The beauty in nature never ceases to amaze us, so we wonder: if the creation can be so captivating, how captivating then must be it's Creator? *Cue goosebumps* In Islam, God is not defined by a gender binary; God is neither
The beauty in nature never ceases to amaze us, so we wonder: if the creation can be so captivating, how captivating then must be it’s Creator? *Cue goosebumps* In Islam, God is not defined by a gender binary; God is neither “he” nor “she” but rather, God can be referred to and called upon by the 99 attributes. Among those attributes are “The Just”, “The Merciful”, “The Loving”, “The Truth”, and “The Beautiful”(just to name a few). So if God is beautiful, it’s no wonder the creation exhibits a portion of that beauty. Remembering God with the 99 attributes helps Muslims better understand who God is and that we can turn to “The All-Hearing” at all times.(Masjid El- Farouq)
Mosques differ from Churches in that there are no pews or fixed benches. This is mainly because Islamic prayer is a physical exercise which requires standing, bending, sitting, and prostrating. Prostration requires one to place his/her forehead on the ground with the rest of the body following.  It is in prostration and humbling oneself before God that Muslims believe they are closest to God. Accommodations can be made for the elderly, ill, or pregnant women to sit on chairs so they can complete prayer with utmost ease but able-bodied persons are encouraged to go through the physical motions. .Also, attendees at mosques are required to leave their shoes outside because of the reason that people will be placing their hands, forehead, and feet on the ground so the prayer space should remain clean at all times. (Masjid El Farouq)
Mosques differ from Churches in that there are no pews or fixed benches. This is mainly because Islamic prayer is a physical exercise which requires standing, bending, sitting, and prostrating. Prostration requires one to place his/her forehead on the ground with the rest of the body following. It is in prostration and humbling oneself before God that Muslims believe they are closest to God. Folding chairs are available and accommodations can be made for the elderly, ill, or pregnant women to utilize so they can complete prayer with utmost ease, but able-bodied persons are encouraged to go through the physical motions. Also, attendees at mosques are required to leave their shoes outside because of the reason that people will be placing their hands, forehead, and feet on the ground so the prayer space should remain clean at all times. (Masjid El-Farouq)
Most mosques are equipped with monitors that display important reminders and announcements. Along with prayer times and community resources, this mosque included this very important reminder:
Most mosques are equipped with monitors that display important reminders and announcements. Along with prayer times and community resources, this mosque included this very important reminder: “Have you been kind and courteous to the masjid (mosque) neighbors?” This is referring to the Houston community and residential neighbors in proximity to the mosque. We loved seeing this reminder on display because it (along with the next post) shows the true essence of Islam: kindness and good manners. (Masjid El-Farouq)
This message on display referring to the mosque's parking policy reads:
This photo is unclear as a result of the changing messages, but we felt the need to include it because the reminder is important. This message on display referring to the mosque’s parking policy reads: “Our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) taught us to respect our neighbors, so please do not park your cars on their private property. Please utilize the parking available at the masjid and in the lot across the street, and only park where it is legal to do so.” These simple reminders and thoughtful gestures show the importance of kindness to neighbors which Muslims are obligated to practice. This type of kindness is contagious and we hope to see these sweet reminders in other mosques too! (Masjid El-Farouq)
The Imam (religious leader) of the mosque is leading a small lecture after the night prayer. The topic of this short talk stressed the importance of good manners towards all. He stated:
The Imam (religious leader) of the mosque is leading a small lecture after the night prayer. The topic of this short talk stressed the importance of good manners towards all. He stated: “Islam is about good manners and respecting others. Treating others with kindness – this is the main point that the prophets (peace be upon them) have been sent with. That’s Islam. How will you spread the message of peace by harming others?” We couldn’t agree more. (Masjid El-Farouq)
The mosque is the perfect place for deep contemplation and reflection. It is a quiet, peaceful space where people of all backgrounds can come to offer prayers and ask God of the bounties they seek. Muslims can be Caucasian, African, Asian, or Hispanic - Islam is not exclusive to a certain race or ethnicity. (Masjid El-Farouq)
The mosque is the perfect place for deep contemplation and reflection. It is a quiet, peaceful space where people of all backgrounds can come to offer prayers and ask God of the bounties they seek. Muslims can be Caucasian, African, Asian, or Hispanic – Islam is not exclusive to a certain race or ethnicity. (Masjid El-Farouq)
Lovely sculpture located between the mosque and the Islamic school onsite. It reads
Lovely sculpture located between the mosque and the Islamic school onsite. It reads “Allah” in Arabic, which is the name by which Muslims call God. The Islamic testament of faith is: “There is no God worthy of worship, except God.” (Masjid El-Farouq)
Young man offering the Isha' (night) prayer. Muslims are obliged to pray at least five times a day. These prayers throughout the day serve as reminders to take a break from the hectic pace of this world and shift focus to God and one's afterlife. Turning to God in gratitude, in need, in happiness, in despair. The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said regarding the five daily prayers:
Young man offering the Isha’ (night) prayer. Muslims are obliged to pray at least five times a day. These prayers throughout the day serve as reminders to take a break from the hectic pace of this world and shift focus to God and one’s afterlife. Turning to God in gratitude, in need, in happiness, in despair. The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said regarding the five daily prayers: “If there was a river at the door of anyone of you and he took a bath in it five times a day, would you notice any dirt on him? His companions answered: “Not a trace of dirt would be left.” The Prophet then added, “That is the example of the five prayers with which Allah annuls evil deeds.” – Bukhari (Masjid El-Farouq)
Not only is there a book store located adjacent to this mosque, but there is also a halal meat market in close proximity.
Not only is there a book store located adjacent to this mosque, but there is also a halal meat market in close proximity. “Halal” refers to the Islamic guidelines with which meat is cut for consumption. (near Masjid El-Farouq)
Preparing to deliver the call to prayer known as the
Preparing to deliver the call to prayer known as the adhaan in Arabic. The call to prayer is delivered before each of the five daily prayers and because time is an important factor in performing each prayer in accordance to the prescribed time, the call to prayer conveys to attendees that it is time for that specific prayer. (Masjid El-Farouq)
Although this mosque is located in the heart of Houston, one cannot sense the noise or bustle of the city once inside Masjid El-Farouq. It is surrounded by tall palm trees and various flowers grow alongside the walkway. It is a very serene and picturesque location. (Masjid El-Farouq)
Although this mosque is located in the heart of Houston, one cannot sense the noise or bustle of the city once inside Masjid El-Farouq. It is surrounded by tall palm trees and various flowers grow alongside the walkway. It is a very serene and picturesque location. (Masjid El-Farouq)
Muslims stand shoulder-to-shoulder, toe-to-toe during prayer in congregation. Whether they know the person standing next to them or not, Muslims come together to pray as a collective - in harmony. This display of unity can be extended to multiple areas of our lives because it fosters love and understanding for one's neighbor - whether that's your neighbor in prayer or your neighbor in the community. (Masjid El-Farouq)
Muslims stand shoulder-to-shoulder, toe-to-toe during prayer in congregation. Whether they know the person standing next to them or not, Muslims come together to pray as a collective – in harmony. This display of unity can be extended to multiple areas of our lives because it fosters love and understanding for one’s neighbor – whether that’s your neighbor in prayer or your neighbor in the community. (Masjid El-Farouq)   

Follow @hira_cane on Twitter for more good stuff!

 

Copyright © 2015 InsideAmericanMosques.com

Share your thoughts with us!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s