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Should I Continue to Attend Religious Discussions That I Don’t Benefit From?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Seekersguidance.org

Answered by Ustadh Ali Ataie

Question: AssalamuAssalamu Alaykum-

For the the past year I have been attending a weekly halaqa.

I  don’t want to attend regularly anymore because I don’t feel like I am benefiting from the halaqa like I anticipated. And I feel that the socialization detracts from the religious point because about 98 percent of the topics of the socialization discussions are not centered on Allah or practice but politics, day to day things, other people etc. Also there is gender mixing at times. 

I was labeled as being selfish because I am thinking about whether or not I benefit from the group instead of whether or not the group benefits from me.

My first question is: Am I being selfish by leaving?

The other question is, under what kind of circumstances is it ok to leave a gathering?

The organizers want me to be more involved and take more of a leadership role but I’m not interested in that role. I am very straightforward and so I have a lot to learn in terms of how to temper that when it comes to encouraging others.

Answer: As-salam alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu Brother,

Thank you for your question.

If you ever feel uncomfortable in any situation involving your deen, then you should leave that situation. Your religiosity (relationship with your Lord) is the most important thing in your life – much more important than the opinions of human beings. Leaving the gathering under these circumstances is not selfish in the blameworthy sense since you are leaving to discipline the nafs not exalt the nafs.

If people in the gathering do not understand that then don’t worry too excessively about it – Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala knows your heart. Do not be obsessive in your efforts to construct yourself positively in the hearts of the creation; give them your reasons for your decisions truthfully and ask Allah for His providence and preservation.

And Allah knows best.

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This answer was collected from Seekersguidance.org. It’s an online learning platform overseen by Sheikh Faraz Rabbani. All courses are free. They also have in-person classes in Canada.

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