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A place of Muslim worship.

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Introduction

A Place of Muslim Worship Manasa Prabhakar 11H The Kowloon Mosque is located at the side of the Kowloon Park, near Tsim Sha Tsui MTR station. It is the biggest mosque in Hong Kong, 1500 square meters in size. The mosque is composed of white marble. It is a place of worship for the Muslim community in Hong Kong. Hong Kong is home to around 50,000 Muslims. More than half are Chinese, the rest either locally born non-Chinese or hailing from Pakistan, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Middle East or Africa. It was built at a cost of HK$25 million and opened in 1984, replacing the old mosque built in 1896 on the same site. The Kowloon mosque can accommodate up to 2000 people at a time. All Muslim's come to the Kowloon mosque, but the majority are Sunni although all are welcome. In order to research material for our coursework we visited the mosque and interviewed the Imam. The Kowloon mosque is rectangular in shape. The walls define the sacred area, which should only be entered by people who have removed their shoes. Upon entering shoes need to be left on racks outside the mosque so that no dirt and impurities may be brought inside the mosque and onto the musulta (prayer mats). ...read more.

Middle

The mosque has never only been a house of prayer. It gives Islamic education (Madrasah) to young children. Weddings and religious functions as well as funerals may also be held in mosques. There is a mortuary inside the mosque. This is to ensure that a Muslim reaches a complete end under the watchful eyes of Allah when he dies. The Mosque, referred to as the "house of God," plays a essential role in the lives of all Muslim's and to which they gather five times daily, if they can, to worship God and to provide a central point for the local community. It is regarded as a consecrated and holy place, providing peace and serenity to the worshippers. Upon interviewing the Imam at the Kowloon mosque we discovered that he is the leader of the mosque. He told us that the congregation and the community leaders to conduct formal services and to provide religious, social and welfare guidance to the worshippers usually choose Imam's. There is no formal priesthood in Islam and in the absence of an Imam; any knowledgeable person from amongst the congregation can conduct religious services. Imams are expected to look after the cleanliness of mosque, call Adzans from the balcony of the minarets to the whole religious meetings, teach Madrasah and propagate the Islamic faith. ...read more.

Conclusion

What is important is prayer not actually the mosque. But the notion of "Ummah" brotherhood makes it important that Muslims stand side by side to pray. The unity of Islam requires prayer and communal prayer therefore one must go to the mosques BUT it is not a requirement of faith, the requirement of faith is obedience and discipline, this is found in the daily ritual of salah. Being in a mosque during worship is not detrimental to how one performs the other five pillars of faith. Whether an individual goes to a mosque to pray or not does not affect any of five pillars of faith. Besides the prescribed prayers, referred to as salah, there is du'a, the cry of the heart. In this case the Muslim is encouraged to sit back on his heels, still kneeling and petition to God directly in the language that he feels most comfortable using whether this be Urdu, English or Chinese. Just as salat needs no prayer leader, so du'a can be said at any time. Du'a comes most naturally at the end of salat. As urge comes, so they may pray. At the end of du'a if the palms have been stretched out to God they will be wiped over the face in a gesture symbolizing the receipt of God's blessing. ...read more.

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