(This is a continuation of the series of posts on Q/A regarding the Qur’anic Ijazah and its process (translated from here), as mentioned in the concise treatise on this topic by Sh. Hasan Mustafaa al-Warraaqi حفظه الله.) Q20: What is the ruling regarding taking payment for teaching the Qur’an as well as obtaining an Ijazah? A19: Sh. Khalid ‘Abdullah said, in his book الإفادة في ضبط الإجازة:
Many of the Mashayikh have not accustomed themselves to anything from the prohibited matters related to Ijazah like taking wealth in return for giving the Ijazah. This is, by consensus of the scholars, not permissible. If the teacher knows that the student is eligible for it, it is obligatory to give him Ijazah, or the lack of an Ijazah would be considered prohibited for the student. The Ijazah is not something that can be repaid with wealth, so it is not permissible to take money regarding it. There is no payment for it, for it is the right of the student who has shown his eligibility for it.
As for taking payment for teaching the Qur’an, then this is permissible, for it is narrated in al-Bukhari, “The payment which has the most right to be taken is for [teaching] the Book of Allah.” Another opinion states that if payment is stipulated, then it is not permissible, while others say it is not permissible at all. In البستان by Abu al-Layth, it is said that when it comes to teaching:
…there are three situations; the first of them is teaching, expecting reward only from Allah, and for such there is no worldly recompense by way of wealth or gifts, etc. The second is to teach and stipulate payment. The third situation is to teach without any conditions. So if he is given a gift beforehand, then according to the first situation, this gift is considered payment, and it is upon him (the teacher) to conduct himself like the Prophets (expecting reward only from Allah). As for the second situation, then there is a difference of opinion. The most preferred opinion is that if he is in the hired position of a teacher, then it is permissible. And as for the third situation, then it is permissible by consensus of the scholars, because the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم used to be a teacher for the creation and he used to accept gifts.
I say that, in reality, many teachers have gone to extremes, to the extent that some will request dollars, and some others will stipulate that, upon the completion of the Qur’an, 3,000, 4,000, or 5,000 Junayh in the recitation of Hafs. Some request 10,000 Junayh for the recitation of al-‘Asharah al-Kubraa, to be paid upfront before the recitation begins, as they say. I scold anyone who is pleased with making this payment so that they can obtain this Ijazah. One of our brothers may come who doesn’t have much wealth to pay the stipulated amount to the shaykh, they give what they are able to give him, but the shaykh refuses and says, “I take such and such as payment, and your brother only paid me such and such…” And some students will go ahead and pay this amount because they will get multiple times that amount when they go on to teach, as I have heard some of them from the Mashayikh say. These Mashayikh who stipulate such gross payments will make the excuse that there are many, many teachers of Qur’an and “as long as I have been singled out by this student for giving Ijazah due to my fame, then he should pay.” And some say, “I have an Ijazah which is considered famous in every part of the world and the amount that you (the student) will pay, you will be able to bring forth the same amount when the Qur’an is completed twice (when you go on to teach).” Actually, there are some people who have not perfected their recitation, but they go on to pay a large amount of money to obtain the Ijazah from a shaykh, while a student who has perfected his recitation will not obtain it due to his inability to pay the stipulated amount. Is this not a kind of oppression inflicted from the shaykh, the one who holds the Ijazah? Some will only teach students of certain professions: engineers, doctors, or VIPs, and the reason for this is obvious to everyone. There is no doubt that these Mashayikh will be asked about this inconvenience, severity, and absurd excessiveness with wealth. And lastly, dear brother, forget panting before empty fame, and grasp the knowledge from a person of of religion and the Sunnah; we ask Allah, al-‘Adheem, that these words help everyone to obey Allah and seek His pleasure, and Allah knows best. Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6