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I have noted that the Shia Muslims use a stone called (Muhr) for saying prayers but the Sunni Muslims don't use that and also consider it something taboo.
Why such difference in style?

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2 Answers 2

I will be mentioning the view of the shia and sunni in his answer


Why don't sunnis pray on a stone made from clay ?

Sunni don't use a stone (Muhr) as the shia because there is no authentic hadith from the prophet (PBUH) which say we should only pray on a stone. On the contrary, Praying on Mud/Clay only contradicts the verses that claim Islam is not considered a difficult religion.

Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship,... [Quran 2/185]


He has chosen you and has not placed upon you in the religion any difficulty. [Quran 22/78]

Thus, Sunnis are allowed to pray on anything (mud, dust, stone, cloth, etc...). Not to mention it should be clean (don't pray on the bathroom floor).

First Hadith:

The Prophet (may peace be upon him) said: I have been conferred upon five (things) which were not granted to anyone before me (and these are): Every apostle wassent particularly to his own people, whereas I have been sent to all the red and the black the spoils of war have been made lawful for me, and these were never made lawful to anyone before me, and the earth has been made sacred and pure and mosque for me, so whenever the time of prayer comes for any one of you he should pray whenever he is, and I have been supported by awe (by which the enemy is overwhelmed) from the distance (which one takes) one month to cover and I have been granted intercession. [Sahih Muslim - sunnah.com]

Second Hadith:

Narrated Maimuna: (the wife of the Prophet) During my menses, I never prayed, but used to sit on the mat beside the mosque of Allah's Apostle. He used to offer the prayer on his sheet and in prostration some of his clothes used to touch me." [Sahih Bukhary - sunnah.com]

I should also mention that there are other narrations in Sunni books such as At-Tabri, kanz ul ammul and other books which mention the prophet used to order muslims to pray on Mud/Clay only. Sunnis don't acknowledge these narrations because these are either fabricated or really weak and because of the two authentic hadiths (quoted above) which contradict these narrations.

Why do sunnis consider it taboo ?

  • Sunnis consider it taboo because it contradicts the the Quran and the hadith as I mentioned earlier.

  • Sunnis don't like the idea that the clay used by shia is considered the best if it was from Kerbala. This promotes the idea that Kerbala is considered holier than Mecca or Madinah which is a really serious issue in the eyes of the sunnis.


Why do shia pray on a stone made from clay?

One of the conditions for the validity of prayers according to shia is to pray on clean and pure earth. One shia hadith attributed to an Imam specifically orders shia to pray on clay/mud only. Source of this hadith is found in the book Wasa’il al-Shi’ah, Volume 3 page 592

Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq said: "Prostration is not permitted except on the earth and whatever grows from it except on those things that are eaten or on cotton.” When he (Imam Ja’far as Sadiq a.s) was asked whether having one’s turban touch the earth instead of the forehead was acceptable, he replied that this was not sufficient unless the forehead actually touched the earth."

Shia also use sunnis hadith to prove that the prophet used to pray on mud such as this hadith in sahih bukhary - sunnah.com and this hadith in Sahih Bukhary - sunnah.com. T

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praying on hard surface is better then praying on soft ones? see this :islam.stackexchange.com/questions/7581/… –  Islam Mar 9 '13 at 20:06
This answer fails to answer the question: Why Shia Muslims use a stone for saying prayers but Sunni Muslims don't? and Why such difference in style?. And is an attempt to comment on another post. Please go through How to Answer. –  Bleeding Fingers Jan 14 '14 at 17:06

The only material we pray on is mud that is pure and clean. We don't pray on clay to "worship it", we pray on it because it is pure, and as all Muslims — Shi'a and Sunni — believe that one must be clean and in a clean environment to pray.

I once asked my Sunni friend: "Why do you Sunni people pray with your shoes on in the mosque? Isn't the mosque an untainted and a holy place? What if you get mud on shoes, can you still pray with them?" She replied with: "Yes we can pray with our shoes if there's mud on it because mud is 'tahr' so it doesn't really matter" I told her that "Us Shi'a Muslims pray on mud merely because its 'tahr' and Sunni Muslims object that and believe that we are worshiping them as idols"

The point is that us Shi'a Muslims pray on a 'turbah' (which comes from the word tarab that means mud) because it is tahr and pure. And the prophet used to pray on pure flat GROUND because in the prophet's time they did not have a sijadah as there was no technology back then to produce them.

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protected by Community Jul 1 '13 at 17:11

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