Saturday, 26 July 2008

The G-d of the Jews and the God of the Muslims

Our group had an interesting day at the Mosque and at the Synagogue. We first visited the Central Mosque Ghomkol Sharif where I prayed my Juma (Friday) prayers and the group observed from the viewing gallery. Ghomkol Sharif Mosque is an interesting Mosque in Birmingham which has a Barelwi inclined congregation, which believe in a more mystical strand of South Asian Islam. They have a spiritual leader who came to the UK from the Punjab, Hazrat Shaik Sufi Mohammad Abdullah Sahib in the early 1980s. It is a pretty colourful Mosque with decorations all over. They are known for their melodic sermons which sound like an angry argument but are argued to be as such to arouse the emotions of the faithful to a spiritual frenzy, an interesting approach.

In the evening we visited the Orthodox Jewish Synagogue in Birmingham for the beginning of the Sabbath prayers. It was my first time in a Synagogue and I have to say I really enjoyed it. I liked the way that the congregation, separated sections for males and females, sang their prayers. The Rabbi of the Synagogue was a young man and very welcoming to us all. It was an interesting day of Muslim/Jewish worship. I must confess that for me God followed me in both places and I was left in a total spiritual trance at both locations. I wonder if it is even possible to close our hearts and minds to God in different places of worship? For at the end of the day we are the same person with the same heart and mind in all places.

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