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IslamQA: A village imam was found in a brothel

Assalamualaikum. My friend told me about an imam in her village who was found passing away in a brothel. After an investigation on how he could end up there, it was found that the imam actually frequented the brothel to use the service. This really troubles me, how can someone who's in worship more frequent than others do such illicit behavior in parallel. I'm starting to fear that my worship won't guarantee me to stay out of major evil deeds. What's your opinion? Thank you very much

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

An imam is just an ordinary person chosen by the community to give sermons and lead prayers. It is quite possible for such a person to go through these motions without their heart being in it.

The lesson from that imam is that doing “Islamic” work is no guarantee of having a high Islamic character. In order to maintain a high character we need to do constant, daily work, for example listening to the Quran for an hour every day. Without this work our natural human instincts take over and we start to act by them whether we are an imam or other Islamic leader. We shouldn’t put our trust in imams or scholars as if their status automatically ensures their high character. They are just humans and they can suffer all human weaknesses.

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