Some of you who are in the same Facebook group as I am will know why I even brought up this topic with my husband. I don't randomly bring things up like this but a topic came up in that group and it made me a bit upset. Took a bunch of self-control to stay out of the discussion (for the most part) but I had to share with my husband - I talk to him about anything even things I should shut up about.
Monday, August 22, 2011
Someone in that group usually visited a certain Sunni mosque until they started charging 5$ to park! She and her husband decided not to attend there (what the heck is with forcing worshipers to pay to go to the mosque?!) and had been going to a Shia mosque nearby a few times. She was asking if it was ok.
The discussion quickly turned ugly but I won't go into detail about the group.
I was a bit upset about how the discussion went on the board so I decided to discuss it with my husband. Sort of to vent a little my frustrations, I guess. Not always a good idea because my husband is "traditional" in his beliefs... And he's not good at expressing himself either.
So, the discussion with my husband ALSO quickly turned ugly in a very similar way. He threw in a bunch of stereotypes about Shias that I found offensive even if I'm not Shia (I don't consider myself Sunni either though btw) and basically, based on all sorts of ignorance and exaggerated because of his difficulties in expressing himself clearly, he said he wouldn't pray with them and it was close to coming down to them barely being Muslim ("but still better than non-Muslims"). I was kind of appalled.
After calming down and clarifying things, we figured out that he actually would not mind praying with Shia in a Sunni mosque if they were to come - he'd feel perfectly comfortable welcoming them. So it wasn't a problem of not feeling like it was OK to pray with Shias in and of itself. Simply, my husband would not feel comfortable going to a Shia mosque because he knows there are differences between what he follows and the Shia and he doesn't know what the differences are exactly and wouldn't want to be confused or led towards something that contradicts the belief system he has accepted.
He went on to clarify that he doesn't have anything against going into a Shia mosque with a group of Sunnis and so he accepts their mosque as a place of worship. And he said that he didn't know how they prayed but that if it was the same as Sunnis, for just a prayer (without the khutbah, which he'd rather not stay for because of the possible differences) it would be OK to pray with them.
In the end, it was a bit of an "afraid of the unknown" type of situation.
I don't know much about Shias myself, but I think I helped clarify things (like not most of them thing that Ali "stole" the prophecy from Muhammad, a stereotype that left a really negative impression). And hopefully I made him a little bit more aware that what he started off saying was really close to judging and putting himself in the place of Allah, something I know he doesn't want to do in any sort of way.
What I learned from that was that I need to calm down sometimes! We were in Walmart when we started to talk about this and within a few minutes, I was storming off away from him in the store, ready to just grab the stuff I needed and get the heck home! He's taking Ramadan and the spirit of the month seriously and it allowed both of us to learn a little something. :) Alhamdulilah.