This post in response to Ali Eteraz’ post about worshiping in another house of worship. I would like to start off by saying that I do not consider Shiism to be a different religion than mine.
So I went to a Shia mosque because simply my Shia friend died (May Allah grant her Jannah) and that’s where the memorial was, and we we had to pray Maghrib/Isha. I’m still not sure how that works, I think they pray them together.
So, in reality I expected everything I encountered there. I have come of age and I know many things about Shias. As a kid I was clueless. To pray, the women put on these white amira type scarves, kind of like those 1 piece really long prayer garments that go over the head? The scarf part covers all the way up to the chin and the scarf stops right under the lips, kind of like Shafi3i style hijab. What was really interesting to me was that even if the particular woman was wearing a full black abaya and stuff she still put on the white over-cover. Beautiful.
They pray with their hands to the sides, so do I sometimes. (Maliki school of law) I didn’t grow up praying with my hands to the sides but I was used to the idea since my family is Maliki. Some Malikis pray that way and some don’t. I digress.
When I prayed Maghrib alone, I left my hands to my sides, ( I didn’t know we were going to pray Maghrib later on as well.)
But when we prayed in jam3a (congregation), I put my hands to my chest. I don’t know why. Was I having an identity crisis?
There was the adhan, it’s the same with the Ali waliuAllah part added.
So in the place where we did sujood, they put a long velvet rectangular carpet thingie in front of us with pictures of the kaba on each place where your forehead was supposed to go. Then there were optional rocks to use for your forehead. I didn’t use mine. Frankly because I didn’t notice it was there until after we prayed.
Then there was the prayer. The most interesting thing about the jam3a was the fact that the Imam says EVERYTHING out loud.
Like when you go into sujood, he says the adhkar out loud in the microphone, he says the adhkar in sujood on the mic as well. The tashahud. I had to say my own tashahud prayer though because I was getting really confused.
And he says a dua after salam. And it seems they make salam in congregation but not alone?
But the experience overall was beautiful. What can I say? I loved hearing the adhkar during rukoo3 and sujood. When I heard the shahada, it pierced me. The shahada is our uniting factor. We share the most important thing.
And I also want to comment on the community. MashaAllah. What a community. None of the petty racism that goes in Sunni mosques. These people truly fit exactly what I see as a Muslim in regards to their character and teh nur emanating from their faces. And no doubt they knew that our group was all Sunni and you would think they were our long lost sisters and brothers! And there was no petty dawah gimmicks or anything. If a big group of Shias came to our mosques would we be like that? I doubt it.
I hope I don’t sound too much like an Orientalist. There you have it.