I have not been to the mosque in a while, and if I go it may be to see the imam and another friend. My main intention will not be to pray but to see them because I am worried what they are thinking since I have not been in a while. Is this a lack of sincerity and should I not visit since I am going because I am concerned with their thoughts? Is this association of partners?
Jazakallah for forwarding this question to the institute.
I find it strange that you are more concerned about the opinion of mere mortals than about your relationship with Allah Ta’ala. I recall an incident whilst I was attending adult madrassa classes. The teacher conveyed the following message to the ladies. ” If you are immodestly dressed when you are out of your houses and you see a moulana, do not hide away from him. There is no point in fearing the moulana or worrying about his opinion more than fearing Allah Ta’ala and His wrath. Fear Allah Ta’ala and dress appropiately for HIS pleasure. On Qiyamat day, the moulana himself will be running around like crazy looking for good deeds to get him to Jannah. He will not be able to help you in the least on that day.”
Yes, it is incumbent upon each of us to invite the other to good and to forbid from evil. Our desire must be that every Muslim man and woman should be spared the torment of the kabr and Jahannum. However, you are an adult and no one can force you to perform your compulsory duties. It is not as if Allah Ta’ala needs anything from you. You need Allah Ta’ala. You are not doing Allah Ta’ala a favour nor are you benefitting Him by performing salaah. The benefits and rewards are totally in your favour. Allah Ta’ala is self sustaining, you are not. He is independent, you are totally dependent on HIM. In fact, you should be grateful to your Creator that HE has given you the gift of salaah. In your daily activities you may be busy doing so many things that take you away from the remembrance of your Creator. Out of His mercy and love for you HE has given you FIVE wonderful opportunities to set the world aside. Nothing and no one can stop you from speaking to the King of Kings, to appeal to Him, to praise and ask Him whatever your heart desires. We often find that if we have problems or are in need of help, we have to look for someone to help us or wait till they are available to help us. Allah Ta’ala listens to you five times a day without fail and when you are in need, all you have to do is perform wudhu and salaah and ask His assistance. No need to make an appointment, no need to stand in a line or wait for your turn. Does this not make you realise how fortunate you are?
Now to another aspect of your question. You say you go to the masjid to see the imaam and a friend. Do you know that each time you enter the masjid you should perform two rakaah nafl salaah to thank Allah Ta’ala for allowing you to be in His house? You are missing out on this wonderful gift too. You go to see a friend but why have you stopped being Allah Ta’ala’s friend? He will never abandon you but you have chosen to turn away from Him. You are also more concerned about your friend’s and the imaam’s opinions about you. This reveals an aspect of pride and a lack of sincerity on your side. You ask about shirk. I am sure you have heard the Hadith which states that ‘ a person with an atom’s worth of pride will not enter Jannah.’ Shaitaan was thrown out of Jannah because of his pride and he will never enter Jannah because of this hideous defect. He had been in the presence of Allah Ta’ala, he had seen Allah Ta’ala and he had made ibadaah of Allah Ta’ala with all the angels BUT he was insincere and puffed up with pride. He refused to prostrate when Allah Ta’ala commanded him to do so. His reason for refusing to prostate is compounded by the fact that he chose to disobey Allah Ta’ala’s command. You are presently consciously refusing to obey Allah Ta’ala’s command.
You ask, ” Is this a lack of sincerity and should I not visit……………?” Brother, by all means continue to visit your friends. However, when you visit Allah Ta’ala’s house, do so for HIS pleasure and save yourself from shaitaan’s fate. Don’t let your friend’s and the imaam’s opinions of you be your primary considerations. They will be happy for you when you start performing your salaah again. They cannot force you to perform salaah but I am sure they are making dua that you do so. When they see you performing salaah, they may just be so grateful that Allah Ta’ala has answered their duas on your behalf. Allah Ta’ala does not lead you astray but when you turn away from Him, he will not guide you till you start helping yourself by turning towards HIM once again. So cast aside your pride and start performing your salaah. Allah Ta’ala is most forgiving and most merciful and He most definately will not turn away from you once you make a sincere effort to be more concerned about HIS rights over you.
May Allah Ta’ala guide you, ameen.
and Allah Ta’ala Knows Best
CHECKED AND APPROVED: Mufti Ebrahim Desai