Praying in Masaajid Where Innovation Is Practised
A Compilation of Fatawah from Various Scholars
An exclusive translation for Sisters Upon Al-Istiqaamah
The Permanent Committee of Scholars was asked:
Question: Is it acceptable to abandon the Masaajid where a lot of innovation is present?
Answer: It is befitting that the Muslim strive to remove that innovation as much as he is able. If it is not possible for him to prevent it, then he should leave them and pray in a Masjid where no innovation is present.
Abdul Azeez Ibn Baaz, Abdullah Qa’ood, Abdullah Ghudayaan and Abdur Razzaaq Afeefi. V. 18, p. 89
Shaykh Saalih Al-Fawzaan was asked:
Question: There is a Masjid where innovation is practised every week, so is it permissible to pray in this Masjid? If I stop this innovation is it permissible to pray there?
Answer: You have not mentioned what type of innovation this is. Whatever the case may be, innovation is impermissible especially in the houses of Allah, the Glorified and the Most High. It is impermissible to practise innovation in places of worship because innovation contradicts the Islamic legislation and opposes correct worship. It is from the acts of the devils and the followers of the devils. Therefore, it is impermissible for the Muslims to perform innovations in any place especially the Masaajid.
This Masjid where innovation is practised, if you were to attend and have the ability to remove this and to prevent them from this, then this is obligatory upon you to do so. So you should go to this Masjid and prevent innovation and pray there, establish the prayer there and maintain them through the obedience of Allah and reviving the Sunnah and extinguishing innovation.
However, if you do not have the ability to remove this innovation and evil in the Masjid, then it is upon you to search for another Masjid which is free of any innovation, and you should pray there.
Al-Muntaqa, v. 2, p. 184.
What do I do if there is no Masjid of Sunnah in my area?
Shaykh Rabee’ Ibn Haadee was asked:
Question: What is the ruling of praying in a Masjid of the people of innovation and where do I pray if I do not find a Masjid belonging to Ahlus Sunnah in this village. Is my prayer accepted if I pray with my wife at my home?
Answer: No, if a Masjid is present then pray there even if this means with the people of innovation. Ibn Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) prayed behind Najdah, the Kharijite, and Bukhari used this as a proof. The congregational prayer is very important and it is not abandoned for this type of reason. Also amongst the people of innovation are those whose true state is hidden, if his case is hidden then pray behind him. If it becomes clear to you that he is an innovator, then clarify the truth to him, and if his innovation reaches the level of disbelief and he persists upon it, then do not pray behind him because he disbelieves after the proof has been established against him. This is if he is upon an innovation that takes a person outside the fold of Islam like if he supplicates to other than Allah, he sacrifices to other than Allah and he seeks rescue from other than Allah, or he denies the attributes of Allah; he is upon an innovation that takes a person outside the fold of Islam. And you have debated with him and established the proof against him from the speech of Allah, the speech of the Messenger and the speech of the Salaf and he persists upon this (i.e. innovation that would exit a person from Islam) and rejects this (clarification), then do not pray behind him. However, as for the one whose state is hidden, then pray behind him.