Basically, the person who acts as an imam of a Muslim community ought to raise himself above financial gains and seek Allah’s Reward first. However, if he obtains a salary from the board of the Mosque, then such salary is not haram but rather is permissible and religiously acceptable.
Dr. Anwar Dabbour, professor of Shari`ah at the Faculty of Law, Cairo University, states that: “There is nothing wrong with the imam who delivers the khutbah (sermon) in a Mosque obtaining a salary from either the Mosque board or from the government. Those imams should be supported by the states where they live in order to enable them to meet their requirements as well as family responsibilities. Thus, there is nothing wrong in obtaining a salary for teaching people matters pertaining to what is lawful and what is prohibited, although the person who does that should preferably refrain from seeking a worldly gain.”
It has become clear now that there is nothing wrong that the imam receiving a salary for leading people in Prayer and delivering khutbahs, especially if he is financially straitened and is appointed by a governmental organization in such a Mosque. This is really the case in most Arab and Muslim countries.
Some scholars draw an analogy between the point in question and obtaining money for teaching the Qur’an. They argue that, if we say that the money obtained by the imam and the one who teaches people the Qur’an is haram, then many people will stop teaching others the Qur’an, which is a great loss.