Assalamualaikum, On This Diwali, I along with my friend (Muslim) were walking in the streets. A man came and asked where we do live? (He had no idea we were Muslims) When he came to knew we were resident of his area, he introduced himself as the Warden of our area and requested us to help him in the immersion (visarjan) of Goddess Kali idol since he could not find enough people for it and we being young would be an added benefit for him. In addition to this, he said, as we were simply talking (Having a casual time) and he was sure we were not at all busy. We simply refused. He politely pleaded us to help him. We kept denying. He said it would be a social service. We felt embarrassed at an elderly person requesting us repeatedly. We finally clarified that we were Muslim, and thus unwilling to help you. He said that he helps his Muslim friends and it would be a social service since the puja was organized by the ‘area-community’. After we refused again, he left. After his departure, we had a hot debate about whether we should have joined him or not? I sincerely and genuinely wanted to help him for the reasons: 1. This was a community function, and we are the part of the community.
He was pleading and requesting repeatedly.
Islam is strictly a religion of ‘niyat’ , and my sole intention was to
i. To help someone in need. ii. To give a message to the whole community that Islam is a binding force. iii. I considered it a very important social service to be performed. iv. I was never willing to enchant their slogans (like, ‘jai Mata di’ , which is Shirk), just I wanted to help my community.
My friend argued: 1. Islam does not permit us to do so.
If another Muslim see us, he would conclude, he is ‘following’ Hinduism, and I shall also do so.
This would defame Islam (as Muslims are ‘attending’ a Hindu-ceremony).
This is not a social service.
Please enlighten us, what should a true Muslim do in this situation? Expecting a prompt and unambiguous reply. Should I have helped him? I frequently indulge myself in clearing misconception about Islam. Your help will encourage me in this good work and will help me know Islam even better.