Saturday, October 18, 2014

Our Field Trip to a Local Mosque

     We had the opportunity to attend an event called Open Mosque Day.  When I heard about it, I was excited to take my family and make it an educational field trip.
     My husband and I are members of the LDS church, but we have always embraced knowledge of other faiths.  We enjoy being open-minded and continually learning.  We find it brings us personal realizations and encourages philosophical developments.  This also leads to a valuable lesson in tolerance and love for all people.  These are important principles that we want to pass onto our children, so it is nice that we are able to incorporate it into homeschooling.
     When we first arrived, I was a little nervous because I felt so different from the women there who were dressed in ankle length skirts and had their hair covered.  I wondered if I was going to be allowed in. Haha.  But the attendants were so friendly and made us feel very welcome.  They enjoyed interacting with our girls and engaging in conversation about motherhood.
   
     We were directed into the mosque where we were given a tour of the building.  During the tour we learned about the Arabic calligraphy and architecture.  We took off our shoes in order to enter the prayer hall and we were able to see where and how the five daily prayers are done.  It was a very pretty room.  Here is a YouTube video I found of the Islamic Call To Prayer, which I think sounds beautiful.
   
     There were many interesting details we learned throughout the tour. For example: The prophet Mohammed married a very successful entrepreneur businesswoman.  She had hired him to work for her and then proposed to him.  Isn't that great? Strong women figures making history way back then. ;)
   
     After the tour, we were provided refreshments and were able to sample some middle eastern finger foods.  Marley and Dylan loved this part!
     Our experience concluded with a short history lecture about the Islamic religion and a question/answer session.  I was very impressed with the historical knowledge shared.  I could see many closely related themes we have in our own religion, such as peace and kindness to all, worshipping of one deity, and personal accountability.
   
     The open house was very well presented and both our daughters had a great time experiencing the tour and making new friends.  I was surprised at how quiet, calm, and well behaved our girls were throughout the entire tour.  We discussed the experience with our daughter afterward and she said she liked the writing on the walls and that the carpets were cute. Haha.  We definitely felt comfortable enough to go back and seek more knowledge.  Thank you to the Islamic Center of Irvine!

     For further information about the Islamic religion, this booklet is very informative and answers frequently asked questions: A Brief Introduction to Islam.