Generally speaking, we’d like to draw your attention to the fact that Shi`a and Sunnis are Muslims. All Muslims should be alert against the schemes and plots planned by the enemies of Islam. They are the ones that want us to disagree and fight each other. We should not give them this chance.

As for the importance of leading the Prayer, let’s reflect on the fact that the worshipers’ Imam in Prayer is the one who leads people in offering a very sacred pillar of Islam. Therefore, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) declared the qualifications of the Imam who should lead people in Prayer. Abu Mas`ud Al-Ansari reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “The person who can best read the Book of Allah will lead the people (in prayer). If they are equal in reading (the Qur’an), then the one who has more knowledge of the Sunnah. If they are equal in the knowledge of Sunnah, then the one who was first in making the Hijrah (from Makkah to Madinah). If they are equal in that then the one who is more senior (or older) in Islam. Let not a person lead the prayer in the place of the authority of another person and let him not sit in his house in his place of honor, except by his permission.” (Reported by Muslim)”. The Imam in Prayer is like a people’s representative, he is to be the most eligible person in doing such duty.

As for Prayer, it consists of pillars, conditions, movements… Once a worshiper meets these conditions and does these pillars, his Prayer will be valid. There is nothing wrong for a Sunni Muslim to pray behind a Shi`i as long as the Imam Prayer is correct and valid according to the teachings ofShari`ah, and vice versa.

In this regard, Professor Muhammad Ahmad Siraj, a professor of Islamic Studies at the American University, states: “Sunnis and Shi`ites are Muslims who pray to the same God. Both believe in the same Qur’an, have faith in the same message of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). A Sunni can pray with the Shi`a Muslims in their mosques… as it is high time for the Muslim Ummah to appreciate all the segments of this Ummah and to have common understanding and appreciation of the Islamic faith.

The Qur’an calls us to unite and cooperate and avoid causes of dissent. Allah Almighty says: ” And hold fast, all of you together, to the cable of Allah, and do not separate. And remember Allah’s favor unto you: how ye were enemies and He made friendship between your hearts so that ye became as brothers by His grace; and (how) ye were upon the brink of an abyss of fire, and He did save you from it. Thus Allah maketh clear His revelations unto you, that haply ye may be guided.” (Al `Imran: 103)”

May Allah guide you to the straight path and guide you to that which pleases Him, Amen.