Using Zakaah funds to finish building a masjid

Question: What is the ruling on using zakaah monies to finish builidng a masjid that is almost completed, and its construction may be halted (due to lack of funding)?

Response: What is well-known to the scholars, and it is the position of the vast majority of them, so it can be considered like ijmaa’ (a scholarly concensus) of the scholars of the early pious predecessors, is that zakaah is not to be used for building masaajid, buying books, or the likes. It may only be distributed to the eight kinds of recipients that are mentioned in the verse in Soorahat-Towbah (Aayah 60), and they are:

1) the fuqaraa. (those who are extremely poor);
2) the masaakeen (the poor and needy);
3) those who work in distributing it (the zakaah);
4) those whose hearts are inclinded towards Islaam;
5) freeing slaves;
6) paying debts;
7) in the way of Allaah; and
8) the traveler who is in need.

And the phrase {in the way of Allaah} means jihaad specifically.

This is what is known to the people of knowledge, and the building of masaajid is not mentioned here, nor is the building of schools or roadways, nor their likes.

And Allaah is the One who grants success.

Shaykh Ibn Baaz
Fataawa al-Mar.aMajmoo’ Fataawaa wa Maqaalaat Mutanawwi’ah – Volume 14, Page 294

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