Q: If a scholar said that I live in Miami but started my islamic month with Makkah and cannot change now and must follow Makkah for my eid. And is forcing our whole family to do with Makkah because he is head of household with greatest knowledge. Is this reasonable? What should the adult children do. (email)
A1: A true scholar would never insist on making the above claim. Our religion is filled with examples that contradict such a ‘scholar.’ His implication that a wrong must always remain a wrong is wrong in itself. Also, a true scholar would NEVER say that anyone must follow Makkah. To follow a country is biddah, ‘and every act misguidance is destined for fire.’ (As per Hadith on innovation.) This hadith is one that all scholars agree upon!
To defend the scholar, I would teach him how to restate his claims and be better at being a deviant, (should such be his desire.) He should instead have said: I am not following Makkah, however I am accepting the claim of Makkah sighting even though it is against scientific proof/logic that the moon could have been seen in that close proximity, but due to my inherent prejudice and coverings that surround my heart I am following Makkah rather than sunnah’ (Sadly, this scholar is not even smart in being a deviant – just as well.)
(In all fairness, after he makes his claim that following the sightings of Makkah etc. should be valid, I would then ask him, where in the Quran or Hadith it states that Makkah sighting must be accepted by the world at large, more so when science contradicts the validity of such a claim as it relates to the possibility of a sighting in Makkah, Madinah and/or its surroundings!)
A2) Knowledge alone does not make a person worthy of being followed. Had knowledge been the criteria of being followed, then we would all be the followers of shaytan. The reason we reject shaytan is not due to his knowledge but rather due to his lack of Compliance to the Truth.
A3) One cannot force a family towards any wrongful action. The family may go to the place of prayer to appease a given hostile situation if necessary, but for them to pray would be a mockery as it relates to Salah. Salah is not a joke. It is a very great act of worship. They should remain seated at the place of worship if compelled to go or wait in the car or on the side of the prayer place with a polite excuse. To pray when one knows it is wrong to pray is a sin!
In the truest sense, to be part of wrong is wrong in itself. To be part of those that are wrong also strengthens the actions of deviants. I am sure the scholar would agree with our response. Kindly show it to him for a comment back to us from him.
Allah Certainly Knows Best.