Q: I have a question about monetary penalties, regarding memorization, inside the masjid. 1) If 2 people are memorizing Qur'an together, is it permissible for them to agree upon a monetary penalty? Specifically, if either one is late to the meeting, or does not recite the daily portion within an allotted time, etc, they must pay an agreed upon amount of money; is this allowed? The intention is not to make money off of each other, but rather to encourage hard work, and to penalize laziness. 2) Does the ruling change if this agreement was made in the masjid (therefore coming under transactions, etc in the masjid)? 3) If allowed, can the monetary penalty be paid inside the masjid, or should this be done outside?
الجواب حامدا ومصليا ومسلما ومنه الصدق والصواب A: It is not permissible for private individuals to impose monetary penalties over another by consensus of the fuqahaa. However, private individuals may agree to undertake to donate to charity in the case of a specified event. Thus, you may agree to donate an amount to charity in the event of lateness or failure to memorise the requisite portion, etc but it is not permitted for one party to take the the agreed amount from the other party.