{short description of image} Islam
Return to Home Page Sources for information on this page: University of Glasgow, Interfaith Chaplaincy Religion & Belief Guide 2010–11 with permission;

Basic beliefs
The Muslims’ religion and way of life, spiritually and materially, is Islam. Islam is an Arabic word which means submission to God. The root of the word Islam comes from a word meaning peace and it is the way of peace as laid down in the Quran. The word can also mean submission and it is through submission to God’s will that a Muslim finds peace. At the heart of Muslim belief is belief in the unity and universality of God. The Arabic word Allah means the One God. Muslims also believe in the unity of mankind, under one father, Adam, and have a strong sense of the Muslim community or Ummah and are aware of their solidarity with all Muslims worldwide. Muslims recognise the prophets such as Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Moses and Jesus, and see Mohammed (peace be upon him) as the last and final prophet. Mohammed was born in Makkah in 570 CE. He received the Holy revelation from God through the Angel Gabriel over a period of 23 years. This revelation was recorded in Islam’s Holy Book known as the Quran, which is regarded as the literal word of God. Muslims are taught to recite the Quran in Arabic as any translation of the Holy Book is seen as inadequate.

Islam has two principal bases of faith. The first is that there is no god worthy of worship but the one universal God (Allah), creator and sustainer of all beings. The second is that Mohammed is his messenger. Islam has five pillars that represent the foundation stones of Islamic worship and action: Shahadah: There is no God but the one true God and Mohammed is his messenger. Reciting this with intention three times makes someone a Muslim. Salat: Prayer takes place five times a day at given times. It involves a prescribed sequence of kneeling and standing postures and is made facing Makkah. Zakat: Two and a half percentage of a Muslim’s assets over a given specified amount is given in welfare tax to benefit the poor and needy each year. Hajj: This is an annual pilgrimage to Makkah which takes place at a fixed time of the calendar. It is a requirement at least once in a lifetime for those who can afford it. Sawm: During the month of Ramadan, Muslims are required to abstain from food, drink and sexual acts from dawn until sunset. The ill, old and travellers are exempt.

Prayer can take place anywhere and often a rug is used to mark out the place of prayer. The word Mosque means a place of prostration and can refer to any place of prayer. Purpose built Mosques will be used for communal prayer, community gatherings, Quranic education and the gathering together for the traditional Friday mid-day sermon. These Mosques are often characterised by their dome and minaret, the tall tower from which the call to prayer has traditionally come. No images representing a living being are allowed in the Mosque, which could be decorated very artistically using calligraphy.

Local Contact Details
Suuni Mosque
Chelmsford Mosque - Jamia Masjid
13a Moulsham Street
Essex CM2 0HU

Tel 01245 261563

Click here for web information

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Chelmsford Shia Mosque
The Shia community are in the process of redeveloping their centre at the moment. Their secretary Mr Muntazir Haji can be contacted on 07796978158.

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