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The Local Islamic Center - Essay Example

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The Local Islamic Center

After talking with Nazredinne, he informed me that he was presently cleaning the mosque. Summary of Experience I had made plans to meet Nazredinne at the mosque around six o’clock on a Friday evening. As I entered the mosque on the first floor, I saw piles of shoes lying upon the floor. So, following what other men were doing, I also took my shoes off and proceeded up the steps. Nazredinne served as my host and translator for the rest of the evening. After telling me that he had a few things to finish doing, he led me into the main room of the mosque and told me that he would be right back. As I looked around, I saw about 30 Middle Easterners sitting around the room, and it became very quiet. It was most uncomfortable. However, some of the men approached me out of hospitality to introduce themselves and their country of birth. Soon after my arrival, I was invited to partake of the fellowship meal. This is something that is done every evening of the day of prayer. The meal consisted of lamb, rice, dates, eggplant, and many other Arab foods and delicacies. After going through the line to get my food, I then joined many of the other men who were sitting in lines on the floor of the prayer room eating their meal. All of the conversation, unless it was directed at me, was done in Arabic. Occasionally, Nazredinne would tell me what he and the others were talking about. After the meal, everyone helped out to clean up. While the men were cleaning up, Nazredinne and another Arab man took all of the male children to one corner of the prayer room in order to conduct Arabic lessons. These lessons were centered around readings from the Qur’aan, which I could not touch until Nazredinne took me to perform the ritual cleansing. After the lessons, the children left the room and everyone gathered around Nazredinne, who was standing at the front of the mosque. He delivered a sermon from the Qur’aan, and he talked much about the Prophet Noah. I only know this because Nazredinne had asked his Palestinian friend to translate the sermon for me. The pace of the sermon was so fast that I understood little, even with a translator at my side. The sermon lasted about twenty-five minutes, and it was timed perfectly so that at the conclusion of the sermon, the prayers could begin. I was permitted to stay in the prayer room during their performance of the Salah, as long as I did not speak and stayed in the back of the room. The prayer lasted much longer than what I would have thought, and Nazredinne of course led the Muslims in attendance through the ritual. Of course I did not understand what was being said, but I could feel the devotion within the room. Everyone knew exactly what to do, and everyone knelt and rose in one accord. At the conclusion of the time of prayer, everyone stayed around to talk and fellowship with one another. Up to this point, many of the Muslims in attendance had not come up to me to introduce themselves. However, once the ritual prayers were over, almost all of the Muslims came up to me and introduced themselves, and even offered their contact information in case I ever had any questions about Islam and its practices and beliefs. By this point, I am sure that everyone knew that I was not a Muslim, and for that reason they considered me a ...Show more

Summary

The Local Islamic Center Introduction I chose to visit the local Islamic Center. It is located in CITY NAME HERE on River Road, and it is also known as the Faisal Mosque. The word faisal is Arabic in origin and it literally means “dedicated,” and after first establishing contact with Muslims who attended this mosque I soon realized that this was a fitting title…
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