Fatwa ID: 03204
Answered by: Maulana Mustafa Umar
Is it allowed banning Muslims from the Masjid?
I don't know where to start because it's such a broad subject, but I will try to explain the situation in an honest way. I hope that you can help me understand.
Is it allowed to ban Muslims from the masjid? Now I will explain the events that happened.
On Nov 11, The Imam of the Masjid in jumma told everyone that he was resigning to everyone's shock. People have built relationships for 10 years with the imam and took this very hard, so everyone got up and assumed that the board, especially the president is the one that had pushed him to resign. So, therefore, everyone got up and started calling the president all kind of names in the book, coward, shaitan, etc. And most people were calling him to resign, screaming Allahu Akber, down down the president. When the imam resigns, the president got up, in a very respectful way praising the imam, and thanking him for his service, however, we all kind of felt that there was animosity between the two. The Imam, called us all for an isha meeting so we can resolve the issue.
So on one had the imam resigns, and still after this incident called to resolve the issue. So at this point, I realized that there definitely something was going on between the imam and the president. At night the imam didn't say much, except that he felt disrespected by the president not answering his phone calls, and not showing up at meeting at times. besides this and telling that their relationship degraded wasn't much said. The president didn't show up, however, did send an official letter to the imam asking him not to lead any prayers inside the masjid, to which later this escalated sending him official letters not to come to the masjid. 2nd Jumma, the president with the board of trustees had found another imam, to which about half of the jamma stood up refusing the imam to lead us with the lecture, and in prayer. This went on for an hour to which they chose another person to lead the prayers.
Immediately, according to some he became the imposter's imam since they felt that he did not listen to the will of the people according to them. So many names were called, only by one side, and that is the side that felt upset. So immediately, this group that formed out of this claiming that they were the group of the will of the people, now are going up against the board of trustees. so, therefore, they created a Facebook page calling it Masjid Al Mustafa resembling the masjid page, and in this page, they are communicating with a lot of Muslims.
They call themselves the resistant group, in non-violence standing up to the board, and as a result. They go to every prayer praying 15 minutes after the new imam of the masjid now that is not recognized by them. So this action led to the board of trustees banning 15 Muslims from the masjid, and mainly these people are that are the new representatives of the masjid according to them. At this point, even I felt that what the board is doing banning the Muslims is wrong, but honestly, I don't have real education in Islam, but for ordinary person that's how this whole thing looks, and at the same time I know for a fact what these new representatives are doing is wrong as far as calling them names.
Further More, The board decided to cancel 2 jummas in the row due to the feeling that there were going to be disrupting of jumma's, and probably they were right, since the new representatives don't recognize the new imam, and they are calling him imposter imam.
As a result, the new representatives, are holding a daily protest at the gate of the parking lot of the masjid, and inside praying 15 minutes as the imam finishes. for the past months, there have been police in and around the masjid called by the board of trustees etc. also, now this problem was published by the republican American newspapers located in Waterbury Connecticut.
Please answer a solution, and please let me know if it's allowed banning the Muslims that are protesting from the masjid. I'm not sure who to pray after, the new imam, or the group representatives.
بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْم
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
The masjid is considered to be a sacred space and under normal conditions should be open for everyone to attend. However, the masjid must also be protected from corruption. The ones who are in charge of protecting the masjid are the leaders of the Muslim community who are in authority. Allah says, “O ye who believe! Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger, and those charged with authority among you.” [Quran 4:59]
Also, even though the purpose of a masjid is good, it can become corrupt due to the intentions or actions of the people who established it or frequent it. Masjid Ad-Dirar was the nickname of a mosque established during the time of the Prophet Muhammad, who initially approved of it, but then ordered for its destruction. Allah mentioned the incident as follows, “And there are those who put up a mosque by way of mischief and infidelity – to disunite the Believers – and in preparation for war against Allah and His Messenger aforetime. They will indeed swear that their intention is nothing but good, But Allah doth declare that they are certainly liars.” [Qur’an 9:107]
Therefore, if there is a valid justification to prevent corruption or dissention, it would be allowed for the leaders in authority to prohibit certain people from attending the masjid only if they continue to exhibit the disturbing behaviour. This ban must be temporary because the original principle in attending the masjid is that it should be open for all believers.
Only Allah knows best
Written by Maulana Mustafa Umar
Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham