To link with our work in RE on Islam, we went to visit the Craven Arms Islamic  Centre to gain first-hand experience of visiting a religious building  and to enrich our curriculum.

We started by meeting the Imam when we arrived. We did a discussion session where we learnt more about the religion of Islam, including extra details about the 5 Pillars of Islam, and talked about the importance of the Islamic Centre itself.  We were able to compare this to a standard mosque, looking      at similarities and differences.

There was then an opportunity for questions and answers, where we could find out more about the things we are curious about or unsure of.

History of the Mosque

  • Talked about mosques in other places
  • No facilities for burial: visit local ones (Telford/Wolverhampton)
  • What know already?
  • Place of worship for Muslims
  • Pray there
  • Have Holy Book
  • Place of respect - everyone has to be respectful to others
  • Not allowed to eat/drink (prayer area) - sanctified (like a consecrated chapel : specially for worship only) To do this, would be considered sinful
  • Only talk there if needed - not a social club (or things like sleep)
  • Study there - learn more about the religion
  • On top - a dome with a crescent on it (many green, probably based on the prophets mosque in Saudi Arabia)
  • 25 Muslim families in Craven Arms, many come from different places; some come from other local areas to pray here
  • Friday prayers - about 30-40 people
  • Can do different activities there
  • Schools come in / do visits to schools too
  • Charity work important : hot soup and bread day for £5 each. Charities come and explain what they do and why want the money. Vote for what charity gets the money.
  • Assist people who need help eg: modern slavery

Other Facts

  • Muslims don’t eat pork - God mentioned pig not a pure animal
  • Can eat any type of meat if halal (the blessings given before slaughter)
  • No alcohol
  • If child, no problem; if adult, considered sinful

5 Pillars of Islam

Shahadah

  • Prophet Mohammed had a visit, from a man who wanted to go to paradise: 5 actions and no more, like the pillars of a building (one drops, the whole building will collapse - like your religion would be)
  • “There is only one God who is Allah”
  • Do that by worshipping him and obeying him
  • To have faith
  • Islamic calligraphy

Salat

  • Prayer—5 times a day - timings shown on clock
  • Some times change daily (eg: at sunset)
  • Prayer lasts 10 mins approx
  • Mostly men - men obligated to pray in the mosque, women are not (many have poor facilities for women or none at all) Therefore men have a larger prayer area (and washroom) When ladies come, usually bring children who stay with them - women should be treated just as fairly as men ; not what Muslims believe
  • Boys and girls together - men could get distracted by a beautiful women; boys being silly in front of girls
  • Have certain ways of praying - use to glorify God, repeat verses of Qu’ran

Ramadan (sawm)

  • Fasting
  • Period of a month
  • Morning until evening (sunrise-sunset) approximately 18 hours in summer
  • Not allowed to eat or drink (or intimacy)
  • Work on timetable - accurate timings
  • Children don’t need to fast
  • Why? God’s law, Show respect to God, be thankful for food, show respect for poor who have no food

Zakat

  • Giving to charity
  • 2.5% of savings
  • Give money to help people eg: Islamic relief, cancer research, Severn hospice, food banks, anyone less fortunate
  • There are rules: most needy come first,

Hajj

  • Pilgrimage
  • Once in a life time
  • Holy mosque in Mecca (Saudi Arabia)
  • If enough money but don’t go, considered sinful