Worship

Much of Muslim life is centred on worship. The daily struggle of Greater Jihad (see below) could be said to inform all aspects of Muslim life, however, it is also stressed that there are set times for prayer which turn the thoughts of a Muslim from the secular world to the sacred one and that after prayer there is a return to daily life and work. This is also seen in the observance of Friday prayers, Salat-ul-Jumu’ah, all work stops for the prayers but after the service is over, daily life returns.

For the Muslim the whole of the earth is a Mosque and therefore Muslims are permitted to pray at any clean place. There is usually a Minbar for the Imam to stand and deliver his sermon. Most Mosques will also have a Mihrab, which signifies the direction of Makkah to which Muslims pray. Muslims will often make effort to pray in Jumu’ah (congregation). It is traditional for majority of Mosques also to have large quantities of tasbihs available, usually hanging off the wall so that when Muslims are reciting certain litanies these help to count and also focus the mind. Muslim men and women would be expected to cover their whole bodies including their heads when praying. Imams would often wear a turban and hold the staff as a symbol of Prophetic authority and practice.

The five daily prayers (Salah) mean that Muslims pray as a community, it is a great leveller as all stand side by side in rows, focused towards Makkah and as one body. The Prophet defined perfection of faith (Ihsan) as to ‘worship God as if you see Him, if you see Him not, know that He sees you’, so it is a means of focusing the whole of one’s being towards and in the presence of God.

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