Deciding not to perform congregational Salah for fear of witnessing Munkar

Q 2: While staying in some Muslim countries, we prefer not to go to the Masjid (mosque) after hearing the Adhan (call to Prayer) for fear that we will see semi-naked woman and be exposed to Fitnah (temptation). Also, they practice some Bid`ahs (innovations in Islam) during their Salah (Prayer). Therefore, we offer Salah in congregation in one of our hotel rooms after pronouncing the Adhan and the Iqamah (call to start the Prayer). What is your opinion on this?

A: It is better for you to go to the Masjid upon hearing the Adhan. However, you can avoid any temptations by lowering your gaze or taking an alternate way. As for Bid`ahs committed in some Masjids, this can be dealt with by going to a Masjid in which no Bid`ahs are committed if possible. If this is not possible, it is by no means permissible to offer Salah being led by an Imam who commits Bid`ah Shirkiyyah (innovation in Islam tantamount to associating others with Allah in His Divinity or worship), such as supplicating to other than Allah or seeking the help of other than Allah. As for Bid`ahs that cannot be described as Shirkiyyah, such as reciting Du`a' (supplication) in congregation along with raising hands after obligatory Salah, they do not affect the validity of offering Salah in the Masjid although you should advise those who do so.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.