The Trustee’s Obligation towards the Masjid

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1. He should safeguard the income and property of the Masjid, meeting the necessary expenses and avoiding unnecessary expenditure. These days funds are generally squandered on expenses which have no importance in the Shar’iah, but are merely spent because unenlightened trustees deem them to be imperative. These people should fear Allah, for on the Day of Resurrection they will be accountable for every penny. The trustees of the Masjid must take the onus upon themselves to consult the Ulamă regarding the detailed rulings pertaining to these expenses and the running of the Masjid in general.

2. He must keep a proper record of all the income and expenditure of the Masjid.

3. According to the best of means, a proper Imăm must be appointed. If however, instead of a competent person, an unfit and inefficient person is appointed to serve the community and Deen at large then the warning sounded in the following Hadith should be heeded to; Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, whoever appoints someone to a post whereas within his sphere of influence there are more deserving persons, he has betrayed Allah, His Nabi and the Muslims in general. (Fat’hul Qadeer).

4. He must appoint such a Muazzin who is well acquainted with the times of Salăh and the correct pronunciation of the Azăn.

5. He should give due priority to the maintenance of the Masjid building as well as it’s other associated facilities.

6. Cleanliness, lighting and water facilities must also be adequately arranged.

7. It is of paramount importance for the trustee to ensure the performance of the five daily Salăh in congregation and always strive towards increasing the number of Musallis in the Masjid.

Each trustee must look sincerely into these duties and exert his utmost efforts towards achieving these.

Special care must be exercised in the appointment of an Imăm. The following are the cardinal requirements for an Imăm;

1. He should be well verses in relevant masă’il pertaining to Imămat and Salăh.

2. He must have mastered Tajweed rules to facilitate correct recitation of Qir’ăt in Salăh.

3. He should adhere to the Fară’idh, Wăjibăt, Sunnah and Mustahabăt.

4. He must refrain from Harăm and Makroohăt.

If the correct choice of an Imăm cannot be made, a reliable Ălim should be asked to interview a potential candidate. To use only a beautiful voice as a yard-stick in choosing an Imăm is pure ignorance. However, if together with the above cardinal requirements, the Imăm also possesses a beautiful voice then this will be an added asset.

Once the right Imăm has been appointed, due respect should be shown to him. He must not be considered a personal subordinate of the trustee. He is the leader and should be followed. This should always be kept in mind. Such a salary should be stipulated for him that will enable him to lead a decent and peaceful life. Stinginess should never be shown with regard to this issue. If there is a need, other expenses should be curtailed but a low and unreasonable salary should never be given to the Imăm or Muazzin.

If negligence prevails, it should be borne in mind that man is often forced to fulfil his basic needs by other means. The Muslim Jurists have stated that if someone commits himself to the service of a community, it is Wăjib upon them that they meet his expenses.

When the Imăm stands up to reform the masses, it is incumbent upon the trustees to jointly shoulder the cart and assist him to achieve his religious goal. In the event of the ignorant public raising objections and undue criticism against the Imăm, it is the duty of the trustees to stop them. If people disapprove of his propagation of the truth and the musallis decrease, they should first be made to understand. If they persist in their disapproval, then they should be ignored, because it is better to have a few abiding to the Sunnah and the Shar’iah rather than a deviated crowd.

The Imăm must have freedom of expression, he should never be hindered by the trustees. Some trustees dislike and are offended by the Imăm’s mentioning of any vices or faults in which they are involved, they thus prevent the Imăm from such lectures. Such an attitude leads to severe sins, as they will also be considered amongst those subjected to the severe warnings given in the following verses; “They prevent others from the path (deen) of Allah.” “Who can be more unjust than he who prevents the Name of Allah been taken in the house of Allah.”

The trustees should never interfere in the Imăm’s Ibădat, lectures and religious services.

According to the Shar’iah the trustee have no right of intervention. His responsibility is to see to the proper maintenance and functioning of the Masjid, as mentioned above.

If the trustee adopts and adheres to the above mentioned advices, with a true spirit, then it is highly believed that he will be amongst the good-named trustees in the Hereafter and be absolved of the great responsibilities which he shouldered. He will be justly rewarded.

Article taken (with Thanks) from Attarbiyah


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This page was last updated on June 14, 2003 .