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What You Will See Inside a Mosque


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Gr 3-6-Khan makes it clear that her statements represent those of a devout Muslim: "We call our faith Islam"; "As Muslims we believe in Allah, the Arabic name for God"; and so forth. Thus, her book manages the marvelous balancing act of being strictly doctrinaire without being exclusionary, offensive, or proselytizing. Her focus is on what happens inside a mosque, but, in describing the parts of this structure and the behavior of Muslims within it, she must necessarily explain the beliefs that dictate the building's forms and its manner of use. This excellent introduction includes basic information on the Qur'an, the qibla (the niche indicating the direction in which Mecca lies), and the Five Pillars of Islam. It also details features such as the "bathrooms" in which adherents perform wudu (washing certain body parts prior to worship), the requirements of and the reasoning behind "modest" dress, and the importance of education. Full-page photographs are supplemented by smaller photos with informative captions. Much more practical and methodical than so many brief introductions to Islam with a more historical focus, Inside a Mosque makes an excellent companion to David Macaulay's Mosque (Houghton, 2003), which adds a further sense of the cultural breadth and the past of Islam.-Coop Renner, Fairmeadows Elementary, Duncanville, TX Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Second in the What You Will See Inside series, What You Will See Inside a Mosque by Aisha Karen Khan, photos by Aaron Pepis, conducts readers on a tour of a Muslim house of worship, at the same time ably introducing the tenets of the faith. The first spread, for example, introduces the call to prayer, or adhan. While the main text explains the function of the adhan and outlines prayer rituals, a large photo shows a man performing the adhan, and sidebars include photos of a minaret and of prayer clocks. The photos, mostly inviting and appealing, issue a friendly overture to a non-Muslim audience. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

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