Mosques are a place of communication of Muslim people with Allah. It can be noted that usually, Islamic mosques are built as spacious and beautiful places reflecting the postulates of Islam. The uniqueness and beauty of religion are shown not only in the internal design but also in external manifestations. The decoration of mosques contains a deep philosophical meaning of the world order and the place of Muslim people in this diverse and changing world. This essay will discuss the visit of the Atlanta Masjid of Al-Islam, the impressions of the author from the design of the mosque, and its community services provided to people.
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The Description of Atlanta Masjid
The Atlanta Masjid of Al-Islam mosque is situated in the East part of Atlanta. Mosque serves as a religious place for Muslim believers that follow the Qur’an and the sermons and traditions of Prophet Muhammad. The Atlanta Masjid of Al-Islam is the largest and oldest Muslim association in Metro Atlanta (“About us”). The community is supported by several generations of Muslim people who are living in Georgia state of the US (“About us”). The Atlanta Masjid is a non-profit organization that provided religious activities and civic involvement, such as daily worships, lessons in Islamic and Arabic cultures for children and adults, community engagement, and other services.
The mosque is a center of a religious, social, cultural, and educational Muslim community that is determined to support and develop Islamic life in Atlanta. Imams, lecturers, and believers work with various people from diverse neighborhoods and towns and promote the quality of religious preaching and human virtues on the local and international levels (“About us”). The Atlanta Masjid is a modern organization that provides profound consultations for everyone who comes to the place. All members of the community are dedicated to nurturing the Islamic way of living and adjusting its services to stay competitive and expand further to help followers find a place where they can be heard.
Impressions and Feelings from Visiting Mosque
The first thing that comes to a place when you usually want to enter a mosque is the rules that Islamic religious places follow. It is a common practice to ask visitors to comply with the requirements of visits: the hands and feet must be covered, which means no t-shirts with short sleeves, shorts, and skirts above the knee. It is also mandatory to cover the head for women. Besides, everyone takes off their shoes when entering a mosque. However, the rules at the Atlanta Masjid of Al-Islam are not as strict as in other places. When I visited the area, I saw people wearing t-shirts, not covering their hands, but that was something nobody paid attention to. Nevertheless, all people who were praying took off their shoes, and the majority covered their heads. Initially, it was unexpected for me to see a lot of people who did not comply with the usual requirements of a mosque. Still, afterward, I understood that Imams put more emphasis on the worship and praying that people were dedicated to.
The Atlanta Masjid of Al-Islam architectural style and design differs from typical mosques. The main feature that distinguishes mosques is the dome and Crescent moon that you can see on the dome; however, the Atlanta Masjid does not have these details. Nevertheless, the external design of the mosque resembles several features that exist in Islamic culture, such as continuous arches that are situated both externally and internally. The internal vaults of the mosque give the impression of space and tranquility. The building of the mosque is decorated in white, green, and brown colors with wood, textile carpets for prayers, and natural materials. The interior of the mosque is characterized by a spacious hall full of light that comes through windows during the daytime, which gives parishioners a sense of calm and peacefulness.
Unlike in orthodox churches, visitors in the mosque are asked to be calm and allow other believers to perform worship. It is essential not to talk loudly and make noises because it is a sign of disrespect. During the service, the prayer leader of a mosque, Imam, delivers a sermon from the Qur’an with a glorification of Allah and other blessings. It is important to listen attentively, avoid improper actions, and not to intervene between the sermon and the prayer. After reading one or several sermons, Imam can answer questions of believers and guide them in the right direction.
The mosque is operating every day and acts as a place where all five daily prayers prescribed in Islam take place. Throughout the week, there are also held lessons, community meetings, and other gatherings. The crucial detail of the mosque’s architecture is a mihrab, a place in the wall that shows the direction to Mecca, towards which all Islamic religious people pray. In the Atlanta Masjid, the mihrab has its unique wooden design. The Atlanta Masjid cannot be easily recognized as a sacred place because it is located near retailers, public places, groceries, and shops that have heavy traffic. Nevertheless, what is felt in the mosque is that everyone is welcomed and accepted.
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To make a conclusion, one might state that visiting a mosque is a unique experience that shows how diverse can be the culture and traditions of another religion. Islamic culture that is preserved in the Atlanta Masjid of Al-Islam has become the embodiment of the best achievements of diversity and community acceptance. The mosque serves as an example of modernity, traditions that go back to ancient times, and today’s celebration of each individual who wants to be heard.
“About us.” Atlantamasjid.com. Web.