RELS100: World Religions
University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
(I’d like typed responses to these questions. Here’s a suggestion: print out this sheet, take it with you to the event, and use it to jot down notes; then sit down later at your computer and organize your thoughts before turning in your typed report.)
Your name: Troy Voss
Event attended: Islamic Service
Location: Islamic Center in Altoona
Briefly describe the material/physical aspects that you observed (e.g how were people dressed? How was the leader dressed? What other physical items—flowers, prayer books, etc.—were present?)
-Women were required to wear ...view middle of the document...
This Friday event is called Jum'ah and is required for Muslim men and encouraged for Muslim women. The sermon is given and then the congregates are to line up and prayer together to end the service. At the end service goers were encouraged to donate.
What were you expecting from this event?
-I was expecting a service that would be similar to many Christian get togethers. I was also expecting to feel welcomed because this is the closest mosque to the UWEC campus so I was assuming they were used to visitors. I also brought along a few female friends and I was expecting them to have to cover themselves and dress modestly. Lastly, I felt that it was probable Men and Women would be separated from each other once we entered the service area.
How were your expectations met or not met?
-The service was not very similar to what I was expecting with my Christian background. There was no hymns or song before the sermon started like I am used to when I attend church. I was expecting to be welcomed and I was, they seemed to be very used to non-believers coming and spectating their practices. They had benches in the back of the prayer area for students and had a sign-in book also. I mentioned earlier how I assumed women would have to be covered and separated and I was correct. There were separate entrances and women were not allowed to show hair or skin. While I was expecting women to be separated it seemed unfair that they were not allowed to pray in the large carpeted area that the men used.
How did you feel as an “observer”/outsider attending this event?
-As an observer I felt very welcome and was not treated differently than any other individual attending the event. I was also greeted by a religions professor that was bringing students to the event so that helped me feel even more comfortable. It was somewhat odd to watch the majority of the Muslim guests pray for 20 minutes as I was waiting for an indication of the start of the sermon. Overall a great learning environment and I appreciated the hospitality offered by the Islamic center.
In what ways did the event help you better understand this religion?
-The service helped me...