I am a man who works as a muezzin in return for a salary from the awqaaf. It was said to me: If you receive a salary then you will not get the reward. And I do not want that; rather I want the reward. Please note that I only take the salary because I do not have any other income, but I prefer the reward of the Hereafter to the reward of this world. I hope that you will clarify this, may Allah bless you.
It is proven that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said to ‘Uthmaan ibn Abi’l-‘Aas, when he asked him to be the imam of his people: “You are their imam; pay attention to the weak among them, and appoint a muezzin who does not take any payment for his adhaan.”
This indicates that the muezzin who volunteers to give the adhaan, seeking that which is with Allah, is better than any other. But the scholars stated that if (a muezzin) is given something from the bayt al-maal to help him do that, there is no blame on him for that and there is nothing wrong with it, because the bayt al-maal is for the interests of the Muslims, and the same applies to the awqaaf that Muslims have established to support muezzins and imams. There is nothing wrong with them taking from them that which will help them to do this righteous deed.
So if you take from the bayt al-maal or the Ministry of Awqaaf that which will help you, there is nothing wrong with that, and we hope that you will have the reward in full because you have taken something to help you to do this duty and this righteous deed, and perhaps if you did not take it you would give up this work in order to earn a living in other ways.
To sum up, if the muezzin is given something to help him give the adhaan because he is in need of that, there is nothing wrong with that, because giving the adhaan is keeping him busy and occupying his time.
But if Allah has given him plenty and he wants to work without receiving anything from the bayt al-maal, this is preferable and is better, because in that case his act of worship is more complete and has nothing to detract from it; rather his deed is complete and proper.
But if he takes something from the bayt al-maal, there is nothing wrong with that, because the bayt al-maal is for all Muslims, especially with regard to things that are in the public interest such as the adhaan, leading prayers and so on. The same applies to awqaaf that have been set up to provide for muezzins and imams. All of that comes under the heading of cooperation in righteousness and piety, and making things easy. Not everyone has spare time to lead the prayers or give the call to prayer, so if his needs are met, it is more likely that he will be committed and will do this important and necessary task.
Perhaps the hadeeth refers to one who insisted on payment, i.e., he said, “I will not give the call to prayer unless I paid for that,” i.e., as the stipulation between him and the people of the mosque, or between him and some other people. This is closer to the apparent meaning of the text. With regard to the one who is given from the bayt al-maal, such as teachers, imams and mujaahideen, that does not come under this heading, in sha Allah. But there is no doubt that the one who does not want to take anything at all – and he wants to volunteer to do this because Allah has given him wealth and made him well off, this is more complete in terms of sincerity. End quote.
Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz (may Allah have mercy on him)