Is It Valid to Pray behind Groups We Disagree With?

Shafi'i Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Farid Dingle

Question

Is it valid to pray behind groups we disagree with?

Short Answer

Praying behind groups we disagree with is perfectly valid. [al-Muqaddima al-Hadramiyya, BaFadl]

Fuller Answer

In the name of Allah, Most Merciful, Most Compassionate

Validity of Praying Behind a Salafi

Praying behind groups, we disagree with is perfectly valid. [al-Muqaddima al-Hadramiyya, BaFadl]

Many modern scholars have mentioned this. Please see:
Praying behind a Wahhabi – Shaykh Nuh’s answer? 

Unity

While we must uphold what is sound and accurate and not water down or forget valid and sound Sunni Islam, we must also not get fooled by the Devil into weakening our already weak Muslim communities even more.

Allah Most High says, “And obey Allah and His Messenger, and do not argue between yourselves [in the slightest] lest you be disheartened, and your vigor go away; and (endure) patiently; surely Allah is with the patient.” [Quran, 8:46]

And He says, “Say: O People of the Book, come to a word common between us and you, that we worship none but God, and associate none as partner with Him, and that none of us take others for lords, apart from God.” [Quran, 3:64]

If we are commanded to come to a common word with Jews and Christians, then how should it be with other Muslims?

We must know our tradition correctly and be willing to defend it. But that doesn’t mean separating the Muslim community.

The Sahaba themselves used to pray behind the Kharijites. They understood the importance of unity.

Ibn Umar (Allah be well pleased with him) used to say, “Whoever invites me to prayer [hayya ala al-salah], I’ll pray with him. Whoever invites me to success [hayya ala al-falah], I’ll pray with him. But whoever invites me to kill my Muslim brother, I’ll tell him no!” [Bayhaqi, Al-Sunan al-Kubra]

Conclusion

Praying behind groups, we disagree with is perfectly valid. Standing by one’s tradition is one thing, but causing unnecessary division between Muslims is another.

I pray this helps.

[Shaykh] Farid Dingle
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies, he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years he has developed a masterful ability to craft lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic language.