Charging for Religious Services – 1
[This is a snipped and relevant part of a compound question:]
Speech makers who sermonize in a Masjid or outside of it are given offerings in cash or kind by the listeners; some of them merely recite poems and odes [naat]
– Is it permissible to give such offerings in a mosque or out of the mosque?
– Is such an income permissible for the speaker?
– Are they included in the description of the verse: ‘These are a people who have bought this worldly life in lieu of the hereafter.’ [2:86]
There are three possibilities in this case.
1. If one’s objective in making a speech, sermonizing or reciting odes [hamd, naat] is just to make money out of it, verily they are included in the verse: ‘Sell not ye my verses for a miserable/paltry price.’ [2:41].
This income is besmirched for them and particularly for those people who are not needy; that is, as needy as makes it permissible for them to beg. But in the present case, they beg without a justified need, making it a doubly forbidden act; because, it is a form of unlawful expropriation as mentioned in Fatāwā Al-Hindiyyah [Ālamgīrī]: “The amount collected by assiduous begging is unclean.”
2. If one’s sole objective in making a speech or reciting an ode or a poem is to please Allah [a remembrance of the Lord] and then, Muslims give such a speaker/reciter something of their own volition, then it is permissible for the person to take it.
3. If one’s objective in making a speech or reciting an ode is mainly the remembrance of Allah taala, but such a person is needy and knows that people usually give something; then, this greed is also conjoined and united with the noble intention. It is not as ugly as the first one; yet, it is not as praiseworthy as the second either.
In Durr al-Mukhtār: ‘It is among the waywardness of Jews and Christians to make [religious] speeches in order to gain wealth.’ [al-waáž li jamýi’l māli min đalālati’l yahūd wa’n naşārā]
This third possibility is closer to the first than the second, similar to a person who goes to Hajj but takes something along to do business; and ‘There is no blame on you if you seek the provision and favor of your Lord.’ [2:198]. Therefore, the ruling in the third case is that of permissibility.
Just as Faqīh Abu’l Layth as-Samarqandi permitted in his fatwā, as mentioned in Fatāwā Qāđī Khān and Fatāwā al-Hindiyyah; and this third possibility is in truth a reconciliation between the first two.
Only Allah ta’ala gives success and Allah ta’ala knows best.