Q&A (Fatwa)

#908: On The Reasons Why A Muslim Is Prohibited From Attending Church Services

Salaam alaykum house
Please I need some light on this question am abt to ask
Please is there any pointed punishment or law that is against we Muslims from attending church service be it because we have relatives or friends that has program to be held in church?Please response


Wa alaikum salam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh.

Alhamdulillāh and may the peace and blessings of Allāh be upon our beloved Muhammad.

As for what follows, know and may Allāh have mercy on us all that, the sharī’ah has mentioned a lot of reasons why attending church services are prohibited. Amongst these reasons are:

1. It is a sign of major hypocrisy:
Allāh ta’aala said regarding this: “Give tidings to the hypocrites that there is for them a painful punishment – Those who take disbelievers as allies instead of the believers. Do they seek with them honor [through power]? But indeed, honor belongs to Allāh entirely. And it has already come down to you in the Book that when you hear the verses of Allāh [recited], they are denied [by them] and ridiculed; so, do not sit with them until they enter into another conversation. Indeed, you would then be like them. Indeed, Allāh will gather the hypocrites and disbelievers in Hell all together.”

It’s very clear that when a Muslim attends the church service, he will definitely hear the signs of Allāh being mocked at or being made jest of. And which mockery or jest can be greater than ascribing a son to Allāh or calling Isa alaihi salām Allāh!!!? A statement for which Allāh says;
“And they say, “The Most Merciful has taken [for Himself] a son.” You have done an atrocious thing. The heavens almost rupture therefrom and the earth splits open and the mountains collapse in devastation. That they attribute to the Most Merciful a son. And it is not appropriate for the Most Merciful that He should take a son.”

The point here is:
If the heavens, earth and the mountains cannot stand for such words to be uttered, then how possible will it be for a Muslim to claim Iman (true faith) and be able to remain comfortable in the place where these words are continuously repeated?
That was why Allāh ta’aala ordered the Muslims to leave such places lest they become like them. Because the act of staying together with those mentioning such without leaving them or correcting them can only translate to acceptance or being pleased with such blasphemy.

Furthermore, since the reason for the love of respect and honor from the non-believers is usually a reason for such actions, Allāh ta’aala advised us to seek respect and honor from Him alone because He alone controls the hearts of both the believers and the nonbelievers.

2. It is a way of professing that the love of Allāh in our hearts is above the love of any entity in existence.

Regarding this, the shariah has promised those who prefer any entity above Allāh with punishment when He ta’aala said;
“O you who have believed, do not take your fathers or your brothers as allies if they have preferred disbelief over belief. And whoever does so among you – then it is those who are the wrongdoers. Say, (O Muhammad), “If your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your wives, your relatives, wealth which you have obtained, commerce wherein you fear decline, and dwellings with which you are pleased are more beloved to you than Allāh and His Messenger and jihad in His cause, then wait until Allāh executes His command. And Allāh does not guide the defiantly disobedient people.” Surah At Tawba 23-24.

Imam Al Qurtubi mentions what Mujahid and Hassan said regarding the statement; “then wait until Allāh executes His command” means; wait for a punishment from Allāh now or in the future.

In these verses, Allāh promises a punishment for such behavior. This is because the main reason the Prophets were sent and the divine books were revealed was to differentiate between belief and disbelief.

So, if one claims belief but does not want to show or make evident, this difference in the way he deals or relates with the disbelief, then this is regarded as a contradiction of oneself. Which translates to hypocrisy.

Furthermore, it is important to know that one of the main reasons for the revelation of the Qur’ān is to expose the content of the heart so that the rewards in the hereafter will be justified by the actions displayed. In this light, Allāh ta’aala sent the messengers and revealed the scriptures in order to expose who amongst His slaves are truthful in their claim to belief and who are liars.
Allāh ta’aala said: “Do the people think that they will be left to say, “We believe” and they will not be tried? But We have certainly tried those before them, and Allah will surely make evident those who are truthful, and He will surely make evident the liars”. Surah Al Ankabut 2-3.

So, when Allāh tested the companions of Muhammad in this respect, they willingly choose the love of Allāh above all other love. And clearly showed the disbelievers that your way of worship is to you and so is my way of worship mine. They never participated with them in their ways in the slightest form in order to win them to Islām. Rather they clearly showed how opposed they were to any way that differed from what Allāh loves and readily fought their relatives upon this.

As a reward for their actions, Allāh stamped belief in their hearts.

Regarding this, Allāh ta’aala said; “You will not find a people who believe in Allāh and the Last Day having affection for those who oppose Allāh and His Messenger, even if they were their fathers or their sons or their brothers or their kindred. Those – He has decreed within their hearts faith and supported them with spirit from Him. And We will admit them to gardens beneath which rivers flow, wherein they abide eternally. Allāh is pleased with them, and they are pleased with Him – those are the party of Allāh. Unquestionably, the party of Allāh – they are the successful.” Surah Mujadila 22.

So, you can see that this issue is a fundamental one that determines the correctness of one’s belief. Thus, we should not take it as a trivial issue.

May Allah protect us all from misguidance and may He establish firm understanding of the deen in our hearts.

And Allah knows best.

Bārakallāhu Fīkum
Jazākumullāhu khayran

Abū Hafs

1st Jumadal Ākhir, 1441AH.

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