The sitting government of Pakistan is planning to construct a new temple for Hindus in the Capital City i.e., Islamabad. Does the sharia (Islamic law) permit such construction of temples? Especially by an Islamic State?


All praise is for Allah, Allah who is alone, peace and blessings be upon whom is the seal of the prophets.

Allah (glorified and almighty), from Adam till the last of the prophets and their leader, Muhammad (may peace be upon him) has sent all of His prophets to spread the message of Tawheed (monotheism) and reject shirk (polytheism – associating partners with Allah). So whenever an Islamic State was established, it would further the cause of discouraging and limiting the idol worship rather than encouraging it by its actions. This is termed as Millat Ibrahim and this is what is required by the Shariah of Muhammad peace be upon him. Therefore, it is not permissible for any Islamic state to construct places of worship for the non-Muslims. The only exception to the rule is constructing Synagogues and Churches for the people of the Book i.e. (Jews and Christians) which is also conditional. As far as polytheistic places of worship (temples and agiaries) are concerned, they are mandated to be remained as they are only if that specific area or place was taken over through a peace truce \ deal and there is an agreed upon clause in the agreement that such places of worship shall not be dismantled and levelled. However, still it would be impermissible to build any new temples unless they are completely aloof and separate from Muslim populous.

Based on the above discussion, within Islamic Republic of Pakistan and especially in the capital Islamabad which was founded on the pretext of Islam, constructing temples and non-muslim places of worship is severely impermissible. This impermissibly is based on various evidences from the Quran the Book of Allah, Sunnah of the Prophet may peace be upon him, practices of the Sahaba and Tabi’een and past scholars and jurists few of which are mentioned below respectively.

Verses of the Quran

A Muslim ruler of an Islamic state is required to enjoin good and forbid evil.

Allah says:

{الَّذِينَ إِنْ مَكَّنَّاهُمْ فِي الْأَرْضِ أَقَامُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتَوُا الزَّكَاةَ وَأَمَرُوا بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَنَهَوْا عَنِ الْمُنْكَرِ وَلِلَّهِ عَاقِبَةُ الْأُمُورِ}

“[And they are] those who, if We give them authority in the land, establish prayer and give zakat and enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong. And to Allah belongs the outcome of [all] matters.”
(Surah Hajj verse 41) {Translation from Saheeh International}.

It is a duty of the government to take pertinent actions to stop evil practices and curb sinful and immoral actions and the gravest sin and the greatest crime is to associate partners with Allah. Allah says in the Quran:

{إِنَّ الشِّرْكَ لَظُلْمٌ عَظِيمٌ}

“Indeed, association [with Him] is great injustice.”

(Surah Luqman verse 13)

To eradicate kufr (disbelief) and shirk (associating partners with Allah) is the basis for the stability and longevity of the khilafat, peace and establishing religion. Allah says:

{وَعَدَ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مِنْكُمْ وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ لَيَسْتَخْلِفَنَّهُمْ فِي الْأَرْضِ كَمَا اسْتَخْلَفَ الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِهِمْ وَلَيُمَكِّنَنَّ لَهُمْ دِينَهُمُ الَّذِي ارْتَضَى لَهُمْ وَلَيُبَدِّلَنَّهُمْ مِنْ بَعْدِ خَوْفِهِمْ أَمْنًا يَعْبُدُونَنِي لَا يُشْرِكُونَ بِي شَيْئًا وَمَنْ كَفَرَ بَعْدَ ذَلِكَ فَأُولَئِكَ هُمُ الْفَاسِقُونَ}

“Allah has promised those who have believed among you and done righteous deeds that He will surely grant them succession [to authority] upon the earth just as He granted it to those before them and that He will surely establish for them [therein] their religion which He has preferred for them and that He will surely substitute for them, after their fear, security, [for] they worship Me, not associating anything with Me. But whoever disbelieves after that – then those are the defiantly disobedient.”

(Surah Nur verse 55)

It means that the people to whom it is promised that they shall be granted authority, establishment of religion, security and peace after turmoil, are the ones who believe and commit righteous deeds, direct their acts of worship to Allah alone and do not associate partners with Him so that after getting into power they consolidate a society based on faith and righteous deeds, manifest tawheed (monotheism) and uproot polytheism. Because forbidding practices of associating partners with Allah is the most commendable and recommended action. This is the first and foremost responsibility of a Muslim ruler.

Allah has informed us about how there is an example for us in the practice of Ibrahim in the following words

{قَدْ كَانَتْ لَكُمْ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ فِي إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَالَّذِينَ مَعَهُ إِذْ قَالُوا لِقَوْمِهِمْ إِنَّا بُرَآءُ مِنْكُمْ وَمِمَّا تَعْبُدُونَ مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ كَفَرْنَا بِكُمْ وَبَدَا بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَكُمُ الْعَدَاوَةُ وَالْبَغْضَاءُ أَبَدًا حَتَّى تُؤْمِنُوا بِاللَّهِ وَحْدَهُ}

“There has already been for you an excellent pattern in Abraham and those with him, when they said to their people, “Indeed, we are disassociated from you and from whatever you worship other than Allah. We have denied you, and there has appeared between us and you animosity and hatred forever until you believe in Allah alone””
(Surah Mumtahinah verse 4)

Allah addressed Muslims in the following words:

{فَاجْتَنِبُوا الرِّجْسَ مِنَ الْأَوْثَانِ وَاجْتَنِبُوا قَوْلَ الزُّورِ}

“So avoid the uncleanliness of idols and avoid false statement.”
(Surah Hajj verse 30)

Further Allah says:

{يَاأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِنَّمَا الْخَمْرُ وَالْمَيْسِرُ وَالْأَنْصَابُ وَالْأَزْلَامُ رِجْسٌ مِنْ عَمَلِ الشَّيْطَانِ فَاجْتَنِبُوهُ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ}

“O you who have believed, indeed, intoxicants, gambling, [sacrificing on] stone altars [to other than Allah], and divining arrows are but defilement from the work of Satan, so avoid1 it that you may be successful.” 

(Surah Maida verse 90)

Idol worshipping is an act of Satan and so it is ordered that one should completely avoid it rather than engaging in construction of temples and activities that promote idol worshipping.

Prophetic narrations

Leader of the Prophets (peace be upon him) in adherence to the millat of Ibrahim adopted the trait of shunning idol worship and disregarded every practice of associating partners with Allah Swt.

Sayyiduna Abdullah Bin Abbas may Allah be please with him said

إِنَّ النَّبِيَّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، لَمَّا رَأَى الصُّوَرَ فِي البَيْتِ لَمْ يَدْخُلْ حَتَّى أَمَرَ بِهَا فَمُحِيَتْ.

“When the Prophet peace be upon him saw pictures in the Ka`ba, he did not enter it till he ordered them to be erased.” 

(Sahih Bukhari hadith no 3352) (

Abul Hiyaj Asadi narrated from Hazrat Ali may Allah be please with him that he said

أَلَا أَبْعَثُكَ عَلَى مَا بَعَثَنِي عَلَيْهِ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ؟ «أَنْ لَا تَدَعَ تِمْثَالًا إِلَّا طَمَسْتَهُ وَلَا قَبْرًا مُشْرِفًا إِلَّا سَوَّيْتَهُ»

“Should I not send you on the same mission as Allah’s Messenger () sent me? Do not leave an image without obliterating it, or a high grave without levelling It. This hadith has been reported by Habib with the same chain of transmitters and he said: (Do not leave) a picture without obliterating it.”

(Sahih Muslim hadith no 969) (

Practice of the Sahabah

Sayyiduna Umar Farooq may Allah be please with him:

Sayyiduna Umar Bin Khattab may Allah be please with him prescribed conditions for Ahlul Zimma (non-muslims living under an Islamic state) which is known as “Shuroot ul-Umariya”, there was a condition within that as follows:

أَنْ لاَ نُحْدِثَ فِى مَدِينَتِنَا وَلاَ فِيمَا حَوْلَهَا دَيْرًا وَلاَ كَنِيسَةً وَلاَ قَلاَّيَةً وَلاَ صَوْمَعَةَ رَاهِبٍ وَلاَ نُجَدِّدَ مَا خَرِبَ مِنْهَا وَلاَ نُحْيِىَ مَا كَانَ مِنْهَا فِى خِطَطِ الْمُسْلِمِينَ.

“We will not establish any monastery, synagogue, homes or cottages for priests and bishops within and outskirts of the city and nor will refurbish or renovate any of such which are deteriorated and neither will they populate which is inside the Muslim settlements \ areas.”

(Musnad ul Farooq Volume 2 page 334 (663))

Sayyiduna Ibn Abbas may Allah be pleased with him:

Sayyiduna Ibn Abbas may Allah be pleased with him was asked is it permissible to construct new places of worship in an Islamic state? He responded:

أَيُّمَا مِصْرٍ مَصَّرَتْهُ الْعَرَبُ فَلَيْسَ لِلْعَجَمِ أَنْ يَبْنُوا فِيهِ بِيعَةً، وَلا يَضْرِبُوا فِيهِ نَاقُوسًا، وَلا يَشْرَبُوا فِيهِ خَمْرًا، وَلا يَتَّخِذُوا فِيهِ خِنْزِيرًا، وَأَيُّمَا مِصْرٍ مَصَّرَتْهُ الْعَجَمُ، فَفَتَحَهُ اللَّهُ، تَبَارَكَ وَتَعَالَى، عَلَى الْعَرَبِ، فَنَزَلُوا، فَإِنَّ لِلْعَجَمِ مَا فِي عَهْدِهِمْ، وَعَلَى الْعَرَبِ أَنْ يُوفُوا بِعَهْدِهِمْ، وَلا يُكَلِّفُوهُمْ فَوْقَ طَاقَتِهِمْ.

“It is not allowed to construct any churches, play gongs, consummation of wine or keeping pigs in Muslim settlements. Any area occupied by non-Muslim, taken over by Muslims and then a peace agreement is concluded then that specific area shall be governed based on clauses in the agreement and it is obligatory upon the Muslims to abide by the truce and shall not harm them”

(Ahkaam Ahlil Milal wal Ridda page 346)

(Note: In the above narration, the word ‘Arabs’ is translated as ‘Muslim’ and ‘Ajam’ as ‘non-Muslim’ because during that time the Arabian peninsula was already under Islamic rule while non Arabs were still polytheists and were in disbelief therefore in the common parlance at that time Arabs meant people who had embraced Islam. This is similar to the subcontinent tradition where “Mughal” was referred to as being Muslim.)

Practice of Taabi’een (students of the Sahaabah)

Umar bin Abdul Aziz May Allah have mercy upon him:

Umar bin Abdul-Aziz may Allah have mercy upon him legislated that:

يُمْنَعَ النَّصَارَى بِالشَّامِ أَنْ يَضْرِبُوا نَاقُوسًا قَالَ: وَيُنْهَوْا أَنْ يَفْرِقُوا رُءُوسَهُمْ، وَيَجُزُّوا نَوَاصِيَهُمْ، وَيَشُدُّوا مَنَاطِقَهُمْ، وَلَا يَرْكَبُوا عَلَى سُرْجٍ، وَلَا يَلْبَسُوا عُصَبًا، وَلَا يَرْفَعُوا صُلُبَهُمْ فَوْقَ كَنَائِسِهِمْ.

“Christians should be prohibited to play gongs in Syria, dressing hair (in their typical custom), they should cut their hair on forehead, and should tie their belts tightly, should not ride a horse on saddle, should not wear a turban and should not mount the cross on the top of churches.”

(Musannaf Abdul Razzaq Hadith no 10004)

Imam Taawoos bin Kaysaan May Allah have mercy on him:

Imam Taawoos bin Kaysaan May Allah have mercy on him said:

لَا يَنْبَغِي لَبَيْتِ رَحْمَةٍ أَنْ يَكُونَ عِنْدَ بَيْتِ عَذَابٍ.

“House of mercy and house of wrath should not be near to each other.” 

(Alamwaal lil Qasim bin Sallaam page 263)

Imam Qasim bin Sallaam after narrating this explains:

أُرَاهُ يَعْنِي الْكَنَائِسَ وَالْبِيعَ وَبُيُوتَ النِّيرَانِ، يَقُولُ: لَا يَنْبَغِي أَنْ تَكُونَ مَعَ الْمَسَاجِدِ فِي أَمْصَارِ الْمُسْلِمِينَ.

“This refers to churches, synagogues and agiaries; he is saying that they should not be alongside the mosques (rather they should be outside of the Muslim settlements).”

Ibn Sireen May Allah have mercy on him:

Habib bin Shaheed talks about him:

أَنَّهُ كَانَ لَا يَتْرُكُ لِأَهْلِ فَارِسَ صَنَمًا إِلَّا كُسِرَ وَلَا نَارًا إِلَّا أُطْفِئَتْ.

“He would not leave any idol of people of Iran but destroy it and neither would he leave any fire to be kindled in an agiary.”

(Musannaf Ibn e Abi Shaybah hadith no 32988)

Hasan Basri May Allah have mercy upon him:

Hasan Basri May Allah have mercy upon him says

«قَدْ صُولِحُوا عَلَى أَنْ يُخْلَى بَيْنَهُمْ وَبَيْنَ النِّيرَانِ وَالْأَوْثَانِ فِي غَيْرِ الْأَمْصَارِ».

“It is a condition to peace that agiary and temples shall not be destroyed if they are separate and outside from the main populous of the muslim cities.”

(Musannaf Ibn e Abi Shaybah hadith no 32986)

Abdullah Bin Ubaid May Allah have mercy upon him:

Awf bin Abi Jameela says

«شَهِدْتُ عَبْدَ اللَّهِ بْنَ عُبَيْدِ بْنِ مَعْمَرٍ أُتِيَ بِمَجُوسِيٍّ بَنَى بَيْتَ نَارٍ بِالْبَصْرَةِ فَضَرَبَ عُنُقَهُ»

“I was Abdullah Bin Ubaid bin Mamar and a Zoroastrian was brought to him who had constructed an agiary in Basra and so he beheaded him.”

(Musannaf Ibn e Abi Shaybah hadith no 32989)

Opinions of the Fuqaha (Jurists)

Hanbali fiqh:

Imam Ahmed Bin Hanbal may Allah have mercy upon him

Imam of the people of the sunnah, Imam Ahmed Bin Hanbal may Allah have mercy upon him said:

ليس لليهود والنصارى أن يحدثوا فِي مصر مصره المسلمون بيعة ولا كنيسة ولا يضربوا فِيهِ بناقوس إلا فيما كان لهم صلح.

“A city where Muslim resides, it is not permissible for Christians and Jews to construct churches or synagogues, neither there should be any gongs played except where there is a deal between Muslims and non-Muslims.”

(Ahkam ahlil milal wal ridda page 346)

It means any city which was annexed and made part of the Islamic state without any war and a peace deal was struck with the people of the book (Jews and Christians), the people of the book may construct their place of worship but a city wherein Muslims are residing like Islamabad, no place of worship shall be built for the non-Muslims.

Imam Ibn Taymiah may Allah have mercy upon him:

Sheikh ul Islam Ibn Taymiah may Allah have mercy upon him speaks about a Muslim ruler who denies to forbid evil as his responsibility:

وَوَلِيُّ الْأَمْرِ إذَا تَرَكَ إنْكَارَ الْمُنْكَرَاتِ وإقامة الحدود عليهما بِمَالٍ يَأْخُذُهُ: كَانَ بِمَنْزِلَةِ مُقَدِّمِ الْحَرَامِيَّةِ، الَّذِي يُقَاسِمُ الْمُحَارِبِينَ عَلَى الْأَخِيذَةِ، وَبِمَنْزِلَةِ الْقَوَّادِ الَّذِي يَأْخُذُ مَا يَأْخُذُهُ؛ لِيَجْمَعَ بَيْنَ اثْنَيْنِ عَلَى فَاحِشَةٍ، وَكَانَ حَالُهُ شَبِيهًا بِحَالِ عَجُوزِ السُّوءِ امْرَأَةِ لُوطٍ، الَّتِي كَانَتْ تَدُلُّ الْفُجَّارَ عَلَى ضَيْفِهِ، الَّتِي قَالَ اللهُ تَعَالَى فِيهَا: ﴿فَاَنْجَيْنٰهُ وَ اَهْلَهٗۤ اِلَّا امْرَاَتَهُ كَانَتْ مِنَ الْغٰبِرِيْنَ﴾ [الأعراف: 83] . وَقَالَ تَعَالَى: ﴿فَاَسْرِ بِاَهْلِكَ بِقِطْعٍ مِّنَ الَّيْلِ وَ لَا يَلْتَفِتْ مِنْكُمْ اَحَدٌ اِلَّا امْرَاَتَكَ اِنَّهٗ مُصِيْبُهَا مَاۤ اَصَابَهُمْ﴾ [هود: 81]. فَعَذَّبَ اللهُ عَجُوزَ السُّوءِ الْقَوَّادَةَ بِمِثْلِ مَا عَذَّبَ قَوْمَ السُّوءِ الَّذِينَ كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ الْخَبَائِثَ، وَهَذَا لِأَنَّ هَذَا جَمِيعَهُ أَخْذُ مَالٍ لِلْإِعَانَةِ على الإثم والعدوان، وولي الأمر إنما نُصِبَ لِيَأْمُرَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ، وَيَنْهَى عَنْ الْمُنْكَرِ، وَهَذَا هُوَ مَقْصُودُ الْوِلَايَةِ. فَإِذَا كَانَ الْوَالِي يُمَكِّنُ مِنْ الْمُنْكَرِ بِمَالٍ يَأْخُذُهُ، كَانَ قَدْ أَتَى بضد المقصود، مثل مَنْ نَصَّبْتَهُ لِيُعِينَكَ عَلَى عَدُوِّكَ، فَأَعَانَ عَدُوَّكَ عَلَيْكَ. وَبِمَنْزِلَةِ مَنْ أَخَذَ مَالًا لِيُجَاهِدَ بِهِ فِي سَبِيلِ اللهِ، فَقَاتَلَ بِهِ الْمُسْلِمِينَ.   

“A wali ul Amr (person having authority over the affairs of the Muslims) who does not stop evil and crimes and shall not establish hudud (Islamic punishments), who frees the criminals by taking bribe, he is like a contract killer who kills to earn money and is like a pimp who facilitates two or more people to commit obscenity and nudity. He will end up just like the wife of Prophet Loot may peace be upon him who used to inform sinful and corrupt people about the guests of Loot may peace be upon him. So Allah informed about her “So Loot and His family were saved from the wrath however his wife was not saved as she was from amongst the criminal people.”

In another verse He says “So take the people of your household and leave immediately and do not turn back except your wife who shall suffer the torment of Allah similar to the torment that others shall be suffering”. Bear witness that Allah bestowed the same torment upon the old sinning lady who used to facilitate the criminals just what was suffered by the criminals themselves.  That is because appropriating money is akin to aiding in criminality and sin while a ruler is appointed to carry out the duty of enjoining good and forbidding evil. This is the purpose of a government being appointed according to Islam. If the ruler lets go a sinful and criminal activity in exchange of money and bribe, then it is evident he has forgone the very purpose for which he is appointed and rather he acts in contrary to it. It is as if you send someone to fight the enemy and instead, he is aiding the enemy against you. And it is like an example that you gave someone a sum of money to spend in the way of Allah and rather he spends it in killing the Muslims.”

(As siyasat ush Shariah Page 59 and 60)

He further goes on to say:

وولي الأمر إنما نصب ليأمر بالمعروف وينهى عن المنكر وهذا هو مقصود الولاية.

“The Wali ul-Amr is appointed as a ruler so that he enjoins good and forbids evil, this is the very purpose of coming and forming a government.” 

(As siyasat ush Shariah Page 60)

Moreover he writes:

إن صلاح العباد بالأمر بالمعروف والنهي عن المنكر فإن صلاح المعاش والعباد في طاعة الله ورسوله ولا يتم ذلك إلا بالأمر بالمعروف والنهي عن المنكر وبه صارت هذه الأمة خير أمة أخرجت للناس قال الله تعالى: {كُنْتُمْ خَيْرَ أُمَّةٍ أُخْرِجَتْ لِلنَّاسِ تَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَتَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنْكَرِ} [آل عمران: 110] وقال تعالى: {وَلْتَكُنْ مِنْكُمْ أُمَّةٌ يَدْعُونَ إِلَى الْخَيْرِ وَيَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَيَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنْكَرِ} [آل عمران: 104] وقال تعالى عن بني إسرائيل: {كَانُوا لا يَتَنَاهَوْنَ عَنْ مُنْكَرٍ فَعَلُوهُ لَبِئْسَ مَا كَانُوا يَفْعَلُونَ} [المائدة:79] وقال تعالى: {فَلَمَّا نَسُوا مَا ذُكِّرُوا بِهِ أَنْجَيْنَا الَّذِينَ يَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ السُّوءِ وَأَخَذْنَا الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا بِعَذَابٍ بَئِيسٍ بِمَا كَانُوا يَفْسُقُونَ} [الأعراف: 145] فأخبر الله تعالى أن العذاب لما نزل نجى الذين ينهون عن السوء وأخذ الظالمين بالعذاب الشديد.

“Enjoining good and forbidding evil is in the best interest of the people. Because following Allah and His Prophet may peace be upon him, is for the betterment of the people and the economy and this is indispensable without adjoining good and forbidding evil. By virtue of this act Ummah is declared as the best of the ummah. Allah says “You are now the best people brought forth for (the guidance and reform of) mankind. You enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and believe in Allah. Had the People of the Book.” And Allah says about Bani Israel “They would not stop each other from indulging in sinful acts which they were involved in, what they used to do was in itself not a good act.” And Allah says “When they forget as to what was instructed to them so we saved those who used to stop others from carrying out sinful acts and those who were cruel were caught by the wrath due to their disobedience.” So Allah has warned that whenever torment and wrath is bestowed only those are relieved who stop people from committing sins and cruel and sinful people suffer from the wrath.

(al-Siyasah al-Shariyah: Page 60)

The most significant of the acts from forbidding evil is to stop people from associating partners with Allah, do not let the customs and norms of people who disbelief and associate partners with Allah to spread amongst the Muslims and to create a barrage against such. Imam Ibn Taymiah may Allah have mercy upon him writes

والمدينة التي يسكنها المسلمون، والقرية التي يسكنها المسلمون، وفيها مساجد المسلمين، لا يجوز أن يظهر فيها شيء من شعائر الكفر: لا كنائس ولا غيرها.

“A city where Muslim population resides where there are mosques, there shouldn’t be any public display of symbols \ rituals of disbelief whether they are churches or anything else (temples or Gurdwaras).”

(Mas’ala fil Kanais page 104)

Fiqh Shaafi’ee:

Imam Shaafi’ee may Allah have mercy upon him:

Imam Muhamad bin Idrees al-Shaafi’ee may Allah have mercy upon him says that if a Muslim ruler makes an agreement with a non-Muslim nation over jizyah then he should add a clause in the agreement:

لَيْسَ لَكُمْ أَنْ تُظْهِرُوا فِي شَيْءٍ مِنْ أَمْصَارِ الْمُسْلِمِينَ الصَّلِيبَ، وَلَا تُعْلِنُوا بِالشِّرْكِ، وَلَا تَبْنُوا كَنِيسَةً، وَلَا مَوْضِعَ مُجْتَمَعٍ لِصَلَاتِكُمْ، وَلَا تَضْرِبُوا بِنَاقُوسٍ، وَلَا تُظْهِرُوا قَوْلَكُمْ بِالشِّرْكِ فِي عِيسَى ابْنِ مَرْيَمَ، وَلَا فِي غَيْرِهِ لِأَحَدٍ مِنْ الْمُسْلِمِينَ.

“Any public display of cross in a Muslim’s area shall not be tolerated, neither will there be any public displays of associating partners with Allah, neither will you construct a synagogue, neither will you construct a new place of worship, neither will you ring any gongs and nor will you talk about your polytheistic beliefs with regards to ‘Eesa Bin Maryam (may peace be upon them) to any Muslim”

(Kitab ul umm of Shafi volume 4 page 209)

Further he adds:

أَنْ لَا يُسْمِعُوا الْمُسْلِمِينَ شِرْكَهُمْ وَقَوْلَهُمْ فِي عُزَيْرٍ وَعِيسَى – عَلَيْهِمَا السَّلَامُ – ……. وأَنْ لَا يُحْدِثُوا فِي مِصْرٍ مِنْ أَمْصَارِ الْمُسْلِمِينَ كَنِيسَةً وَلَا مُجْتَمَعًا لِضَلَالَاتِهِمْ وَلَا صَوْتَ نَاقُوسٍ.

“(A Muslim ruler should agree with them) that they will not propagate the polytheistic beliefs they hold regarding Uzair and ‘Eesa (may peace be upon them). They will not construct any synagogues or centers to spread their misguidance nor will they ring any gongs.”

(Kitab ul umm of Shafi volume 4 page 218)

Imam Abul Hasan Mawardi may Allah have mercy upon him:

Imam Mawardi chief justice during the reign of Abbasids, writes about the obligations of the ruler:

حِفْظُ الدِّينِ عَلَى أُصُولِهِ الْمُسْتَقِرَّةِ، وَمَا أَجْمَعَ عَلَيْهِ سَلَفُ الْأُمَّةِ، فَإِنْ نَجَمَ مُبْتَدِعٌ أَوْ زَاغَ ذُو شُبْهَةٍ عَنْهُ، أَوْضَحَ لَهُ الْحُجَّةَ، وَبَيَّنَ لَهُ الصَّوَابَ، وَأَخَذَهُ بِمَا يَلْزَمُهُ مِنَ الْحُقُوقِ وَالْحُدُودِ؛ لِيَكُونَ الدِّينُ مَحْرُوسًا مِنْ خَلَلٍ، وَالْأُمَّةُ مَمْنُوعَةً مِنْ زَلَلٍ.

“It is an obligation on the Muslim ruler that Islam should be established on the basis on which Muhammad may peace be upon him left and the earlier generations agreed upon it. In case any innovator or persecutor appears then he should be shunned by making him clear the evidence, and no leniency shall be regarded in terms of not fulfilling the rights and hudud so that Islam is protected from being intruded and the ummah is safe from any misguidance.”

(Alahkam ul Sutlaniya page 40)

Imam Subki may Allah have mercy upon him:

Imam Taqi ud Din Abul Hasan Ali bin Abdul-Kafi As-Subki May Allah have mercy upon him says:

لَا يَجُوزُ إحْدَاثُ كَنِيسَةٍ فِيهَا وَكَذَلِكَ لَا يَجُوزُ إبْقَاؤُهَا فِيهَا عَلَى الصَّحِيحِ.

“It is not permissible to build any new synagogues in territories annexed through war and according to the more correct opinion it is not allowed to let remain the older ones.”

(Fatawa Al Subki volume 2 page 394)

Fiqh Maliki:

Imam Malik may Allah have mercy upon him:

Imam of the city of Hijra Malik bin Anas may Allah have mercy upon him says:

لَا يُعْجِبُنِي أَنْ يَبِيعَ الرَّجُلُ دَارَه مِمَّنْ يَتَّخِذُهَا كَنِيسَةً وَلَا يُؤَاجِرُ دَارَه مِمَّنْ يَتَّخِذُهَا كَنِيسَةً.

“I dislike that a person sells his house to someone who converts it into a synagogue, neither should he rent his house to someone who is involved in constructing a synagogue.”

(Al Mudawwanah volume 3 page 435)

Imam Malik May Allah Have mercy upon him was asked

هَلْ لِأَهْلِ الذِّمَّةِ أَنْ يَتَّخِذُوا الْكَنَائِسَ فِي بِلَادِ الْإِسْلَامِ؟

“Is it permissible to build synagogues for non-Muslims living in an Islamic state?

He answered:

لَا إلَّا أَنْ يَكُونَ لَهُمْ شَيْءٌ أَعْطَوْهُ.

No, unless there was an agreement which needs to be fulfilled.”

(Al mudawwanah volume 3 page 435)

Tartooshi may Allah have mercy upon him

Imam Abu Bakr Muhammad bin Muhammad Al-Tartooshi may Allah have mercy upon him says

وأما الكنائس فإن عمر بن الخطاب رضي الله عنه أمر بهدم كل كنيسة لم تكن قبل الإسلام، ومنع أن تحدث كنيسة وأمر أن لا يظهر علية خارجة من كنيسة ولا يظهر صليب خارج من كنيسة إلا كسر على رأس صاحبه، وكان عروة بن محمد يهدمها بصنعاء، وهذا مذهب علماء المسلمين أجمعين، وشدد في ذلك عمر بن عبد العزيز رضي الله عنه فأمر أن لا يترك في دار الإسلام بيعة ولا كنيسة بحال قديمة ولا حديثة، وهكذا قال الحسن البصري قال: من السنة أن تهدم الكنائس التي في الأمصار القديمة والحديثة.

“As far as synagogues are concerned Umar ibn ul Khattab may Allah be pleased with him ordered to raze all synagogues down which were not there pre Islam. He forbade to construct any new synagogues. He ordered that there should not be any double storey synagogues neither there should be any public display of crosses and if done ever so then that cross should be hit on the person’s head who displayed it. And Urwa bin Muhammad used to bring them down in San’a (a place in Yemen) and this is the opinion of all the Muslim scholars. In fact Umar bin Abdul Aziz may Allah have mercy upon him was very strict in this regards and he ordered that all churches or synagogues, old or new should not be left mounted on the ground and similarly Hasan Basri may Allah have mercy upon him said that it is the sunnah to deconstruct synagogues in new or old cities.” 

(Siraj ul mulook page 138)

Ibn ul Maajishoon may Allah have mercy upon him:

Allamah Ibn ul Maajishoon may Allah have mercy upon him says

ولا تحدث كنيسة في بلد الإسلام. وأما إن كانوا أهل ذمة منقطعين عن بلد الإسلام ليس بينهم مسلمون، فذلك لهم، ولهم إدخال الخمر وكسب الخنازير. وأما بين المسلمين فيمنعون من رم كنائسهم القديمة إذا رثت، إلا أن يكون ذلك شرطاً فى عهدهم فيوفى لهم، ويمنعون من الزيادة الظاهرة والباطنة. …. وهذا فى أهل الصلح. فإما فى أهل العنوة فلا يترك لهم عند ضرب الجزية عليهم كنيسة إلا هدمت، ثم لا يحدثوا كنيسة وان كانوا معتزلين عن بلد الإسلام.

“There shouldn’t be any new construction of synagogues in an Islamic state. It is allowed for the non-Muslims who reside at a distance from Muslim populous, similarly they would be allowed to consume wine and pigs. If they reside within the Muslim areas then they should not be allowed to renovate the old churches unless there is an agreement with them in which case the agreement shall be followed. They shall be prohibited to renovate the exterior or interior of the building and this is the ruling pertaining to those who have because a party to the agreement. As for that territory which was won over through a war, jizyah will be imposed upon them and no synagogue shall be left but destroyed neither will they be allowed to build any new ones even if they reside at a distance of a Muslim populous.”

(An-nawadir waz ziyadaat ala ma fi Mudawannah min ghairiha minal ummahaat volume 3 page 376)


Hanafi Fiqh:

Imam Muhammad may Allah Have mercy upon him:

Imam Muhammad bin Hasan Ash-Shaybani may Allah Have mercy upon him says:

لا ينبغي أن يتركوا أن يحدثوا بِيعة ولا كنيسة إلا ما كان من كنيسة أو بيعة قديمة فصاروا ذمة وهي بيعة لهم أو كنيسة وهي في غير مصر من أمصار المسلمين؛ ولا أن يتركوا أن يسكنوا في مصر من أمصار المسلمين؛ لأن رسول الله – صلى الله عليه وسلم – أجلاهم من المدينة. وجاء عن علي – رضي الله عنه – أيضاً أنه أجلاهم من الكوفة. …… ولا ينبغي أن يتركوا أن يبنوا بِيعة ولا كنيسة ولا بيت نار في مصر من أمصار المسلمين ولا في غير مصر من دار المسلمين. وإن كان لهم كنيسة أو بِيعة أو بيت نار فصولحوا عليه فكان ذلك في غير مصر ترك ذلك لهم. وإن انهدم ذلك تركوا أن يعيدوه. وإن اتخذ المسلمون في ذلك الموضع مصراً أخذوا وهدمت بيعهم وكنائسهم من ذلك الموضع، وتركوا أن يبنوا مثلها في غير المصر. وبهذا القول نأخذ.

“It is not permissible to allow Christians and Jews to construct a synagogue or a church in a place wherein the inhabitants are Muslims unless it was constructed (earlier than the Muslim state took over that place), the non-Muslims become zimmi (an agreement by virtue of which non-Muslims can live peacefully in a Muslim state) and that the church or synagogue is not in where Muslims reside. They should not be allowed to settle within the Muslim populous because they were expelled by the Prophet peace be upon him from Madina and Sayyiduna Ali May Allah be pleased with him expelled them from Kufa even. And it is not permissible to let them construct a church, synagogue or agiary in a Muslim settlement. If there is a church, synagogue or Agiary which was constructed earlier, it is agreed with them through a peace deal and it is not within a city then it can be left for them. And if it is razed then they are allowed to reconstruct it. If later on Muslims settle in that city then their church, synagogue or agiary shall be deconstructed and they should then be allowed to construct them at a place outside the city or in some other city and this is our opinion on this.”

(Al-asl better known as Al-Mabsut volume 7 page 549 and 550)

Ibn Abideen may Allah Have mercy upon him:

Allamah Ibn e Abideen may Allah Have mercy upon him writes:

لَا يَجُوزُ إحْدَاثُ كَنِيسَةٍ فِي الْقُرَى وَمَنْ أَفْتَى بِالْجَوَازِ فَهُوَ مُخْطِئٌ وَيُحْجَرُ عَلَيْهِ.

“It is not permissible to build new synagogues within cities and whosoever issues an opinion of it being permissible then he should be banned (from issuing legal verdicts).”

(Radd ul Muhtar Ala Durra al-mukhtar better known as Fatawa shaami volume 4 page 202)

Allama Nasafi may Allah Have mercy upon him:

Allama Abul Barakaat Nasafi may Allah Have mercy upon him says:

لا تحدث بيعةٌ ولا كنيسةٌ في دارنا.

“No new construction shall be done of any church or synagogue in our (Muslim settled) areas.”

(Kanz ul Daqaiq page 385)

Constitution of Pakistan

Pakistan is an Islamic Republic. Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawabzada Liaquat Ali Khan presented a resolution in the legislative assembly of Pakistan which was passed on 12 March 1949, known as objective resolution, and on 2 March 1985 it was made part of the constitution of Pakistan through an amendment via presidential ordinance initiated by President of Pakistan Muhammad Zia Ul Haq, the very first clause of the said resolution says “Whereas sovereignty over the entire universe belongs to Allah Almighty alone and the authority which He has delegated to the State of Pakistan, through its people for being exercised within the limits prescribed by Him is a sacred trust.”

The gist of which is that a Pakistani government, judiciary, legislature and bureaucracy shall not breach the boundaries established by Allah and whosoever does it shall be considered a treason with the constitution.

The drafted constitution of 1954 which was finalized in 1956, states in Chapter three article 4 that no law shall be promulgated in contravention to Quran and Sunnah and in Article 5 it says that in explanation of the Quran and Sunnah the well-known explanation of the sect shall be acceptable. And by virtue of this the state was named as ‘Islamic Republic of Pakistan’ which was retained in the constitution of 1973. The 1973 constitution clause 2 also states that Islam shall be the religion of the state. This explicitly means that state affairs shall be governed by Islam. This means that if such a proclamation is done at an individual level then it is not required to be proclaimed at the state level. The sole conclusion of which is the Islamic principles shall be considered while doing the legislation. Freedom of speech is recognized for a citizen of Pakistan. It is also specified that press shall also have freedom. But this fundamental right is reasonably and legally conditional upon the greatness of Islam being manifested.

Therefore when Pakistan is an Islamic state where Allah’s sovereignty is accepted and Quran and Sunnah is declared to be the supreme law then how is it that in a country where sins and injustice should be stopped, the country, on the contrary is facilitating such sins and injustice, in fact aiding and paving way in one of the biggest sins, that is, associating partners with Allah Swt, and construction of temples is in direct contradiction with Sharaih and the constitution of Pakistan.

Noble Muftis

His eminence Shaykh Abu Muhammad AbdusSattar Hammad (may Allaah protect him) (President of the Lajnah)

His eminence Abul Hasan Mubashir Ahmad Rabbani (May Allah protect him) (Vice-President)

His eminence Shaykh Abdul Haleem Bilal (may Allaah protect him)

His eminence Shaykh Javaid Iqbal Siyalkoti (may Allaah protect him)


This is a translation of the original text of the fatwa which was issued in the Urdu language.

Translator: Syed Abdullah bin Masood