But the imaam doesn’t like me! (or does he?)

Q: Assalamualaikum: Can we pray behind an Imam who you feel does not like you or makes you uncomfortable? The reason why I ask is I went to a mosque near my work for Dhuhr prayer and the Imam of the mosque gives me a uncomfortable feeling when I see him. This is not the only time I felt this way, last ramadan I felt the same way when I would make eye contact with him after Jummah. My father has told me I shouldn’t pray behind someone if he makes you feel uncomfortable or if he doesn’t like you. So stopped going to that mosque. Recently, I have been trying to pray my five daily salahs so decided that I will go there Monday-Thursday. So I when I saw him today for Dhuhr I got that same feeling again. I know he has had some issues with my family in the past, but I feel like he is keeping a grudge against me due to that. All I want is to pray my salah and the mosque is the most convenient and best place to do that of course. Any advice will help. May Allah bless you and your family. Thank you. Also, please keep my name private.

Time: Thursday February 23, 2012 at 4:35 pm

A: Wa’Alaykum Salaam,

Leave your personal feelings aside. Generally, they are from the naafs and shaytan. As a male, your duty is to perform salah with jamaat (group.) Do that at the musjid that is closest to you and move on with your tasks of the day once this is accomplished. There was no need for you to make eye contact with anyone. Eye contact is not the purpose of you going to the musjid. Eye contact, handshakes etc. are generally by-the-way actions. Sadly, they appear to be becoming the central action of your worship. Go pray and then leave. The more you allow eye contact and handshake matters to come in the way, the more shaytan will inspire you with negativity (handshake was weak, handshake was not as smooth, handshake was not coupled with eye contact, etc!). These are all distractions from shaytan. You must learn the virtue of salah with jamat, perform it and move on with duties that would make you a better person.

Allah Certainly Knows Best. (dictated and published by admin as per imaam)

One response to “But the imaam doesn’t like me! (or does he?)

  1. As-salaam-alaikum. Imaam knows best and of course, going to the mosque to pray is the best. I personally, however, cannot pray in back of someone that I do not respect, that could mean his character, his genuity, honesty, etc. It seems that you could choose to go a little further to another mosque if it is also a reasonable distance away. I think going out of your way to go to pray at the mosque that brings you a good feeling of peace and serenity with Allah (swt) would be a great blessing to you because you went out of your way, but, this is just my opinion. We are human, it is sometimes distracting to pray where you do not feel welcomed and you do not concentrate on your prayers with this uneasy feeling. Imam knows best but, many, many people do choose to go elsewhere. If it is not possible to do this, then you must find a way to find the prayer to give you what you need and not the place or leader.
    Jazakullah-Khair. also, I commend you for attempting to go everyday, Alhamdu-lillah.