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Offline Reader Questions

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Asking for a Fee to Teach Religion
« on: May 21, 2018, 11:49:24 PM »
Dear Brother Joseph,

First of all, may you and your family have a blessed ramadan insha'allah.

Furthermore, I couldn't find a convincing answer concerning this query on the forum. So I would be grateful if you could shed some light on the issue. However I understand if its not possible, as I respect your time constraints.   

From a Quranic perspective, is it permissible to ask a for fee for teaching religion ?

I am aware that all prophets had separate professions other than their role as preachers of God's message. But on the other hand I cannot deny all the Good that has been produced by dedicated islamic scholars (who take islamic scholarship as their main  livelihood)

Could we say that its permissible but not optimal ? And that asking for no fee is the best way to go ?

Or should no fee be charged for teaching any aspect of religion ?

Thank you.

Regards,

Offline Joseph Islam

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Re: Asking for a Fee to Teach Religion
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2018, 11:53:10 PM »
As-salamu alaykum

Ramadan Mubarak to you and your family too.  :)

Albeit I have argued in the following article [1] that God's appointed emissaries did not ask for a reward as it was their God appointed duty to spread the message, I do appreciate that there are those that dedicate their lives to learning, gaining deeper insights into God's words and to teaching it. This was also the case during the time of the prophet and the Quran gives this group special recognition.

009:122
"And the believers should not all go forth together. Of every group of them, only a party should go forth, that they (who are left behind) may obtain sound knowledge in religion (liyatafaqqahu fi-din), and that they may warn their people when they return to them, so that they may beware" [2]

In such a situation, there is always a case for expectation of some form of recompense that will assist one to maintain their livelihoods to at least a reasonable level where they can continue to learn / teach and contribute to the wider society. 

However, what is arguably more relevant is that any expectation of recompense should come in the same spirit as we note in verse 58:12 where private consultations with the prophet (that went beyond general preaching) were twinned with a genuine/kind gesture of some sort of charity, if possible. This was considered the better approach.

058:012
"O you who believe! when you privately consult the Messenger, then offer something in charity before your consultation; that is better for you and purer; but if you do not find (the means), then surely God is Forgiving, Merciful."

What is highly questionable however is what the article refers to implicity in the 'Final Thoughts' section as those self-appointed spiritual guides that have been overcome with greed and questionable practices with no other purpose but to extract financial gain. This is a disease that has existed even in ancient communities / followers of previous creeds, where religion was used by individuals and the collective clergy as a tool, for little or no other purpose but to elicit financial rewards.

005.062-63
"And you will see many of them hastening in sin and exceeding the limits, and their devouring / consuming of what is unlawfully acquired (illicit gains); certainly evil is that which they do. Why do not the rabbis and the religious scholars prohibit them from their speaking of what is sinful and their devouring / consuming of what is unlawfully acquired? Certainly evil is that which they work."

009.009
"They exchange the verses of God for a little gain / price and they hinder (men) from His way. Indeed! evil is what they used to do"

002.079
“Therefore woe be unto those who write the Scripture with their own hands and then say, "This is from God," that they may purchase a small gain with it.”

I hope this helps, God willing
Joseph


REFERENCES:

[1] FOLLOW THOSE THAT ASK OF NO FEE
http://quransmessage.com/articles/ask%20of%20no%20fee%20FM3.htm
[2] 'Familiarity' and 'Erudition' Remain Distinct
https://www.facebook.com/joseph.a.islam/posts/489434137860385
'During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act' 
George Orwell

Offline Ahmad

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Re: Asking for a Fee to Teach Religion
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2018, 03:55:38 PM »
Dear Brother Jospeh,

Regarding
Quote
any expectation of recompense should come in the same spirit as we note in verse 58:12 where private consultations with the prophet (that went beyond general preaching) were twinned with a genuine/kind gesture of some sort of charity, if possible. This was considered the better approach.

Do you mean that charity was given to the prophet for himself or so that he can distribute it to the needy ?

Thank you.

Offline Athman

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Re: Asking for a Fee to Teach Religion
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2018, 11:23:23 AM »
Dear Ahmad,

As salaam alaikum,

I hope you won't mind if I share my understanding on this subject knowing that it is meant for Br. Joseph.

Regarding your question, what I understand from Br. Joseph’s sentiments, in such a scenario, as Br. Joseph has put it above, the charities are meant for the Prophet “in the same spirit as we note in verse 58:12 where private consultations with the prophet (that went beyond general preaching) were twinned with a genuine/kind gesture of some sort of charity, if possible. This was considered the better approach.”

Given some other contexts, as like that of 9:103, it can be argued that those charities might not only have been those twinned with some ‘kind gestures’ of some sort of appreciation for the Prophet’s (pbuh) private advice/consultation but possibly also meant to be distributed to the deserved categories (9:60).

From my humble perspective, I see 58:8 depicting the nature of ill private conversations (najwa) as those conspired for sin, aggression and defiance against the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Such consultative conspiracies are referred to as Satan’s handiwork in 58:10 and could be contagious amongst the believers (4:113) as seen in 58:14, 19. Believers are thus advised to refrain from such secret conversations (idha tanajaitum) and rather do it in virtue and piety (58:9). Verse 4:114 mentions about the lack of goodness (khaira) in many of private conversations (najwahum) except those ones in which is enjoyed charity (bi swadaqat), kindness, or those for reconciliation. Thus, ‘goodness’ (khair) - 2:271 is achieved as well as purity (tuthwahiruhum) and sanctity (tuzakihim) through the paying of charity (swadaqah) - 9:103.

Charity before the private consultation with the Prophet (pbuh), done seeking God’s approval (i.e in the spirit of ‘fi sabilillah’ - 9:60), could thus purify believers, possibly also from Satan’s whispers avoiding sin, aggression and defiance (58:9). On the other hand, 58:13 reprieves those who are not able to offer charity before such private consultations (najwakum) to just establish Swalat, give Zakat, and Obey Allah & the Prophet, given that God has pardoned them.

As regards not asking of a pay/fee for the Prophetic/religious preaching, this was in fact instructed of the Prophet (pbuh) by God as even of a proclamation (42:23).

It is that of which Allah gives good tidings to His servants who believe and do righteous deeds. Say, [O Muhammad], "I do not ask you for this message any payment [but] only good will through kinship." And whoever commits a good deed - We will increase for him good therein. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Appreciative.” (Qur’an, Ash-Shura 42:23)

Hopefully that somehow helps in sha Allah.


Regards,
Athman.

Offline Duster

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Re: Asking for a Fee to Teach Religion
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2018, 12:48:23 PM »

As regards not asking of a pay/fee for the Prophetic/religious preaching, this was in fact instructed of the Prophet (pbuh) by God as even of a proclamation (42:23).

It is that of which Allah gives good tidings to His servants who believe and do righteous deeds. Say, [O Muhammad], "I do not ask you for this message any payment [but] only good will through kinship." And whoever commits a good deed - We will increase for him good therein. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Appreciative.” (Qur’an, Ash-Shura 42:23)



Shalom / peace Athman ..... I think though that 42.23 is speaking about the message - i.e the Quran. Prophets didn't ask.for fees to preach the Scriptures like the Quran. That is an instruction by Allah. However, private consultations can be a number of things using religious guidance.  Just think of the many queries that could result such as family disputes, rights and wrongs, advice etc etc....

There is also a difference between a prophet or messenger preaching and a lay man preaching or doing religious work for his main living ....

I think there is more to it what brother Joseph has stated

I'm sure he'll clarify if he needs to. But thanks for your comments  Worth reading .....

Offline Athman

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Re: Asking for a Fee to Teach Religion
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2018, 02:10:54 PM »
Dear Br. Duster,

Respectfully, if I am not wrong, I think you might have missed the purport of my presenting that verse. All I have tried to do is elaborate on what seems to be shared by Br. Joseph. If you follow my comment above, you will find that I strongly am in support of the view that ‘private consultation’ was advised to be preceded by a charity in the spirit of a kind offering as an appreciation to whatever advice consulted, in the main, as a better approach, and where affordable.

The verse is intended to absolve the Prophet (pbuh) of any seeming charge whatsoever of a claim to ask for any typical fee. This is with a view to avoid confusing the preaching of the Quran’s message that is linked to 36:21 (42:23) with individual consultation on various matters at a personal level (58:21/ 4:114).

Kindly follow through my whole comment carefully please.


Regards,
Athman.

Offline Duster

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Re: Asking for a Fee to Teach Religion
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2018, 02:54:37 PM »
Dear Br. Duster,

Respectfully, if I am not wrong, I think you might have missed the purport of my presenting that verse. All I have tried to do is elaborate on what seems to be shared by Br. Joseph. If you follow my comment above, you will find that I strongly am in support of the view that ‘private consultation’ was advised to be preceded by a charity in the spirit of a kind offering as an appreciation to whatever advice consulted, in the main, as a better approach, and where affordable.

The verse is intended to absolve the Prophet (pbuh) of any seeming charge whatsoever of a claim to ask for any typical fee. This is with a view to avoid confusing the preaching of the Quran’s message that is linked to 36:21 (42:23) with individual consultation on various matters at a personal level (58:21/ 4:114).

Kindly follow through my whole comment carefully please.


Regards,
Athman.

Shalom / peace Athman ....thank you for the clarification ..... :)