Islamic Center of New England – Information
We are very excited that close to 40 people from our congregation will be joining together to visit the Islamic Center of New England in Quincy. The get together will be both educational and social and our hope is that this is the beginning of what will be an ongoing and on-growing positive relationship between our two communities.
In anticipation of our visit I’d like to share some details to help things go as smoothly as possible.
Dress – Please dress appropriately – modestly – like anytime you would be visiting a sanctuary. It is fine for women to wear long pants or a dress at or below the knee. Short sleeved shirts are fine for both men or women. Women need not cover their hair. Men can wear kippah if they choose. Photography is permitted.
We will be getting a tour of the Mosque and afterwards will sit down with members of their community for some light refreshments. The traditional cakes that will be served will be both dairy and parve….and some very sweet! During the tour we will have the opportunity to learn many things about Islam and the Mosque itself. When we get to their prayer space, only those who want to get a closer look – and stand on the rugs – should expect to take their shoes off.
Questions about religious practice are encouraged. As food for thought, here are a few sample questions to consider:
– What are the pillars of Islamic faith?
– What are the general themes and content of Islamic prayers and rituals?
– What are the holy books and how are they integrated into prayer?
– What are the major holidays and are there special yearly prayer cycles?
– What are Islam’s traditions regarding food? (Hallal)
– What are some of the major family traditions observed in the home?
– What are Islam’s life-cycle traditions and customs?
– What are the challenges you face being a religious Muslim in America?
– Can you tell us a bit about the ethnic and cultural diversity within this community?
– What streams of Islam are reflected in this Mosque?
– What are the major differences between Sunni and Shia Islam?
– What is Islam’s attitude toward other religions?
There are many parallels between Judaism and Islam. One value both traditions hold dear is hospitality. Expect our hosts to be very gracious. In the same way the response to the Hebrew greeting Shalom Aleichem (Peace upon you) is Aleichem Shalom, the response to the Arabic greeting Salaam Aleikum is Aleikum Salaam.
If you have any questions, please send me an email. See you then,