Thereare several religions in the world today each religion has differentpractices, beliefs, and even doctrines. The essence of comparativereligion is to try to compare the religious activities from differentparts of the world with an open mind. The comparative aspect callsfor flexibility and ability to accommodate the beliefs of others. Inthis paper, am going to look at the Islam religion. The discussionwill base on my experiential bit and will bring out the outlook oftheir place of worship (mosque), their rituals, the message of theday when I attended the worship, and the conversation we had withsome of the faithful after the worship.
Inthe modern world, mosques are built in an appealing way to thegeneral community. The mosque I attended was magnificent fromoutside. The architectural design took the dome shape. It was largewith an arched entrance, which is known as Iwans.The large entrance portrays the openness of the spiritual world. Froma distance, there is also a tower which seems to be the highest pointof the mosque and also within the vicinity referred to as theMinaret.The minaret has a bell tower used to call upon faithful for dailyprayers. The oldest standing Minaret is in Tunisia while the tallestis Morocco Casablanca (Ahmed, 2002).
Insidethe mosque, I note a semicircular place on the wall Mihrab.Am told it indicates the qiblawhich is the bearing of Mecca (Asher, 2012). Muslims are thereforesupposed to pray while facing that side. There is also a minbar whichis a raised surface from which the Imam addresses the faithful. Themosque has a prayer hall Musallah.Theplace is always empty with no chairs or benches to give room for moreworshippers. The walls of the prayer hall have Islamic writings andQuran verses for decoration and guiding worshippers.
Everyprayer in the mosque is preceded by a symbolic ritual ofpurification. It is done at the mosque ablution where all worshippersare supposed to clean themselves. The process is known as wudu.Shoes are not allowed in the prayer hall. Unlike the church, this isa unique feature Christians do not wash nor leave shoes outside thechurch.
Fridayprayers are led by an Imam, who is always honest people who cancommand authority in the religious field. Friday prayer leaders mustbe appointed to make the prayer session valid. Only men can leadprayer sessions for men women can only lead a prayer when thecongregation is made up of women only.
Islam,as a religion, calls for modesty in dressing during prayers theclothes should be clean and should not expose the body parts. Duringprayers, there should be total concentration on the topic. When Iattended the service, the Imam preached about peace, and no one wasto discuss the topic or talk loudly as they preached. Muslims bowduring prayers as a sign of humility.
Genderseparation is also evident women are segregated from men basing ontraditional laws since the Quran does not talk about genderseparation (Asher, 2012). Such an aspect is different from whathappen in the church all genders are allowed to mix freely duringthe worship session.
Inconclusion, I found the prayer session admirable. The humility,modesty, and concentration during the service were encouraging. Afterthe service, no member talked to me I think they saw an alien in me.
Ahmed,S. (2002). DiscoveringIslam: Making Sense of Muslim History and Society.Abingdon: Abingdon Psychology Press.
Asher,B. (2012).The architecture of Meghan India.Cambridge:Cambridge University Press.