Are we sinful if we pray at home because the masjid is far and difficult to reach – bear in mind we do not pray at our local masjid because the Imam is Sufi?
What is the ruling of praying at home if we can hear the athaan but only because of external speakers that were not present during the time of the Prophet ﷺ?
As far as praying in the Sufi masjid is concerned; if the Imam holds beliefs that contain shirk or bid’ah that is kufar it is not permissible to pray behind him. Such as if he believes that Allah is everywhere, or that their elders possess unlimited knowledge of the unseen, are able to cause harm and benefit and he seeks their aid in victory and slaughters for them and takes vows to them. All of these actions are shirk, and as you know, major shirk; so you cannot pray behind him.
If you are able to the masjid that is far away; this is better. But if you are unable to then pray at home.
This is upon the condition that the Sufi Imam holds beliefs of shirk which cause him to exit the fold of Islam. He supplicates to other than Allah and seeks aid in what only Allah’s aid can be sought it, he slaughters and takes vows to other than Allah. In this case, do not pray behind him. Pray at home if you do not find an alternative masjid to reach without difficulty.
There is no sin upon you if you pray at home if the masjid is far and you do not hear the athaan in the way it was heard in the time of the Prophet ﷺ i.e. without speakers. Perhaps these speakers are able to project sound to extremely far places which the masjid cannot be reached from except with hardship.
He said ﷺ : [Do you hear the athaan], He said : [Yes], He ﷺ : said [Then answer it] and there were no speakers.
There if you hear the athaan in this manner it is obligatory for you to answer. But if the house is extremely far and the athaan is only heard by speakers and getting from the masjid is difficult; you are not obliged to attend as this is not what is intended from the hadeeth.
Answered by: Shaykh Abu Bilaal Al-Hadhramy – may Allah preserve him
Answered on: 5 Rabbi Al-Awal 1441 (2 November 2019)
Translated by: Abou Sufian Saami ibn Daniel Al-Ghaani