Interfaith Prayers for Peace

By Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Posted: 19 Sha'ban 1423, 26 October 2002

Q.) I'm a student currently attending a university in the US. A week ago, a Christian friend of mine invited me to attend a joint praying ceremony of different faiths in order to achieve world peace, specifically to avoid the war against Iraq. He told me this is an interfaith event. These people are trying to bring people of different faiths on one platform for peace, love, and harmony. He also mentioned that by doing so we will be able to get benefit from the wisdom of different faiths, and cultures, in order to pursue a better future.

My questions are as follows:

1. What is this interfaith movement?

2. As a Muslim, am I allowed to have joint prayers with people of other faiths in order to achieve world peace, or better future for mankind?

3. If suppose I'm not allowed to contribute in such activities, how should I explain the issue to my Christian friend? [Yaser]

A.) There are two aspects to the gathering; a) Political, b) Prayer

It is not permissible to join non-Muslims in a prayer. That should be totally avoided.

However, Muslims may seek the assistance of non-Muslims to display their disappointment and object to the state of US attacking Iraq.

And Allah Ta'ala Knows Best

Albalagh Note: The purpose of interfaith movement is to improve communications and understanding between people of different faith groups and to seek common grounds on social and political issues. However it must not mean sacrificing ones own religion for the new "interfaith" religion. Prayer is an integral part of a religion. To compromise this is to compromise the entire religion and then there is no faith left that can be called to the interfaith gathering. We must not get carried away in the interfaith zeal to the point that we abandon our faith.