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The role and function of the mosque
in a Muslim community
A mosque is generally a very symbolic place for a Muslim, being a humble way for Muslims to recreate pure divine presence on earth. The primary purpose of the mosque is to serve as a place where Muslims can come together for prayer. Nevertheless, mosques are known around the world nowadays for their Islamic architecture but most importantly for its general vitality to the Muslim Ummah (community).
A mosque brings the community together as it acts as many things, a social centre, a community centre and an educational centre etc as it has many events which welcome both old and new members of the mosque. In addition to holding the five obligatory daily prayers, mosques hold jumu?ah prayers, or Friday prayers, which replace the midday prayer as the second required prayer on Fridays. It is required for all men to attend mosque on Friday for Jumu?ah. The sermons often have a strong practical slant, trying to integrate and apply Islamic beliefs and historical teachings into contemporary daily life. In many Islamic societies, jumu'ah often has a significant community or even political role. I believe sermons are significant in bringing the community together as the congregation is standing side by side in a line, facing Mecca, together, all united in their faith and worship of Allah
There are study centres for new comers of the faith to come and learn about the Islamic faith, about the teachings of the Qur?an, learn how to read it and pronounce . These are often take place on weekends or in the evenings. Some mosques provide full time schools if you depend on the mosque to provide a full time Islamic education. Few but some mosques have Madrassah?s Arabic classes, classes on the Shariah, the hadith, the Sunnah, Tafsir(Qur?anic interpretation) and Muslim history. This will expand ones knowledge of Islam and will also draw them closer to their faith. Mostly children attend this study centre however all are welcome who care to learn.. Which can deepen the faith as it can expand ones understanding of Islam. Nearly all mosques provide libraries which offer a variety of books on Islam which will expand knowledge on Islamic teachings. Education is though of as very important in Islam and is very important to mosques too as it is often thought that the Minaret is shaped like a pen/pencil which is though of as representational of education.
There are classes for women available in some mosques which offer courses on cooking, sewing etc. This can be for both knowledge or pleasure but it also can help the woman socialise and communicate which she may not get much chance to do especially if she is married and has children.
Often some mosque host charitable events and dinners to not only raise money for charity but to bring the community together and make them apart of it.
Most mosques sometimes host bazaars where community members can shop for Islamic merchandise are common among mosques.
Since mosques form the centre of Muslim communities, they are where Muslims go to both give Zakat and, if necessary, collect Zakat. Prior to the holiday of Eid ul-Fitr, mosques also collect a special Zakat that is supposed to assist in helping poor Muslims attend the prayers and celebrations associated with the holiday
During the month of Ramadan, Muslims are encouraged to attend mosque as it can be a very trying time for people and it is a time where u can rely on fellow Muslim?s who are too fasting. Mosques will often invite poorer members of the Muslim community to share in beginning and breaking the fasts as providing charity during Ramadan in Islam is seen as especially honourable.
Many marriage services take place in mosques however
Even though mosques are obviously places of worship, the majority of them in the UK have not yet been officially registered as such, and so any Islamic wedding that merely takes place at a mosque has to be registered legally with the UK law as well, in order to be seen as valid in the UK.
Counselling is available in Mosques which offer support during family /relationship problems and anything else which may be bothering someone. The counselling may be done by the imam who will listen effectively to what your saying to define your goals with respect to your values and culture Facilitates your untangling of thoughts, feelings and worries about a situation Helps you gain your own insight into how you act, think and feel, shows and helps you express your emotions in your own way shows and helps you work out your own solutions to problems , shows and helps you accept what cannot be changed , shows, helps and supports you and your relationship while you do all this Helps you become empowered to act in ways that are in your best interest .
Mosques may also help you with legal problems such as visa problems as such. They are also very welcoming of travellers and welcomes them as part of the community offering them food, clothing ,a place to stay.
Birmingham Central Mosque offers all of these facilities, events and ceremonies. It provides education for children and adults, lectures and seminars, counselling and a marriage bureau along with sporting and recreational activities and workshops. Over the years, Muslims have used the mosque for events, meetings, lectures, studies and community and educational purposes. It is one of the largest Muslim?s centres in Europe and receives 20,00 visitors a week.
I believe that a mosque is absolutely vital in the Muslim community as it is the one place where Muslim brothers and sisters stand together side by side, equal.
Mosques built more recently, especially in countries where Muslims are not the majority, tend to be away from the centre of major cities. Nevertheless, even a mosque in a less densely populated area often influences Muslims to relocate their homes and businesses so they are close to the mosque. Thus, mosques form the focal points of Muslim communities, even if they do not form the centre of the entire community as a whole. In the United States, the growth in the number of mosques and congregants in suburbs is much greater than that in densely urban areas.
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"Islam the Role and Function of the Mosque in a Muslim Community." 123HelpMe.com. 21 Oct 2014