DUBAI — The Islamic Information Center (IIC) in Dubai, UAE has launched a free-for-all ‘mosque experience’ where people of all faiths are invited every Monday to visit Dubai’s most picturesque mosque, Masjid Mohammad Bin Ahmed Al Mulla, Khaleej Times reported on November 17.
“Have you ever wondered what Muslims do at the mosque or what a mosque is? The aim of the tour is to demystify any misconceptions they may be having about the Islamic culture,” said the spokesperson of IIC which is part of Dar Al Ber Society.
Tuesdays are set for bookings from schools, giving students a chance to learn and know more about the Islamic culture, prayers, and mosque etiquettes before the free mosque tour. Visitors can book their slot for the tour simply by registering for free.
Cherryl, a Sri Lankan resident, said: “Even though I have been living here in Dubai for five years now, today was the first time I ever understood the concept of Islam and saw a mosque from inside.”
Lewis Bullock, head of cultural communications at the IIC who led the tour at the mosque, said: “We have had a very good response for this initiative that is now in its fifth week.”
“Although a lot of people may have visited various mosques and gotten a chance to admire its architectural beauty, we at the IIC aim to go a bit deeper and explain to people what exactly we Muslims do in the mosque, the etiquettes of a mosque, and how we pray,” he added.
How Does It Go
The tour starts with one of the volunteers demonstrating how Muslims complete their ablution. The visitors are then shown the architectural beauty of the mosque before sitting down for a brief talk on Islam and its precepts.
Visitors’ questions include what is the right age of children to start their prayers in Islam; why women wear hijab; is the call of prayers same across the world; why is there a separate section for men and women in the mosque; and what’s the importance of Friday prayers.
UK nationals Paul and Ruth, who were on a visit to the UAE, said they were “delighted at their first ever mosque experience.”
“We learned how pure this beautiful religion Islam is, which is often not presented in the right way especially by the Western media. We’ll always cherish this special experience that has totally changed our perception of Islam.”