Driving along the highway, all eyes are drawn as a magnet to the unique building with its golden dome and unusual architecture. The Islamic Center is located at the base of a residential street in a small neighborhood. The center houses an Islamic school, a community center, an international school and the Mosque, which is the place of worship for Muslims.
There are many misconceptions regarding Islam and Muslims. In reality most Muslims are non-Arabs and most live outside the Middle East. There are five million Muslims in the United States. There are an estimated 10,000-15,000 Muslims in the area.
Passing through the wrought iron gate, my eyes rivet to the cluster of flags to the right, one to reflect each of the 49-predominately Muslim countries. The United States flag is not among these as America is predominately Christian with Muslim being the third largest religion. Because America is our country and we are American Muslims, the American flag flows freely in the wind in a spot all its own.
Next my gaze is drawn upward to the golden dome and crescent moon covering the Mosque. Many non-Muslims are of the belief that Muslims pray or worship a "moon god". We do not. We believe in the same God as Christians and Jews. We believe in the oneness of God', the Creator of Abraham, Moses, and Jesus. The crescent moon reflects our practice of adhering to the lunar calendar, or God's calendar, rather than the Georgian calendar, or man's calendar. This is why many Mosques will have a crescent moon topping the domes.
Each of the buildings is individual yet connected by covered walkways known by all who enter here as bridges'. The Islamic Center community building holds cl...
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.... For a Muslim, Friday is the holy day and special services are held in early to mid-afternoon. The Mosque is open seven days a week and available for each of the daily prayers.
Reflecting as I exit the wrought iron gate into the neighboring street, I see Muslims and Christian children playing together. I see a sign inviting everyone to an upcoming feast being held at the Community Center. I come to realize the many similarities between the Muslim and Christian faiths.
The Islamic Center offers a great opportunity for non-Muslims who are curious about the faith and would like to know and understand more. The Islamic Center is open to the public for tours. At this time over 40,000 people have toured this facility. Set aside a couple of hours of your time to experience this unique community and enrich your cultural awareness. Schedule a tour for yourself.
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