Q: I have social anxiety that has been growing since the past year ever since I moved to this new country as a student. The nature of my research-based program also “allows” me to work just by myself without having to go through daily social interactions, and besides I’ve never really felt comfortable hanging around with my colleagues. I wonder if it’s sinful to do such social isolation, because I actually always feel guilty since I feel like I contribute to nothing to people’s lives and my presence has no meanings in their lives (in which I always try to make up by doing more charities). I’ve always wanted to change but it’s just so difficult to connect with anybody in this place, and right now I just look forward to finish my study and go back home soon to recover my “normal” life that I had in the past. How sinful it is and how can I make up for such bad habit in a way that doesn’t make me uncomfortable all the time just like when I’m being surrounded by people?
A: If you are comfortable in keeping away from people, there is no harm as long as you do not violate the rights of people and you don’t think yourself to be better than them.
And Allah Ta’ala (الله تعالى) knows best.
Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)