30 youth from Kwale experienced for their first time to enter a mosque
On Sunday 22nd September ’19 the youth group from Kwale parish joined IRD Commission staff and its friend Sheikh Hamisi to visit a mosque in Kwale town. The meeting started in the parish where Sheikh introduced to the group some of the practices and behavioral rules you are supposed to respect inside a mosque.
After some few questions the youth dressed up to visit the mosque, ladies covered their head and legs with traditional material called Kitenge and some guys have worn the Muslim tunic and hat. We walked together with Sheikh Hamisi from the parish to the neighboring mosque where the Imam was waiting for us.
Before entering we have been told to remove our shoes and once inside we did a tour of the mosque from the ablution area to the prayer hall. Here Sheikh Hamisi showed the youth how to pray, what to say and what to do: sit, kneel and bow directly on the floor; he also explained us that they have some chairs for the elderly who have difficulty with mobility and showed us copies of the Qumran which are always present inside a mosque.
After a long question&answer session Sheikh Hamisi took us to the Mihrab and the Minbar, in the front area of the mosque, which respectively show the direction of Mecca and help the Imam for sermons and speeches.
For the last part of the visit we went upstairs to see the mosque’s part dedicated to the women, a prayer hall from where they can listen the Imam and pray without seeing and be seen by the men.
Visiting the mosque has been very educational and exciting, that’s why we concluded together with Sheikh with a sharing moment, back in the parish. The youth explained to sheikh what they have been happy about visiting the mosque and what they’ve learned. Sheikh Hamisi also expressed his happiness for the visit, for the behavior of the youth, always respectful and focused.
For Kwale YCA group this day closed a long journey of trainings and workshops on interreligious dialogue and Islam, so definitely it was a day to mark!
As IRD Commission we are very happy and proud for how the youth have grown and become more aware and open during this journey…this is the best way to make our Archdiocese and society more tolerant and inclusive.
Chiara Gallarini-IRD Commission