Visiting Etiquette and FAQ
We are glad that you have decided to visit our Islamic Center, which serves as a place of worship for Muslims in Rome, GA. We welcome all who would like to visit and observe the daily prayers and participate in the daily activities of the Islamic Center of Rome.
The following are some of the most frequently asked questions about visiting a mosque. If you need any more clarification please contact us at email@example.com.
What should I wear?
It is most appropriate to wear modest, loose-fitting clothes. For men, it is best to wear long pants (no shorts), and for women to wear pants or full-length skirts or dresses, with long sleeves. Muslim women typically wear a headscarf. Visitors are not required/expected to cover their hair, although the gesture is welcome.
Where do we enter?
Our Islamic Center has separate entrances for men and women. The women's entrance is from the rear of the building, accessible from the parking lot. The men's entrance is on the side of the building along Hughes St.
Why do we take our shoes off?
It is appropriate to remove one's shoes before entering the prayer areas at a mosque, as a measure of respect and so that the floors and carpets aren't covered with dirt-- after all, that is where people pray. It is recommended that you wear shoes that are easy to slip on and off.
Where are the women praying?
Women offer prayers in a separate room that provides them privacy. In Islamic culture, men and women (who are not immediately related to each other) do not intermingle freely in the same room.
Why are there lines in the prayer area carpets?
Muslims all over the world pray towards the direction of the Ka'bah in Makkah. This direction, known as the qiblah, does not conform to the way the building is situated, so the lines in the carpet are angled to indicate the proper direction that we stand in for prayer.
Where should I walk?
If you are walking through the prayer area and come across someone who is praying, please walk behind, instead of in front of him/her.
Where are the chairs?
A mosque prayer hall (musalla) is a bare room often covered with carpets or rugs. People sit on the floor and pray by standing and prostrating directly on the floor; there are no pews or chairs. For elderly or disabled community members, there may be a few chairs available. There are no sacred objects in the prayer room, other than copies of the Quran and other books which may be along the walls on bookshelves.
How do Muslims pray?
During prayer, you will see people standing in rows, bowing, and prostrating/sitting on the floor in unison, following the leadership of an imam (prayer leader). You may also see people making these movements in individual prayer, before or after the congregational prayer. Outside of the prayer hall, you will see people greeting each other and gathering to talk. As an Islamic Center, we also use the facility for community meals, educational activities, and as a place for children to play.
How do Friday prayers work?
Friday is the day of congregational prayers for Muslims--so a short sermon (in Arabic) followed by a short prayer at the mosque in congregation is substituted for the regular noon-time prayer. The service begins with the call to prayer, followed by a lecture (rather, two short lectures with a brief pause in the middle). After the lecture (called a khutbah), another call to prayer is made and the congregation stands to follow the imam in the prayer.
To serve those that do not understand Arabic, a short speech in English is often delivered right before the call to prayer and Arabic sermon described above.
Is it ok to shake hands?
Be aware that (most) Muslims do not shake hands with anyone of the opposite gender. That is, men do not shake hands with women, and women do not shake hands with men.
We hope that you enjoy your visit, meet new friends, and learn more about Islam and your Muslim neighbors.