What you need to know if you're visiting a mosque

  • 20/03/2019

In light of the recent terror attacks, more and more people are visiting mosques to pay their respects, but there are a few things you should know before going.

Greeting

When you approach someone, you can simply say, "As-salamu alaikum", The AM Show reporter Aziz Al-Sa'afin says.

It means peace be upon you. 

And, if someone greets you with "As-salamu alaikum", just switch it around and reply with "alaikum as-salamu".

"If you are a man meeting a Muslim man, go for the handshake, go for the contact, go for the hug if they choose to do that," Al-Sa'afin says.

However, if you're a man meeting a Muslim woman, wait and see if they initiate any contact. 

The best thing to do, Al-Sa'afin advises, is to put your right hand over on your chest, lean in and say, "As-salamu alaikum". Or you can cup your hands together.

Attire

If you're a woman planning on visiting a mosque, take a scarf with you.

"There's a misconception about the hijab [headscarf] because, when you google it, the first word that comes up is oppression and it's not.

"For women, they choose to wear the scarf as a sign of modesty. They want to be known for what's inside, and not what's outside. It's also an outward expression of their inward beliefs."

Al-Sa'afin says both men and women should cover up when going to a mosque, with loose clothing. 

Inside the mosque

"Don't be surprised if you get asked to separate from your family - there is a male section and a female section," Al-Sa'afin says.

Just like a visit to a marae, shoes should be taken off as soon as you walk into the mosque, he adds.

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