Selling Islam is a Good Business for many in Muslim Clergy:
I could not believe what I read in a flier promoting Hajj packages sponsored by people who claim they know the Quran and Sunnah of the Prophet. I read that an imam of a mosque in Southern California would be leading a Hajj group to help people get closer to God. I read that if people wanted to offer 40 prayers in Masjid Nabvi in Medina and 40 prayers in the Kaaba in Makkah, they will have to pay $500 extra for each or $1000 extra for 80 prayers. This is an addition to other charges. This comes roughly to $12.30 per prayer. Each Raka would cost $6.15 and each prostration about $3.8. The traditions say that if anyone offers these prayers at these places, his or her previous and forthcoming sins are forgiven. What an inexpensive price to please God and to get all sins forgiven. Moreover, what an inexpensive way to ensure that one returns to God in a state of complete innocence. The irony is that people will buy it because the imam will remind him of the virtues of spending in the cause of Allah.
Not only in California, but all over the world, we find many in our religious clergy indulging in this practice. In Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Sudan, Malaysia or Turkey, even in Egypt and Morocco, you will find people selling virtues for a reasonable price. The money is collected in the name of Allah and the giver thinks that it is being used to please Allah.
No need to speculate that the money or part of it, usually goes in the pocket of the imam or the one sponsoring these schemes. What is worst is that it is done in the name of Islam and directed by people who give sermons to people asking them to get closer to Allah. They seek donations from people to build masajid and Islamic centers. Essentially, they seek funds to finance them. The irony is that these people refuse to give any account of their income and expenses.
Muslims should ask the authorities to investigate such masajid to see where their money is coming from and where is it being spent. These people deserve to be questioned for their innovative money schemes. Such people are criminals of Islam This is like prostituting religion, like selling Allah and his prophet and making a few extra bucks by exploiting and taking advantage of people's keen desire to get closer to God. This is exactly what the priests or rabbis at churches or synagogues or at temples used to do or still do. In fact, during the medieval time in England, the church used to charge a certain amount of different categories of sins. For instance, if someone has committed fornication, he or she would have to pay 5 shillings, if someone has lied, he or she would pay one shilling or if someone would want to make special prayers to God with the help of the priest, he or she would have to spend some 10 shillings. A church would usually post a rate card outside its gates so that people bring in the appropriate money. Instead of shillings, now the religious clergy ask for dollars and pounds. Many in the Muslim clergy resemble priests and rabbis and they use religion for their personal glorification or fortune. Obviously, they do not fear God, no matter what they say. But if they are exposed and lose the privileges they have, they might start fearing people.
The following Quranic verses clearly define these people and clearly condemns their practice of selling their faith.:
2:79 Then woe to those who write the Book with their own hands, and then says:"This is from Allah," to traffic with it for a miserable price!- Woe to them for what their hands do write, and for the gain they make thereby.
2:16 These are they who have bartered Guidance for error: But their traffic is profitless, and they have lost true direction,
2:174 Those who conceal Allah's revelations in the Book, and purchase for them a miserable profit,- they swallow into themselves naught but Fire; Allah will not address them on the Day of Resurrection. Nor purify them: Grievous will be their penalty.
2:175 They are the ones who buy Error in place of Guidance and Torment in place of Forgiveness. Ah! What boldness (They show) for the Fire!
2:86 These are the people who buy the life of this world at the price of the Hereafter: their penalty shall not be lightened nor shall they be helped.
2:90 Miserable is the price for which they have sold their souls, in that they deny (the revelation) which Allah has sent down, in insolent envy that Allah of His Grace should send it to any of His servants He pleases: Thus have they drawn on themselves Wrath upon Wrath. And humiliating is the punishment of those who reject Faith.
3:77 As for those who sell the faith they owe to Allah and their own plighted word for a small price, they shall have no portion in the Hereafter: Nor will Allah (Deign to) speak to them or look at them on the Day of Judgment, nor will He cleans them (of sin): They shall have a grievous penalty.
3:177 Those who purchase Unbelief at the price of faith,- not the least harm will they do to Allah, but they will have a grievous punishment.
3:187 And remember Allah took a covenant from the People of the Book, to make it known and clear to mankind, and not to hide it; but they threw it away behind their backs, and purchased with it some miserable gain! And vile was the bargain they made!
3:199 And there are, certainly, among the People of the Book, those who believe in Allah, in the revelation to you, and in the revelation to them, bowing in humility to Allah. They will not sell the Signs of Allah for a miserable gain! For them is a reward with their Lord, and Allah is swift in account.
4:44 Hast thou not turned Thy vision to those who were given a portion of the Book? They traffic in error, and wish that ye should lose the right path.
9:111 Allah hath purchased of the believers their persons and their goods; for theirs (in return) is the garden (of Paradise): they fight in His cause, and slay and are slain: a promise binding on Him in truth, through the Law, the Gospel, and the Qur'an: and who is more faithful to his covenant than Allah. Then rejoice in the bargain which ye have concluded: that is the achievement supreme.
12:21 The man in Egypt, who bought him, said to his wife: "Make his stay (among us) honorable: may be he will bring us much good, or we shall adopt him as a son." Thus did We establish Joseph in the land, that We might teach him the interpretation of stories (and events). And Allah hath full power and control over His affairs; but most among mankind know it not.
31:6 But there are, among men, those who purchase idle tales, without knowledge (or meaning), to mislead (men) from the Path of Allah and throw ridicule (on the Path): for such there will be a Humiliating Penalty.