Salamualikum! Hope you can clarify my confusion . I want to ask about to what extent does fearing people become shirk . They say that : if you fear people and stop you good deeds when people are not there is shirk . Such type of incidents happen with me . Example : The masjid where I go , sometimes I go before azan . I was sitting and waiting for iqamah i got thought why not read quran . I was shy and feeling a bit heavy to do it . Right next to me was imam and i was shy of him and feeling shy and heavy to do it . Please tell me whether my action was shirk . And if not then please explain to me when does it becomes shirk and is it minor or major shirk . On other occasion same thing happend . May Allah bless you all
All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.
However, it seems that what you feel here, by avoiding the recitation and being shy of the Imam, is not of this kind. Rather, it is more like refraining from performing an act of worship because of people; either due to shyness or due to fearing that this act will be done to show off.
This is a dispraised fear which the scholars have considered to be included in showing off, and it is a minor Shirk. Al-Fudhayl ibn ‘Iyaadh, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said: “Abandoning an action because of people is showing off, and doing an act of worship for the sake of the people is Shirk. Sincerity is that Allah spares you from both.” (Shu’ab Al-‘Eemaan)
Therefore, performing an act of worship is a blessing from Allah, so do not leave it because of being shy from anyone, whomsoever he might be. Just like doing an act of worship because of people is forbidden, not doing an act because of them is also impermissible.
Al-Aadaab ash-Shar’iyyah authored by Ibn al-Muflih reads: “It happens that when a person wants to do an act of worship, he feels something that leads him to refrain from doing it because of fearing that it is done to show off, but one should not pay attention to this feeling.” [End of quote]
For more benefit, please refer to Fatwa 120402.
Allah knows best.
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