Fatwa No : 136154
Announcing about a lost child in the mosque
Fatwa Date : Jumaadaa Al-Aakhir 17, 1431 / 30-5-2010
I am enquiring of the permissibility to announce about a small child who by one way or another gets lost in a street. Is it allowed to make such announcements in a mosque? This announcement is hoped to facilitate the community support in locating where the child is, and if it found, then the parents/guardians get the information in good time to avoid further anguish. In our masjid, our Imam tells us that the Prophetforbade to make such announcements. Is there a hadith to support this? Please help
All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.
It is confirmed in a Saheeh [sound] Hadeeth that was reported by Ibn Maajah in his “Sunan” that ‘Amr Ibn Shu’ayb reported from his father from his grandfather (‘Amr Ibn Al-‘Aas ) that the Prophet forbade announcing lost items in the mosque. Moreover, Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Prophet said: “Whoever hears a man announcing in the mosque about some objects which he has lost, let him tell him ‘May Allaah not return it to you for the mosques are not built for that’.” [Muslim]
Many scholars stated that the reason for which the Prophet forbade announcing lost items in the mosque is raising the voice. This reason applies to any lost item, be it a person, an animal or a property.
Indeed, the Permanent Committee of Fatwa received a question that reads: “We saw in the Hadeeth that the Prophet forbade announcing lost items in the mosque, like an ID card, a passport and so forth, but if the lost item is a human being, then is it permissible to announce that in the mosque, like an infant, a boy, a young man or an elderly man…? The answer of the Committee was as follows: “It is not permissible to announce lost items in the mosque regardless whether it is a property, an animal or a human being for the general prohibition of announcing lost items in the mosque.”
Defining the item and telling people about it is included in the meaning of announcing it. Ibn Qudaamah when speaking about the definition of the lost property, he said: “One should not announce for it in the mosque because the mosque is not built for this purpose.”
However, some scholars made an exception for announcing for a human being from the prohibition of announcing a lost item in the mosque, but in principle, one should stick to the general ruling unless there is something that specifies it.
Allaah Knows best.