Year 3 visit on 29th January 2013 to Faizan-E-Madina Mosque
I went with the children, teachers and many parent helpers on two coaches to the largest of the 5 Mosques that are here in Peterborough. All the children were excited to be going on the trip and all came prepared with clipboards, pencils and suitable headwear and the helpers were just as interested to see what the inside of the Mosque was like.
When we arrived down the narrow street in the residential area the coaches parked at the side of the building so everyone could get off safely and congregate in the car park. The groups of children then entered the Mosque with their helpers to take off their shoes before going into the prayer hall. Everyone was amazed at the size of the space and even more impressed by the dome and chandelier suspended from it. The children settled quickly and quietly on the carpet so that the spokesman could tell us about the history and design of the building. He explained about the writing on the walls and around the Mihrab, why the carpet with the prayer mat design faced southeast in Peterborough and what people come to do at the Mosque. The children asked questions before separating into designated groups to see other parts of the building. My party went first to the entrance hall to see the 7 clocks and find out what they were all for, before going into the room for "Wudu" to see the washing facilities and learning how to get clean before praying. Then we went up the marble staircase to fully appreciate the dome and chandelier and for the children to do some written work and drawings of the patterns in the Mosque. There was another question and answer session when the children learnt about the Muslim concept of respect. There is no call to prayer as in Muslim countries as that would disturb the neighbours. Instead the call to prayer is done by radio link direct to the homes of the congregation. Men and women pray in different parts of the hall out of respect to the modesty of the ladies, they would not like men bending down close in front and behind them. Considering that the Mosque is designed for a congregation of 3,000 people and that 5,000 were in attendance for the birthday of the prophet on the Sunday then people would be very close to each other. They also learnt about how much the Mosque cost and how the monies were raised by donations. Everybody helps each other as they then get rewarded by prayer. The morning flew by and we all had to get back onto the coaches to return to school. Mrs Blower, who had organised the trip, will be getting lots of questions in her next RE lesson with the children as they were still buzzing on our return. Thank you for letting me come along too.
Anne Whiles Staff Governor