Imam Spending the Mosque’s Money

The worshippers in a certain mosque collected a sum of money to be used in offering food to fasting Muslims in Ramadan and whatever remained could be used to for anything the mosque needed. Is it permissible for the Imam of the mosque to spend this sum on building some rooms without the knowledge of the people in the mosque? When he was asked about the money, he said he had to spend it somewhere and will return it some day

The basic ruling is that the Imam has no right to spend the money allocated to offer food to fasting worshippers elsewhere. He should not spend the money on anything else other than offering food to fasting people. If there is an amount left over after offering food to all the fasting people, and so there is no fasting person left to feed, and if the Imam is given permission by the people who gave the money to spend it as he sees best, then he can spend it on something else. But if the Imam is entrusted with the money only to feed fasting people, he has absolutely no right to spend the money on something else. If he is given permission to spend the remaining money as he sees best after feeding all fasting people and no fasting person remains, he can spend the remaining amount to answer the needs of the mosque. Ibn Sahl Al-Maliki believes that it is permissible to spend the money collected in the mosque to benefit the mosque itself, although the matter is subject to difference among scholars. Sheikh Al-Islam Ibn Taimiyah has a similar opinion regarding Waqf; he believes it can be spent on the Waqf establishment itself, as long as there is an urgent need. Based on this, if the Imam is commissioned by those who gave the money and there is no fasting person who needs to be feed, and spending the money on a certain channel benefits the mosque, then it is permissible to do it.

And Allah knows best.