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In the Name of God بسم الله
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Assalamualaikum, I will be traveling to the Middle East in a couple weeks in shaa Allah, and I have a bunch of questions regarding prayer. Keep in mind I am a relatively new convert, so please be patient with me. 1) I read that all prayers during travel are 2 rakat. What counts as "travel"? I will be traveling for around 14 days, going in between cities, staying a couple nights in each and going around either to nearby cities or exploring the city I am staying in each day. Is "travel" simply the plane rides and bus rides, or the whole trip, since I am not staying in the same place the whole time? 2) Part of my trip will be in Jerusalem, and I plan to pray at Al Aqsa in shaa Allah. I was warned by a Palestinian friend of mine, however, that it is very dangerous if I pray like a Shia there and I should do taqiyyah and perform my prayers like a Sunni. Given recent events, it is even more dangerous to be praying noticeable differently at Al Aqsa, as people might suspect me to be a Zionist actor and become violent. Do I have to make up prayers later that are performed in taqiyyah? 3) Just in general, what are the rulings on praying salat at a Sunni mosque with Sunnis? The nearest Shia mosque to me is 3 hours away, and I cannot drive. The nearest Sunni mosque is 15 minutes by bus. If I prayed Jummah there, would I follow the imam or do it the way we do it? Would I stand in line with all of the others, or just quietly do my own thing in the back? Background note, I am a woman, so since congregational Jummah prayers are not obligatory upon me, I have not been going to the mosque. 4) If I am in a situation where I am unable to find pure water or dust for wudu, should I pray anyway, or would they not count? Is impure water better than nothing? 5) What's up with sutrahs? Do we use those anymore, or does a prayer rug essentially outline the space necessary for salah? JazakAllah khair and thank you for your patience with me.
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