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Mosques around the world - 7 by Nayzak Mosques around the world - 7 by Nayzak
Assalaamu alaikum [peace be to you],

In order to allow Non-Muslims to learn more about Islam and get familiar with Islamic culture, I'd like to start a new series of articles with 'Mosques' as its theme. here, I will explore several aspects of Islamic culture, customs regarding mosques, and we will see, in sha'Allah [God willing] different mosques from different eras from around the world.
I hope my humble contribution here this will benefit you all:

Muslims living in the West and their places of worship (Mosques) have been highly scrutinized since the 9/11 attacks and the so called “War on Terror”. The mosques are the most important centers in any Muslim community. From their pulpit (Minbar) are delivered the sermons (khutbah), arguably the most important weekly address regarding Islam, and around them the Muslims congregate and organize their affairs. The question many Muslims (and non-Muslims) ask is what is the role of Mosque (Masjid)?

The word mosque is derived from the Arabic word masjid, which literally means the place of prostration (sujud). This is the position in Islamic ritual prayers (Salaat), in which the forehead of the worshipper touches the ground in the supreme act of submission and surrender before God. Muslims often refer to the mosque by its Arabic name, masjid. Today, most mosques have elaborate domes, minarets, and prayer halls.
According to Islamic beliefs, The first man and at the same time prophet, Adam -peace be upon him-, built the first mosque on Earth, The first place of worship of Allah, the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth. the first mosque was situated exactly where we see the Ka'bah today (in Mekkah). Which was later rebuilt by the prophet Abraham and assisted by his son the prophet Ismail -peace be upon them- upon an order from the Almighty God.

The Mosque symbolizes Islamic monotheism and the unity of the Muslim Community (ummah). Mosque is where the call to prayer is made five times a day, the community comes together in the congregational prayer and all Muslims regardless of their race, color, social, and economic status stand shoulder to shoulder before their Lord in response to His call.

Unlike the Middle East where mosques are strictly sites for worship, mosques in the West play the multi-faceted roles of religious institutions, welfare organizations, community centers, locations for voter registration drives, and sites frequented visited by local political candidates. Mosques during early Islamic history were the focal point of political, social, and religious activities. The Mosque is the fortress of faith; home of the pious; the guardian of virtues; the meeting place of Muslims and the first school from which the Muslim graduates. The Mosque provides relief and respite to the needy and the distressed.
It is sad and shame to see that mosques are very male-oriented, under-resources, under-funded, incompetent management and not hospitable to non-Muslims. We need to overcome these shortcomings to create a vibrant community with opening doors to non-Muslim interested in learning about Islam. A mosque is more than a mere place of worship; it should be like a University with library with computers and Internet. The mosque should be a place for social encounter providing opportunities for the elderly and the youth, supplement secular education classes, should be place for the solemnization of marriages, conduct funeral rites, organize sporting events and provide counseling domestic abuses. Mosque is a vital cornerstone in the building of any Muslim community and it is the responsibility of the mosque committees, the Imams and the local Muslim community to ensure that the mosques are always a reflection of Islam. Just like they used to be in the time of the prophet Mohammed -peace be upon him-

from [link] with some changes

The earliest mosque-style building in Germany is the "Red Mosque" found in the gardens of Schwetzingen. Built in 1779-1791 by a French architct called Nicolas de Pigage for the Prince Elector of the Palatinate as part of a palace complex. Built at a time when the "Turkish" style was fashionable in Germany.
Schwetzingen Mosque is the only 18th century garden mosque still in existence in Europe.

After many years of restoration, and at great expense, the mosque is fully restored and open to the public.

More from this series:

If I am right, it is from the God. if I am wrong, it is from myself.
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Submitted on
December 25, 2012
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