Q&A (Fatwa)

#390: Ruling on Student Lodges in Islam


“Assalamu alaikum, “pls is building students lodges haram in islam” I mean self contain houses built outside school meant for renting by students”


Wa alaykum salaam warahmatullaah wabarakaatuh!


There is nothing wrong in building lodges for students in Islam for either societal development or rent.

Instead, this was the methodology adopted by the Muslim schools that existed in the Muslim World in the Golden Days of Islam. They established schools known as Madaaris and Ma’aahid on different places and built Maskan (lodges) for students who either pay rent or are allowed to remain for free. Proceeds from the rents are used to finance the school.

George Maqsisi mentioned this in ‘The Rise of Colleges’. He said:

” Assistance for students in the mosques was substantial. In Qarawiyin, for instance, students were not only exempt from paying fees but were also given monetary allowances periodically.
Dodge states that the students lived in residential quadrangles, which contained two and three story buildings of varying sizes, each accommodating 60-150 students, who all received a minimal assistance for food and accommodation. The number of students at Al-Azhar was always high, Al-Maqrizi mentioning 750 foreign students from lands as distant as Morocco and Persia residing in the mosque at one time, in addition to students from all over Egypt. Those students, who did not have homes in Cairo, were assigned to a residential unit, which was endowed to care for them. Generally, the units gave their residents free bread, which supplemented food given to them by their families, while better off students could afford to live in lodgings near the mosque. Every unit also included a library, a kitchen, a lavatory, and some space for furniture. On his visit to Damascus, the traveler Ibn Jubayr reported the high number and varied facilities for foreign students and visitors at the Umayyad Mosque, prompting him to declare that “anyone in the West who seeks success, let him come to this city to study, because assistance here is abundant. The main thing is that the student here is relieved of all worry about food and lodging, which is a great help.”

Therefore, the building of student colleges is a tradition of Muslims until adopted by the European West.

However, there are rules that must be observed.

1. Any form of education which is not permissible in Islam must not be encouraged by the building of lodges. And to encourage people to travel far to study it is to share in the sins of such sins.

2. There must not be free mixing of sexes in such lodges as free mixing of sexes will be haraam in Islam.

It should be noted that female education has rules in Islam that must be adhered to whenever female education is involved and we have to rake good note of that.

Allāhu A’alam.

Bārakallāhu Fīkum
Jazākumullāhu Khayran.

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