Question: What is the hukm of Sellling a masjid or giving away a masjid After it has been abandoned. What about the reality when the masjid is vacated forcefully by a the municipality or by any other means. Is it allowed to sell the masjid property and buy another property and build a masjid at another location instead?
Firstly, it should be know the masjid is not considered as a private property, It is a property that belongs to Allah and it is called Waqf.
The discussion about Waqf and its prohibition to sell or replace it is reported in the following text from Bukhari,
حدثنا يزيد بن زريع حدثنا ابن عون عن نافع عن ابن عمر رضي الله عنهما قال أصاب عمر بخيبر أرضا فأتى النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم فقال أصبت أرضا لم أصب مالا قط أنفس منه فكيف تأمرني به قال إن شئت حبست أصلها وتصدقت بها فتصدق عمر أنه لا يباع أصلها ولا يوهب ولا يورث في الفقراء والقربى والرقاب وفي سبيل الله والضيف وابن السبيل لا جناح على من وليها أن يأكل منها بالمعروف أو يطعم صديقا غير متمول فيه
Ibn Umar (Radhiyallahu Anhuma) said “In the lifetime of Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ), `Umar gave in charity some of his property, a garden of date-palms. `Umar said, “O Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ)! I have some property which I prize highly and I want to give it in charity.” The Prophet; said, “Give it in charity (i.e. as an endowment) with its land and trees on the condition that the land and trees will neither be sold nor given as a present, nor bequeathed, but the fruits are to be spent in charity.” So `Umar gave it in charity, and it was for Allah’s Cause, the emancipation of slaves, for the poor, for guests, for travellers, and for kinsmen. The person acting as its administrator could eat from it reasonably and fairly, and could let a friend of his eat from it provided he had no intention of becoming wealthy by its means.’’ (Bukhari, Hadeeth # 2620)
Therefore it is not allowed to sell the land of the masjid and this is the view of the majority of the scholars including the Ahnaaf, The Shafi’s and The Malikis.
Allah knows best.
Dr. Fadhl AbuKhaled AH