Inshallah, I will go to Iran again in May. I intend to pray in the mosques there and I would like to fit in better with my (presumably mostly Shia) sisters when doing so.

Question: How can a new Muslim fit in when praying in a mosque in Iran?

I'm seeking beginner-level ("do this and you'll be fine") instructions for being able to pray in Iranian mosques without complications. I want to stay away from the Shia-Sunni politics.

I learned to pray Hanafi, Sunni style, although it's now a hodge-podge of different styles. I have no strong preference just as long as I pray to Allah. I only started praying less than a year ago, and my prayer is imperfect, but I've been improving over time.

I prayed once before in a mosque in Iran (my first time ever in a mosque; my only time in Iran), and the lady next to me just said "copy me", so I did.

From what I understand, the differences I need to know about are:

These two items are possibly enough to be able to fit in, but I'm unsure if I'm missing something. I'm not going to be capable of reciting Arabic, other than al Fatiha (and al Humazah now) and the tashahhud.

Part of the motivation behind this question is recently being "corrected" for praying Hanafi style in a Tunis mosque, which I believe predominately follows the Maliki madhhab. I know she meant well, but it's something I'd rather avoid happening again. I want to just fit in and worship Allah without such issues arising.

  • 1
    That would be more than enough. Just bare in mind whatever you do, you will draw attention as a convert/foreigner (people would want to reach out to you)...whatever you do you may have mistakes in the way you follow or that it just might not match the person who's next to you. Folks who haven't been in contact with converts won't know about all the trouble you are going through...you have to be very patient w/ them. As for the stone: I'm sure you've read the answers there...you just put your head onto it and worship Allah on something clean, knowing you're from dust and will be dust again :D
    – Thaqalain
    Apr 20, 2017 at 10:43
  • Usually nobody would "correct" you unless you've done something completly weird or for example put the left hand on the right hand, unless it is a salafi... but people may ask why you've done something in a specific manner. That's at least my observation. And people in tunisia should be to some extent familiar with the hanafi and ibadi madhab and malikis also pray with their hands by their sides.
    – Medi1Saif
    Apr 20, 2017 at 11:03
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    @Medi1Saif The social pressure might differ when you pray in groups of either men or women, so that might be a variable. In my experience, some woman family members I know who live in morocco have a tendency to comment on how other women pray in the mosque. Why this is the case could be explained in a social behavior context and might differ from place to place (or group). So with this, I do think women have more pressure when praying in mosques. Rebecca could correct me if I am wrong though.
    – Kilise
    Apr 21, 2017 at 12:30
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    @Honey: I succeeded at the local mosque. (Still have to navigate jumuah though.) May 10, 2017 at 16:38


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