Buying burial ground with money raised to build mosque
Fatwa No: 345430

Question

Sorry, this is the second time I send you a question about the same topic, but some of the data has changed. Please issue your opinion on how to dispose of the money collected from donations of Muslims in one of the provinces of Japan; the fundraising stopped and a number of problems have arisen between the Muslims who live there. The amount that had been collected up to that point is not sufficient to buy a piece of land and build a mosque on it, and this amount is now in a bank account which was created specifically to deposit donations for the establishment of this mosque, and that account was registered under the name of a Muslim person who is responsible for it. We fear that the money might be lost if he passes away. Now we think of use this amount in the creation of a Muslim burial ground in this province. We evaluated that the amount is sufficient to be used for this purpose, which is needed because the province does not have a Muslim graveyard, especially given that there are many Muslims in this province, consisting of both new arrivals and Muslims who have been living in the province for many years, some of whom have even obtained Japanese citizenship. The question is: is it permissible to buy a piece of land that is fit to be a graveyard for the Muslims in this province with this money? Note that the amount that had been collected was done so in order to build a mosque, but it is not enough to buy a suitable piece of land and build a mosque on it. It is, however, enough to buy a piece of land which can be converted into a Muslim graveyard and maintained as such. May Allaah reward you.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger. 

This money was raised to build a mosque, which is not possible, so if it is possible to build a mosque with this money in another place that needs a mosque, then that would be better because this was the intention of the donors and the purpose for which the money was collected. If this is also not possible and you cannot build a mosque in another place and there is a need to spend this money in buying a burial ground for the Muslims, then there is no harm in doing so, Allah willing. Some scholars held that it is allowed to spend endowed money for a purpose other than that for which it was endowed if it is more beneficial and better.

The Hanbali scholar Mustafa Ar-Ruhaybani  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him wrote, “Shaykh Taqiyy Ad-Deen said, ‘It is permissible to change the condition set by the person who endowed property for a more beneficial purpose. For example, if the money was endowed to be spent on scholars of Fiqh or Sufis (ascetic worshipers) and there was a need for money to finance jihaad, then this money should be spent on the soldiers instead.’” [Matalib Uli An-Nuha fi Sharh Ghaayat Al-Muntaha]

Accordingly, there is no harm on you if you spend the mentioned amount of money to buy a burial ground for the deceased Muslims in this country if you cannot spend it to build a mosque or if buying a burial ground is more beneficial given the dire need for it, especially when you fear losing this money when the person entrusted with it passes away. Also, the intention of the donors is to earn much reward; so the greater the benefit that this money yields, the closer it is to the donors' intention.

Allah knows best.

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