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In the Name of God بسم الله

Praying in Sunni Masjid

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as-salaamu alaikum,

Any Shias on here pray in sunni masajid? I live in Ann Arbor, Michigan and there are many sunni masajid around me. One is about walking distance. I have prayed in one while in Michigan, but prayed according to Hadawi madhab as not to bring attention to me. I was thinking of praying at one of the local sunni locations instead of going to Dearborn and praying at Shia Masjid. However, I do not wish to bring attention to myself and then fall into some sunni/shia debate. Although I am capable of discussing, I just do not want to. What is your experience praying at sunni mosques?

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48 minutes ago, MexicanVato said:

as-salaamu alaikum,

Any Shias on here pray in sunni masajid? I live in Ann Arbor, Michigan and there are many sunni masajid around me. One is about walking distance. I have prayed in one while in Michigan, but prayed according to Hadawi madhab as not to bring attention to me. I was thinking of praying at one of the local sunni locations instead of going to Dearborn and praying at Shia Masjid. However, I do not wish to bring attention to myself and then fall into some sunni/shia debate. Although I am capable of discussing, I just do not want to. What is your experience praying at sunni mosques?

Salaam,

I have prayed 4 year in a Sunni Salafi mosque. Just ask the permission of the care takers and go there to pray.

I personally never prayed in congregation with them but just a solitary prayer. And it was a fine experience. 

If you don't want to bring attention to yourself then pray at that time when the mosque is almost empty. Just after congregation maybe. 

Or if it is a bigger mosque then find a place which is a bit separate from the main area. For me, it was a building with 2 floors. On ground floor, congregation used to take place and usually the 1st floor was empty. So, if there were people on ground floor, I used to go up on first floor. On thursdays we even recited Ziyarat e Waritha standing over there and it was extremely peaceful and we never had issues.

May Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) bless you brother

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Salamu alaikum,

All the surrounding mosques where I live adhere to Sunni Mazhab.  My friends, fellow workers, and fellow Muslims are Shafi'i followers.

When i am in the mosque, my prayer actions look exactly like others from the outside.  From the inside, no one else knows what is going. No even my fellow shias know what inside, only from the outside.

I don't bring attention to Sunnis on myself.

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We should pray according to Ja'fari fiqh only and cannot change our way unless taqaiyah is required. 

I have prayed at sunni mosque. Some mind their own business, some give a death stare, some come for a debate. In one mosque, my friend was told not to come and pray in their mosque. We should try to avoid those things and only pray in sunni mosque if we don't find any place. I would personally prefer praying on an office terrace rather than going to a sunni mosque. 

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At my university there is no separate section for Sunni and Shia so I pray there normally and after the three takbirs when salah is finished I look right and left the way the Sunnis do especially if praying in jama’ah. I have never been approached for a debate or anything.

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Posted (edited)

Salaam,

In the entire city I live in there's only one masjid, and it's a Sunni masjid. Well, I don't really like to call it a "Sunni" masjid, since mosques are for all Muslims, it just so happens that the sheikh of that masjid and every person that prays there are Sunnis, so yeah, it's a "Sunni masjid". I hardly ever go there, only during the two eids, or if there's a funeral, or another special occasion (so basically less than 3-4 times a year, and 0 times since COVID-19). 

Some of you may have already read my background, but for those that haven't: I am Shia while my father is Sunni. If I ever go to the masjid, I practically only go with my father. I pray the Sunni way, and when I return home I repeat the prayers the Shia way. In all my life (20+ years), I have never prayed the Shia way in the masjid, I simply just don't want any debates/controversies/problems. I have only prayed once according to Ja'fari fiqh, but that time the mosque was empty. I'm not saying that the Sunnis will kill me or anything :hahaha:, quite the contrary, they are very tolerant and never has there been any reports or incidents about a Sunni-Shia dispute. I remember even one time a Shia sheikh was invited to the mosque where he gave a khutba, and other Shias came to pray. It's just that I don't know what their reaction will be when there's a single Shia praying in the middle of a Sunni congregation, specially if that happens every Friday. In conclusion, I simply don't want to bring attention.

So yeah... it sucks when you're in the minority.

Edited by Mohamad Abdel-Hamid
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3 hours ago, Sirius_Bright said:

We should pray according to Ja'fari fiqh only and cannot change our way unless taqaiyah is required. 

I have prayed at sunni mosque. Some mind their own business, some give a death stare, some come for a debate. In one mosque, my friend was told not to come and pray in their mosque. We should try to avoid those things and only pray in sunni mosque if we don't find any place. I would personally prefer praying on an office terrace rather than going to a sunni mosque. 

Same thing, brother. I'd also rather pray at home than go there and get into needless debates and controversy.

For ibadāt, one needs to have a tranquil mind. An argument is the last thing a sincere worshipper will want before/after/during his ibadāt.

Moreover,I don't at all want to go somewhere I am not welcome and made to feel like an intruder.

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3 hours ago, Sirius_Bright said:

In one mosque, my friend was told not to come and pray in their mosque.

Nowadays many Sunni mosques also have notice boards at their entrance that only people from their maslak are allowed inside. I have particularly seen this outside Barelwi mosques.

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Wa alaikum as salam

I don't think one needs to conceal their method of praying in such instances unless their lives are in danger.

One doesn't have to debate or enter confrontations. Such situations can be handled in a composed manner. 

However I wouldn't abandon the correct method of praying. It would be a pity if the masajid are full of Shi'a who are praying in the incorrect manner.

Perhaps through the correct sunnah others will also be inspired.

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:salam:

Prayed many many times in Sunni places. Only one problem with this one guy, who approached me for praying not directly on carpet. Ironically he was one of the only guys who prayed sadl style, but 'he couldn't convince all people'. Next time he came to me being annoying, elder people told me to let go since he was 'a bit crazy'. 

Since then, I learnt how to be discreet, sliding a turbah at prostration time, and that's just fine. One thing I am not really fond about Sunni mosques is their 'pray and leave' thing, so strict. Seldom felt people interacting, having nice time etc. I guess it lacks the loud salawats :verryhappy:

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, 313_Waiter said:

when salah is finished I look right and left the way the Sunnis do especially if praying in jama’ah

This is a recommended action even for shias (although most shias are unaware of this). The difference however is that Sunnis turn their heads right and left before the prayer actually finishes. This actually voids their prayer because while the prayer is in progress, we cannot turn our heads away from Allah. However, once the prayer is finished it is recommended to look right and then left to say Salam to the angels who join us in our prayers. 

Edited by Anonymous-Male
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3 hours ago, Anonymous-Male said:

This is a recommended action even for shias (although most shias are unaware of this). The difference however is that Sunnis turn their heads right and left before the prayer actually finishes. This actually voids their prayer because while the prayer is in progress, we cannot turn our heads away from Allah. However, once the prayer is finished it is recommended to look right and then left to say Salam to the angels who join us in our prayers. 

Subhanallah thanks for this bro. My mother told me she saw an ‘alim doing it as well after he finished his prayer.

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On 4/17/2021 at 11:33 PM, MexicanVato said:

as-salaamu alaikum,

Any Shias on here pray in sunni masajid? I live in Ann Arbor, Michigan and there are many sunni masajid around me. One is about walking distance. I have prayed in one while in Michigan, but prayed according to Hadawi madhab as not to bring attention to me. I was thinking of praying at one of the local sunni locations instead of going to Dearborn and praying at Shia Masjid. However, I do not wish to bring attention to myself and then fall into some sunni/shia debate. Although I am capable of discussing, I just do not want to. What is your experience praying at sunni mosques?

 

21 hours ago, Mohamad Abdel-Hamid said:

I have only prayed once according to Ja'fari fiqh, but that time the mosque was empty. I'm not saying that the Sunnis will kill me or anything :hahaha:, quite the contrary, they are very tolerant and never has there been any reports or incidents about a Sunni-Shia dispute. I remember even one time a Shia sheikh was invited to the mosque where he gave a khutba, and other Shias came to pray. It's just that I don't know what their reaction will be when there's a single Shia praying in the middle of a Sunni congregation, specially if that happens every Friday. In conclusion, I simply don't want to bring attention.

Wa ‘alaykum Salaam - For last 10 years I have seen at least on average 10 to 15 Shias participating in Friday prayers at ‘my mosque’.  Most of them are students from the University nearby and others run cafes in the town centre.

There has never been any issue. One good thing I noticed is that they don’t stick together as a group nor do they stand is the last rows.  They do mingle well but tend to stand end of each row, maybe to be less visible. No one ever uses turbah, instead use a sheet of paper.  They all pray with their arms on the side.  Also, I noticed they end their prayers the Shia way – that is, while in sitting position in the end they tend to do ‘rafa ul yadain’ twice or thrice and then do the salaam.  
I have never seen anyone misbehave with them.  After the prayers, the people do interact well with them. Their body language shows that they are comfortable and feel secure.  I have never seen them looking for nooks and corners or going to other floors to make themselves ‘invisible’ from Sunnis.

Most of them are Iraqi or Lebanese.  And our mosque has equal mix of all nationalities. 

I think overall, the Sunnis are very accommodating with Shia using ‘their’ mosques for prayers.

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4 hours ago, Debate follower said:

 

I think overall, the Sunnis are very accommodating with Shia using ‘their’ mosques for prayers.

Agreed, and it works both ways. I haven't ever seen an issue with someone from another sect praying in a Shia congregation. 

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I think I was overthinking it. It is also true that I should make sure I am praying according to the Jaffari madhab. Shame on me for compromising sometimes on that. Inshaallah I will do better. I also need to start carrying a turbah with me for when I do intend to make salat in sunni mosques. A good friend of mine who is Zaydi was telling me his Maliki friend gets more heat than Shi'a in the Sunni mosque he goes to. Regardless to me a muslim is a muslim. I enjoy speaking to Sunni and Shi'a alike. I even had a good talk with a Chaldean brother at a halal food store. On another note I intend to get more versed in Shi'i Islam so I can answer any objections one may have with our way. I am currently taking classes on Aqaaid and Fiqh. I think the aqaaid will be useful in being able to back up our usul-ud-din with ayat and ahadith. 

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On 4/18/2021 at 12:28 AM, Zainuu said:

Salaam,

I have prayed 4 year in a Sunni Salafi mosque. Just ask the permission of the care takers and go there to pray.

I personally never prayed in congregation with them but just a solitary prayer. And it was a fine experience. 

Wa ‘alaykum Salaam - I am sure they were worshipping same Allah that you worship. (may be with slight differences here and there.) There is more barakah in praying together. You could have easily prayed in the last row, literally invisible to everybody.

“And hold firmly to the rope of Allah all together and do not become divided.” Surah Aal-Imran Ayah 103

I had a sort of funny incident praying with my Shia friends, that I’ll share with you all. 

Around 7 years ago I was invited to have Iftar dinner with Iraqi Shia family.  Surprisingly, and for my good fortune, they broke the fast just after the sunset! Then we all prayed together with the grandfather leading the prayers.  

At end of surah Fatiha, I said “Ameen” aloud! (at that time, I was not aware that it is a ‘NO NO’ for Shias to say ‘Ameen’ after Fatiha and that the prayers are nullified!)

I felt all of them shudder a little, especially the grandfather leading the prayers.  He lost his rhythm, after five to six seconds he recovered and carried on.  But I felt he was very uncomfortable leading from that point onwards. In the second rakat I could feel the tension as surah Fatiha was being recited. At the end of Fatiha, I said ‘Ameen’ within myself.

After the prayers I performed the customary two rakat Sunnah prayers.  I noticed that they all prayed three rakats – I think they all were repeating their fard prayers.  The poor grandfather left the room immediately (I’m presuming to pray in peace somewhere else) muttering something annoyingly which I could not get.

I have been invited dinners since then but never for Iftar again – though we exchange the food regularly every Ramadan.

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26 minutes ago, Debate follower said:

Wa ‘alaykum Salaam - I am sure they were worshipping same Allah that you worship. (may be with slight differences here and there.) There is more barakah in praying together. You could have easily prayed in the last row, literally invisible to everybody.

“And hold firmly to the rope of Allah all together and do not become divided.” Surah Aal-Imran Ayah 103

I had a sort of funny incident praying with my Shia friends, that I’ll share with you all. 

Around 7 years ago I was invited to have Iftar dinner with Iraqi Shia family.  Surprisingly, and for my good fortune, they broke the fast just after the sunset! Then we all prayed together with the grandfather leading the prayers.  

At end of surah Fatiha, I said “Ameen” aloud! (at that time, I was not aware that it is a ‘NO NO’ for Shias to say ‘Ameen’ after Fatiha and that the prayers are nullified!)

I felt all of them shudder a little, especially the grandfather leading the prayers.  He lost his rhythm, after five to six seconds he recovered and carried on.  But I felt he was very uncomfortable leading from that point onwards. In the second rakat I could feel the tension as surah Fatiha was being recited. At the end of Fatiha, I said ‘Ameen’ within myself.

After the prayers I performed the customary two rakat Sunnah prayers.  I noticed that they all prayed three rakats – I think they all were repeating their fard prayers.  The poor grandfather left the room immediately (I’m presuming to pray in peace somewhere else) muttering something annoyingly which I could not get.

I have been invited dinners since then but never for Iftar again – though we exchange the food regularly every Ramadan.

Salaam,

Ramadan Kareem Brother.

Did they knew that you are from Ahl Us Sunnah? I think they were unaware.

In my mosque, I also had a few incidents. I never prayed in congregation because I was not aware of the rulings I have to follow in that case. Though, I knew I can. But preferred to take the safe side.

But several times it occurred that while we prayed on the ground floor and coincidently a tableeghi jama'at would stay there. So, the people from Jama'at used to stare me and praying alone with all of them staring around was a bit embarrasing as well as funny. But the locals over there knew that I am a shia and me and my friends had taken permission to pray.

Once it also happened that someone (a bit bold) from a jama'at, asked me to sit when I finished the prayers. He started asking simple questions but slowly he started to show his tableeghi tactics by commenting on my belief (as I was always open that I am a Shia Imami Ithn-asheri). But my friend is a speaker so he just made it clear that we are not here to debate. Some talks on unity happened. They also asked us to join the Jama'at. Lol. So, I said that everyone cannot be in the same team. Every person should do better in his own side and they agreed.

One talk happened at some other day also. Those were different people. But that was short.

 

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24 minutes ago, Zainuu said:

Salaam,

Ramadan Kareem Brother.

Did they knew that you are from Ahl Us Sunnah? I think they were unaware.

Wa ‘alaykum Salaam and you too along with your dears ones 'Have a generous Ramadan'

Yes, they were all aware that I am Sunni – Their sister was my colleague in the University for 3 years. I used to visit their house many times for studies and used to have long chats with the grandfather on Middle East politics and history and still do when I visit them. 

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1 hour ago, Debate follower said:

 

At end of surah Fatiha, I said “Ameen” aloud! (at that time, I was not aware that it is a ‘NO NO’ for Shias to say ‘Ameen’ after Fatiha and that the prayers are nullified!)

I felt all of them shudder a little, especially the grandfather leading the prayers.  He lost his rhythm, after five to six seconds he recovered and carried on.  But I felt he was very uncomfortable leading from that point onwards. In the second rakat I could feel the tension as surah Fatiha was being recited. At the end of Fatiha, I said ‘Ameen’ within myself.

After the prayers I performed the customary two rakat Sunnah prayers.  I noticed that they all prayed three rakats – I think they all were repeating their fard prayers.  The poor grandfather left the room immediately (I’m presuming to pray in peace somewhere else) muttering something annoyingly which I could not get.

I have been invited dinners since then but never for Iftar again – though we exchange the food regularly every Ramadan.

:salam:

It didn't nullify their prayer if you said ameen. 

It's sad if they got annoyed about it, especially you being a guest. 

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1 hour ago, Debate follower said:

Yes, they were all aware that I am Sunni – Their sister was my colleague in the University for 3 years. I used to visit their house many times for studies and used to have long chats with the grandfather on Middle East politics and history and still do when I visit them. 

Then I would say that there behavior was not right. 

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39 minutes ago, realizm said:

:salam:

It didn't nullify their prayer if you said ameen. 

It's sad if they got annoyed about it, especially you being a guest. 

I was under the impression that Shia prayers are nullified with saying ‘Ameen’

"It is a consensus of Shi'ah scholars that saying 'Ameen' in Salat, after Fatihah is an innovation and therefore would invalidate the prayer." 

https://www.al-islam.org/ask/why-do-the-shia-never-say-the-word-amen-at-the-end-of-surah-al-fatiha-while-praying-unlike-what-many-sunnis-do

 

9 minutes ago, Zainuu said:

Then I would say that there behavior was not right. 

No, I wouldn’t say that they were annoyed. Or that their behaviour was bad.  They were just taken aback or caught off guard. The grandfather’s reaction was natural, I had upset his rhythm.  We had great time later and with lots of green tea and delicious sweet dishes. I always feel genuinely most welcomed whenever I visit them. I have never prayed with them since then though. Whenever prayer time comes, I have to pray alone. They always have prayed before or will pray later. But they do out of their way to make my prayers very comfortable. May Allah Almighty bless them.

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7 hours ago, MexicanVato said:

I think I was overthinking it. It is also true that I should make sure I am praying according to the Jaffari madhab.

Since it is not allowed to pray in any way other than correct method (i.e. Ja'fari fiqh) except in Taqaiyah, I suggest you ask a reliable scholar if you might have to repeat those prayers. 

Also, if we have to go to a sunni mosque frequently, we should always be ready with replies to few objections - method of Wudhu, use of Turbah, praying with hands down, combining prayers, etc. 

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