Difference Between Shia and Sunni Namaz

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    Shia vs Sunni Namaz

    Sunni and Shia Namaz or salat differ from each other on the basis of actions and words involved. Sunni Muslims follow various interpretations by different schools of laws whereas Shia Muslims follow different legal traditions. Sunni Muslims follow Hanbli, Hanfi, Malikii and Shafi schools of thought whereas Shia Muslims follow Jaafri Madhhab.

    Shia Muslims pray three times a day as they join two salats such as Maghrib and Isha salat together whereas Sunni Muslims pray five times a day. The two salats combined by Shia Mulsims are called the Maghrebain. Shia Muslims use a plank of wood or a hard tablet made of clay from karbala to rest their heads during prostration whereas Sunni Muslims touch their heads directly to the floor.

    The other differences between Shia and Sunni salat include the position of their hands. Sunni Muslims fold their arms whereas Shia Muslims do not find it valid to fold arms during salat. There are also differences in the Athan or prayer call such as Sunni Muslims add ‘AL-SALATU KHAYRUN MINA NAWM’ in the Fajar Athan whereas Shia Muslims add ‘HAYYA ALA KHAYR AL-‘AMAL.’ It is a must or Wajib for Shia to say ‘Khayr al amaal’ whereas Sunni Muslims do not consider it a must since it was stopped at the order of caliph Omar. Shia and Sunni Muslims both regard Athan as a Sunah, near Wajib or it is a must.

    ‘Nawm’ is a must for Sunni Athan but Shia Muslims do not say it because it was not said at the time of Prophet Muhammad and Omar. The caliph introduced it during his times. Some of the other differences between Shia and Sunni namaz are the use of word Amen. Amen is a Hebrew word and Shia scholars do not consider it Wajib whereas Sunni Muslims say amen after Surah Fatiha during namaz. Amen is a compulsory word to say after Surah Fatiha for Sunni Muslims. Shia Muslims read complete Surah or verses of Quran after Surah Fatiha whereas Sunni Muslims are not bound to read the whole Surah. They may read only a few verses or just one verse from any where in the Quran after Surah Fatiha.

    There are also many other minor differences between the Shia and Sunni namaz as mentioned above. Sunni Muslims point their fingers or rotate these in circles during namaz whereas Shia Muslims do not and then Shia sit comfortably on the folded feet whereas Sunni sit on twisted foot and so on.

    Summary:

    1. Shia Muslims pray three times a day and combine Maghrib and Isha salat whereas Sunni Muslims pray five times a day.

    2. Sunni Muslims fold their arms whereas Shia Muslims do not fold their arms during namaz.

    3. Shia Muslims add ‘Khayr al amaal’ whereas Sunni Muslims add ‘Nawm.’

    4. Sunni Muslims touch their heads to the ground whereas Shia Muslims use a wooden block or tablet of clay to rest their heads during prostration.

    5. Shia Muslim scholars prohibit the use of word Amen during the namaz whereas Sunni Muslims consider it as a must.

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