World Religions Final Project

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This Religions of the World class has taught me that religion varies depending on what part of the world you are in or from. Views on religion vary as well as acceptance of religion. Religions adapt to the culture around them, trying to survive. These variations and adaptations can be difficult to understand , sometimes are skewed by society. For this project I decided I wanted to learn about Islam, a religion that I knew little about with the hopes of taking away an open- minded concept of Islam that was not skewed by others opinions. In order to complete the project, I interviewed a fellow coworker who is a Muslim, visited a Mosque to review the architecture and compared it to a religion I am familiar with Christianity. Islam

Islam is a monotheistic religion that means submission to God. The religion is based on the beliefs of the Qur’an, that is the Holy text that was revealed to the prophet Muhammad (Fisher, 2005). A Muslim is a follower of the Islamic faith that believes in the central beliefs of Islam also known as the Five Pillars. The Five Pillars consist of the unselfish surrender to God’s commandment through fasting, giving of alms to the poor, believing in one God, Daily Pray, and the pilgrimage to Mecca (Fisher, 2005). Muslims, testify that there is none worthy of worship but God, and that Muhammad is the Prophet of God. To become a Muslim one must declare in sincerity in the presences of a practicing Muslim that he/she whole heartily believes there is only one God (Islam & Christianity, 2010). Islam is the second largest religion in the world, becoming the fastest growing religion to date (Islam, 2010). Place of Worship

Visiting a Mosque, as a female has proved to be difficult because of the beliefs of Islam in reference to females. Due to this fact I could not physical attend service, instead I researched the architecture of the mosque. I live down the street from the local Dar ALNoor Islamic Community Center and driving by it every day. The Community Center is run by the Muslim Association of Virginia according to their website the mission of the MAV is to establish and maintain a vibrant community based on the Qur’an and Sunnah while minding Allah. The community center is not only used as a prayer hall but as a center for local Muslims to gather for events and to attend Qur’an school (MAV: Muslim Association of Virginia, 2010). A Mosque is a place of worship in Islam that varies in architecture depending on their location in the world. Despite the location, there are common features that serve a practical purpose and represent tradition (Parts of a Mosque, 2010). A Minaret is a slim tower normally rising up from the mosque that was originally used as the highest point to call followers to prayer. Not as common today but they remain a traditional decoration on most mosques (Parts of a Mosque, 2010). The gold dome on the rooftop is another common feature to the architecture of a mosque and signifies the vaults of heaven and the sky (Mosque, 2010). The domes interior is normally decorated with floral, geometric shapes and other patterns (Parts of a Mosque, 2010). The Prayer hall also known as the Musalla is bare and absent of furniture allowing followers room to pray (Mosque, 2010). The pray hall may have verses from the Qur’an on the wall to assist worshippers to focus on Islam and the Qur’an (Mosque, 2010). Some Mosques have separate pray halls or areas for females. It is Islamic law that men and women worship separated. Muhammad preferred women to pray at home rather than at a mosque, but today they pray in Mosques just segregated to limit distractions to the men (Mosque, 2010). Mosques differ from country to country but they all hold the same common purpose to serve as a place that Muslims can come together for prayer, education and fellowship with other their brothers and sisters of Islam. Interview

For this project, I interviewed Mr. H. Housseini a fellow...
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