Recently I spotted a news article in the Express which was discussing how Muslims were no longer able to pray in their prayer hall in London’s City University as it had been closed due to an incident were four students were attacked outside the building.
The reason this made the news was that the Muslims had resorted to praying out in the street, and had rejected the use of a multi faith prayer room because the so called ‘Muslim clerics’ said that they could not worship in a room where other religions also prayed.
The clerics who say that Muslims cannot pray where followers of other religions have prayed are wrong.
The only places where Muslims cannot pray are those places which have idols or pictures in the direction of Makkah so that when kneeling or prostrating Muslim will be doing so to these things.
The actions of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and Hazrat Umar (rd), the second successor to the Holy Prophet contradict these clerics.
When Christians from Najran came to debate with the Holy Prophet about his claim to prophethood, he allowed them to pray in the mosque. This mosque, called the Prophet’s Mosque, is the second holiest place in Islam. After the Christians left without embracing Islam the Holy Prophet and his companions continued to pray in the Prophet’s Mosque and continue to pray in that mosque to this day.
When Hazrat Umar visited Jerusalem, after it had been conquered by Muslims, he was invited by the Bishop of the city to pray in the Cathedral there.
However, Hazrat Umar refused.
He explained that if he prayed in the church the generations of Muslims who follow may try and convert the church into a mosque because Umar had prayed there. He did not say that Muslims are not allowed to pray where followers of other religions do.
In fact, the Holy Quran says that the whole earth is a mosque. Thus Muslims can pray anywhere as long as they face Makkah and there are no objects placed in the direction of Makkah.
The Express article claimed that hundreds of Muslims were now praying every Friday out on the street, it is sad to see that so many have blindly followed these clerics without questioning whether they are correct.
I hope this article goes a little way in correcting these untrue declarations by these clerics.