The white Islamic convert rolled out his prayer mat in the aisle and knelt on the floor facing Mecca. Passengers watched in amazement as he held out his palms towards the sky, bowed his head and began to chant.
One, who filmed the man on his mobile phone, said: “He was clearly praying and chanting in Arabic.
“We thought it was a wind-up at first, like Jeremy Beadle.”
The 21-year-old plumber added: “He looked English and had a London accent. He looked like a Muslim convert, with a big, bushy beard.
“Eventually everyone started complaining. One woman said, ‘What the hell are you doing? I’m going to be late for work’.”
After a few minutes the driver calmly got up, opened the doors and asked everyone back on board.
But they saw a rucksack lying on the floor of the red single-decker and feared he might be a fanatic. So they all refused.
The passenger added: “One chap said, ‘I’m not getting on there now’.
“An elderly couple also looked really confused and worried.
“After seeing that no-one wanted to get on he drove off and we all waited until the next bus came about 20 minutes later. I was left totally stunned. It made me not want to get on a bus again.”
The bizarre event unfolded on the number 81 in Langley, Berkshire, at around 1.30pm on Thursday.
The passenger said he rang the bus firm to complain but claimed it did not believe him.
He said: “They asked me, ‘Are you sure?’. Then they said they would get back to me, but they weren’t taking me seriously at all.”
Yesterday the driver, who said his name was Hrun, told The Sun: “I asked everyone to get off because I needed to pray. I was running late and had not had time.
“I pray five times a day as a Muslim — but I don’t normally ask people to get off the bus to do it.”
Muslims pray at pre-dawn, noon, afternoon, sunset and evening.
A spokesperson for bus company London United said: “We are aware of a reported incident involving our route 81.
“We are currently undertaking a full investigation into the matter.”