Worshippers and the People of the Neighbourhood (Part 3)

Worshippers and the People of the Neighbourhood (Part 3)

Mawlana Rashid Ali Attari Madani

Some imams have religious commitments besides leading salah due to which they offer the fard in the masjid and pray the sunnah elsewhere. Likewise, some scholars perform the witr with tahajjud. In such cases, the worshippers must not develop negative opinions about the imam, and they should not be adamant that the imam can only go home after all the worshippers have left the masjid. The imams and muezzins are humans like us who have needs and responsibilities. They may need to travel to fulfil the needs of their children and family. Therefore, if an imam or muezzin leaves immediately after the salah, the people of the neighbourhood should support him instead of criticising him.

Some people who may just happen to come to the masjid on time have a habit of causing commotion about punctuality. If the adhan or congregational salah are delayed by a few seconds or minutes, they will publicly shame the people responsible. Those who cause a fuss due to minor delays should ponder over whether they respect the value of time when inviting imams to functions like weddings and mehfils. There are people who are very supportive of imams and sing their praises. After getting acquainted with the imams, the people will ask them for money, but after returning a couple of loans, they are no longer seen again. Such people should fear Allah Almighty for their malicious actions.

Some people have a habit of insulting imams and muezzins, especially if they are actively involved in constructing areas of the masjid, or if they encourage people to donate for causes like it. If the masjid is not clean, if the adhan is given late, or if there is an electrical fault in an appliance, the people will complain to the imam similar to how employers speak harshly to their employees. This is not the job of the imam! Matters of this nature should be reported to the masjid management. If there are any concerns regarding the masjid, they should be brought up with the masjid administration in private. If they are raised in a public gathering or during the Friday prayer, it will do more harm than good.

There are some elderly individuals who are under the false assumption that old age grants you more knowledge. Unfortunately, the reality is that they are unable to name three books of Hadith. They object to what the imam preaches and usually respond with statements like, “I have been praying for 30 years, and I have never heard of this ruling.” What is the fault of the imam if you have never heard or read about it?

Furthermore, even the chairs at the masjid can cause chaos. The people who sit and pray feel entitled to arrive late and carry a chair to the first row, disrupting everyone in their path. They do all of this nonchalantly without a care in the world as if no-one’s prayer will be accepted unless they are in the first row. الامان والحفیظ

Similarly, some people bring their children to stand with them during the congregation even though it is prohibited by shariah. Sometimes, the children lie down, play and disrupt others during the Friday prayer. An imam states that this is exactly what happened in his masjid. A worshipper kindly asked a child to move to the last row, but the child decided to go home instead of praying. After the prayer, the father of the child complained to the imam about moving children to the back. The imam explained how the Prophet  صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم commanded us to move children into the last row, but the father replied that this does not happen in such and such masjid. اللہُ اَکْبَر

Occasionally, there are people who stay in the masjid after the salah, but they do not close the doors or switch off the lights when they leave. Anyone who is guilty of this should think of the masjid like their home; the masjid has electricity bills, and doors need to be shut to ensure the protection of the masjid.




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