Performing Congregational Prayer behind Sunnīs
Q 595: Is it permissible to perform one’s prayer behind a Sunnī imam?
A: It is permissible to perform one’s prayer in congregation behind them for the sake of maintaining Muslim’s unity.
Q 596: I work in an area which is predominately Kurdish. Most Friday and congregational prayer leaders in this area are Sunnī. What is the rule with respect to performing prayers in congregation behind them? Is one permitted to backbite?
A: There is no problem in attending the prayer with them in their Friday and congregational prayer to maintain the unity. As far as backbiting is concerned, one should refrain from it.
Q 597: I associate with Sunnī people and perform the daily prayers with them. On certain occasions I practice according to them, e.g. cross my hand, not observing times of praying and do prostration on carpet.
A: If maintaining the Muslims’ unity demands of you to perform the prayer in that manner including prostration on a carpet and the like, then it is correct and valid. But it is not permissible to cross one’s hands during prayer unless a necessity requires such an action.
Q 598: In Mecca and Medina, we perform prayers in congregation with the Sunnī brethren relying on the verdict of Imam Khomeini (q.). On certain occasions to acquire the reward of performing prayer in a masjid, we perform our afternoon and ‘ishā’ prayers after noon and maghrib prayer in Sunnī masjids while doing prostration on the prayer mats. What is the ruling for such a prayer?
A: In the given case, one should prostrate on a thing on which it is correct to prostrate unless it contradicts the duty of dissimulation.
Q 599: Can we the Shī‘ahs attend the Sunnī’s congregational prayer in other countries when they perform their prayers with their hands crossed? Would it be necessary for us to follow them in keeping our hands crossed or should we perform our prayers with our hands released?
A: It is permissible to perform one’s prayers with Sunnīs when it is required for maintaining Muslim unity and it will be considered correct and valid but it is not obligatory to cross one’s hands, rather it is not permitted unless a necessary requires it.
Q 600: While praying in Sunnī congregational prayer every participant places his little toes close to those of the next persons, they consider it necessary to do so. What is its ruling?
A: This is not obligatory. It does not invalidate one’s prayer either.
Q 601: The Sunnī brethren do their maghrib prayer prior to maghrib adhān. Is it correct during the occasion of Hajj or on other occasions to perform our prayer with them and consider that prayer sufficient?
A: It is not certain whether they actually do their prayer prior to its time. However, if the person is not certain that it is time for prayer then it is not correct for them to join it. However, if they intend to maintain Muslims’ unity, then they would be permitted to join in the prayer at that time and the prayer would be sufficient and there is no problem in it.
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