Thursday, 3 July 2008

The Mosque

As I posted earlier, my father and I visited a mosque last Saturday.

To be fair, I don't know if I can properly call it a mosque. The sign says "Islamic Centre," so there may be a difference. I couldn't tell you. Regardless, we read in the paper that they were having an open house, so we decided to drop by. It was an interesting experience.

When we got there, we were directed to some Mediterranean food brought it by the diverse cultures attending the mosque. Next to the food were piles of pamphlets and booklets. One of the men there engaged in conversation with us, and become our de facto emmisary into the mosque. We had some conversations about the demographics of the community, various beliefs, and common misunderstandings. He also took us into the centre and showed us around.

Much of what he told me I already knew from my course on Islam in Religious Studies (my minor, incidentally), but it was interesting to hear the subtle variations and also some things I'd never thought to ask in class. He talked about the Muslim economic system, which I think is very interesting. Because usery is prohibited in Muslim law (and, incidentally, prohibited in Jewish law and strongly discouraged in the New Testament), the economic system does without interest, bonds, or any other arrangement that makes money with no work or risk attached. Other sorts of investments, particularly stocks, equities, or other equal-risk partnerships, are allowed. I'm usually imagined that the Mennonite Credit Union worked in a similar way. I'd be interested to find out.

There were some pretty cool things to be seen: a digital read-out on the wall with the five times of prayer (six with the optional), many little kids playing hide-and-go-seek, Arabic writing on the ceilings/walls (of course), lines on the floor oriented to qabba (sp?). We were also told of the new development happening as a shared project between the Islamic Centre, the hospital, and two Fort McMurray churches to create a health-spiritual complex in the near future.

Anything else to report? I got a pamphlet which reminds me a lot of those ones I get from Christian events or groups sometimes, but instead of "proving" the validity of the Bible, it "proves" the validity of the Qur'an. And I got a free English translation of the Qur'an, which is exciting. I think I've posted on this part already.

I suppose that's all for now.


English Clergyman

EDIT 04/08/08: It is a mosque.

1 comment:

Cait said...

An English translation of the Qur'an? Interesting. Have you read parts of it yet?

I've never been in a Mosque, I think it would be interesting cool to go and see one...

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