Wa `alaykum As-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
In this fatwa:
Islam encourages us to establish good relations with people from other faiths and kindly interact with them. In the Quran, Almighty Allah urges us to be good with all peoples. Many hadiths recommend us to be good to non-Muslims and to have very good relations with them. A very clear example of this is the permission for Muslims to pray in a church or a synagogue.
In his response to your question, Dr. Muhammad Abu Laylah , Professor of Islamic studies and comparative religions, Al-Azhar University , states:
Yes, the Muslim can use a common room allocated for worship for all religious communities. Some Companions of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessing be upon him) prayed in churches and the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) allowed Najran delegation to pray in his mosque.
Here, we should remember the hadith of the Prophet: “The earth has been made for me [and for my Ummah] as a masjid[Arabic for: place for worship] and a pureness [Arabic for: place for tayammum (dry ablution)]. Therefore, any one of my Ummah can pray whenever the time of Prayer is due” (Al-Bukhari)
However, if there are icons or statues for people of other faiths, you are better advised to avoid facing them while offering Prayer.
Almighty Allah knows best.
Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.