Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah
Question: Assalamu alaykum
My colleagues don’t respect me when I am praying. They enter in the room where I pray and make a lot of noise. When I talked to them about that they got angry at me. I w afraid that I would have to fight them. What should I do?
Answer: In the Name of God, the Merciful and Compassionate
Thank you for your question. May Allah grant you the best of states and guide you to what is pleasing to Him.
Finding a peaceful place to pray can often be difficult in shared spaces. What is important is that while we try to find our personal space for worship, we must also take into account other people’s spaces.
Talking with your colleagues
I’m assuming you share a room with others. It would be a good idea to speak to your colleagues at another time other than straight after prayer. Be gentle and explain to them that those times are important to you and ask them if they could kindly not make too much noise just during those prayer times. Explain to them that it is important to keep one’s concentration during prayer and you would really appreciate them helping you in this. It maybe your roommate hasn’t realized the nature of prayer and everything it entails. God tells us in the Qur’an,
‘Invite to the way of your Lord with wise and fair counsel, and reason with them in ways that are best’ [al Nahl 16:125],
However, if they are not willing to listen to you, despite you asking kindly, then do not become angry. There is no excuse for arguing and fighting and is not allowed, even in these situations. Confrontation will only make the matter worse.
You can try some of the following suggestions to ease the situation:
· Pray away from doorways and entrances.
· See if there is any other room or place you can pray without distraction. If there is no other space, then make sure you pray somewhere that is not in their space or obstructing them from getting to their things. A corner or facing a wall or window may be good options.
· Put a barrier in front of you such as chair. This will stop anyone walking in front of you as well as defining a clear ‘space’ for them to see.
· Don’t recite so loud in prayers, such as at Fajr, Maghrib, and Isha, that it distracts others. Their comfort and personal space is just as important to consider as your prayer.
· If things don’t improve and you cannot pray elsewhere, consider using earplugs when praying to avoid distraction from others making noise in the room. Combine this with closing your eyes, which may help with concentration.
I sincerely hope that your situation works out and you find a solution. Remember, do not angry, argue, or fight. Show them that practicing one’s religion means patience and composure at all times. God informs us, ‘Allah is with those who patiently persevere’ [2;153].
This way, even if they don’t listen to you, they won’t be able to help but respect you. They may even feel embarrassed and respect your request.
[Shaykh] Jamir Meah
Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Shaykh Jamir Meah grew up in Hampstead, London. In 2007 I travelled to Tarim, Yemen, where I spent nine years studying the Islamic sciences on a one-to-one basis under the foremost scholars of the Ribaat, Tarim, with my main specialization and focus on Shafi’i fiqh. In early 2016, I moved to Amman, Jordan, where I continue advanced study in a range of sciences, as well as teaching. Away from the Islamic sciences, I am a qualified Homeopath, and run a private clinic in Amman.