Islam Essay

Islam Essay

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Visiting a mosque for the first time for any non-Muslim can be quite a daunting and intimidating experience if one doesn’t know exactly what to expect. A mosque is the place of prayer for Muslims within the Islamic faith. It is a house of prayer, one very much like that of churches and cathedrals for Christians, Synagogues for Jews, and temples for Hindus and Buddhists, but with its own distinct rules, rituals, and services. Mosques are not only the center of religious prayer amongst Muslims, but rather also serve as the center of any Muslim community and society in the area. Muslims, however, don’t always have to pray in mosques, other than Friday, the Muslim holy day of the week, much like Sunday in Christianity. The reason why Friday is the holy day of the week for Muslims is because the Prophet Muhammad was born on a Friday. The Prophet Mohammed taught that prayers are obligatory at least five times a day, and subsequently, can be held anywhere as long as it is sincere to Allah. The word “Islam,” in Arabic, means “submission to the will of Allah.” The Islamic Mosque, and or Masjid, as it is referred to in Arabic, is a place where Muslims bow before Allah declaring their obedience to His will. The history of the Islamic Mosque dates back to the time of the Prophet. Mosques usually contain a place for washing and cleansing oneself before prayer. This cleansing in Arabic is referred to as “Wudu,” a physical and spiritual purification of oneself before submitting themselves to Allah in prayer.

I took a trip to a local nearby mosque in Miami two weeks ago with a Muslim friend of mine on Friday. His name was Ali, and he is a Pakistani-American. The mosque was called “Masjid AL Noor,” and is located in downtown Miami. It was a Sunni–Islamic mosque. Sunni Muslims comprise the worldwide majority of Muslim adherents, as opposed to Shi’ite Muslims, whom comprise the minority of Muslim adherents. However, the Sunni/Shi’ite schism within Islam is for the most part more political, rather than that of religious. My friend, whom I came with to the Sunni-Islamic mosque was actually a mainstream Shi’ite Muslim. He usually goes to this particular mosque because its closer to where he lives. According to him, a mosque is a mosque, and Muslims, all Muslims, are brothers in faith, regardless of sect. Friday prayers, also known as “Salat e Juma” in the Quran, is mandatory fo...

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... keep up with their prayers, give alms (charity), pay their dues (zakat), the essence of modesty, as well as the frequent recitation of the Quran. The imam recited “ayahs,” which are passages from the Quran, and then gave an English translations of it. The mosque was comprised of a very diversified crowd of all backgrounds and ethnicities. One saw some Middle Eastern people, many Indians and other South Asians, people from the Far Pacific and Oriental looking, African Americans, as well as some Anglo Saxons. It felt like a tightly knit diversified community.

My experience at the mosque was that of one of an extraordinary one. I didn’t feel like an outsider, nor uncomfortable at all, but rather, on the contrary, I felt quite welcomed. I find the Islamic religion very fascinating and unique. I am always keen and open to learning about new ideas, belief systems, and faiths. One acquires a greater understanding and perspective of others in how they think, and how they view the world and this life. Overall, I think that this was a rather rewarding experience because it broadened my horizons on the Islamic faith as a whole, something, which I had very little knowledge about prior to.

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