I live in one of the cities of England and I go to a mosque near my workplace to perform the noon and evening prayers as necessary. Unfortunately, there are very fanatic Sunni brothers in this mosque who have a problem with the way of praying of a Twelver Shia that is performed with hands by the side and using Turbah, and that is why they have confronted me by far. My question is, if there is a possibility of a severe confrontation even at the level of getting beaten and injued, can I pray with hands clasped and without a Turbah as an act of Taqiyyah?
According to a more correct view, placing the right hand on the left hand in prayer is not Sunnah; because most of the narrations that describe the prayer of the Messenger of God peace be upon him and his household have not mentioned such act, rather it is not mentioned in any correct narration and the narrations about it are weak, Mursal or Mauquf, and this is the opinion of the Ahl al-Bayt of the Messenger of God peace be upon him and his household and the opinion of Abdullah Ibn Zubayr, Saeed Ibn Musayyib, Saeed Ibn Jubayr, Atta, Ibn Jarij, Ibrahim Nakhai, Hassan Basri, Malik Ibn Anas, Laith Ibn Saad, Muhammad Ibn Sirin and some other people of Tabi’un and jurists and therefore, those who harass you because of praying with hands on the side, in fact, harass all this group of the Salaf; especially considering that placing the right hand on the left hand in prayer is not obligatory in any of the Islamic sects, and whoever prays without doing this, his prayer is correct according to all Islamic sects. Just as there is no disagreement among them that performing Sujud on soil and pebbles is Sunnah and therefore, there is nothing wrong with performing Sujud on the cooked mud that the Shias make from the soil and call it “Turbah”, although the best place to perform Sujud is soil and pebbles that exist at the place of prayer; because it is more in line with the Sunnah of the Messenger of God peace be upon him and his household.
It is hereby understood that those who harass you are not in fact “Sunnis”; because not only they are not familiar with the Sunnah of the Messenger of God peace be upon him and his household, but also they are not familiar with the sects of their Imams such as Abu Hanifa, Malik, Shafei and Ibn Hanbal.
However, if it is possible for you to inform them or their Imam in the mosque of the above points, it is obligatory for you to do so from the aspect of enjoining the good and forbidding the evil, so that they become free from ignorance and not disturb you anymore, but if it is not possible for you or there is a significant danger in doing so, you can pray among them with your hands clasped and perform Sujud on the dust that is usually sitting on the carpets; because praying with your hands clasped is not forbidden and is not considered nullifier of the prayer, and performing Sujud on the carpets to the credit of the dust that sits on them is enough and in any case, it is better to perform the prayer with them; because prayer with the congregation helps composing the hearts of Muslims and reduces their suspicion of each other, and God is aware of everything in the hearts.
Thank you for your time and effort to answer the questions and doubts carefully. I had a question and I would be grateful if you could give me an answer:
In response to one of the questions about the permission of Taqiyyah in prayer while performing it in the presence of the Sunni brothers, you said that if there is a danger possibility, the prayer can be performed with hands clasped and on the carpet without a Turbah. The question is, what is the limit of Taqiyyah? Because for a coward, entering a Sunni mosque means danger, and for a brave person, even minor beating and injury may not cause Taqiyyah. Should there be a previous history of confrontation and conflict so that it can be customarily said that there is a possibility of danger, or only a sense of danger can be the criterion?
The criterion for the law of Taqiyyah is not “personal fear”, but is “typical fear” and refers to the fear that exists for the type of intellectual people, such as the fear of murder or injury or being beaten without the existence of a more important religious interest. Therefore, a Muslim who, given the available clues and evidences, has a reasonable probability that he will be killed or wounded or injured if he prays with hands on the side and performs Sujud on the ground without gaining the benefit of a more important religious interest such as teaching and promoting the Sunnah, then he is obliged to pray with hands clasped and performs prayer without Sujud on the soil, even if he is not personally afraid of being killed, wounded or beaten; as God has said: ﴿وَلَا تُلْقُوا بِأَيْدِيكُمْ إِلَى التَّهْلُكَةِ﴾; “And do not throw yourselves with your own hands into destruction”, but even if he does not guess such a possibility -if he has no hope of obtaining a more important religious interest such as teaching and promoting the Sunnah- he can pray with hands clasped and without Sujud on the soil to coordinate with the people of the mosque in a legitimate work; because it is not religiously forbidden to pray in this way and therefore, a Muslim who does so with good motives, such as composing the hearts of Muslims, is not considered a sinner; as God has said: ﴿مَا عَلَى الْمُحْسِنِينَ مِنْ سَبِيلٍ ۚ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ﴾; “There is not upon the doers of good any cause (for blame) and God is All-Forgiving the Most Merciful”.