Question and answer details
|Dear scholar, Hello, I am a Canadian and not yet a Muslim, but I am thinking about (and researching) Islam and possibly becoming one soon. I would like to attend a mosque but fear being ostracized or offending anyone for being a non-Muslim and not being in hijab. What are my alternatives? I know the Qur’an does not teach ostracizing, but rather, acceptance. But I do also know how Muslim women feel in a mosque when they see others not wearing hijab. Thank you in advance for your help on this one.|
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
We greatly appreciate your enthusiasm in trying to know about Islam. Indeed, your question indicates that your way of thinking is good and sound, and that your nature is also good because it is in tune with the truth and ready to accept it. Allah Almighty says, “…Allah’s Fitrah (i.e. Allah’s Islamic Monotheism) with which He has created mankind…” (Ar-Rum: 30)
In his answer to your question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states:
I must congratulate you for considering Islam; your thoughts on this matter are indeed most encouraging.
Although you may be disappointed in venturing out to mosques all alone by yourself, because of the appalling state of ignorance characteristic of many Muslims who frequent them, you may be able to overcome this by finding some thoughtful Muslim sisters who would able to facilitate your visits to mosques. You may also do well in attending some of the regular programs and activities organized by the Islamic Center under guidance of such sisters. Consider attending such activities, after getting in touch with the people in charge.
If you wish to attend Jumu`ah Prayers unescorted, then instead of going to a regular mosque you are better off to go to the Friday congregations held in the University of Toronto or York University, depending on where you are located. It is most likely that you will be able to find kindred spirits in such places than in a regular mosque.
Also, I must say that it is wiser for you to consider attiring yourself appropriately when visiting mosques, in order to avoid any inadvertent embarrassments. May Allah guide your steps. Ameen.
Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: www.islam.ca
If you do not know any Muslims, you can try to phone the mosque nearest to you or contact the Muslim Student Association at the nearest university. They would likely be able to have a sister meet you at the mosque or university and she could then accompany you if you want to observe the ritual of Prayer. Or you can try searching www.islam.ca for classes, lectures, or other activities for non-Muslims and new Muslims.
The prominent Al-Azhar scholar Sheikh `Abdul-Majeed Subh adds this advice:
My advice to you is not to follow the apparent practices of some Muslims, as Muslims' practices may be correct or wrong. This depends on their conformity or otherwise with Islamic teachings. You are to depend on reliable Muslim scholars to get reliable knowledge of Islam.
Also, you should depend on the Qur'an, which is the primary source about Islam. If you can read Arabic you should depend on it, but if you rely solely on translations, then you should choose authorized translations approved by Muslims, as there are erroneous translations that are misleading.
Allah Almighty knows best.