It was wonderful to welcome Daya, once again, to our school. This year, she helped us learn about the 2nd biggest World Religion: Islam.
We learned about the Qur’an, which is written in Arabic. We enjoyed greeting each other in Arabic (peace be upon you). Daya talked about culture (how we live our lives), and differences between Indian and British cultures.
Daya showed some girls different ways to wear a hijab. Girls wear a hijab, especially in prayer, because Islam believes the Qur’an tells them to cover their head if they might meet a stranger. Men do not have to cover their heads, but many choose to, especially in prayer. Some of us dressed in clothing Muslims might wear.
When a Muslim baby is born, they like the very first words they hear to be from the Qur’an. When a baby is names, their hair is shaved off, weighed and the weight of this is given to charity in money.
Muslim people believe in 1 God – Allah. They believe God recited the words of the Qur’an to the Angel Gabriel, who then visited Muhammad (PBUH) who wrote the words down in the Holy Book called the Qur’an. Muhammad (PBUH) was the last prophet, after many prophets including some we know as Christians from the Old Testament.
Muslims pray 5 times a day, and always facing Mecca. Mosques give a call to prayer, which is a signal that Muslims should pray. We watched prayer in a British mosque: it was interesting that Muslims remove their shoes before entering the mosque. Before prayer, they wash – this is called Wudu. Men and ladies pray separately when in public, however at home they pray as a family. A prayer mat is used . The mosque is quite plain – no statues or pictures, or even music. The words of the Qur’an are chanted. Friday is the main day of prayer for Muslims. Prayer beads might be used – there are 99 beads, to help Muslims think about 99 different ways to think about Allah. Daya showed us the prayer ritual, then we all had a go at this.
Finally, we enjoyed a bit of Indian dance!