In the name of Allah the Most Gracious the Most Merciful
Why doesn’t my prayer prevent me from committing evil?
By Shaykh Muhammad bin Saalih al-’Uthaymeen may Allah have mercy on him
Question: I am a person who prays however I still find myself falling into evil actions (munkaraat). What advice do you have for me and why doesn’t my prayer prevent me from doing evil deeds?
Answer: My advice to you is to repent to Allah, azza wa jal, and be sincere in turning back towards Him. You should be mindful of the greatness of the One you are disobeying and be mindful of His punishment for those who oppose His Command. You should remember the statement of Allah,
نَبِّئۡ عِبَادِىٓ أَنِّىٓ أَنَا ٱلۡغَفُورُ ٱلرَّحِيمُ
“Inform unto My slaves, that truly, I am the Oft-Forgiving, the Most-Merciful.”
وَأَنَّ عَذَابِى هُوَ ٱلۡعَذَابُ ٱلۡأَلِيمُ
“And that My Torment is indeed the most painful torment.” [al-Hijr: 49-50]
Therefore, seek Allah’s forgiveness and mercy and at the same time become fearful of His punishment. As for your prayer not preventing you from performing evil deeds, then perhaps it is due to it containing deficiencies within. That is because the prayer that prevents one from committing lewdness and evil deeds is the prayer that is complete. It is the prayer that is in accordance to what the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) came with, prayer that is performed with an attentive present heart, and a prayer that is performed upon the Sunnah.
It is not any and every prayer that prevents one from lewdness and evil deeds, rather it is only the established prayer that is performed its required manner. Allah said,
إِنَّ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ تَنۡهَىٰ عَنِ ٱلۡفَحۡشَآءِ وَٱلۡمُنكَرِ
“…Indeed, the prayer prevents al-Fahshaa (lewdness, great sins of every kind, illegal sexual relations) and al-Munkar (disbelief, polytheism, and every evil deed)…” [al-‘Ankabut: 45]
And this is referring to the prayer that is established in the correct manner.
Source: Silsilah al-Liqaa ash-Shahri #1
Translated by: Abu Awzaa’ee AbdusSalaam
الفقير الى الله