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On Religious Service - Essay Example

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Name: Institution: Course: Date: Religious Service The term religious service refers to an act of public worship that follows prescribed doctrines. Many argue that its main purpose is to achieve spiritual growth and draw people closer to God. There are different religious services across the world which an individual may prescribe to…
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On Religious Service

Download file to see previous pages... The different religious services possess different characteristics and doctrines that govern how the service is conducted. A case of observation is the name. For Christians, the place of warship is called a church, for Islam a mosque, while for the Buddhist, a temple. It is also evident that the religions have unique symbolic cultures that differentiate them from one another as I observed with Islam when I once attended a religious service. This paper will describe the material and non- material culture of mosque, a place of warship by Muslims. Mosque A mosque is a place of warship for the Muslim faithful. It is evident from my observation of Muslim congregation and the mosque building that the design and building materials used in the construction of the place of worship mostly depends on heritage, culture and the resources in the community that hosts the mosque. However, it is noticeable that there are certain architectural features common to all mosques. For instance, the mosque’s parts are practical and show a sense of tradition and continuity among all the Muslims across the globe (Penney 10). Common architectural features include a minaret which is a slender tower rising at the top of a mosque (Penney 12). The minaret usually varies in height, number and style. It may be square, octagonal, or round in shape and are in most cases covered with a pointed roof as noted by Penney (12). In the case of the mosque I attended, I was able to observe that it had a tall, slender and round-shaped minaret (Penney 14). On the minaret, there is a loud speaker used to sermon people to prayers commonly called adhan (Hephaestus Books 14). The mosque is divided into two sections in which, men and women attend the service in different rooms. However, the services are conducted with the leadership of an Imam who is stationed on men’s side. The dress code is usually a veil gown mostly white in color for men and black for women. Every member of the congregation is required to remove the shoes before entering the mosque and put on the shoe shelf. This is mainly to preserve the cleanliness of the mosque and a sign of humility to God. The shelf is placed near the door to prevent pilling of shoes at the door. This also ensures that visitors neatly arrange their shoes for ease of availability after the end of the service (Penney 16). The mosque prayer hall is a large and open space (musalla) which is quite unique. The place is left bare with no furniture needed in this place. This is due to the fact that worshipers usually keep sitting, kneeling, and bowing on the floor under the command of the Imam. However, the mosque has few chairs which according to my observation are meant for the disabled and the elderly who may find it difficult to keep up with high mobility, a characteristic of the service. Along the pillars and walls of the mosque are bookshelves which hold Qur’an, some religious reading materials, prayer rags and rihal (wooden book stand) (Hephaestus Books 16). During the prayers, Muslim worshipers bow, kneel and usually prostate on the ground as a sign of humility before Allah (God). Islam usually requires that a prayer be performed in a clean environment. To ensure that this is adhered to, there are carpets and rugs laid on the floor to cushion the floor from dirt (Penney 16). The small rags inside the mosque are mainly stacked on the shelf and are meant for individual use. The rags are about one meter in length and ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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