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I asked a related question yesterday. (I'm not sure if it's a duplicate as the emphasis is quite different)

I'd like to pray Salat at the mosque tomorrow, as I think it is a great way to worship and pray to God, but I'm worried that doing so might signify a total acceptance of Islam's teachings and (more concerning) an implicit denial of Catholicism. What is the muslim perspective on this situation? Would it be a denial of my existing faith to participate in Salat?

In Catholicism we have the Eucharist, and if you participate in the Eucharist you are making a non-verbal statement that you agree with all the Church's teachings. Hence it would be inappropriate for a non-Catholic to join in. Is it similar with the Salat?

A related way of phrasing the question: I believe in all the Christian doctrines such as the incarnation and the trinity at the same time as believing in the oneness of God. Would it therefore be inappropriate for me to participate in Salat?

  • I can't wrap my head around how this question fits on islam.se - if you're a Catholic, you're probably interested in what Catholicism says regarding taking part in other religions' rituals, not in what those religions consider the religious effect of that? – G. Bach Feb 7 '17 at 0:48
  • I'm interested in both. If Catholicism says it's ok but Islam says it's not ok then I shouldn't disrespect muslims by participating. If Islam says it's ok but Catholicism says it's not ok I shouldn't compromise my beliefs by participating. If both say it's ok then it's no dramas, if neither say it's ok then I obviously have to sit it out – TheIronKnuckle Feb 7 '17 at 1:06
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    I don't know a reason why Islam would discourage this; in an Islamic state, you would probably legally be considered a Muslim once you do since the ritual prayer includes the declaration of faith. You would however also have to have conviction that the Islamic declaration of faith is true to be a Muslim in a doctrinal sense. That's a short answer, I expect someone will give a better and longer one. – G. Bach Feb 7 '17 at 1:18
  • @G.Bach Ah I didn't realise there were verbal prayers going on at the same time. Does this site give an accurate translation: islamicacademy.org/html/Learn_Now/English/salah_translation.htm ? I ask because I notice that the prayers on that page include the surah which says that Allah is unbegotten and hasn't begotten anyone, and I don't know if I'd be comfortable praying that – TheIronKnuckle Feb 7 '17 at 1:24
  • (Otherwise I fully get behind the majority of those prayers, I think they're great and could easily pray most of them myself with conviction) – TheIronKnuckle Feb 7 '17 at 1:25
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Practically, it's potentially problematic.

Whether or not it's permissible is answered here: Is the joining of a non-Muslim in a jama'a salat allowed? Yes, it is. However, this does not mean that people at the mosque will know this. As a Western convert, I don't appear Muslim (whatever that means), so I've been questioned twice about going to mosque, which was upsetting. You might end up experiencing this too.

If you perform prayer in a mosque, people will likely assume you're a Muslim, and therefore assume that you reject the trinity. They probably won't question you about your specific beliefs, but might ask if you're a Muslim, and ask about your conversion story.

In response to Does praying the Salat express agreement with all aspects of Islam? I don't think so: even Muslims don't agree with all aspects of Islam. Furthermore, people who go to mosque can have limited knowledge of Islam.

In response to Would it be a denial of my existing faith to participate in Salat? These are your personal-held beliefs, so only you can truly answer this. If you're comfortable praying in a mosque, and feel comfortable with people assuming your Muslim, then I would think not. But there may be aspects of Catholicism which prohibit praying in a mosque that I'm unaware of.

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    I am personally comfortable praying in a mosque and performing salat (I've done it before). However I looked up the prayers that are associated with it and I notice that one of them is sort of meant as a denial of the Trinity. Unfortunately I'll have to sit it out in the future for that reason. Bit of a bummer cause I was looking forward to doing it again! XD – TheIronKnuckle Feb 7 '17 at 3:24
  • "I don't think so: even Muslims don't agree with all aspects of Islam." Doctrinally, that makes many of them Non-Muslims. – G. Bach Feb 7 '17 at 9:51

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