Symbolic Actions

Islam encompasses every aspect of a person’s life; for example the recitation of the adhan and iqamah in the baby’s right and left ear right after birth symbolizes that the baby is born Muslim and will recognize the call.

All Islamic rituals have symbolic meanings. Every action performed during the liturgical prayer or during the pilgrimage (hajj) for instance has spiritual meanings such as the stoning of the three pillars during hajj which symbolizes the rejection of the temptations of the devil.

Muslims do not need a building in order to worship Allah. They can pray in any clean place, but the Qur’an recommends praying with others:

‘And be steadfast in prayer; practise regular charity; and bow down your heads with those who bow down (in worship)’ (Surah 2:43).

The Muslim place of worship is a mosque or a masjid (place of prostration).
Muhammad (pbuh) built the first mosque in 622 CE in al-Madinah. In Muslim countries, the Mu’adhin (muezzin) calls the believers to prayer five times a day from the minaret where he stands facing the Ka’bah in Makkah. Inside the prayer hall he repeats the call with slightly different words just before prayer begins.

The first prostration during the daily prayers symbolizes being created from dust and the second the return to dust after death. This is to remind the human being to remain humble as everything will perish except God who alone can have pride. Lifting hands in prayers is a sign of asking for something you need and which only God who is needless can give.

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