Difference Between Shia and Sunni Namaz
Although all Muslims follow one scripture, the holy Quran, they are still divided into different sects and have different beliefs. Islam has given more importance to a few core practices as compared to other recommended ones.
One of these practices is offering ‘Salah’, which is the Arabic word for prayer. All Muslims are aware of its importance, but they don’t agree upon the method of offering prayer, so they follow some different techniques.
There are a lot of sects, but the two major ones are Shia and Sunni. Amongst so many other differences, followers of these two sects have different methods, when it comes to offering prayers. Despite these differences, they can offer prayers under the same roof or in the same mosque.
The Sunni Muslims pray five times in a day, starting from Fajar in the morning, Duhar in the afternoon, Asar and Maghrib in the evening whereas Isha in the night. However, the Shia Muslims don’t follow the same pattern. They do offer all these prayers, but often say the last two back-to-back rather than offering them separately.
While offering Salah, the two sects follow different positions and postures. The Sunni Muslims fold their hands together when standing in prayer, whereas the Shias don’t follow this pattern. They opt to keep their hands unfolded at all the times during the Namaz.
Another difference between the Shia and Sunni Muslims is the position of their heads while offering prayers. The latter of the two opt to touch their foreheads on the ground in different times during Salah. According to their belief, Namaz is incomplete without touching the foreheads on the ground.
However, the Shias think differently in this matter. They do perform the sajda, but they prefer a wooden block or a clay tablet from Karbala to rest their foreheads on.
Furthermore, another difference is the positioning of the feet during salat, while the Shias fold both their feed behind them in the sitting position, Sunnis often bend the right foot and rest it on the toes.
The Sunni Namaz is offered five times a day. The Muslims performing this salah need to fold their hands while standing and they touch their forehead on the ground during prostration.
Shias also offer five prayers but they have different timings, and often say back-to-back salats. Furthermore, they don't fold their hands while standing and prefer to rest their foreheads on a wooden block during prostration.
Image Courtesy: shafaqna.com