One of the situations that someone who is late for congregational prayer (masbuk) may experience is doubt. Doubt whether their prayer rak’ahs are enough or still insufficient. In such a situation, it is not uncommon for someone to glance at those beside them. Convinced that they are both late, so leaning on their count of rak’ahs is justified.
Sheikh Dr. Labib Najib Abdullah, may Allah preserve him, responded to this condition by stating,
“Basing yourself on your conviction, and not relying on others!”
The Sheikh emphasizes that one should have a firm stance according to their belief while abandoning doubts. Regarding the rak’ahs of prayer, perform according to your conviction and complete with prostration of forgetfulness. That is better than blindly following those beside you.
Taking a lesson for a broader context, living a life of mere imitation is not noble. This aligns with what was narrated from Ibn Mas’ud, may Allah be pleased with him, as he said,
“None of you should live like an ‘Imma’ah.” They asked, “What is ‘Imma’ah, O Abu ‘Abdul Rahman?” He replied, “He says, ‘I live with the people. If they are guided, I am guided. If they go astray, I go astray.’ A person should not put themselves in a situation where if the people are disbelievers, then they too become disbelievers.”
Such is the ugliness of a life solely based on imitation, lacking firmness. Therefore, it is only appropriate for a believer to have conviction in living their life, especially in performing worship. May Allah make us His servants who stand firm and do not fall into blind imitation. Amen.
[Faedah Daurah Fikih Intensif STIU WM Bogor]
Written by: Abu Musa, Agus Fadilla Sandi

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