Renting a place that have been used for gaming or dancing for Friday or Eid prayer is not accepted by all scholars. Some approve it in condition that the place is thoroughly cleaned. Others disapprove it completely.

Renting a Place of Entertainment for Friday and Eid Prayers

Similar Questions 

· Prayer in a bar.
   · Prayer in casinos.
   · Prayer in a place where wine is sold.
   · Prayer in a dance hall.

The Issue

The high prices of built accommodation and building land in Western countries often make it difficult for a local Muslim community to have its own mosque. This compels them to find a place where they can hold their prayers. However, the place may have been previously or subsequently used for purposes which incur God’s displeasure. Is holding the Friday or Eid prayer in such a place permissible? 


Scholars have two different views on this question: 

The first view permits using such a building on condition that the place is thoroughly cleansed, while the second disallows prayer in areas and halls used for gaming or dancing and advises the community to look for an alternative place or an open area where prayer may be held. 

The first view of permissibility is coupled with discouragement. 

The late Shaikh Jad al-Haq Ali Jad al-Haq, former Rector of al-Azhar, ruled that prayer in dance halls and places where wine is served and wanton conduct is normal is discouraged, but valid, provided that any physical impurity has been removed.


1. Necessity relaxes what is prohibited.
   2. The hadith that quotes

the Prophet as saying

The whole earth has been made for me a place of worship and a source of purification

Related by al-Bukhari, hadith No. 328

This hadith makes a generally applicable statement that may only be restricted by what is confirmed as a condition for the validity of prayer, which is that the place should be free of impurity. 
   3. A general objective of Islam is that Muslims should get together for the prayers of Eid and Friday. This is fulfilled in such places.
   4. We have no clear statement that disallows prayer in such places. 

The second view, which prohibits prayer in such places, is given by the Permanent Committee for Research and Fatwa in more detail. The Committee was asked several related questions including the following: 

Question: Is it permissible to hold congregational prayer in a hall that is used by thinly-clad persons for dancing and where drinking and gambling are carried out, despite the availability of a mosque in the town?

Answer: Prayer may not be held in a gaming hall when there is one or more mosques in the town. Such a hall is neither a place of worship nor an open area. It is dedicated to gaming, drinking wine and other practices that displease God, and it continues to be used for such purposes. It was not established to please God, but to disobey Him. As such, it is similar to the mosque established by the hypocrites during the Prophet’s lifetime, when God commanded him not to worship there. 

God said to him

Never set a foot there. Only a house of worship that from the very first day has been founded on piety is worthy of you standing to pray there. In it are men who love to grow in purity, for God loves those who purify themselves

9: 108

Holding prayers there while the hall continues to be used for its normal activities works against the sanctity of prayer and concentrating on it. Worshippers will not feel that they are in a place of worship. To rent such a hall when it is possible to do without it, since worshippers can pray in the local mosques or in the open air, wastes money and helps those who organize such forbidden activities. 

Question: Is the cleaning of such places enough to remove their physical and abstract impurities? If prayer is permissible in such places, is the permissibility based on the principle that necessity relaxes prohibition? 

Answer: If the place is cleaned with pure water, so as to remove all traces of impurity, then it is considered purified in the religious sense. If the cleaning is by using a vacuum cleaner, then the impurity remains, except when the impurity is on dust or dry sand and not on hard ground. In this case, cleaning by using a broom or a vacuum cleaner is sufficient for purification. However, the letter putting the question mentions that the worshippers use clean sheets which they place on the floor after using a vacuum cleaner or cleaning the place with a broom. In this case, they are offering their prayer on these clean and purified sheets, not on the floor stained with impurity. When we say that prayer in such places is not permitted, it is because of what has been mentioned earlier about these places, not due to any impurity. As such, the principle you have mentioned does not apply.


1. Prayer may not be held in a gaming hall when there is one or more mosques available because the place is neither a mosque nor an open place. 
2. Such places are originally intended to be a public place for drinking and gaming which are prohibited in Islam. 
3. Such places are not founded on the principles of obedience to God.
4. They are frequented by non-Muslims who may subscribe to permissiveness.
5. The fact that these places will continue to host the functions for which they have been dedicated makes prayer in them lose its serenity and respectability.
6. Renting such places for prayer helps the people who run them to continue with their wanton and evil activities. 

· Jad al-Haq Ali Jad al-Haq, Al-Fatawa al-Islamiyyah, vol. 3.
· Fatawa by the Permanent Committee for Research and Fatwa.