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Moosaa
05-06-2011 @ 9:57 AM    Notify Admin about this post
Abul-'Abbaas Moosaa ibn John Richardson (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
Member
Posts: 1280
Joined: Sep 2002
          
TROID and Their Public Requests for Financial Support
and Their Use of Donation Boxes


A brother from Toronto (may Allaah bless him) writes:

quote:
Salam alaikum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakatuh.  I have a question about asking for donations to support the masjid or da'wa (in light of the article from Shaykh Muqbil called: Disgracing the Da'wah to Build a Masjid*)... This issue is going aroud, I just wanted a clear clarification inshallaah May Allaah reward you with good.  Jazak Allaahu khairan.
(question abridged and adapted for a public forum)

*The article: Disgracing the Da'wah to Build a Masjid:
http://www.salafitalk.net/st/viewmessages.cfm?Forum=14&Topic=4916

wa 'alaykumus-salaamu wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh.

May Allaah bless you for seeking clarification.  Since you have asked about an issue that has been bothering me, I thought I would take the opportunity to elaborate on the subject as much as possible, and Allaah's Help is sought...

In the Name of Allaah, the Most Merciful...

The generality of asking for the people to support the masjid and reminding them of their community duties is from the Sunnah of the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhe wa sallam).  However, it often becomes blameworthy when harm is involved.  This harm can be:

  • That the image of the da'wah is disgraced - people say that the brothers at the masjid always ask for money!  This may harm the reputation of Ahlus-Sunnah if done by them specifically, or it may harm the image of Islaam in general if not specific to them.

  • That zakaat money is used to maintain the masjid, and this is a bid'ah in the religion, as the maintenance of masjids is not one of the clearly defined avenues of using zakaat monies.

  • That the people who come to the houses of Allaah to pray are publicly embarrassed and/or shamed when they are approached individually in front of others and they do not give anything.

  • That it becomes a habit and continues in times when there is no need, which resembles the practice of the Christians, and the deviant group al-Ikhwaan al-Muslimoon.

  • That the money is used inappropriately, like to build domes or expensive minaarahs, or to decorate the masjid beyond what is decent and acceptable, or to fund activities against the Book and the Sunnah, like sponsoring lectures by people of innovation.
And there are many other harms that have been witnessed in different communities.

I personally advise all Muslim communites to fear Allaah and stay away from public fundraisers, repeated requests for donations after Jumu'ah, charity boxes in the masjid, and confronting individuals on their way in/out of the masjid in a way that embarrasses them.  I feel strongly that these things have a severely negative impact on the image of our da'wah.

I advise, as the mashaayikh of Yemen specifically and many of the mashaayikh elsewhere advise, that money needed to maintain the community be raised privately, and that the people who are capable to contribute without harming their families must fear Allaah and volunteer to contribute regularly and to remain aware of the situation of the masjid or islamic center, and be active in helping offer solutions to problems faced by the community.

A Good Approach

With the right approach, the rich can become sympathetic, loosen their grip on some of what Allaah blessed them with, and become key figures in the maintenance of a community.  

An example of how to reach them:  One brother, known for good manners and integrity, goes to a rich Muslim in the city privately, and informs him of the virtues of one of the poor members of the community.  His situation is described and the reality of his poverty is discussed.  Perhaps the poor brother gives $10 a month to help the community regularly, and he may even suffer because of that!  The rich person feels ashamed that he has little or no regular commitment to financially support the community.  He is asked to double the contribution of the poor brother by giving $20 a month, and he should become ashamed that such a meagre amount is being requested and offers $200 or $500 a month.  (DISCLAIMER: not 100% effective on everyone, just an idea!)

About TROID Specifically

In light of all this, I would also like to share what I know about the community around Masjid al-Furqaan in Toronto, the centre maintained by the da'wah organization TROID, and how they maintain the operation of their centre.

1. I have personally visited the centre to give da'wah in 1428, 1429, and 1431 (2007, 2008, and 2010), each time for a period of between one and two months.  I was made aware of their financial situation and shown the financial records related to the maintenance of the community.

2. They have tried a number of ways to avoid requesting money publicly.  They have tried following advice offered to them by visiting mashaayikh of Yemen and other students of knowledge.  While I encourage them to increase these kinds of efforts and explore different avenues, I understand that they simply encountered times when they were forced to either raise money publicly or close their centre.  This clash of harms seems to be what led them to take the lesser of the two - asking publicly.

3. They maintain an on-line store, which is physically connected to the centre and open for the locals.  The revenue generated was intended to fund further da'wah activities, however, the revenue is currently being used to help pay the bills of the centre itself, as the community is not yet fully self-funded.  The use of this store to fund the centre and help pay its bills is a clear indication that the brothers are active in seeking out ways to fund the community without asking publicly.

4. Another clear indication is found in their interactions with me and my visits.  While they had to raise money for my first visit in 2007, as they invited me to come and teach and we had no prior arrangements on how exactly it would be done.  And the norm in the West is that a visiting teacher is an expense and a financial burden on the community.  While there was no agreement for any payment to be given to me, they still needed to host me (food and accomodations), and hosting for two months is a considerable expense.

When I learned of the financial situation of the community, I tried to help with a solution, as I did not want my visit to be a burden on them.  As they say, necessity is the mother of invention.  We came up with a registration package for the classes, an optional package of administrative services (like on-line tests, copies of study materials, etc.) for a registration fee.  This fee was originally intended to be for the community (it was later given to me as a compensation for my time, since the money for my visit had been raised).  It was entirely optional for students to register, so anyone who could not (or did not want to) register could attend all the classes.  This keeps us away from making Islaamic knowledge only available to those who can pay for it.
  
So the brainchild of 2007 was developed and used in 2008 and 2010, and by Allaah's Grace, I visit Toronto for da'wah and, with dedicated cooperation and support from the brothers at TROID, we manage to combine between the following benefits: daily classes free to everyone in Toronto, online quizzes and administrative follow-up for those who register, no financial burden on the community, in fact the community has more money after my visit, because of the (optional) registration fees (the revenue generated from the administrative services is shared between the visitor and the community).  All of this, without asking for support publicly.  And the cooperation of the brothers at TROID in this project must viewed as another proof in their favor that they are actively seeking out ways to maintain the community privately without asking publicly.

5. TROID also publishes books, and the revenue goes to support the community, again.  While they would like the publishing wing to develop and become independant, funding itself and expanding, it is currently being used to help support the maintenance of the community.  These are three specific examples (#3, 4, and 5), and there are more that I know of, and I assume there are more that I do not know of.  Again it shows clearly that they are actively in pursuit of ways to fund the community without asking the people publicly.

I advise the Muslim community of Toronto specifically and the Muslims elsewhere who follow the affairs of Toronto, to fear Allaah and recognize these efforts.  I advise them to recognize the commitment and the history of those who are integral to the maintenance of the community.  I advise them to recognize the years of volunteered efforts to TROID contributed by those brothers (may Allaah bless them), and not to focus on their shortcomings (may Allaah excuse them).  I advise the Muslims of Toronto to take the initiative to support the community of Masjid al-Furqaan in a way that keeps them from mentioning the needs of the community openly.  Help your brothers behind the scenes and fear Allaah.

After reading this, do you really think it is fair to accuse them of following the way of al-Ikhwaan al-Muslimoon?!  Is it really fair to criticize them for their public appeals to help maintain the community, when they have been faced with shutting down their centre?! Do you think the words of Shaykh Muqbil apply to them (words aimed at al-ikhwaan al-muslimoon), that they are the cause of disgracing the da'wah (!), or could the words of Shaykh Saalih al-Fowzaan about donation boxes in the masjid be more appropriately applied here?:

quote:
...If there is a need for donations to the masjid for renovations of the masjid or building a masjid or those things which will benefit the masjid and there are not enough funds to cover the expenses except by way of donations then there is nothing wrong with this. And this is from cooperating upon piety and righteousness...
http://www.salafitalk.net/st/viewmessages.cfm?Forum=6&Topic=9055

Or the words of the Permanent Committee, chaired by Shaykh Ibn Baaz:

quote:
...It is permissible to help the people who benefit from these boxes with money other than the obligatory Zakah, as Allah (may He be Praised and Exalted) says: Help you one another in Al-Birr and At-Taqwı (virtue, righteousness and piety) and He also says: and do good that you may be successful.
http://alifta.com/Fatawa/FatawaChapters.aspx?View=Page&PageID=3394&PageNo=1&BookID=7
  
Let the rash, ambitious youth fear Allaah and be just!  Or at least be silent and stop harming entire communities and their efforts without right.

And i fear that people of fitnah, those who hate the spread of Salafiyyah, or some heedless brothers being unknowlingly used by people of fitnah, or some hasty students of knowledge who deceive themselves into thinking they are forbidding evil (!), make broad accusations against those who are earnestly struggling to maintain a communtiy from which the haqq can spread.  So fear Allaah and work together to achieve solutions that aid your community!

And Allaah knows best, may He raise the rank of Muhammad and grant him peace.

Moosaa

Moosaa
ibn John
Richardson


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Eesa@sbiic
06-06-2011 @ 6:54 PM    Notify Admin about this post
Abu Ummayah Eesa Ibn Trevor Odwin (cardiff)
Member
Posts: 5
Joined: Aug 2005
          
assalamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakaahu

Bismillah, walhamdulillah

Just read though what you posted and as a brother with little knowledge or insight in these issues I find it a little difficult to take much benefit intended from yourself regarding in particular the use of charity boxes within the masjid.  I say this because you've stated;

quote:

"I personally advise all Muslim communites to fear Allaah and stay away from public fundraisers, repeated requests for donations after Jumu'ah, charity boxes in the masjid..."


But further down you advise us to take into account the following fataawa suggesting the permissiblity of charity boxes within the masjid where there may be a need from ash shaykh Saalih al Fowzaan and ash Shaykh bin Baaz.

quote:

"or could the words of Shaykh Saalih al-Fowzaan about donation boxes in the masjid be more appropriately applied here?:


quote:
...If there is a need for donations to the masjid for renovations of the masjid or building a masjid or those things which will benefit the masjid and there are not enough funds to cover the expenses except by way of donations then there is nothing wrong with this. And this is from cooperating upon piety and righteousness...


http://www.salafitalk.net/st/viewmessages.cfm?Forum=6&Topic=9055

Or the words of the Permanent Committee, chaired by Shaykh Ibn Baaz:


quote:
...It is permissible to help the people who benefit from these boxes with money other than the obligatory Zakah, as Allah (may He be Praised and Exalted) says: Help you one another in Al-Birr and At-Taqwı (virtue, righteousness and piety) and He also says: and do good that you may be successful. "


Just thought i'd mention this point as this may confuse some readers (including myself) becuase (regarding charity boxes), its not totally clear what you are advising.

Jazaakum Allahu khayraa

Moosaa
06-08-2011 @ 7:55 AM    Notify Admin about this post
Abul-'Abbaas Moosaa ibn John Richardson (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
Member
Posts: 1280
Joined: Sep 2002
          
wa alaykumus-salaamu wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh

I meant: Take the correct position (which I believe to be): Refrain from the use of donation boxes and public fundraising for the da'wah.

And along with that: Be mature and show some wisdom in how you deal with an issue that is the subject of scholarly differing among the recognized scholars of Ahlus-Sunnah, especially in times of necessity.  Do not draw lines of religious alliance (walaa' and baraa') on an issue like this!

And Allaah knows best.

I apologize for not being more clear.

Moosaa
ibn John
Richardson


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