The Likes of Haarith ibn Yamjud

taraweeh 2

It is customary nowadays that huffaz who lead the taraweeh salah be given some money at the end of the month. This is not done as a form of payment for what they have done, but is rather seen as a token of appreciation for their time and effort and the sacrifices that they have made. However, it still raises some questions. Should such a practice be encouraged? And what should the reaction of the huffaz be? Are they to accept the money or not?

I am in no position to give fatawa so I won’t comment on that. But personally, I don’t like it and don’t feel comfortable with it. If anyone else were to accept it, I wouldn’t have a problem with that and wouldn’t blame them for doing so. But for myself, it is something that I would rather avoid and I don’t see it as being something permissible to accept. Yet at the same time, to refuse it might offend or upset those who are giving…

I think that a middle path to take as a way out of this quandary would be to accept the money, but then given it away as sadaqah. In that way, hopefully those who are giving will be rewarded for their intention, and those who receive it as sadaqah will benefit from it as well. And maybe, just maybe, the one giving it as sadaqah might even be rewarded as well. However, if one were to be able to refuse to take it in the first place without causing any offense, then that would be even better and would be the ideal, as can be seen from the following incident.

The Khalifah ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdul ‘Aziz once sent two people, Yazeed ibn Maalik ad-Dimashqi and Haarith ibn Yamjud al-Ash’ari, to go and teach people in the desert fiqh, and he gave them a payment for doing so. As for Yazeed, he accepted it. But Haarith refused, saying, “I will not accept a payment for knowledge which Allah has taught me.” A letter was sent to ‘Umar informing him of this, and he wrote back, saying, “We are not aware of there being anything wrong with what Yazeed did – but may Allah increase among us the likes of Haarith ibn Yamjud.

I make dua that Allah ta’ala responds to ‘Umar’s dua through me and that He makes it easy for myself and all huffaz to follow the example of Haarith ibn Yamjud.

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