Site contains the sacred text of Islam the

Site
visited: Miami Gardens Mosque, Contact person: Mahmoud Taweel, Location: 4305
NW 183 St, Miami Gardens FL 33055, Phone: 305-624-5555 Hours of worship: M-F

 

            Islam is one of the world’s main
monotheistic religions developed in the 7th century C.E. The literal
meaning of Islam is “surrender” or “submission” that was founded by the
teachings of the Prophet Muhammed. The Quran (Much like a Holy Bible to
Christians) contains the sacred text of Islam the Prophet Muhammed was
enlightened to by Allah (God). Islamic belief is that Allah is the one true God
and there’s no one greater or equal. Muslims gather at mosques to worship
Allah, pray, and to study scripture. A Muslims life sole purpose is to serve
Allah.

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            The Muslim community is very
important to the religion here in South Florida because it adds to the already
diverse culture down here in Miami. From the Puerto Ricans, Haitians, Cubans,
Blacks, Hispanics the list goes on and on just like any other race or religion
Arabic’s or (Muslims) fit right in and make Miami one of the most diverse
cities in America.

 

            Islamic art is very important to the
culture and is very unique considering the time and craftsmanship put into what
they design. The most famous monument in Islamic art is the Taj Mahal located
in Agra India. The Taj Mahal is a mausoleum complex that was built over 20
years ago and represents Mughal architecture built with white marble that
changes color depending on the way the sunlight or moonlight hits it.

 

One the most sacred or important
art figures of the Islamic religion is the Kaaba which stands tall at about 44
feet high. The Kaaba, meaning “cube” in Arabic is considered by Muslims to be
the house of God that resides within the Grand Mosque of Mecca. Also, the Kaaba
was a sanctuary in pre-Islamic times. Muslims believe that Abraham, known as
Ibrahim in the Islamic tradition and his son Ismail built the Kaaba. Being that
the Kaaba is a cube, it has four sides and three out of the four of its corners
are named after majority Muslim countries or religions. The north being named
after Iraq, the west being named after Syria, and the south being named after
Yemen. The fourth side the eastern corner contains the sacred Black stone which
pilgrims often kiss.

 

In Islamic religion, they pray five
times a day to their Prophet Muhammed, Fajr (Dawn Prayer), Duhur (Noon Prayer),
ASR (afternoon Prayer), Maghrib (Sunset Prayer) Isha’s (Night Prayer) and
respectfully they use a prayer rug to avoid putting their heads, hands, and
knees in the dirt. While praying, the prayer rug has to be pointed towards Al
Kaaba as they read verses from the Quran. Not a since word in the Quran
promotes violence. Islam has two holidays; Eid al Adha and Eid al Fitir. Eid al
Adha in 2017 started on August 20th and ended August 21st,
Eid al Adha is an Islamic festival for Muslims to acknowledge the willingness
of Ibrahim to follow Allah’s (Gods) command to sacrifice his son Ishmael. Eld
al Fitir started on June 14th and ended on June 15th and
is the Islamic day for fasting and marks the end of Ramadan. Eld al Fitir
represents a whole month of fasting and can only have two meals a day, one
right before dawn and one before sunset.

 

Muslims have a distinct yet unique
style of dress to represent their religion. Islam holds women in very high
esteem and you’ll most notably see women in a variety of headdresses to
symbolize their religion. The most common fashion for Islamic women is a long
dress that covers their whole body so it doesn’t allow the men to feel the urge
of anything. Women are supposed to only show their face and hands. Clothing for
Muslim women must also not be transparent or tight fitting where their outline
of their figures is visible. As for the Islamic men, the dress code is less
strict and they have a little more leeway. The men could dress either casually
or in some cases wear their pants or lower garments above their ankles. Muslim
men or women can also wear what they call a “prayer cap”. Usually Muslim prayer
caps are worn during Jumu’ah, or Friday prayers. Prayer caps have several other
meanings and can be worn for other purposes unrelated to prayer.

 

During
my visit to my roommate’s Mosque in Miami gardens I did not know what to
expect. I have not had any other exposure to another person’s religion let
alone go to their place of worship. Being that I am a Christian I knew we
didn’t have the exact same beliefs as they do or the same practices so I was
ready for anything. I went on a Friday when they had prayer around 9 p.m. I
didn’t have the right clothing so I was told just to wear long pants that
covered up my knees. When you first walk in the mosque everyone would greet you
saying “Assalamualaikum” which means peace be unto you. Me not knowing what
that was I simply shook their hands and learned that the correct response is to
say Maualaikumsalam which means peace also be with you or upon you.

 

When we prayed it was five of us with one
person leading at the top and the rest of us lined up facing horizontal to him.
Once he was done praying the rest of us followed suit and said our own.  It’s very important to do your research
before you enter another person’s religion because the last thing you want to
do is be disrespectful and that goes for any religion. Overall, I think in my
opinion its very important that we take the time and learn other religious
beliefs rather than just our own because it gives us a better understanding.