Misuse of government money for school meals

Fatwa ID: 01829

Answered by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah

Question:

What is the opinion of the Olma-E-Din (Clergies) and Muftiyane Shara-E-Matin (Priests) about the following Problem.
Mid Day meal is a govternment scheme and under this scheme mid-day-meal is supplied to the children of primary schools and madarsas. For this the govternmet bears all the expenditures including cooking charges.
In our city for distributing mid-day meal to the students of a madarsa, a contractor has with drawn about twenty lacks of rupees from the concerned govt. department. The Nazim (Chief Authority) of the madarsa gave a bogus receipt and certificate to the contractor to this effect that the money has been spent in the right way and he (Nazim) him self took the share of the ransome while actually coarse kind of biscuits and some unedible grains were given to the students. The children are not getting the dishes and articles for which the money from the govt. is reimburse and allotted. The children are kept devoid of their shares. The madarsa committee takes no action against the contractors instead they (the office bearers of madarsa) themself are involved in this nefarious activity.
The Misuse of govt. money and the manipulation by the committee members of the madarsa and the contractor is legitunate in the eyes of sharaa-or not. If  not kindly issue the opinion and the verdict regarding serious problem.

Answer:

Bismillah

There are two ways to look at the aforementioned scenario. If the government said that this amount of money for example £5 has to be spent for the children’s lunch and the school or madrassah are not following this order from the government, but instead are giving lunch to the students less than the stated amount, then they will be sinful for breaking a promise or agreement.

Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) in the Holy Quran has said:

“And fulfil (every) engagement, for engagement will be enquired into (on the Day of Judgement).” (Surah Bani Israeel v.34)

Sayyiduna Abu Hurayra raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) narrates that the Prophet of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) has said: “The signs of a hypocrite are three: When he speaks he lies, when he makes a promise he breaks it, and when he is given a trust he breaches it.”  (Sahih Bukhari p.10 v.1)

However, if the government is giving the school or madrassah a lump sum of money and the school have been given the discretion to spend whatever they want for the lunch then it will be permissible for the school to give an inexpensive lunch for the children.

Only Allah Knows Best

Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham.

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