Twenty five Elkhorn Hills members and friends gathered Thursday, July 26th to tour the American Muslim Institute (AMI). The tour was led by Imam Jamal Daoudi. He provided information about the building, Muslim faith, prayer services, and ceremonies. Many questions were answered and as we left, I’m sure the group thought of many other questions. Lunch and fellowship followed at Outback.
Tri-Faith Initiative Members
AMI is part of the Tri-Faith Community located at 132nd and Pacific. It was built shortly after the Jewish Temple. Countryside Church of Christ is now the Christian Church being built on the campus. It’s scheduled to be ready for Easter Services next year. Eventually the three will be connected by Heavenly Bridges. Interesting enough they will cross over Hell’s Creek. Later an educational building is in the planning and will be open to the public. This is the only place in the world where Jews, Muslims and Christians worship on the same campus. The commonality being the belief in one God.
Click here to learn more about the American Muslim Institute.
Imam Jamal Daoudi was our guide. We gathered for a group picture in the main entrance. Overhead was a huge dome. The minaret, located outside, to the right of the entrance, which is used to call the people to prayer is visible through the dome. Muslims are called to prayer five times during the day. First, 75 minutes prior to sunrise, second at 9:30, third when the sun is overhead, fourth at 5:30, and fifth is 75 minutes prior to sunset. Prayer can be done anywhere. In the Mosque, at home, at work, etc. Their sabbath is Friday and services are at 1:30. Little ones may join in the prayers in the Sanctuary as long as they can focus on prayer. Otherwise they are taken to classrooms for study led by the “sisters”. There is no music during the service but the prayers can be a rhythmic chant.
Before entering the Sanctuary, the people must wash. On one side, the washroom looks just like a normal restroom. On the other side are small benches to sit on with water spigots knee high and dryers to wash and dry their feet. After washing the men enter the Sanctuary through the main doors and women “sisters”, enter through a smaller door on the right. The room is divided by a screen. Men on one side, women on the other. A woman’s rights and duties are equal to a man’s but not necessarily identical with them.
According to Imam Daoudi, the Muslim faith came through the lineage of Ishmael, son of Abraham and his wife Haggar. Sarah had given Haggar to Abraham because they hadn’t been able to conceive. Muhammed was of the lineage of Ismael, first born son of Abraham. Muhammed was born 600 years after Jesus was born. The Qur’an was written by Muhammed through the voice of the Angel Gabriel over the course of twenty-three years. Muhammed is a prophet like Moses. Salvation is through good works. A Muslim has two angels, one on each shoulder. The angel on the right keeps track of the good. The angel on the left tracks the bad. Nobody can be perfect and that’s where God’s grace comes in. God makes the final judgement of salvation.
A ceremony of washing and circumcision is done for the male babies. After death, there is a ceremony of washing. The body is wrapped in 4 or 5 sheets and laid in the grave. The body must touch the earth. To meet burial code, a bottomless vault is then lowered over the body and covered.