Eid Mubarak

Roar to you all.

Happy Eid to all our friends who have been fasting for Ramadan.

We would like to tell you more about Islam.

Islam is one of the worlds great religions.

The word ‘Islam means peace, submission and obedience’. A person who follows the Islamic religion is called A Muslim. He or she tries to organise his or her life in accordance with God’s word.

Muslims believe there is only one God, and his name is Allah. Allah had lots of messengers (or prophets) that helped to spread Gods word to the people. Abraham, Moses and Jesus were highly respected prophets. The last and most important prophet is called Mohammed. Muslims believe he is so special that they always say a prayer after his name which is shortened to ‘Peace Be Upon Him’ every time his name is mentioned.

Muhammad (PBUH) was poor and an orphan but he was a good man, he always told the truth and worked hard. He often went into the hills to think about life. While he was there, the Angel Gabriel visited him to give him messages from God. These were wrote down and this is what makes up the holy book for muslims: The Qur’an. Muslims believe that this is the most important book in the world. The Qur’an must be kept high up off the floor and covered with a cloth.

20120213-144552.jpg
If a person want to read the Quran, they must carry out some special rules:

Before you touch the Quran you must carry out a special washing of the body called ‘ablution’.
You have to wash your face, then hand your hands all the way up to your elbow. Then wash part of your head and then wash your feet up to your ankles. Then you are ready to touch the holy book.

Before some readers start reading, they touch their forehead with the book and kiss the cover.

Children start with memorising the smaller chapters at the end of the Quran.

The first chapter is recited in every prayer. It is as important to Muslims as the Lords prayer is for Christians. It can be translated as follows:

All praise is for God, the Lord of the worlds, The most kind, the most merciful, Master of the Day of Judgement, You alone we worship and You alone we ask for help.
Guide us along the straight path,
The path of those whom you rewarded,
not those who earned your anger, nor those who went astray.

The special building where Muslims go to pray and learn about Islam is called a Mosque.

Mosques usually have a domed roof and tall towers called minarets. Dino thought the mosques in Istanbul were amazingly beautiful buildings. The minaret is the place where the ‘call to prayer’ occurs. The person who calls them to prayer is called a muezzin.

20120212-223752.jpg

The muezzin calls out in Arabic. This is what he says….

God is most great. God is most great.
God is most great. God is most great.
I testify that there is no god except God.
I testify that there is no god except God.
I testify that Muhammad is the messenger of God.
I testify that Muhammad is the messenger of God.
Come to prayer! Come to prayer!
Come to success (in this life and the Hereafter)! Come to success!
God is great. God is great.
There is no god except God.

When people go into a mosque they take their shoes off. There is a special place for people to wash before going to prayer.

There are no pictures or statues in a mosque. They are decorated with patterns and words from the Qur’an. Calligraphy is the supreme art form for Muslims, particularly of the verses of the Quran. You will always find Mosques and other buildings decorated with beautiful calligraphy and geometric patterns. We saw beautiful calligraphy in the mosques in Istanbul.

20120212-223809.jpg

They have very little furniture in them because Muslims use prayer mats for prayer.

Most mosques have a Qur’an school where the children are taught the Qur’an.
Mosques also have a ‘minbar’, a pulpit with steps from where a sermon is delivered at midday on Friday.

20120212-223801.jpg

Large mosques might have an Imam, a prayer leader. If they do not have one any adult male may lead the prayers.

There are five duties that one must live by if one is a Muslim, these are often called the Five Pillars of Islam.

20120213-144813.jpg

1) Shahada

This is the main religious belief of all Muslim people and it is a declaration of their faith. The English words are;
There is no god but Allah; Muhammad is the messenger of Allah. Or as some muslims prefer… “There is no god but the One God” meaning there is only one God for all mankind.

2) Salah; This is prayer.

Muslims pray five times a day and follow a special ritual to do so. Firstly they wash (wudu). This is a special process…
Wash hands up to the wrist three times
Wash mouth three times
Wash nostrils, breathing in and out through the nose three times
Wash one’s face three times
Wash arms up to elbows three times
Wipe head with wet hands, forehead to back, back to forehead
The inside of the ears are cleaned with the wet forefinger then the back of the ears with the thumb
Wash feet up to the ankles three times
Raise one’s face to the sky, pointing up with the index finger.

Muslims pray at these times each day:

Fajr- Morning, between dawn and sunrise
Zuhr – Mid-day or early afternoon
Asr – Late afternoon
Maghrib – Evening, around sunset
Isah – Night, before going to bed

3) ZAKAT
One of the five pillars is about helping other people. Each Muslim gives up a share of his wealth each year to provide for those less fortunate. This money might be to provide education, keep up or build mosques or help the needy.

4) HAJJ
All Muslims have a duty to try to make a pilgrimage to the Ka’aba in Makkah at least once during their lifetime. Very often whole families will save to send one person at a time.

5) SAUM

This is all about Ramadan. The ninth month of the Islamic calendar. For thirty days Muslims fast, they do not eat or drink during daylight hours. It start when the new moon is seen at the start of the month and ends when the new moon is seen again at the end of the month. The fast is to remind them how difficult it is to be poor, hungry and thirsty in a hot place. It reminds them to thank God for his gift of the Qur’an. It also serves to make them think about the essentials and luxuries of life and so not be greedy.

Festival of Eid ul-Fitr

20120213-145030.jpg
At the end of Ramadam which is the thirty day fast there are a huge celebration. They go to the mosque to pray together. Special celebration meals are served up and people wear their best clothes. Everyone has a holiday and many big family groups of relations all get together. Children are given presents and Muslims send cards to each other. We were in Jordan for Eid ul-Fitr. The traffic police stopped is and gave us a special Eid ul Fitr card. We stuck it in our diary. It was great to see so many people celebrating and hear all the prayers from the mosques.

Eid-ul-Adha

This is the other big festival every year. It coincides with the Hajj or pilgrimage. It is to remember the time when Abraham was going to sacrifice his own son to prove obedience to God. Muslims consider that Abraham was a prophet or messenger from God.
During the day, they go to mosque and then after they sacrifice a sheep and give part of the meat away to remember the sacrifice that Abraham made.

We really enjoyed learning more about Islam. Don’t forget to follow us on twitter: @dinoandlion

Big roars

Dino and Lion

Xx

Categories: education | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

Blog at WordPress.com. The Adventure Journal Theme.