Destruction of Mosques from the Perspective of Islamic Jurisprudence

Document Type : Research Paper


1 PhD in Comparative Studies of Islamic Denominations, University of Religions and Denominations, Qom, Iran

2 Associate Professor, Department of Jurisprudence and Law, Islamic Azad University Science and Research Branch, Tehran, Iran

3 Assistant Professor, Department of Jurisprudence and Fundamentals of Islamic Law, Islamic Azad University, Isfahan Branch (Khorasgan), Isfahan, Iran

4 Associate Professor, Department of Theology and Islamic Studies, University of Islamic Denominations, Zahedan, Iran

5 Assistant Professor, Department of Jurisprudential Denominations, University of Religions and Denominations, Qom, Iran


 Destruction and demolition of mosques are forbidden according to the first ruling of the consensus of Shia and Sunni jurists, and the most important evidence is verse 114 of Surah al-Bagharah. But some examples are beyond the general scope of this verse; first, the demolition of mosques that are on the verge of collapse. Different schools of thought have interpreted this failure as "the violation of al-mostahdam", which indicates that this example is out of the generality of the above verse, however, Shafi'i jurists emphasize the necessity of permission and supervision of the ruler. Second, the destruction of mosques that need repair and development, however, the Shia jurists have either remained silent about this example or prohibited it. The most important reason for the prohibition is the generality of the verse. In addition, the title of "the violation of al-mostahdam" cannot justify the destruction. Still, the supporters of this practice, including the Shafi'i jurists, have considered compliance with expediency as the criterion of the ruling. Third, the title of Zerar Mosque, which Hanbali jurisprudence paid more attention to, and then the Wahhabis considered the destruction and burning of the holy shrines as permissible, and even obligatory, due to their priority over it. However, most non-Wahhabi jurists have considered it necessary to honor the graves of the prophets and the righteous. They did not consider it possible to infer the demolition and burning of Zerar Mosque from the mentioned verse, and, in turn, believed that this ruling was based on an uncertain single narration. Using the descriptive and analytical method, this article seeks to investigate the destruction of mosques from the perspective of Shia and Sunni jurisprudence. The article first examines the historical context of the issue, and then, citing the sources of Islamic jurisprudence, analyzes the basics of the prohibition of destroying mosques, and then scrutinizes the opinions of Shia, Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi'i, and Hanbali jurists.



Main Subjects

The Holy Quran
Abdari, Mohammad ibn Yusof. 1995. Al-Taj wa al-Aklil le Mokhtasar Khalil (The Crown and the Diadem for Khalil's Mokhtasar), Beirut: House of Thought. [in Arabic]
Abu Hayyan Andolosi, Mohammad ibn Yusof. 2001. Al-Bahr al-Mohit (The Vast Sea), Researched by Adel Ahmad Abd al-Mawjud, Ali Mohammad Moawwaz, Beirut: Scientific Books House. [in Arabic]
Ahmadi, Ali. 2015. "Bahreyn dar Yek Negah (Bahrain at a Glance)", in: Islamic Culture, no. 26, pp. 160-180. [in Farsi]
Albani, Mohammad Naser al-Din. 1985. Ahkam al-Janaez (Funeral Rulings), Riyadh: Islamic Press, Fourth Edition. [in Arabic]
Amin Aameli, Mohsen. 1983. Ayan al-Shiah (The Shiite Luminaries), Researched by Hasan Amin, Beirut: Al-Taarof House. [in Arabic]
Ansari, Mohammad Bagher. 2005. Asrar Ghadir (Secrets of Ghadir), Tehran: Tak, 11th Edition. [in Farsi]
Ardebili, Ahmad ibn Mohammad. 1982. Majma al-Faedah wa al-Borhan fi Sharh Ershad al-Azhan (Complex of Interest and Proof in Explaining the Guidance of Minds), Researched by Mojtaba Eraghi, Qom: Qom Seminary Teachers Association. [in Farsi]
Ayni, Mahmud ibn Ahmad. 1999. Al-Benayah Sharh al-Hedayah, Beirut: Scientific Books House, First Edition. [in Arabic]
Bagha, Mostafa; Jen, Mostafa; et al. 1992. Al-Feghh al-Manhaji ala Mazhab al-Imam al-Shafei (Methodological Jurisprudence according to the Doctrine of Imam Shafei), Damascus: Pen House for Printing, Publishing and Distribution, Fourth Edition. [in Arabic]
Bahrani, Sayyed Hashem. 1995 Al-Borhan fi Tafsir al-Quran (Argument in the Interpretation of the Quran), Tehran: Bethat Foundation, First Edition. [in Arabic]
Bahrani, Yusof ibn Ahmad. 1988. Al-Hadaegh al-Nazerah fi Ahkam al-Etrah al-Taherah (Lush Gardens on the Rulings of the Pure Family), Researched & Annotated by Mohammad Taghi Irawani, Qom: The Islamic Publishing Corporation of the Teachers’ Association. [in Arabic]
Balazori, Ahmad ibn Yahya ibn Jaber. 1997. Ansab al-Ashraf (Genealogies of the Nobles), Researched by Sohayl Zakar & Riyaz Zarakli, Beirut: Institute of Thought. [in Arabic]
Bohuti, Mansur ibn Yunes. n.d. Al-Rawz al-Morbe fi Sharh Zad al-Mostaghne, Researched by Abd al-Ghoddus Mohammad Nazir, n.p: Al-Moayyed House, Al-Resalah Institute. [in Arabic]
 Bojayrami, Solayman ibn Mohammad. 1949. Hashiyah al-Bojayrami ala Sharh al-Menhaj, Cairo: Al-Halabi Press. [in Arabic]
Damyati, Abu Bakr ibn Mohammad Shata. 1997. Eanah al-Talebin ala Hal Alfaz Fath al-Moin, Beirut: House of Thought for Printing, Publishing and Distribution, First Edition. [in Arabic]
Dar al-Ifta al-Mesriyyah. n.d. Fatawa Dar al-Efta al-Mesriyyah (Fatwas of the Craft of Issuing Fatwa), Egypt: The website of the Egyptian Ministry of Endowments,
Fazel Hendi, Mohammad ibn Hasan. 1995. Kashf al-Letham an Ghawaed al-Ahkam (Revelation of the Veil of the Principles of Rulings), Qom: Qom Seminary Teachers Association. [in Arabic]
Ghazwini Haeri, Mohammad Hasan. 1976. Al-Barahin al-Jaliyah fi Raf al-Tashkikat al-Wahhabiyah (The Clear Proofs in Refuting the Wahhabi Doubts), Cairo: [in Arabic]
Ghortobi, Mohammad ibn Ahmad. 1984. Al-Jame le Ahkam al-Quran (Collection of the Quranic Rulings), Beirut: Arab Heritage Revival House. [in Arabic]
Hajawi, Musa ibn Ahmad. n.d. Al-Eghna fi Feghh al-Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Researched by Abd al-Latif Mohammad Musa al-Sabki, Beirut: House of Knowledge. [in Arabic]
Hamedani, Reza ibn Mohammad Hadi. 1995. Mesbah al-Faghih (Light for Jurists), Qom: Al-Jafariyah Foundation for Heritage Revival. [in Arabic]
Hattab Roayni, Mohammad ibn Mohammad. 1991. Mawaheb al-Jalil fi Sharh Mokhtasar Khalil, Beirut: House of Thought, Third Edition. [in Arabic]
Helli, Hasan ibn Yusof. 1993. Tazkerah al-Foghaha (Handbook for Jurists), Qom: Al-Bayt (AS). [in Arabic]
Helli, Jafar ibn Hasan. 1987. Sharae al-Eslam fi Masael al-Halal wa al-Haram (Canons of Islam on the Matters of Halal and Haram), Researched by Abd al-Hosayn Mohammad Ali Baghghal, Qom: Ismailiyan Institute, Second Edition. [in Arabic]
Horr Aameli, Mohammad ibn Hasan. 1991. Hedayah al-Ommah ela Ahkam al-Aemmah (Guiding the Nation to the Rulings of the Imams), Mashhad: Astan Quds Razawi Research Foundation, First Edition. [in Arabic]
Horr Aameli, Mohammad ibn Hasan. 1993. Wasael al-Shiah (The Means of the Shiites), Qom: Al al-Bayt (AS) Institute. [in Arabic]
Hosayni Aameli, Jawad ibn Mohammad. 1995. Meftah al-Karamah fi Sharh Ghawaed al-Allamah, Beirut: Arab Heritage Revival House. [in Arabic]
Ibn Arafah Dosughi, Mohammad ibn Ahmad. n.d. Hashiyah al-Dosughi ala Sharh al-Kabir, Researched by Mohammad ibn Ahmad Olaysh, Beirut: House of Thought. [in Arabic]
Ibn Asaker, Ali ibn Hasan. 1994. Tarikh Madinah Demashgh (History of the City of Damascus), Edited by Ali Shiri, Beirut: House of Thought. [in Arabic]
Ibn Ashur, Mohammad ibn Taher ibn Mohammad. 1984. Al-Tahrir wa al-Tanwir (Writing and Enlightenment), Tunisia: Tunisian Publishing House.. [in Arabic]
Ibn Athir, Ali ibn Mohammad. 2030. Osd al-Ghabah fi Ma‘refah al-Sahabah (Forest Lion in Recognition of the Companions of the Prophet), Beirut: House of Thought. [in Arabic]
Ibn Ghayyem Jawziyah, Mohammad ibn Ayyub. 1975. Eghathah al-Lahfan men Masaed al-Shaytan (Relief from the Traps of Satan), Researched by Mohammad Hamed al-Faghi, Beirut: House of Knowledge, Second Edition. [in Arabic]
Ibn Ghayyem Jawziyah, Mohammad ibn Ayyub. 1994. Zad al-Maad fi Hoda Khayr al-Ebad (Provision of the Hereafter in the Guidance of the Best of Servants), Beirut: Al-Resalah Institute, Kuwait: Al-Menar Islamic Press, Twenty-seventh Edition. [in Arabic]
Ibn Ghodamah, Abdollah ibn Ahmad. 1985. Al-Moghni fi Feghh al-Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal al-Sheybani, Beirut: Thought House. [in Arabic]
Ibn Hajar, Ahmad ibn Mohammad. 2003. Al-Fatawa al-Kobra al-Feghhiyah (Great Jurisprudential Fatwas), Beirut: House of Thought. [in Arabic]
Ibn Hanbal, Ahmad. 2000. Al-Mosnad al-Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Researched by Shoayb al-Arnaut, Adel Morshed, et al., Beirut: Al-Resalah Institute. [in Arabic]
Ibn Hesham, Abd al-Malek. n.d. Al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah (Biography of the Prophet), Researched by Mohammad al-Saghgha & Ibrahim al-Abyari & Abd al-Hafiz Shelbi, Beirut: Knowledge of House. [in Arabic]
Ibn Jazi Kalbi, Mohammad ibn Ahmad. 1968. Ghawanin al-Ahkam al-Shariah wa Masael al-Foru al-Feghhiyah (Laws of Sharia Rulings and Issues of Jurisprudential Topics), Beirut: The House of Knowledge for Millions. [in Arabic]
Ibn Kathir, Ismail ibn Omar. 1986. Al-Bedayah wa al-Nehayah fi al-Tarikh (The Beginning and the End in History), Beirut: House of Thought. [in Arabic]
Ibn Kharrat, Abd al-Hagh ibn Abd al-Rahman. 2001. Al-Ahkam al-Shariyah al-Kobra (Major Legal Rulings), Researched by Abu Abdollah Hosayn ibn Akashah, Riyadh: Al-Roshd Press, First Edition. [in Arabic]
Ibn Manzur, Mohammad ibn Mokarram. 1993. Lesan al-Arab (Language of Arabs), Beirut: Sader Institute. [in Arabic]Ibn
Ibn Mofleh, Mohammad. 2003. Ketab al-Foru wa Maah Tashih al-Foru, Edited by Abdollah ibn Abd al-Mohsen al-Torki, Beirut: Al-Resalah Institute, First Edition. [in Arabic]
Ibn Najim, Zayn al-Din ibn Ibrahim. n.d. Al-Bahr al-Raegh Sharh Kanz al-Daghaegh, n.p: Islamic Book House. [in Arabic]
Ibn Olaysh, Mohammad ibn Ahmad. 2007. Fath al-Ali al-Malek fi Fatwa ala Mazhab al-Imam Malek, Compiled, Coordinated, and Indexed by Ali ibn Nayf al-Shahwad, Beirut: House of Knowledge. [in Arabic]
Ibn Roshd, Mohammad ibn Ahmad. 1987. Al-Bayan wa al-Tahsil wa al-Sharh wa al-Tawjih wa al-Talil le Masael al-Mostakhrajah (Explanation, Collection, Explanation, Guidance and Reasoning for the Issues Extracted), Researched by Mohammad Hajji, et al, Beirut:  The Islamic West House, Second Edition. [in Arabic]
Ibn Taymiyyah Harrani, Ahmad ibn Abd al-Halim. 1976. Al-Ekhtiyarat al-Feghhiyyah (Jurisprudential Choices), Researched by Ali ibn Mohammad al-Bali al-Demashghi, Beirut: House of Knowledge. [in Arabic]
Ibn Zawyan, Ibrahim ibn Mohammad. 1988. Manar al-Sabil fi Sharh al-Dalil, Researched by Zohayr al-Shawish, Riyadh: The Islamic Office, Seventh Edition. [in Arabic]
Khamenei, Sayyed Ali. 1994. Ajwabah al-Esteftaat (Replies to Inquiries), Beirut: News House. [in Arabic]
Khozayri, Ibrahim ibn Saleh. 1998. Ahkam al-Masajed fi al-Shariah al-Islamiyah, al-Joz al-Thani (The Rulings of the Mosques in Islamic Law, Part Two), Saudi Arabia: Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Endowments, Call and Guidance, First Edition. [in Arabic]
Kurani, Ali. 2001. Alf Soal wa Jawab (A Thousand Questions and Answers), Beirut: Al-Sirah House. [in Arabic]
Majidi, Hasan; Taheri Dust, Robabeh. 2015. "Seyr Tarikhi Masjed Ghadir ta Takhrib (The History of Ghadir Mosque until Its Destruction)", in: Alawi Research Journal, yr. 6, no. 2, pp. 111-132. [in Farsi]
Majlesi, Mohammad Bagher ibn Mohammad Taghi. 1982. Behar al-Anwar (Oceans of Lights), Edited by Ibrahim Miyaneji & Mohammad Bagher Behbudi, Beirut: Arab Heritage Revival House, Third Edition. [in Arabic]
Makarem Shirazi, Naser. 2006. Al-Fatawi al-Jadidah (New Fatwas), Qom: Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb School. [in Arabic]
Makki Aameli (Shahid Awwal), Mohammad. n.d. Al-Zekra, Iran: Lithography. [in Arabic]
Malati, Yusof ibn Musa. n.d. Al-Motasar men al-Mokhtasar men Moshkel al-Athar, Beirut: Book World. [in Arabic]
Maleki, Abd al-Rahman ibn Mohammad. n.d. Ershad al-Salek ela Ashraf al-Masalek fi Feghh al-Imam Malek (Guidance of the Seeker to the Most Honorable Paths in the Jurisprudence of Imam Malek), Annotated by Ibrahim ibn Hasan, Cairo: Mostafa al-Babi al-Halabi and His Sons Bookstore and Printing Company, Third Edition. [in Arabic]
Meghrizai, Ahmad ibn Ali. 1999. Emta al-Asma be Ma le al-Nabi men al-Ahwal wa al-Amwal wa al-Hafdah wa al-Mata (Enjoying Listening to the Prophet’s Affairs, Wealth, Grandchildren and Belongings), Researched by Mohammad Abd al-Hamid al-Namisi, Beirut: Scientific Books House, First Edition. [in Arabic]
Ministry of Endowments and Islamic Affairs. 1983-2006. Al-Mawsuah al-Feghhiyah al-Koweytiyah (Kuwaiti Feghi Encyclopedia), Kuwait: Al-Salasel House. [in Arabic]
Moghniyah, Mohammad Jawad. 2008. Al-Feghh ala al-Mazaheb al-Khamsah (Jurisprudence on the Five Denominations), Beirut: Al-Ghadir House, First Edition. [in Arabic]
Mortaza Zabidi, Mohammad ibn Mohammad. 1993. Taj al-Arus (Bride Crown), Beirut: Institute of Thought. [in Arabic]
Morwarid, Ali Asghar. 1989. Yanabi al-Mawaddah (Springs of Affection), Beirut: Islamic Heritage House, First Edition. [in Arabic]
Mostafawi, Hasan. 1995. Al-Tahghigh fi Kalemat al-Quran al-Karim (Research on the Terms of the Holy Quran), Tehran: Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, First Edition. [in Arabic]
Mottaghi, Ali ibn Hesam al-Din. 1989. Kanz al-Ommal fi Sonan al-Aghwal wa al-Afaal (The Treasure of Workers in the Traditions of Words and Deeds), Beirut: Al-Resalah Institute. [in Arabic]
Najafi, Mohammad Hasan. 2000. Jawaher al-Kalam fi Thawbeh al-Jadid (Jewelry Words in Its New Dress), Qom: Islamic Jurisprudence Encyclopedia Institute on the Doctrine of Ahl al-Bayt (AS), First Edition. [in Arabic]
Nasayi, Ahmad ibn Shoayb. 2000. Al-Sonan al-Kobra (Great Traditions), Researched by Hasan Abd al-Monem Shelbi, Beirut: Al-Resalah Institue, First Edition. [in Arabic]
Nowayri, Ahamd ibn Abd al-Wahhab. n.d. Nehayah al-Arab fi Fonun al-Adab (The Ultimate Ambition in the Arts of Erudition), Cairo: House of National Books and Documents, Heritage Investigation Center. [in Arabic]
Othaymin, Mohammad ibn Saleh. 2001. Al-Sharh al-Momta ala Zad al-Mostaghna, n.p: House of Ibn Jawzi. [in Arabic]
Othaymin, Mohammad ibn Saleh. n.d. Tafsir al-Othaymin, n.p: [in Arabic]
Rashid Reza, Mohammad. 1990. Tafsir Al-Menar, Cairo: The Egyptian General Book Authority. [in Arabic]
Sabki, Zakariya ibn Mohammad. 2001. Asna al-Mataleb Sharh Rawz al-Taleb, Researched by Mohammad Mohammad Tamor, Beirut: Scientific Books House, First Edition. [in Arabic]
Sabuni, Mohammad Ali. 1996. Safwah al-Tafasir (Anthology of Commentaries), Cairo: Sabuni House for Printing, Publishing and Distribution, First Edition. [in Arabic]
Sabzewari, Mohammad Bagher ibn Mohammad Momen. n.d. Zakhirah al-Maad (Provision of the Hereafter), Qom: Al al-Bayt Foundation for Heritage Revival. [in Arabic]
Sadugh, Mohammad ibn Ali. 1995. Maani al-Akhbar (Meanings of the Narrations), Edited by Ali Akbar Ghaffari, Qom: Qom Seminary Teachers Association. [in Arabic]
Sakhawi, Mohammad ibn Abd al-Rahman. 1993. Al-Tohfah al-Latifah fi Tarikh al-Madinah al-Sharifah (The Nice Masterpiece in the History of Medina), Beirut: Scientific Books House. [in Arabic]
Sanaani, Hasan ibn Ahmad. 2006. Fath al-Ghaffar al-Jame le Ahkam Sonnah Nabiyena al-Mokhtar (Fath al-Ghaffar Including the Rulings of the Tradition of Our Chosen Prophet), Supervised by Sheikh Ali al-Emran, n.p: The World of Benefits, First Edition. [in Arabic]
Sawi, Ahmad. 1994. Bolaghah al-Salek le Aghrab al-Masalek, Researched by Mohammad Abd al-Salaam Shahin, Beirut: Scientific Books House. [in Arabic]
Sheikh Nizam and a Group of Indian Scholars. 1990. Al-Fatawa al-Hendiyah fi Mazhab al-Imam al-Azam Abi Hanifah al-Noman (Indian Fatwas in the Doctrine of the Greatest Imam Abu Hanifah al-Noman), Beirut: House of Thought. [in Arabic]
Shenghiti, Mohammad Amin ibn Mohammad Mokhtar. 1994. Azwa al-Bayan fi Izah al-Quran be al-Quran (Lights of Expression in Clarifying the Quran by the Quran), Beirut: House of Thought for Printing, Publishing and Distribution. [in Arabic].
Tabarani, Solayman ibn Ahmad. 1994. Al-Mojam al-Kabir (The Great Collection of Narrations), Researched by Hamdi Abd al-Majid al-Salafi, Cairo: Ibn Taymiyyah Press, Second Edition. [in Arabic]
Tabarsi, Fazl ibn Hasan. 1999. Majma al-Bayan fi Tafsir al-Quran (Collection of Statements on the Interpretation of the Quran), Researched, Annotated & Edited by Hashem Rasuli Mahallati & Fazlollah Yazdi Tabatabayi, Beirut: House of Knowledge, Second Edition. [in Arabic]
Tahanawi. n.d. Kashshaf Estelahat al-Fonun wa al-Olum (Glossary of Professions and Sciences), Lebanon: The Lebanese School of Publishers. [in Arabic]
Tusi, Mohammad ibn Hasan. 2008. Al-Mabsut fi al-Feghh al-Emamiyah (Detailed Explanation of Imami Jurisprudence), Researched by Sayyed Mohammad Taghi Kashfi, Tehran: Mortazawi Publication. [in Arabic]
Zahabi, Mohammad ibn Ahmad. 1992. Tarikh al-Islam wa Wafayat al-Mashahir wa al-Alam (History of Islam and the Deaths of Figures and Luminaries), Researched by Omar Abd al-SalaamTadmori, Beirut: Arabic Book House, Second Edition. [in Arabic]
Jurisprudence), Translated by Mahmud Ibrahimi, Tehran: Ehsan. [in Farsi]