Answered by Shaykh Riad Saloojee
Question: Assalamu alaykum
I really want to be part of a mosque/community. However there are not many English speaking mosques near me. There is one mosque that holds mainstream views. However is not an English speaking mosque. Should I still strive to want to be part of it and attend?
Answer: Wa’alaykum salam wa rahmatullah wa barakaatu,
I pray you are well, by Allah’s grace. What follows is a general answer, without regard to specific details that I do not have.
While I understand that there are sometimes challenges in the social environments of the masjid, I should always try to keep in mind that the masjid is the house of Allah. It is a place where I have the opportunity to connect my heart to Him in worship, remembrance and reflection. It is the space where my heart is meant to be transformed, purified and drawn nearer to Him.
Keeping this in mind, I should try my level best to not allow anything in the masjid’s social environment from impeding my personal, spiritual relationship with Allah’s house.
The legitimate social needs that we have in the masjid should be sought within this envelope of spiritual understanding. Where there are challenges, such as those that you mentioned, one general principle in the Sacred Law is that the one who cannot realize all benefit should not abandon seeking some benefit. We should try to attain whatever benefit we can in less than perfect environments.
Regardless of the environment and its challenges, and in particular within the house of Allah, I would advise my sister to always maintain the best standards of character and behaviour.
I have no doubt that with these intentions in mind and with sincere seeking of Allah’s nearness, He will create avenues for you to draw nearer to him, personally and through your social relationships.
May Allah facilitate for us the pathways to Him.
Wa salaamu’alahykum wa rahmatullah,
[Shaykh] Riad Saloojee
Shaykh Riad Saloojee graduated and taught in an Islamic seminary in Cape Town, South Africa. He is a lawyer by training and worked in the field of civil rights advocacy. Currently, he teaches and translates.