Regarding the local institution (MADRASA) which promotes the fatwa that the interest is permissible. We would like to clear our doubts:
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
Jazakallah for writing to us.
1) We are quite sure that the muftis you are referring to do not say that interest is unconditionally allowed, as no Muslim -- let alone a mufti -- will say that. The prohibition of interest in the Holy Quran and in the Prophetic Ahaadith is as clear as daylight.
Most probably, the muftis you are referring to are of the view that taking interest money from the non-Muslims is permissible in Fiji. This view of theirs is based on the view of some jurists that taking interest money from the non-Muslims is permissible in a ‘Darul Harb’.
However, there are three points worthy of noting here:
Therefore, it is not correct to say that taking interest money from non-Muslims is permissible in Fiji. Hazrat Mufti Ebrahim Desai sahib (Daamatul Barakaatuhum) made this issue clear when he visited Fiji a few years ago.
Therefore, the view of those muftis who say that taking interest money from the non-Muslims is permissible in Fiji is incorrect. However, that does not mean that one should not allow those muftis to lead prayers, and nor does it mean that one should disrespect them in any way.
In short, it is permissible for you to let those muftis lead the Tarawih prayer.
2) Yes, there is more reward in completing the entire Quran in Tarawih, as completing the entire Quran once in Tarawih is an important Sunnah that has been practised by the Muslims throughout the centuries.
3) As mentioned above, completing the entire Quran is Sunnah and it should not be abandoned. However, if finishing the entire Quran will deter the local people from coming to the masjid, then in this case it will be permissible to recite short Surahs or verses so that people do not stop coming to the masjid and offering Tarawih prayer. To not complete the entire Quran will not be sinful in this case; however, the people will miss out on the reward of completing the entire Quran in Tarawih. (Raddul Muhtaar: 2/46)
4) The recitation of the Quran in Tarawih prayer is normally done at a faster pace than in other prayers. Nonetheless, the imam should not recite so fast that he is unable to pronounce the words correctly. If the imam does recite so fast that he cannot pronounce the words properly, it will not be permissible for him to lead the prayer. However, only a person who himself knows the rules of Tajweed properly can decide whether the imam is reciting the Quran correctly or not.
5) If the institution is reliable and it hands over the Zakat money to eligible recipients of Zakat, it will be permissible to give one’s Zakat money to the institution.
And Allah knows best.
Mufti Faizal Riza
Darul Ifta Australia