We drove through spring sunshine to the Baitul Futuh Mosque in Morden. It is the biggest mosque in western Europe. Our guide was Bushra, one of a team who educate visiting children about Islam. She explained the five pillars of her faith.
We toured the vast complex of halls and community facilities before entering the mosque itself. The children took off their shoes to explore the two huge, green carpeted prayer halls, one for men and the other for women. It was very interesting to hear the call to prayer and the children sat through the prayer in respectful silence.
Staff and children were keen to ask Bushra questions which she answered clearly and openly. I am proud to say she was impressed with the courtesy and respect shown by the Copthorne children.
The children wrote the following comments about their visit:
Yesterday we went to the largest mosque in western Europe. The mosque we went to had two minarets. The minarets are for a special man called the Imam. He tells people when they have to go to the mosque to pray. Their God is called Allah. They think that Allah made the world. (by Nicholas Hall)
A mosque is a Muslim’s church. A mosque is very different to a church and they pray differently. They lay their heads on the floor and they face east and they don’t believe in our God , they believe in Allah, the Muslim God. Their book is the Quran and on the top of a mosque is a dome. (by James Hogarth)
Malak: ‘I liked watching the people pray’
Kelo: ‘I learnt that Muslims call their god, Allah’
Joseph: ‘I liked listening to the call to prayer’