I noticed that my relatives (living in Dubai) do not pray at the masjid, even when it is only at a 2-minute walk from their home. They offer all their prayers at home, including the Jumma salah.

Their reason is that the imam is a paid employee of the government. They mentioned that some fatwas state that "Getting paid on offering prayer and other things like teaching the Quran is haram". My relatives told me that Prophet Muhammad (SAW), Abu Bakar (RA) or any other companions of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) did not accept wages to lead prayers.

I asked them that if they go to Hajj, they will not offer prayers behind the Kaaba Imam since he is getting paid by the government. They replied that yes they will not.

So my question is that, are these people doing the right thing by not praying behind a government paid imam?

  • Why negative vote, I just had the question in mind and asked. – Asad Ali May 2 '16 at 9:14
  • I don't know the exact reasons for that, but you have -apparently- been pushing for an answer by for example posting it in different chat rooms etc. That's not what we expect here help center. Please consider also taking the tour and visiting our help center. – Medi1Saif May 2 '16 at 9:53
  • I want answer thats why i post in the chat rooms. next time i will be carefull. thanks – Asad Ali May 2 '16 at 10:01
  • You should also be patient, sometimes people don't have time to give an answer! I'm at work, I'm not a mufti just a development Engineer. Even if you asked a mufti via internet you might wait a week, month or more! – Medi1Saif May 2 '16 at 10:02

First of all the prayer in congregation and in a mosque is considered by some scholars as a fard (mandatory) for each man who can follow the call of the prayer and isn't hindered by a disease to go and join it. So if you are living 2 min away from the mosque and have no physical prevention, you should go and pray at a mosque (See for example this hadith from sahih Muslim about praying at a mosque is following the sunah while praying a prayer at home is not, and this hadith about the blind man who asked whether he can pray at home from sahih Muslim). So from this point of view this people are sinning if they don't attend any congregation at the mosque even if they live only 2 min away from it, and don't have any health reasons not to attend them.
And at least (assuming this isn't fard/farz) they will miss a lot of tawab by missing congregation prayers.

Getting payed for leading a prayer is considered as not allowed by some scholars (see for example this fatwa in Arabic) and allowed by others (see for example this fatwa).

Note that when it comes to details the difference between both fatwas is marginal: One would say that getting paid from the people who pray behind the imam isn't allowed, while getting paid from the government or bait al mal is allowed, while the other states that as far as the imam doesn't ask the people to pay him it's allowed to collect money for him or him being paid from the government/ministry/official pay desk (bait al mal) etc..
So the major difference is if the imam asks for a payment (this would be considered as not allowed) not if he "has been employed" to lead the prayers and paid!

Even if this was not asked there are also imams who have some deputy imam they pay half their earnings to lead congregation instead of them this is also considered as not allowed, as such an imam seems to do commerce with his "position". I just read about it here.

And Allah knows best!


my opinion is that- whether the imam get's paid or not his duties are still to perform his prayers and lead . the true imam's does not care about money and would still do his duties towards Allah and teach people. some imam's pray for the sake of getting paid to feed their families, there's nothing as doing free these days in our modern society ( an example). our duty is not about other people's concern or knowing if he get's paid or not. our duty is to go to mosque and perform our duties of prayers and unite together for the sake of Allah and Deen. “The people who will receive the greatest reward for prayer are those who walk the furthest distance to come and pray, then those who walk the next furthest.” Narrated by Muslim, 662.

Whoever purifies himself in his house then walks to one of the houses of Allaah in order to perform one of the duties enjoined by Allaah, for every two steps he takes, one will erase a sin and the other will raise him one degree in status.”

i hope this helps Inshallah Fathima

  • But now a days every Imam is getting paid. and according to my relatives and their studies, they said it is against islam. Every person has the right to do Imamat. I also read in Quran that some Prophets (do not remember their names) said that I am not getting paid by teaching. Did not know the reference, but I will provide it soon – Asad Ali May 2 '16 at 9:23
  • simple question- what does the imam do in the mosque?his duties are the Obligatory salah and teaching OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMED). what he earns /eats-is not of our concern , if you are concerned about what people earn eat and how they spend it simply means that your faith is not in GOD but your faith is in people's opinion and also looking into their privacy life. which is not allowed in Islam. Imam and his duties should be towards allah and it's between him and his lord. our concern shouldn't be on the Money of how he earns and what he does with the Money where he goes,etc. – Fathima May 2 '16 at 9:52
  • so whatever the imam's say are mostly repeated by the prophet muhammed. and whatever we pray are the normal daily salah which is also done by our prophet. simple. the problem with your thinking and relatives are more into people's privacy and judgement given by their own self opinions. if we were real muslims we shouldn't be concerned where their money comes from and how much they get paid. it's none of our business to poke into their privacy life ,we only learn and follow teachings and unite together with people. but you can walk away if their teachings mislead. – Fathima May 2 '16 at 9:52

Of course, paying for the imam of the Muslims is wrong. And if the imam getting paid by the government,it should be for teaching the religious orders or tradition. In any case this is relevant to the imam and it does not renounce his condition of Imam.

  • 2
    Salam and Welcome to isolam.SE. Please consider supporting your claims by adding references. I strongly recommend you to take our tour and visit our help center and read How to Answer. – Medi1Saif May 2 '16 at 8:13

Religion Islam distinctly prohibited worship and made appreciations and to remain grateful to Allah as a compulsory.
Logic – Sura Ikhlaas = Allah beyond time and space and so is the creator.
Salat is the best way to appreciate Allah rejecting worship and so it is a prime obligation. Money cannot value appreciations. Paying money to buy appreciations is not acceptable.

  • How can Islam prohibit worship (عبادة) if it is a major part of the religion itself? – Medi1Saif Apr 20 '17 at 8:46

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