Is it permissible to give out membership in the masjid for those that attend the prayers?
What is this membership? The House of Allah is open to every Muslim that wished to pray in it. What membership are you going to give to the one that comes just to pray? This is a strange question. However, we have heard of this type of question from outside of Yemen, from some of the western countries. They say, they (the administration of the masjid) make it a condition for the ones that wants to pray that they add their names to a list for paying the water bill, the electric bill and the rent. Because most of the masjids there are rented properties not endowments. Meaning they find a building to rent and they turn it into a masjid for a certain amount each month or each year. And with that they have to pay the water bill and electric bill so they make it a condition, say the one in charge of the masjid, for the ones that would like to pray in the masjid that at the end of every month they pay (dues) and share in with paying the rent, the water and the electric. They say because they are in need. But as for this issue of giving out membership to those that pray in the masjid this has no bases in Islam. Allah the Most-High says:
وَمَنْ أَظْلَمُ مِمَّن مَّنَعَ مَسَاجِدَ اللّهِ أَن يُذْكَرَ فِيهَا اسْمُهُ وَسَعَى فِي خَرَابِهَا أُوْلَـئِكَ مَا كَانَ لَهُمْ أَن يَدْخُلُوهَا إِلاَّ خَآئِفِينَ لهُمْ فِي الدُّنْيَا خِزْيٌ وَلَهُمْ فِي الآخِرَةِ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ
Which translates as:
“And who is more unjust than those who forbid that Allah’s Name be glorified and mentioned much (i.e. prayers and invocations, etc.) in Allah’s Masjids and strive for their ruin? It was not fitting that such should themselves enter them (Allah’s Masjids) except in fear. For them there is disgrace in this world, and they will have a great torment in the Hereafter.”[Baqarah:114]
And Allah the Most-High also said:
مَا كَانَ لِلْمُشْرِكِينَ أَن يَعْمُرُواْ مَسَاجِدَ الله شَاهِدِينَ عَلَى أَنفُسِهِمْ بِالْكُفْرِ أُوْلَئِكَ حَبِطَتْ أَعْمَالُهُمْ وَفِي النَّارِ هُمْ خَالِدُونَ
Which translates as:
“It is not for the Mushrikun (polytheists, idolaters, pagans, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah), to maintain the Masjids of Allah (i.e. to pray and worship Allah therein, to look after their cleanliness and their building, etc.), while they witness against their ownselves of disbelief. The works of such are in vain and in Fire shall they abide.”[Tawbah:17]
So the one that wishes to pray in the masjid, the masjid is open to all (not just to special members) for all the prayers for whoever wants to pray from the Muslims. As for this matter of issuing membership I have no idea what that means.
And Allah knows best.
Answered by: Shaikh Abu Abdillah Muhammad Ba Jamaal (May Allah preserve him)
Translated by: Abu Yusuf Bilal ibn Howard Robinson