Unformatted text preview: . He was an Imam of a mosque right next to his house. However, I often used to hear him criticised by many people and be amazed at that, yet unable to find a justification. One day, his neighbour came to me and said, "Dear Shaykh! Your friend neither leads us in prayer nor prays along with us!" I said, "Why is that?" He replied, "I don't know, but he is the Imam, and despite this, he is often absent from the mosque." I began to make excuses for him and said,"Perhaps, he is busy with something very important, or perhaps he isn't at home." He said, "Dear Shaykh! His car is parked outside his house and I am quite certain that he is home, yet he does not attend the prayers with us, in spite of being the Imam!" I began to investigate into my friend's reasons for not praying in the mosque until I found the answer. The man, being an Imam of the mosque, would have everyone coming to him asking for help. 413 Do not burden yourself with what you cannot do 62 One man would come to him with debts and ask him to find someone who could pay them. Another who has just finished his secondary school would want him to be a character reference for admission into university. Another is ill and he needs his help to be admitted into such-and-such a hospital. Another has daughters for whom he is looking for husbands. Another has to pay his rent and needs help. Another wants him to write a legal query over a divorce issue which he can then take to the Grand Mufti. Many people with many needs come to him, but he is just an ordinary person who is neither able to do much himself, nor does he have many contacts, or even social status. The poor man was overcome with shame and embarrassment when dealing with people, such that he was never able to excuse himself from others. Rather, he would speak to a person and promise him that he would pay off his debts. He would take the second person's phone number and promise him that he would be accepted at the university....
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- Spring '12