A businessman has donated the costs of iftar (the meal with which one breaks the fast) sponsorship at our Islamic centre in Romania. However, the center will have a budget deficit since we have to pay for electricity, water, and heating and the wages of the chef, in addition to buying bathroom supplies and kitchen tools. We have decided to charge each visitor $50 for attending the iftar so that we can run the deficit and remain committed to holding iftar gatherings in Ramadan. Are we allowed to do that? That is an urgent matter, and we would appreciate it if you could get back to us with the answer as soon as possible. May Allah give you success and count you among righteous scholars in this nation!
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, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and messenger.
Praise be to Allaah, Who has guided you to look after and work for the interests of Muslims in your community! There is no doubt that your efforts shall earn you a great reward from Allaah. Also, may Allaah reward you for your keenness to learn about the religious matters before you proceed with action!
You must know that you are not allowed to impose any charges on the people who are going to attend iftar gatherings at your center. On the one hand, this will cause the needy Muslims in your community to shy away from coming to your center even though they may be in dire need for help. On the other hand, this will open the door for fortunate people to attend your iftar in return for little money. Both cases will not fulfill the mission of your center and the objectives of your donors.
The solution is that you consult the businessman on deducting a sum of the money that he has donated and spending this sum on the services needed for keeping the place convenient and well-equipped for iftar. This is because the money that the businessman has donated should also cover the costs of preparing the place where the iftar will be served and securing the necessary needs, including food, water and electricity.
Allaah Knows best.
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