Last year when Beth was here we talked about going to the mosque in Washington D.C.  It is actually called The Islamic Center, but it is open to the public.  Audrey and Spencer have been studying world religions, and this catapulted their study right into the Muslim religion study.  So, at the last minute we decided to stop there and check it out.  What a GREAT experience.  I am so glad we did!! 

When we arrived we knew the ladies had to cover their heads, so we all pulled up our hoods.  As I was taking pictures this man appeared and started talking to us about the mosque.  He was so friendly and great with the kids and most importantly open to sharing the Muslim belief system and customs.  The architecture of the mosque was stunning, and our guide explained how the mosque was built from parts all around the world.

The clocks in the mosque told the schedule for prayer.  The schedule is set by the moon and the sun.

He showed us many Quran's in the mosque, but explained how prayers were always done in the native Arabic

Our guide not only talked about the difference between Christianity and Muslims.  We were surprised at the similarities.  He also showed us how Muslim’s pray.  An important aspect of their prayer is that both the forehead and the nose touch the ground to remind them that they came from dust, and return to dust.  They also face East—toward Mecca.  A side note:  The carpet is original from 1957, and comes from Iran.  The tiles were from Turkey, installed in 1969—gorgerous!

Around the top of the mosque are various portions from the Quran.  This is to remind them the purpose for being in the mosque.  You can see the ‘pulpit’ (this is not what it is called) in the bottom picture.  The top is reserved for Allah, the first step for Mohammad, and the person leading prayer uses the third step down.

The dome was shipped from Malaysia!  Gorgeous!