Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim
Wa Sall Allahu ta 'ala 'alaa Sayyidinaa wa Mawlaana Muhammad wa Aalihi wa Sahbihi wa sallim
As salaamu 'alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakaatuhu
Respected Mufti Sahib
In the United States there are unrepentant known "Muslim" criminals involved in anti-Islamic and anti-social behavior. Some while trying to evade the authorities will attempt to hide out in the masjid under the pretext of i'tikaf, etc. We publicize their names and photo's and prevent such known criminals from frequenting the masjid to protect the worshipers from their harm and Shaytani influence.
Invariably the retort of such individuals (who wish to hide behind Shari'ah) is that no one can be barred from coming into the masjid, as free access is a shari'i requirement of a masjid, while a musalla has no such restriction.
Our question as we are not qualified to issue fataawa is, is it within the right (according to Fiqah hanafi) of those who maintain the masjid to bar such known unrepentant criminals from entering the masjid for fear of their harm and or influence on the unsuspecting elders and youth?
We are asking for the proofs from Hanafi references such as Durrul Mukhtar, Fatwa Alamgiri, Qazi Khan etc, as we wish to quiet the descent within the community about these criminals and the fitna that is running rampant.
Ustaadh Muhammad Sa'id Hunafa Qadiri
It is permissible to lock the Masjid when it is not the time of Prayer.
It is also permissible to stop a person from entering the Masjid if it is determined that others will be harmed by him.
However, the best thing would be that these kind of people allowed to enter the Masjid during the times of Prayers and after that they are asked to leave or denied entry.
In case, there is fear to the lives and wealth of other congregants from such known criminals then they may be denied access during the times of Prayer as well.
And Allah knows best.
Mufti Ikram ul Haq
Fatwa Center of America
5 Jumada-al Ukhra 1432/ May 9 2011
لا بأس بغلق المسجد فى غير أوان الصلاة صيانة لمتاع المسجد وهذا هو الصحيح
(الفتاوى الهندية ج1ص121)