On my travels in Islamic nations (predominantly oil-rich), I've noticed the elaborate architecture and frequency of mosques. Having visited the giant mosque in Abu Dhabi, I was suitably impressed by its excess and obvious cost. The thing is however, that in some of the most impoverished nations, there are some pretty ostentatious mosques. So my questions are:
- Who actually owns a mosque? How are the finances raised, who contributes and what are the benefits of contributing capital?
- How do poor nations afford them? Is there some kind of global muslim body with an HQ which helps fund the muslim ministry, like the catholic church / protestant dioceses, or are mosques funded by the local community?
- What about the salaries and running costs of the priesthood? Is the imam salaried through donations? Do more affluent communities have professional priests and poorer communities have semi-professionals?
- If there are donations/spiritual taxes, how are these accounted for and disbursed?