A Sunni Muslim prays at a Shia mosque

mosque

I decided I would finally go to a Shia mosque for Friday prayers.  I had my three year old son with me, but even if he became too hyper, it would be okay, because  there was just one of him, and I would handle him.  I was so ready to do it, but then of course, fear of the unknown crept in.  The fear came disguised as needing to catch up on so many household duties.  “I should made rice pudding for the kids today! I’ve been wanting to make it for so long!” I thought to myself.  Deciding to stay home instead, I sifted online through various reviews of rice pudding recipes.  After deciding on a recipe, I suddenly realized I didn’t have enough milk to make the pudding.  This was highly unusual, because I mostly restock my milk before it goes too low.

I spent the next fifteen to twenty minutes battling my thoughts, which bounced from praying at a Shia mosque to staying home and cooking something else for the kids.  I finally decided that I would make the kids pasta and bake croissants, and if I got done in time, I would go for Friday prayers at the shia mosque.

I think my spirit really wanted the adventure of praying at a different mosque, so I found myself quickly finishing my baking and cooking, leaving the perfect amount of time to get myself and my son dressed, and in the car.

But of course, the animal in me didn’t let me off that easily.  As I drove past traffic signals, on to the highway, and back on the main streets, I found myself wondering why I was even doing this. What’s the point?  Why do I have to care so much about praying at a different mosque?  I hardly even pray at Sunni mosques, so who am I trying to be by going off to a Shia mosque?  What if someone is hostile to me? What if the Shia prayer is so different that everyone notices me as an outsider?

Luckily, I had been through my fair share of anxiety, nervousness and fear before I visited a church and a synagogue, so I simply told myself that if I could go there, then I could go to a Shia mosque.  I knew it was one of those things I would be glad I tried after I actually tried it.

Once I saw the sign for the mosque “Masumeen Islamic Centre,” I went into panic mode. I quickly grabbed my large shawl from the passenger seat and tried to frantically get it around my head before I turned into the parking lot.  It was twenty seconds of me trying to drive with the shawl awkwardly plastered across my face, almost blinded.  Feeling frustrated with my jitteriness, I somehow pulled the shawl off my face and flung it back on the seat.

I turned into the parking lot expecting to find the usual chaos at Sunni mosques, with limited parking spaces and horrible parking jobs by the attendees. But to my surprise, there were plenty of empty spaces and everyone was parked in a civilized manner.  Perhaps this mosque had a small congregation.  Either way, I was happy to have found a good parking spot, and took my son out and walked to the women’s entrance.

I went up a concrete stairwell to an open space with shoe racks and coat hangers. Once our coats and shoes were put aside, I held my son’s hand and walked into a clean, carpeted prayer room.  At that time, there were only three women inside.  I greeted them with a smile and salaam and they smiled back their response.  I wondered if I should tell them I was a Sunni visiting, but felt like it was unnecessary at the time.  I walked over to a shelf and picked up a book about the Quran to read before the sermon started.

My son was surprisingly very quiet and shy as he sat down next to me. I looked around the room and noticed the banners with calligraphy from the Quran and prayers in Arabic for the Prophet pbuh and his family.  I saw the door open and two young women walked in, one carrying a baby in a car seat.  I greeted them with a smile and salaam and they responded politely with smiles.  An older woman sat on a chair, as she recited quietly from the Quran.

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Before I could open my book, I saw the flat screen TV at the front of the room light up, and the imam began the sermon. He started with the following words:

I begin with the name of Allah. I advise you and advise myself to be God conscious, God-fearing, pious.

He had a very laid back manner of speaking.  Even his body language was relaxed and calm. I liked him already.

The sermon for this Friday was expanding on the meaning of “Al-Kareem,” which is one of the names and attributes of God.

The imam explained that the word “Kareem” signifies all positive attributes possessed by a good person or thing, which are given generously and honourably to others for their benefit.  “This is why Allah is called Kareem,”  he explained. “Allah calls His Quran, ‘kareem.’ So it’s not just people who are kareem.  Likewise our Prophet pbuh is known as rasool-al-kareem.” At the mention of the Prophet’s pbuh name, the whole congregation chanted their blessings on him.

sermon

The imam highlighted that God is al-kareem because not only will He forgive us for our mistakes, but will also not embarrass us about our past mistakes, which is totally different from human beings, who even after forgiving others, sometimes bring it up in front of the person, embarrassing them.

God is also Al-Kareem because He gives us before we even ask Him for something.  And when we ask Him, He gives us more than we expect.

The imam then said: I think we’ve taken God for granted. We’ve taken His gifts for granted.

“Kareem” by definition is someone who is in the position/power to take revenge or get even, but still forgives you.

The imam prayed for God to grant paradise for the Prophet pbuh and his family.  A prayer in Arabic was recited, and everyone stood up.  I thought it was time to pray, but everyone soon sat back down.

Then the imam shared a story from the Prophet’s grandson, Imam Hussein’s (A.S.) life.  Someone once asked Imam Hussein (AS) why he never repulsed a beggar. His answer was: I am asking God for His favors and I love being near God and I am ashamed that I myself am in need of God, so I can’t repulse a beggar.

The imam explained that the meaning behind Imam Hussein’s (AS) words is that the moment I become stingy with what God has given me, then God will become stingy with me.

It was soon time for the Friday prayers (known as salah in Arabic), and the women got up.  There were only about fifteen women present, and by then my son had dosed off on the smooth carpet, his head propped on my purse. I stood in line and noticed that everyone had a small round stone on the floor in front of them.  I wasn’t sure what that was, but stood in line, my space void of the stone.  I felt a little nervous, wondering if someone would ask me about my prayer stone, but surprisingly, nobody asked me about it, and neither did anyone seem concerned.

The salah was slightly different, but I kept noting others around me, and followed them as it went on.  For example, nobody folded their hands on their chest as is usual for most Sunni Muslim women, but rather, everyone kept their arms comfortably against the sides of their body. Also, the prayer did not go directly into “ruku” (bending partly with hands on knees) as I am accustomed to, but rather a prayer was said during which everyone held out their hands (the symbol of asking God for something), followed by the ruku.  Every time there was a silent gap between words, I heard the soft rumble of my son’s snores.  It was an incredibly peaceful prayer experience.

qoobs

The recitations were also slightly different during the ruku and the “sujood” (full prostration with head bowed on floor).  Once sitting, with legs folded, the imam went directly to reciting the “shahada” (I bear witness that there is no deity except God, and that Mohammad pbuh is His messenger).  The last difference I noticed was that upon the completion of the salah, after the imam said the salutations for the angels,  nobody turned their head from side to side as Sunnis normally do.  Everyone simply stopped the prayer, which was unusual for me, since I had never done that before.

I thought about leaving, and then heard another call to prayer, and saw everyone get up. Confused, I got up.  But there was no time to ask anyone what prayer we were now praying. I simply joined the congregation for another round of salah.  Were these extra prayers? Were these the actual Friday prayers? I wasn’t sure, but I followed along.  Upon their completion, I noticed the two young women leave with the baby.  I followed them outside to pick up my son’s and my jacket.  Outside, I told them that I was a visiting Sunni, and asked them about the second salah. They smiled, and one of them offered a handshake, which I gladly accepted.  “Welcome,” she said with a smile. “How did you find it?” I told them that I liked it, and that even though it was different, I simply followed along. They smiled and told me the second salah was “asr” (late afternoon prayer). So it turns out Shia Muslims pray asr right after the Friday prayers.  I said my goodbyes to the ladies, and went back into the prayer room. My son was still sleeping peacefully, and I gently shook him to wake him up.

Driving home, I was really grateful to God for allowing me this wonderful experience.  I had always wanted to pray at a Shia mosque.  None of the misinformation and rumours about them were true in my experience.  They did not associate any partners with God, as some Sunnis accuse them of doing.  They did not ask for help from Imam Hussein (AS) as the rumors state.  The family of the Prophet pbuh is very dear to them, no doubt.  But it should also be very dear to all Muslims because the Quran tells us that none of us is a true Muslim unless we love the Prophet pbuh and his family more than anything.  Everyone prayed to God alone and asked Him alone for all help.  Nobody can claim that they were pretending to in front of me, because I came in unannounced, and the only people who knew I was Sunni were the two girls I told after the prayers were over.

So the question is, would I ever pray at that mosque again? And the answer is: ABSOLUTELY YES!  I really enjoyed my experience. The imam at the mosque was great, the women were friendly, people parked like civilized human beings, and most importantly, they are Muslims who believe in the same one God, Quran and the Prophet pbuh!

shia

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108 thoughts on “A Sunni Muslim prays at a Shia mosque

  1. Salaamun ‘Alaykum.

    We’re pleased to hear that you had a pleasant experience at Salaat al-Jum’ah at the Masumeen Islamic Centre. We’d welcome you to come back and visit us again some time. If you’d like a short tour of the Centre on your next visit, we invite you to contact us in advance so we can plan to show you around.

    Best regards,

    Secretary, Masumeen Islamic Centre

    • Thank you so much for responding to my post! I would love to take a tour of the centre in the future and inshAllah will get in touch. Jazak’Allah for providing a safe and clean prayer space for Muslims to pray in.

  2. I’m so glad for your experience, sister. Shia school of Islam is beautiful, you are always welcomed at our Mosques and nobody will ever hate you for belonging to other Islamic school. Shia Islam teaches us peace and love, not hate and killing. There’s a huge anti-Shia propaganda campaign, and somebody has a business in creating sectarian war among Islamic schools. Many get fooled by this. Do the research on your own and you will discover the truth. We follow ONLY what the Prophet and His family left to us. Inshallah, you will see that one day :).

    • Yes, all Muslims are brothers and sisters in faith. We feel upset when non-Muslims stereotype Muslims, so we should know better than to spread rumors and hate against our Shia brethren. :)

  3. Alhamdulillah it’s very refreshing to see a certain level of acceptance between The Sunni and Shi’a Schools. If you did visit again, perhaps you could iron out any misunderstanding some of the women may have about Sunni Islam. If you do, please don’t forget to blog it! JazakumAllahu Khairan.

  4. Salaamu alaykum. I wish more Muslims were as open minded as you and visited centres of other schools and perspectives. Would solve a lot of the sectarian issues. I myself have also visited some sunni masaajid including Sufi masaajid. As somebody who attends Masumeen Islamic Centre I’m proud of our congregation, committees, resident imam and of course our women who were cordial towards you.

  5. omgosh! thank you so much for visiting a shia mosque!….yes we shia’s get excited when someone from a diifferent muslim sect or even a different religion visits our mosque; it means one more person who will be informed; one less person who wont be effected by the propaganda against shias. I’m glad your visit was enjoyable. Please visit again! :)

  6. MashaAllah! I read your account, and I found it absolutely heartwarming. This is what we need in the world – positives. We are all united under the banner of laa ilaaha illallah, muhammad ar rasoolullah. Kudos to your endeavor, sister!

    Sincerely,

    A fellow Muslim

  7. Loved reading this! As a Shia who has felt the same hesitation to visit a Sunni mosque, I can relate. If you choose to visit again, pray following your own beliefs – fold your hands over your chest and say salaam to the angels on your shoulders. We are all one and the mosque is a house of god – all beliefs are welcome!

  8. It’s really great that you’ve shared the experience, found it very pleasing to see an open-hearted person such as you about Shia and, as proven, a tolerant character towards other schools of thought. Every Muslim should be merciful towards their brethren. May Allah grants us better understanding.. Bless you sister.

  9. Assalam o alaikum fellow muslims!!
    Im so so pleased after readng ur blog.. masha Allah ur views must have changed alot nd v need these little positive initiatives to strengthen this Muslim world nd u r one of them nd v expect u to visit it again nd even would not mind u to clear ur confusions on behalf of other sunni muslims even by askng ur querries wd the Moulana sahab.. God bless u..

  10. salamalikum Sister: MashaAllah may Allah(swt) bless you and your family and give you more bravery and courage to spread unity between all Muslims and further more amongst all of humanity. This is the message of Islam!

    Alhamdolillah I feel very blessed to have had many Muslim(Sunni) friends and I have also taught at Islamic schools run by Muslim(sunni) and sent my children to them, prayed with them etc. and I did not have to give up my identity of following the way of the ahlul bayt and the Jaffari school of thought as long as they were accepting of me. The saddest thing is that we are going to Synagogues and Churches to pray with them and promote unity but how much do with do within our own interfaith sharing? Should unity not begin at home?

    InshaAllah, perhaps we can call for one Jumah a month where a congregation from the Muslim(shia) mosque within a neighborhood prays at a Muslim(sunni) mosque and the next month we reverse it. How beautiful would that be!! Honestly can anyone say that we will not be pleasing Allah(swt) and our beloved Prophet (sawas) by doing this?

    May Allah(swt) help us and guide us towards his supreme pleasure.

    Once again jazahkAllah khair

    Sincerely,
    Your sister in Islam
    fizza hussain razvi

  11. Assalam-u-Allaikum

    I am from the East End of Toronto (although currently pursuing Islamic studies in the seminary in Iran) and have visited Ma’sumeen Center a handful of times and I wanted to say that I was so happy to read this article and your experience. I really wish people from both sides would become more open minded and appreciate the differences we have, the different cultures we come from, the different jurisprudence we have, rather than hold them against each other as grudges.

    Just wanted to clarify some things in case you weren’t able to get an answer for them. The Friday prayers is prayed slightly different as you noticed – where we recite the “Qunoot” (Du’a by raising our hands up) in both the Rak’ats, although in the first rak’at we do it before the Ruku’ and in the second Rak’at we do it right after the Ruk’u. And in the normal prayers, as you probably would have noticed during the Asr prayers is that we do it in the 2nd Rak’at before the Ruku’ (this is the normal way for the daily prayers and any associated naafila/sunnah prayers).

    Also the “stone”, aka “turbah”, “mohr”, “sajdagah” etc. (depending on what your cultural/language background is) is a clay tablet since the Shi’a jurisprudence states that Sajda must be done on “earth” or “earthly”/”natural” materials (and it has a religious symbolic meaning attached to it) and not on for example, carpets, clothes etc. So since there is usually no “earth” present inside the masaajid (now a days anyways), we use clay tablets, or wooden tablets or in some mosques you may even be able to find straw/palm leaf mats (haseer).

    The combining of the prayers is also something commonly done by the Shi’as, although truly it is more recommended to separate them and pray them at their own designated times, but there is no problem if they are prayed one after another. In Sunni jurisprudence, generally speaking this is usually only allowed during times of travel – when one is on a journey (although you can find some interesting discussion over this matter among Sunni jurists as well).

    Also, interestingly enough, this Muharram, Ma’sumeen center actually had a Sunni scholar come in and lecture which you might find interesting: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIuqQs6vr28

    PS – The name of the Imam is Sheikh Jaffer, someone who I personally found to be very humble and a pleasure to speak to.

    Wassalam

    • Thank you for your informative message. I think it’s amazing that the mosque had a sunni sheikh lecture for the Muharram khutba. The more we pray and be together, the more the differences will be something to celebrate rather than to fight over. I personally don;t understand what all the hype and rumors against Shia Islam/Muslims is all about. I ignore it, and decided to pray there to experience Shia prayer for myself. I really enjoyed it and will inshAllah pray more often over there :)

  12. Thank you for your beautiful post and for being so brave to try something new!
    If you are interested, you are very welcome to find out more about Shia Islam through al-islam.org
    I’d love to visit your mosque, and you’re very welcome to visit mine! :)

    • my firend, there is no such thing as your mosque and my mosque, there is only our mosque where we go to worship and give thanks to Allah SWT in the tradition of our beloved Prophet pbuh :)

  13. mosque is for every one shia or sunni “mosque is mosque” ,who ever should enter in mosque should feel protected and free even a non believer, may Allah guide muslims to unite . Ameen

  14. SA Sister,
    You have done a miraculous journey to open up the eyes of ALL muslims,perhaps served Allah s.w.t.’s cause. May this visit open up up more interactions between all the muslims and get rid of preachers who promote hate instead of love.You have done a noble cause.

  15. Salam Sister,
    Thanks for such a wonderful eye opener. When I saw this blog I at once realized who you are. I was one of the attendee at the mosque and if you remember, I commented on the shyness of your son who was walking around head down.
    We will be more then pleased to have you visit us again.You can contact me at the following email.
    Tazha Shabir

  16. Dear Sister,
    As a Shiah Army officer, I’m used to praying amongst Sunni Muslims on Fridays and Eids and even sometimes daily prayers and at least once Namaz e tarawee. And it goes without saying that I’ve myself found the same serenity and peace of mind in there as I would in any Shiah mosque. I believe it is our communication with Allah during prayers that brings peace and joy and that certainly has nothing to do with whether the mosque or fellow Muslims belong to our faith or another.
    I salute your courage to break the norm of visiting mosques of own faith only.
    It was a wonderful post!

  17. Beautifully written – JAK. As one who follows the Jafari fiqh I work in an area of town that doesn’t have Shia mosques so I regularly visit a Sunni mosque for jumah. This has been strongly encouraged by late Imam Khomeini who had said I’m paraphrasing him ” while we fight over whether to pray with our arms open or closed our enemy is cutting our hands”- so true if we look at our Ummah today .More than interfaith dialogue we need intrafaith dialogue and reconciliation iA . The more we visit each other the easier to remove misconceptions and misunderstanding :)

  18. we all are proud that sister has a very good views of all of us but I would like more Shia women make a practice to perform friday prayer at Masumeen Islamic centre,

  19. JazakAllah.. that stone is ‘Sajda Gah’ and not a stone actually but made of sand of Karbala known as Khak e Shifa! Even in other schools of Islam the best way to do Sajda to Allah is on Sand!
    Also, there is one other school of Islam (pls search to find yourself) from the 5 Fiqh Schools (Hanfi(sunni), Shaafi(sunni), Maliki(sunni), Hambali(sunni) and Jafri(shia)) who while in Qayam of Salah do not Fold the hands/arms any where (on belly or chest) but leave them open like Shia Muslims.

  20. Sister Salamun Aalykum,

    I am a shia Moslem, at the end of every salat I always turn my head first to the right side (towards the right shoulder) and then to the left side(towards the left shoulder) to give my salutations to both Angels. I am doing this since 1989 when I was advised about it by an Iranian Shia Alim here in Toronto.
    May be on some Friday you can come to the Toronto main Shia mosque situated at 9000 Bathurst St. i.e. North of HWY 7 on Bathurst west side.

    Thank you.

    Ma As Salam.

    Fe Amanullah

    Qaiser Raza Naqvi
    Toronto

  21. I’m happy that you tried something new :) Although I have see problems myself with praying with my Sunni brothers and sisters, I do admit that sometimes I feel nervous as well when everyone around me is praying differently, for instance crossing their arms. And although I know that people are generally accepting and like you said, don’t even comment on the differences of how I pray, it is still sometimes a trial, for novel situations where you feel off-balance and fear judgement usually are. And, what I guess what I’m trying to say (with all of these totally long carry-on sentences) is that sometimes my nerves do get to me and I decide not to pray in congregation. The aim is just to remember that each of these trials in your life is way to get closer to G-d and by being such, are mercies from Him. I just hope that next time when I feel I’d rather pray by myself, I remember your experience and feel inspired to forget about worrying about the judgments from others and focus only about the judgement from my Lord.

  22. Thanks for clearing the doubts about shia SALAT. Your act is very comendable.
    I have 3 kids. Two daughters and a son. 2 out of 3 are married in sunni family.
    I guess It is all about having an open mind about other sects and religions.
    I strongly believe that how you pray is your personal act and you alone are responsible for It.
    As Imam Ali said ” We are all brothers and sisters in humanity.
    Lets spread the love around.

  23. Salam Alecoom sister, you are probably the first blogger I’ve ever taken an interest in enough to want to subscribe, fan or continuously read from :) thank you! Very awesome article, jazakiAllah khair

      • No it’s not, u should first ask as to y I have said what I have.
        Coz if u donno then in Islam worshipping as how other religions do is kufr and severe shirk, let alone going to their worship place.
        Shias does not believe in all the blessed characteristics of Allah, nor the prophet, nor do they believe that Quran is compelete, nor do the believe angles r innocent they say Jibraiel made a mistake reveling Quran to prophet a Mohammad, nor do they believe that the knowledge of hour is only with Allah . So u see Shias don’t believe in any pillars of Islam . And the list goes on n on.
        So if u pray with them or to whome they believe in then it’s clear kufr n shirk.

      • Abu Jahal and everyone even the mentally retards also seem to be knowing what the r doing, sorry but ur justification and answer was very lousy
        It’s part of fair hand iman to hate the kufr

      • I’m not fighting, I’m says Islam is based on principles which r well defined and not open to personal opinion and/or interpretations

    • Salaamu alaykum brother. What you have said here is completely false: “Shias does not believe in all the blessed characteristics of Allah, nor the prophet, nor do they believe that Quran is compelete, nor do the believe angles r innocent they say Jibraiel made a mistake reveling Quran to prophet a Mohammad, nor do they believe that the knowledge of hour is only with Allah . So u see Shias don’t believe in any pillars of Islam.”

      The Shias do not say any of what you have accused them. Believe it or not, the things you hear about the Shia are part of a plot to divide and conquer the Muslims. If you would like to know what the Shia actually say, here is a book (it’s short, only 80 pages) which summarizes the Shia aqeeda. It’s by a prominent Shia scholar. http://home.swipnet.se/islam/shia-faith.htm

      If you say that I am lying and you insist on your position then you must post proof of your claims. Also it is unjust for you to say that I am lying before examining what I am saying by reading the book. So please do not post back here till you actually read the book. Wa salaam.

  24. Let the world wake up and find out the fact, and every human being will say HUSSAIN IS OURS, very soon InshaAllah.
    I am so glad that happygomuslim honorable lady has openly confessed about Muslim’s Praying in Masjid. You are very welcome daughter in our Masjid.

  25. Haha!
    I was waiting for days for someone like MQ to come and do Takfir!
    Allah is the only judge, by issuing certificates of Kufr MQ is trying taking Allah’s position which is the biggest Shirk and Kufr in its self :p
    Further, if the blog initiator is a Kafir as she shared the Salah with Shia Muslims, then MQ also did Kufr by sharing the same blog with Shia Muslims :p
    If this all sounds nonsense and Jahal then same is the comment of MQ and his false allegations about Shia Muslims which is To’hmet !

    • U we’re waiting coz u knew its kufr, ,
      Saying it’s only for Allah to judge is one of the biggest fitna Shia ppl use to deceive Muslims, we must believe in Quran fully and wholly , and if Quran mentions some beliefs to be kufr so must Muslims, and if we do not believe in what the Quran has called as kufr then we don’t believe in Quran .
      Ur reply shows ur understanding but as usually u never really understand what a Shia is saying , so cursed they go around banging themselves, wow what a religion , even Hindus don’t do such.

  26. Hehe!
    MQ, if Shias are banging themselves and doing Kufr so are you doing Kufr by banging your skull here on this blog :p
    MQ dude, on serious note you need to know something before condemning it so confidently, it shows your arrogance and ignorance and its not a bliss :o
    You see MQ, here again you are ignorant yet confident by saying that you knew what I meant (in my heart) by saying I was waiting for some comment like yours ’cause I knew Shia beliefs are Kufr. Whereas, I was waiting for someone like you cause its a sad routine that true practitioners of Islam experience ignorance (Oil rich ignorance;)) !

    • No I’m not banging my head here I’m doing what the prophet use to do , to guide ppl to what is write and correct, now if that’s banging ur head then u should find another religion ,
      How do u know I donno on this topic well , it shows ur ignorance that u find ppl banging themselves and having orgys as Muslims , if u want I can provide u with video and photo evidence , ignorant lol
      What about oil rich Iran , where do u think all their revenues goes, killing Muslims ,
      How can u be so dumb honestly , can’t see Shias faith believes r garbage , nothing that their priests say u will ever understand , if u become a Shia u will just keep on crying and making others cry and keep on beating ur sled and others , haha
      Wake up can this be the religion of the best prophet ,
      Shias invented new things after the religion was completed , their priests change ruling as they want , it’s nuts, I have saved videos for ppl like u who challenge me , where these munafiqs r licking ground and stairs in Karbala uffff much more sicker then Hindus , u want me to mail u

  27. Asalam alaikum Brothers and Sisters (Shia and Sunni),

    Let’s not forget that Shia is composed by different sects, some very close to the Sunni tradition and others which can be almost not reconizable for the Sunni.

    I would like to add that to my point of view there is no such things as a Sunni or a Shia Muslim but only Muslims. Allah Soubanatallah told us that we will be divised but also that this was wrong and dangerous for us, still we are doing it.

    We must only follow the Quran and the Sounnah and keep in heart that we always must seek for the truth. What was doing our beloved Prophet (Peace be upon him) ? Here is the question. We have to follow his example. How was he praying, how was he living, etc.

    What are the teachings of the Quran ? Scholars are here to help us to understand.

    In others words, I don’t care how you are calling yourself but I care about your Deen.

    We are all Muslims, Alhamdulelah.

      • @MQ : Salam alaikum. Please sister (or brother) remember that the right way to show Islam is with our manners and characters. Not by preaching words. Not by having a debate. So let’s show what Islam is. Pray the way our Prophet (peace be upon him) did and eat like he ate, etc. Be mercy and compassionate. Be a Muslim. This is Islam. So don’t speak the talk but walk the walk. May Allah bless you. Wa Salam

  28. This is a response to MQ- claiming Iran killing many muslims. MQ-why dont you go back 12 years and find out how many sunnis have blown themselves up but unfortunately killing innocent civilians in Pakistan,afghanistan,and Iraq & compare to how many shias would commit such a lunatic act “hoping for huris in the paradise”.”Unto you your religion and unto me mine”. Your ignorance is reflected in the way you have submitted your arguments, you are the illiterate both educationally and spiritually lost sheep.

    • I’m talking of principles of faith, not actions.
      Then according to ur understanding of better, I can show u much better Jewish citizens, would u also now claim them to be going to paradise.
      U r truly illiterate as u don’t even know what makes a person Muslim, + u don’t even have an argument just rubbish like ur orgey imams
      If u wanna talk list me ur pillars of iman and I’ll list mine then we talk .

  29. AssalamuAlaikum Wa Rahmatullah

    May the peace and blessings of Allah Al-Kareem be upon you and your family now and always, dear sister

    May Allah bless your noble intention to visit a masjid and experience the community spirit that Islam should but unfortunately does not exude especially in today’s world where a smile and warm handshake goes a long way.

    It is also a testament to the Shia brothers and sisters, they on the whole really know how run a Masjid better than most Sunni sects who seem to be stuck in politics and tend to be country/sect-centric e.g Wahabbi Arab mosque, Gujurati Tableeghi mosque etc Simple necessities like cleanliness and tidyness have been forgotten.

    I would advise the sister that one visit to one Shia mosque does not represent the Shia Aqeedah (likewise for Sunnis), the sister should explore and understand the political and theological similarities and differences of Shias vs Sunnis, as pointed out, there are many similarities, infact Shias prayer is very similar to the Sunni Maliki school of Fiqh (hands by your sides, additional qunoots etc), of course the concept of using stones (from Karbala or elsewhere) was not practicd by the Prophet SAW or his Sahaba. It is important to note that Imam Ali (May Allah enoble his face) and Imam Hasan and Imam Hussain (May Allah be pleased with them both) are central and revered in their own way in Sunni Islam, but not just because of their blood relation to the Prophet SAW but because of their taqwa, piety and scrupulousness in the deen, the Sunni Sufis show the same love that Shia show to the Ahlul Bayt but of course elevate our Master Muhammad SAW above all creation, he is the seal of the Prophethood and Allah’s final messenger.

  30. My dear MQ,

    The pillars of Iman which is called Usool-e Deen (Principles of Religion) are five in number and are as follows:

    1- Towheed (oneness of Allah swt)
    2- Adl (justice of Allah swt)
    3- Naboowat (The Prophethood)
    4- Imamat (The successors of the Prophet)
    5- Qayamat (The day of judgement)

    Hope this will suffice the demand of your answer.

    • Dear Qaiser Naqvi and all,

      There u all go,
      Our pillars of Islam are :

      Shahadah – Declaration of faith
      Salah – Five compulsory daily prayers
      Zakah – Welfare contribution
      Sawm – Fasting during Ramadan
      Hajj – Pilgrimage to Makkah

      So if when we don’t even have similar pillars of Islam then how can we be the same religion ,
      I hope this answers all those arguing with me saying Sunni and Shia r all Muslims,
      So I don’t really know y everyone was judging me, now see whose a fool,

    • P.s. And our pillars of iman are :

      Belief in Allah
      Belief in the Angels
      Belief in the Prophets
      Belief in Divine Books
      Belief in the Day of Judgment
      Decree of Allah or Fate

      So if when we don’t even have similar pillars of iman or Islam then how can we be the same religion ,
      I hope this answers all those arguing with me saying Sunni and Shia r all Muslims,
      So I don’t really know y everyone was judging me, now see whose a fool,

      • Bismillah ArRahman ArRaheem
        Salamalikum wa rahmatuAllah. Respected fellow human in faith, MQ:

        Please allow me to explain my fellow brother Qaiser Raza Naqvi’s post. First of all the pillars of faith are exactly the same for Muslims of the Shiah thought as said in many ahadith from our Holy Prophet (sawas) and our Imams(as). What Brother Qaiser is referring to is a concept that is used in Shiah Islamic school of thought, which separates the Usool (roots or belifs) from the Forooh (the branches or practices). The Usool (roots) are:
        1. Tawhid (shadah) 2. within tawhid we emphasize the Adalat of Allah(swt) as one of His very important attributes. 3. Nabuwah (Prophethood, also part of Shadaha) 4. Imamah (this is a post nabowat extension because through the ahadith of our Prophet Mohammad (sawaws) it is very clear that he commanded us to follow his ahlul bayt in matters of deen after him).
        5. Qamiyat – Day of Judgement
        Besides these beliefs in Angles, Divine Books, and everything else that is mentioned in the Quran AlKareem is also part of our faith.

        Then there are the Furooh (branches), which are the practices and they are as follows:
        1. Salah 2. Sawm 3. Zakah 4. Khums 5. Hajj 6. Jihad 7. Amar bil Maroof(enjoining good) 8. Nahianil munkar (forbidding evil) 9. Tawallah (loving for the sake of Allah(swt)) 10. Tabarrah (disliking for the sake of Allah(swt)).
        Of course there are other things that are part of aqlaq like kindness, honesty, respect etc that are part of the Quran AlHakeem and the Sunnah of the Prophet(sawas) that we believe in and practice.

        What we are taught is that Islam is like a tree – when the roots are strong then the branches will flourish. So my respected fellow human in Iman, MQ, we are following the same Islam as taught to us by the Glorious Quran and our beloved Holy Prophet Mohammad Mustafa (sawas) and his Ahlul Bayt. Please everyone let us all follow the command of Allah(swt) in sura 3:103

        “And hold firmly to the rope of Allah all together and do not become divided. And remember the favor of Allah upon you – when you were enemies and He brought your hearts together and you became, by His favor, brothers. And you were on the edge of a pit of the Fire, and He saved you from it. Thus does Allah make clear to you His verses that you may be guided.”

        The Messenger of Allaah, sal-Allaahu `alayhi wa aalihi wa salaam said, “Whosoever believes in Allaah and the Last Day, then let him speak good or remain silent” [Al-Bukhari]​

        Abu Moosaa Al-Ash’aree (radyAllaahu ‘anhu) reported: “I said: ‘O Messenger of Allaah! Which of the Muslims is best?’ He sal-Allaahu `alayhi wa aalihi wa sallam responded: ‘He whose tongue and hand the Muslims are safe from.’” [Al-Bukhari]​

        May Allah(swt) give us all taqfeeq and taqwa. We have much to focus on ourselves and improve, InshaAllah

        Fi amanAllah – was salaam wa rahmah
        your humble sister in Islam

    • Let me ask u and others a question , so if someone doesn’t believe in ur number 4 imamat at all then would he still be a Muslim according to ur believes , and religion

  31. MashAllah! May Allah (swt) bless you and your family. Your so brave for doing it alone mashA! I myself have recently started to visit sunni masjids and pray there. I’ll be honest, it is intimidating sometimes, you have that natural fear of unfamiliarity, of what others might think or say. Alhumdulilah its always been a beautiful and peaceful experience like at any other masjid, and it feels great knowing that I’m making some effort even if it is a very small or personal one towards unity. I’ll never understand why we focus so much on the differences when we have so much similarities. Our communities need to have mutual events to promote unity between shia and sunni. inshAllah.

    This article made my day! :)

  32. Assalamu aleikum. Sister, just look at the name of this “mosque” masumeen? That means infallibles, an attribute they give to 12 so called holy imams astaghfirullah. And shias do indeed invoke Ali, Hussein, Fatima, Mahdi and so on, this is not even something they deny when doing taqiya. Hezbullah of lebanon even have Ya Hussein written on their headbands. Ask yourself why the imamah belief dont exist in the Quran?

    The differences between islam and shia are huge. Next time visit a huseiniyya and see the reality. If none of what you have heard about shias were true then there would not have been shias in the first place as shiaism stands for what you have heard. Who do you think made all those images of Ali and Hussein astaghfirullah? Just google imam ali or imam hussein and see the shirk.

    Here is a a good website written for Muslims who have not understood shiaism:

    http://www.sjiieten-ontmaskerd.nl/AhlelBayt.com/www.ahlelbayt.com/category/articles/ahlel-bayt.html

  33. As-salamu alaykum,

    It was interesting to read about your experience of attending a shia mosque, I’ve considered doing it myself to help me better understand what the shia believe.

    I think the intention of your actions was good; to help improve understanding and to foster better relationships between muslims.

    However, recent experience has taught me that while we have many similarities in our beliefs we also have some very significant differences which cannot be ignored.

    So, I commend the spirit with which you attended the mosque and, of course, we’re all muslims and should be respectful of each other but please don’t assume that we’re the same. Hold steadfastly onto your faith and do not deviate from the true path.

    ==============================

    “Say what is true although it may be bitter and displeasing to people”

    Prophet Muhammad (saw)

    • thank you. i understand there are differences in our beliefs which is why we are two different sects. my aim was to find the similarities and to clear up some misconceptions.

      • You’re welcome :)

        I would be interested in knowing more about the misconceptions you feel you cleared up?

        While reading your blog I think this is where you make reference to misconceptions:

        “None of the misinformation and rumours about them were true in my experience. They did not associate any partners with God, as some Sunnis accuse them of doing. They did not ask for help from Imam Hussein (AS) as the rumors state. The family of the Prophet pbuh is very dear to them, no doubt.”

        Where there any others you were looking to address?

      • my main aim was to find out if the shirk aspect was true or not because shirk is the biggest sin in Islam, and through my experience I saw that they were praying to Allah swt just like sunnis do, except that they have an extra focus on the lives and characters of the family of the Prophet pbuh.

    • Wa alikum Salaam Wayfarer, Good comment. I will admit that perhaps I would have said the exact same thing if I were replying to a (shiah) muslim going to a (sunni) muslim mosque. Interesting how we all (hundreds of faiths in the world) feel we are on the right path and everyone else is not….. I also wondered about all the differences within the sunni schools of thought? Is our faith not based on the fundamental belief in One Almighty God and the Prophets, with Mohammad Al-Mustafa (SAWAS) being the last prophet? And the Noble Quran our book of guidance along with the sunnah of the Prophet? If so then only Allah(swt) has the authority and the sole mastership to judge our deeds.

      InshaAllah, Wayfarer and everyone else who is reading this blog, please try to practice the good deeds that your faith prescribes to the best of your ability and leave the judgment to Allah(swt). Just look at the bloodshed in the Muslim world because of the self righteous attitude. Is this Islam my brothers and sisters? More than ever NOW there is a need to stop the self righteousness and exclusivism and taking Allah(swt) exclusive right of judgement into our hands – If you feel you are on the right path, that’s great – I do too! Just practice piety as stated in the Holy Quran and the Sunnah of our Holy Prophet and we will be just fine. Fi amanAllah!

  34. As-salamu alaykum,

    Firstly…Ramadan Mubarak, may everyone benefit from this blessed month.

    happygomuslim,

    I’m not sure that the matter of shirk can be addressed simply by attending the masjid and praying in congregation…my own research in recent times has only served to show me that there is a vast amount of discourse dealing with this and other matters and any accusations against anyone should not be made flippantly.

    It’s a minefield out there!

    Fizza,

    Thank you for your comments…I agree…many of us believe we’re on the right path however, some of us are seeking continual guidance and knowledge to endeavour to find the right path, in shaa Allah.

    I also agree that the faith of all of us is “based on the fundamental belief in One Almighty God and the Prophets, with Mohammad Al-Mustafa (SAWAS) being the last prophet? And the Noble Quran our book of guidance along with the sunnah of the Prophet?”.

    If this was the sole criteria then I’d say, alhamdullilah, we’re all on the right path however, our Prophet (saw) said there would be 73 sects and all would be in the hellfire except 1 which is why, unfortunately, so much discord exists.

    I absolutely agree with you that judgement rests with Allah swt and it’s not for us to make accusations against one another.

    The sentiment of your last paragraph is spot on…let’s focus on bettering ourselves and practice tolerance and encourage unity.

  35. Assalaam everyone and Ramadhan Kareem!! :D
    May Allaah bless all of you, strengthen your iimaan and shower you with peace, love, contentment and success in this world and the next.

    We might have different understandings, beliefs and practices, but are bound by the same shahadah :) if someone says they are Muslim then we will have husnu dzon (a good opinion) and take their word for it. Even if they are of the kuffaar, we must remain people of mercy, love and patience as was the way of our beloved Messenger (peace be upon him).

    Nothing is dividing the Muslims more than ourselves. In shaa Allaah let us be a strong ummah :)

    All my love,
    Muhammad Fawaz

  36. Don’t be a shiite,they only want you to be shiite,they worship ahlul bayt,we sunnis consider them to be apostates,they will lead you to the wrong path.

    • Salam brother Yusuf. Sadly, most of the suppositions of people on shia islam and shia muslims are out of the misinformation they get. I assure you. Secondly brother, I don’t know why you speak in the name of sunnis, when you, sadly, did takfir on them. As you know, the concensus of all Muslims (sunni, shia, sufi, etc.) is that each of these Islamic denominations are Muslims.

      Hajj (pilgrimage) is an example to that. Because only Muslims are allowed to perform it. And never in the history has any denomination been forbidden from performing it or forbade others from performing it. Only this can tell you that, followers of these schools consider each other to be Muslims. So, why would you say that shia Muslims are apostates as per sunni Muslims? No, they are not.

      And, inshaAllah, we be more careful with these things. Because, as you know, when we accuse people of something (i.e. polytheism, disbelief, etc.) and they don’t have those attributes, God forbid, it automatically applies to us. That is why we need to refrain from judging over what we heard and judging out of suppositions.

      Thanks. ma salam :)

  37. MashaAllah sister. May Allah bless you. It seems such a nice experience you had.

    It sounds like you made a nice attempt to understand your own brethren in faith. And it seems, with the blessings of God, this sincere step of yours helped you get rid of misinformation/disinformation to some extent. And I hope you carry on your journey of exploring the religion of Islam, and diving into spirituality (IRFAN) (by also and especially benefiting from other, i.e. shia, sufi schools of Islam).

    I have been like you in many ways. For instance, I also come from a sunni background, and like you I was filled with misinformation. And later I explored different islamic schools, and I have benefited from them for years. Now, in theology my beliefs are mostly like that of shia-imami, and in jurisprudence (fiqh) I adopted Jafari madhab, and in history, on certain topics the two major islamic schools disagree, it is possible on one topic I hold sunni version and on another the shia version. :)

    But, anyway, please never refrain from exploring islamic faiths. Continue with your journey. You don’t have to be a shia in order to explore shia islam, practice the religion with them, benefit from the spiritual sermons they deliver, etc. and vice versa. Even if we don’t totally agree with a denomination in all matters, we still can come together with out brethren and accompany each other on the journey towards perfection/God. At least, we will get rid of the misinformation.

    So, I admire you took the step, and inshaAllah, I pray that you carry on your journey. As you know, both sunni and shia sources mention that the Prophet advised purity and continuity of deeds rather than its abundance (at one breath). May you continue with your pure journey of exploring, understanding, building bridges and uniting Islamic beliefs. InshaAllah attent to the gatherings in that Masjid more. May Allah bless you.

    And, one last point, if I may, as an experinced person, I want to tell you that, when studying the shia, sufi, etc. islamic faiths, please do not place your whole focus on the few disagreements. Or else, it would take away your spirituality. Instead, you can focus, as you did, on the commonalities and especially on IRFANI (spiritual wayfaring/journeying) messages of these schools (rather than on their messages on the jurisprudence and history), and in the meantime, you can slowly discover them too. But the focus should be on spiritual wayfaring.

    And here, I had listed some articles on the subject:

    http://blacklight79.wordpress.com/2014/01/19/a-list-of-islamic-pdf-articles-on-spirituality/

    I hope you study them slowly yet steady. May Allah bless you and your family. ma salam

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