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Respected Muftee Sahab. Assalaamu Alaikum. A religious minded, and very rich Muslim has asked this question. His house is quite big, which has a parking place for more than ten cars, a swimming pool, and even a small garden. To go to different floors of this mansion, even lift facility is available. The team of his drivers, and workers at home is almost 30. In such a large villa, for at least its 30 residents, he is planning to make a masjid, which can accommodate 40 Musallees easily. He has intended to appoint an imam for leading all five prayers including Traveeh in Ramazaan and a Muazzin for giving Azaan. He will be giving them free visa, residential and medical facilities, along with good salaries. Since this is basically a masjid for the residents of villa, he does not want to let outsiders come to this private masjid. However guests of the family can pray here. The main question is masjid in personal villa or a very big house. 1."Is he allowed to construct such a private masjid, and to appoint an imam and Muazzin for it?" 2."Will he be entitled to the Sawaab of offering Farz payers in a masjid or to the Sawaab of just a prayer hall? 3."Can he ask the imam of this Masjid to conduct the Friday prayer also. In case, the answer to the first two questions, is negative, then he will not construct such a masjid? eagerly waiting for your early Fatwaa, I conclude. Assalaamu Alaikum. Syed Abul Hasan Quadri. Dubai. United Arab Emirates.

الجواب حامداومصليا

It is very pleasing to learn that the aforementioned wealthy person is inclined towards the practice of Islam and is eager to construct a Masjid within his residence. Our beloved Prophet Sallallahu Alaihe has encouraged the Muslims to make a habit of offering Nafl (voluntary) prayers at one's home. He further said: "The best (voluntary) prayer of person is the one offered at his home except the obligatory prayer."

Furthermore, He also encouraged Muslims to designate an area within their home for offering Salah. This place is techincally considered Musalla as the designation of a place as offical Masjid requires some conditions to be fulfilled.

According to the description that you have provided in your question, it is a very good idea to establish a place of prayer within that house. However, this place will be considered Musalla rather that an official Masjid. In order for a place to be designated as an offical Masjid, it has to be made Waqf along some other important conditions. Once a place is made Waqf as a Masjid then it is not permissible to sell that place or to use it for any other purpose other than the purpose of Masjid.

All the prayers that will be offered in congregation at the Musalla within the house will be entitled to the increased reward of offering Salah in Jama'ah (congregation) i.e. 27 times more.

It is also permissible to hire an Imam and Muazzin for such Musalla and it would also be permissible to restrict the access to this Musalla for outsiders.

It would not be permissible to establish Friday prayer at this Musalla unless the access is made open for outsiders if they would like to join the prayer on Friday.

It would also be permissible to establish Taraweeh prayers during the blessed month of Ramadhan at the aforementioned Musalla.

And Allah knows best.

Mufti Ikram ul Haq

Fatwa Center of America