We had the opportunity through our church last night to take a bus into Adana and have an Iftar dinner on a roof-top of a hotel overlooking the "Sabancı Merkez Camii." It is the most visited mosque in Adana, as it is one of the largest mosques in the Middle East.
We left the church at 6:30pm and when the sun set, dinner was served. Here are some pictures of our evening (courtesy of my new friend Amanda since I realized our camera didn't have a card when we got there.)
How gorgeous is this mosque lit up at night?
- The two major Muslim holidays include celebrating the "coming of the word" and the "sacrifice" of that word. This is nearly identical to the Christian faith in which we celebrate Christmas (the coming) and Easter (the sacrifice) of the word.
- From sun-up to sun-down, the fasting includes food, water, sex, and smoking.
- Muslims pray five times a day. Last night I decided that every time I hear the Muslim call to pray, I am going to pray! What a great reminder to pray loud singing over loud speakers presents.
- One of the major parts of the celebration of Ramazan is the giving of alms. "Rich people" (who are defined by a certain amount of net worth) are supposed to give to the poor during Ramazan.
- The Hodja took the time to discuss misconceptions about Jihad. Jihad, according to the Hodja, has to do with the importance of spreading the word of Muslim faith. The faith itself does not teach violence unless you are defending your own country. While I know some Muslims do not hold to this belief, it is important for me to remember and for those that read my blog to understand that the vast majority of Muslims are incredibly peaceful people. It is a very small minority that make a bad name for their community.
- This Hodja made a point of saying that He believes Muslims, Jews, and Christians are all worshipping the same God. We may argue differently, but this viewpoint still reveals what they personally believe.
John and I intend to learn as much about this culture and truly participate in their community while we live here. It is my hope that I can bring back my learning to this blog and that you can vicariously experience this community through me. As a Christian, I do believe that Jesus is the only way to heaven. But that doesn't change the fact that we are called to love and live peacefully with the world.
P.S. I would love, with the help of JB, to answer any questions you might have about Ramazan or the Mulsim faith. I'll do my best. Just post a comment.