Muslim organisation purchasing a building for Da'wah purposes

Q: A Muslim Association is hoping to purchasing a building for dawah; with a view to run a madrasah, a welfare centre and also a salaah room (musjid) therein. The property is intended to be an endowment (waqf), eventually. However, we have no funds to pay for this building, as yet. A couple of brothers have offered to buy the building (using their own money) and give it to the Association on favourable rent, until the Association is able to collect the necessary funds and pay for the building, outright. In order to save on the property registry costs, the financiers have agreed that the building can be registered in the Association's name at the first purchase while they will retain the ownership through a private agreement that if the Association failed to raise the funds and buy it within a ten years period, the Association will have to sell the property and the proceeds will go to the brothers who paid for it. But hopefully the Association will be able to raise charity funds and pay for the building, the private agreement will come to an end and the Association will declare the property a charitable endowment. They also agree to sell half the building ownership to the Association on half the payment and proportional ownership for proportional capital in the building at anytime during the ten years. However, some brothers are disputing this arrangement and feel that the official registration will make the Association the owner, despite the price being paid by two private individuals. They say that any rent paid by the Association will in fact be 'interest' on the 'loan'. They are asking the brothers to give their money as a goodly loan with no return for the ten years but the financiers are unable to do this. Please clarify the following points in the light of shariah;

1. Is a partnership between a charity Association and private individuals impermissible in shariah?

2. Does the registry document make the ownership in shariah or it belongs to whoever has paid for the property?

3. Does a building become a charity endowment (waqf) on the basis of a 'future' intention, even before it has been bought or while it is in private ownership or shared private ownership?

4. Will any rent or partial rent paid to the private individuals (for their share in ownership) be 'halal' rent or 'haram' interest?

5. Is it permissible to setup a masjid room in a rented or in a shared ownership premises?

6. Is it excusable to embarrass someone with a request for goodly loan after they have made an investment proposal (seeking a modest return, almost half the income their capital is currently providing)?

Please clarify these points in detail as any remaining confusion will cause us difficulty. Kindly suggest any ways to overcome any mistakes commonly made in such partnerships. If it is permissible to raise finance through private partnership, as described above, we will be able to buy this property and receive the future goodness, inshaAllah. However, if it is not permissible, through your help, Allah Subhanahu will protect us from being sinful. Jazakumullaho Khaira.


1. This must be made known to all the contributors and the public, that this is how they will be running the place that some portion will be under private ownership and some will be general contributions. The private owners will take their shares of the investment and this must be well advertised to one and all.

2. This is based on the arrangement. If the arrangement was that whoever pays for it then he owns it then this will be the basis of the ownership.

3. It cannot be waqf in this way.

4. As explained above, the arrangement was that some individuals will have a share in the investment. Hence they are entitled to take their share of the rentals.

5. If it is a private property you cannot call it a musjid. You may call it a salaah or namaaz room. If the partners are all in agreement to the making of a namaaz room it is permissible.

6. Embarrassing any person at any time is not in keeping with Islamic teachings and values.

And Allah Ta'ala (الله تعالى) knows best.


Answered by:

Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)