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Taqiyyah In This Case

Q:

Salam,

I am a university student.I feel hesitation in saying prayer among the sunni girls as i fear about them that after knowing that I am a shia Muslim they will isolate me in doing different study tasks and due to lack of knowledge they will raise questions about shia fiqh and I am not as much strong now to defend truth.And I donot want to discuss fiqh at the university.

I am the only shia Muslim in my department.What should I do with my prayers(dhuhar and asar) which come during university timings?

How can I overcome my fear?

Thanks.

A:

Bismillah

Salam alaikum 

We are all under the banner of Islam and Tawhid, we are all
part of one ummah, and therefore we should be united. The commonalities between Shi’a
and Sunni beliefs are much greater than our differences. Both Shi’as and Sunnis
should be reminded of this!

Generally, mainstream Sunnis are not so intolerant of
other sects, so if your friends are moderate in their thinking, you shouldn’t
be worried. You should not be ashamed of being a Shi’a and hide it, and there is no
reason why Shi’a and Sunnis can’t be friends and study together. As for your fear of
not being able to answer their questions, I can only suggest that you decline any
conversation on the matter, since it is common sense that we should not discuss
things we do not have knowledge of. There is nothing wrong in telling them that you
do not wish to talk about these matters, simply because you do not want to talk about
it for your own reasons. However, since you have realised that your knowledge on this
issue is weak, I encourage you to do some reading and research on it, for your own
benefit, as well as for the guidance of other people. If you are to pray your salat in
the university, you cannot do taqiyyah based on the reasons you have expressed, as
taqiyyah is done when your life is in danger.You should pray as you normally do, and
do not worry of what others think,since they might not even care that you pray
slightly differently. You can try to pray a little bit late, after your friends have
prayed and left the prayer room. In the worst case, if your salat would not become
qadhaa by the time you get home, then you may delay your prayers until you get home.
However, this is not recommended and you should do this only if you really think you
can’t pray in uni. Furthermore, it might also give a negative impression of you and
your faith when your friends notice that you do not pray on time. So this really is a
very last option. Do not abandon your waajibaat at any cost, and know that this in
itself is a test from Allah for you. If you were not able to handle it, He would not
have put you in this situation, as He has clearly expressed this in the Quran. Ask
Allah for help and strength to pass this test. Putting your affairs in His hands
and trusting Him will help you overcome your fear. The situation you are in
should also be a motivation for you to research your own beliefs, and become
steadfast in them. This will also help you in overcoming your fear. 

May Allah give you tawfeeq, 

Wassalam
Yassir R.

Al ‘hamdu lillah alhaadi