Use of funds collected in Masjid for youth programmes
In the UK, Masjids routinely collect donations on Fridays and otherwise for the running costs of the Masjid and for salaries and otherwise. It has become a common question that can these funds be used for youth services and other activities organised in the Masjid, for example, the costs of organising a youth conference and arranging refreshments. Can these funds be used or should funds be raised separately for this? Kindly advise.
بسم الله الرحمن الرحیم
The underlying principle in relation to donations is that they should be used according to the intention and stipulation of the donor. Thus, if the donor has intended their donation to be used for the utilities and estate management costs of the Masjid and the salaries of the employees, then the donation should only be used for this purpose. If the donor, however, has intended the donation to be used for any of the costs incurred by the Masjid including the costs of youth programmes, then the donation can be used for this.
Given the possibility of different intentions, it is strongly recommended that Masjids have a clear policy in place which is placed on the noticeboard. The policy should clearly outline what the general funds raised by the Masjid will be used for.
In light of the importance of youth events and similar, our recommendation is that Masjids stipulate within the policy that the general donations raised on Fridays and otherwise will be used for the running costs of the Masjid along with events and youth activities and other activities of the Masjid as specified in the governing document (constitution or trust deed), and that if anyone wants to donate specifically towards utilities and/or salaries, they should donate separately and specify this. This would allow the Masjid to use the donations for any of its activities as the management deem appropriate. The reason for recommending this option is that some Masjids struggle to fund essential youth services, despite having a healthy bank balance, because it is restricted to utilities and salaries of employees. A clear policy, however, is important so that there is no misunderstanding or misuse of funds. The policy should be clear and detailed, specifying what the donations will be used for. In addition, any new policy should not be applied retrospectively to previously raised funds.
It is also a valid option for Masjids to have a policy that the general donations will only be used for utilities, estate management costs and salaries of the employees and that the costs for other activities and events will be raised separately. This should also be clearly outlined in a policy and advertised on the noticeboard, so that donors can donate towards youth services and other activities specifically should they wish to do so.
Either way, it is of paramount importance to have a clear policy in place and share with the congregation, so that the management of the Masjids know the intention of the donors enabling them to use the donations accordingly.
Allah knows best
11 Shawwāl 1444 / 1 May 2023
Approved by: Mufti Shabbir Ahmed and Mufti Muhammad Tahir