are acts of Ibaadat and all ways and means of establishing and achieving the goals of the Aakhirah. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), stating this very same theme in another form, said: “Recite the Qur’aan. Do not eat by means of it.”
During the Khairul Quroon era, i.e. the First Three Ages (Sahaabah, Taabieen and Tab-e-Taabieen), remuneration for teaching the Deen, reciting the Athaan, performing the duties of Imaamate, Ifta, etc., was haraam. After the Khairul Quroon era, when the Fuqaha-e-Muta-akh-khireen (the Later Fuqaha and Ulama) discerned that these vital Deeni obligations could not be fulfilled because of the acute dearth of men of Taqwa, living only for the Aakhirah, they (the Fuqaha) were constrained by the prevailing situation to invoke the Shar’i principle: “Dire needs legalize prohibitions”, to issue the verdict that henceforth it will be permissible to remunerate monetarily Ustaadhs, Muath-thins, Imaams, etc. – those engaged in vital Deeni capacities. Since this permissibility was dictated by dire need, it applies to only vital Islamic institutions. It may not be extended to acts and practices on which the subsistence and endurance of the Deen are not reliant. For example, if in this age of moral and spiritual corruption in which the Ulama-e-Soo’ preponderate, and also due to the almost total lack of Taqwa which is essential for devotion and sacrifice, Ustaadhs are not paid salaries and Imaams are not paid for executing imaamate duties, and Muath-thin’s are not paid, then all the Madaaris will close down; the Musaajid will be without Imaams and Muath-thins. In brief, the Deen will be severely prejudiced. All of its vital institutions will be severely affected and even terminated. However, despite this lamentable permissibility of accepting wages for pure Deeni services and ibaadat, the ruling may not be extended to non-essential acts. Hence, it remains haraam to remunerate a Haafiz for only reciting the Qur’aan Majeed in Taraaweeh Salaat. The practice of giving gifts to the huffaaz on the completion of the Qur’aan Majeed during Ramadhaan; the practice of huffaaz travelling to other countries to lead the Taraaweeh purely for the sake of monetary gain; operating a Madrasah as a business venture for monetary gain by way of charging fees; operating Zakaat-collecting organizations for monetary gain; operating Daarul Iftas for monetary gain, are all haraam.
If an Ustaadh is wealthy or has an income which is sufficient for his needs, then it will not be permissible for him to teach the Qur’aan and Deen for a wage. If a Madrasah has adequate funds – funds contributed by the community or acquired from
Waqf property, then it will be haraam to charge fees for imparting Ilm-e-Wahi (Knowledge of the Qur’aan and Deeni subjects). If a Mufti has personal wealth or an income, he may not demand a wage for manning the Darul Ifta. Those who have set up organizations to collect Zakaat funds, may not remunerate themselves from the Zakaat funds they collect.
In our present age, the Deen is despicably exploited and commercialized for personal monetary gain. All departments of the Deen are for the attainment of Thawaab in the Aakhirah and for gaining Allah’s Pleasure. The objective of the Deen is NOT monetary gain and worldly status. Allah Ta’ala says in the Qur’aan Majeed:
“Do not purchase with My Aayaat a miserable price (bargain, gain).”
AWAKE RAMADHAAN 1444/ MARCH – APRIL 2023