Friday, 10 August 2012

Experiencing the Islam religion in Ottery, Cape Town

So many of us take for granted the privilege of living in a democratic country, where all citizens are guaranteed many freedoms other people in other countries could only imagine. The freedom of religion is one of those things that I never given much thought to until recently.

As a born Christian, I rarely gave any thoughts to other religions that existed outside Christianity. My early encounter with Muslims was during early primary school days at our local town. Back then the only thing I could do was stare curiously at women dressed in clothing that covered them from head to toe. In my late primary days I became friends with a Muslim family and begun to learn more about Islam. Nothing they taught me sounded unnatural to me. It was clear that we served one God- but different in our beliefs. Despite all the radicalism and ignorance I had been exposed to in my adulthood about the Islam religion. A recent education on the religion from a very none-judgemental and simplistic way brought me back to my initial opinion. We all serve one God- the only difference is our belief system.

During the marking of the 15th day of the Holy month of Ramadaan, Aqeelah Hendricks invited me along to the mosque in Ottery. I was a bit apprehensive about it and a little headache induced by fear of the unknown threatened to stop me from attending. My will power was strong and the determination to experience it for myself pulled me out of my little fear.

The imam took us through the core values of Islam religion and the beliefs. He also took us through the meaning behind some of the common signs and sayings that Muslims use often. We were invited to break the fast at the mosque’s hall before we were invited to join in the evening prayer. The powerful message and passion of which it was shared with us made me want to kick myself for not having done it sooner. I wished that more and more mosques can have something similar, where each person can invite a none Muslim friend for a day of education on the religion. Perhaps we can have the same thing in all religions. After all we are serve one God. 

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