Fundraising for Mosques declared Illegal in Saudi Arabia

Building a mosque is a truly noble act. Muslims and even Non-Muslims all around the world have been constructing mosques since the religion of Islam is being practiced by the people. Different organizations and individuals collect money every year in order to maintain a number of mosques, restore the old mosques or to construct new mosques. Different countries, in different parts of the world, have different rules and regulations associated with the construction, renovation, and maintenance of mosques. This varies from country to country on the basis of the major religion followed in the country.[irp]

People in Muslim and Non-Muslim countries all around the world have set up various trusts, organizations, and charities which take the responsibility for the construction, maintenance and restoration of mosques. For people such as these in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, it is however no longer possible to collect money from the general public or anybody in general in order to renovate, construct or maintain any mosque in any part of the Kingdom. The Ministry of Islamic Affairs in Qassim has issued a warning that it is unlawful to raise funds for the construction or the renovation of a mosque.

All those individuals who are intending to build mosques must manage to do so out of their own pockets and their own resources. The director of the Ministry of Islamic Affairs in Qassim, Mohammad Al Majmaj had been quoted as saying such by a local publication. The Ministry of Islamic Affairs in Qassim has regulations which stipulate that any person or individual who wishes to build, maintain or restore a mosque, must inform the Ministry prior to doing so.

He stated that the donor has to sign a declaration which states that she or he could not be raising funds for the renovation, maintenance or construction of the mosques. Any individual is not allowed to collect any of the donations, in the form of cash, or any other kind of medium. He added that only the officially recognized charities are to be allowed to seek or collect funds from the general public.

The warning by the Ministry of Islamic Affairs has come in the wake of several people who are attempting to raise the funds in order to build a mosque in their own province. An action plan has also been now initiated against those people who are illegally attempting to raise funds in order to raise funds for the mosque illegally and breaking the laws of the country.[irp]

The Ministry of Interior in Saudi Arabia had also earlier announced the new laws which would regulate the act of fundraising from the general public, in order to prevent any of the citizens from falling prey to any fraudsters or criminals. The Monetary Agency of Saudi Arabia has also issued a circular which is directing to order banks not to issue any ATM card or Credit Cards for the special accounts which have been aimed at restoring or building mosques.

Source: Arab News

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Steve has been living in Saudi Arabia since 2013 and writing about Saudi rules, regulations, guides, and procedures since then.